Burns can result from a number of causes—from fire to electricity to a tanning bed. If your burns require medical attention and have been caused by the careless behavior of another person or by a faulty product, Florida law allows you to file a claim for damages against the negligent party who caused your burns. Your damages might include medical bills, lost wages from time off work, and pain and suffering. In order to collect fair compensation, though, you must file your claim within a certain timeframe.
Understanding the Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations sets the time you have to file a claim for compensation or a lawsuit. In Florida, you have four years from the date of the accident to file a claim against someone’s insurance company or a personal injury lawsuit against the person or company responsible for your burn injuries.
If the negligent party was an office or department of local, state, or federal government, the statute is reduced to three years. There are some other complicated exceptions that can cause the statute to pause or toll, such as when the victim is a minor. When in doubt, contact an attorney for guidance.
Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute
While three to four years might seem like a long time, the wheels of justice often turn slowly. An experienced attorney can be sure you file with the allowed timeframe and help you to recover fair compensation. If you wait to hire a lawyer and file your claim, you might:
- Miss the deadline and have no future opportunity to receive compensation.
- Make it hard for your attorney to investigate thoroughly and collect important evidence.
- Open yourself to disputes about the severity of your injuries. (The defendant’s insurance company might try to pay you less than the award you deserve—claiming you would have filed sooner had your injuries been serious enough.)