All Florida personal injury cases must follow certain procedural rules in order to be properly heard by a court. In most cases, court procedural rules are jurisdictional, meaning that a party’s failure to comply with a rule deprives the court of the jurisdiction – or power – to hear the case. Thus, when certain rules are not followed, Florida courts have little discretion but to dismiss the case.
One of the most troublesome procedural rules in Florida personal injury cases is the statute of limitations. Essentially, a statute of limitations sets the time by which a plaintiff’s claim must be filed. While there are certain exceptions, in Florida, most personal injury cases must be filed within four years of the plaintiff’s injury. For Florida medical malpractice cases, the case must be filed within four years of the alleged act of negligence.
Of course, there are exceptions to these general rules that can extend the amount of time an accident victim has to file their claim. For example, if a plaintiff’s injury is not discovered until a later date, the statute of limitations may be determined to have begun at the time the plaintiff discovered their injury, rather than at the time the injury occurred.