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New Florida Law to Impact Accident Victims

On March 24, 2023, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law House Bill (HB) 837.

It is one of the most significant tort reform bills in Florida’s history, and it will impact accident victims for years to come.

This new law brings major changes to Florida’s civil tort law in several areas, including those related to negligence, bad faith insurance, and related evidence rules.

One of the most important aspects of this tort reform is how the statute of limitations will impact negligence claims in Florida in the coming years.

What does the statute of limitations refer to in Florida?

First off, there are two types of statutes of limitations, criminal and civil; Most refer to civil cases.

A statute of limitations is a procedural law that sets a strict time limit. This limit represents when a plaintiff must bring action against a claim.  Otherwise, the claim is barred if it’s filed after the statute of limitations expires.

In other words, the statute of limitations is the period within which a lawsuit must be filed. If the claim is not brought before this period, the claim is non-recoverable.

The new Statute of Limitations in Florida

For decades, the statute of limitations was four years in Florida. This meant a cause of negligence in Florida had four years to file from the time the cause of action arose.

A cause of action generally arises where the plaintiff suffered harm by the act or omission of the defendant. Hence, accident victims have always needed to file their claim within a certain period.

However, as of this past March 24th, the new statute of limitations for negligence claims has been shortened to just two years. This change applies to general negligence claims. And it includes most personal injury claims resulting from negligence; car accidents, slip and falls, and negligence property damage claims.

It is important to note that the shortened statute of limitations does not apply to negligence claims before this date.  Therefore, it only applies to negligence claims arising after the new law took effect.

How might this new law impact Florida accident victims?

According to Trial Attorney James Graver, “everyone should be concerned.”

Cutting Florida’s long-standing negligence statute of limitations in half is a significant change.  And it will have a definite impact on the timing of future negligence claims.

It takes time to reach a settlement agreement amongst all parties; in some cases, more than two years.

Consequently, many more lawsuits are likely to be filed versus having ample time to settle out of court. Unfortunately, having to file suit, may not always be in the best interest of accident victims, as every case and circumstance varies.

Law Offices of James G. Graver, P.A.

At the Law Offices of James G. Graver, P.A., we want to make sure accident victims have the proper representation they need. Our expert legal team will provide you with personalized attention from start to finish. And our consultations and case evaluations are always free.

If you have questions about how the new statute of limitations might affect your case, please contact us today. We can be reached 24/7 online at www.graverlaw.com or at 561-228-7820 and Toll-Free at 888-Graver-3 (472-8373).

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