How Long Do You Have To Get a Lawyer After an Auto Accident in Orlando?
When you get injured in an auto accident in Orlando, there is a time limit on your ability to assert your legal rights. You cannot wait indefinitely—in fact, waiting at all could make it more difficult to recover the financial compensation you deserve. In this article, we discuss Florida’s statute of limitations for auto accidents, and we cover seven reasons why you should not wait any longer than necessary to get a lawyer after an auto accident in Orlando.
At Colling Gilbert Wright, our car accident attorneys have seen the devastation of serious car wrecks firsthand. We know the hardships you may be facing and we are committed to helping you pursue the maximum compensation to which you may be entitled under the law.
What Is Florida’s Statute of Limitations for Auto Accidents
A “statute of limitations” is a law that places a limit on the amount of time you have to assert your legal rights. The statute of limitations that applies to auto accidents in Orlando is found in Section 95.11(3)(a) of the Florida Statutes.
Under Section 95.11(3)(a), auto accident victims have up to four years to file a claim. This “limitations period” runs from the date of the accident. So, if you were injured in an auto accident on January 1, 2021, you would have until December 31, 2025 to file a claim. If you were to wait until January 1, 2026, you would lose your legal rights entirely (in most cases).
The statute of limitations for fatal auto accidents in Orlando is shorter. Under Section 95.11(4)(d), eligible members typically have up to two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death claim.
7 Reasons You Should Not Wait to Get a Lawyer After an Auto Accident
While it may be several years until the statute of limitations for your auto accident claim expires, you should not wait any longer than necessary to get a lawyer. Here are seven important reasons why you should talk to a lawyer as soon as possible:
1. You May Need to File an Insurance Claim Sooner
Most auto insurance policies require policyholders to file their claims well before the statute of limitations expires. Depending on your policy, you may have a certain number of days to file a claim (i.e. 30 days), or you may need to report your auto accident “as soon as possible.”
2. You Need to Collect Evidence Before it Disappears
While Florida is a “no-fault” auto insurance state, accident victims who suffer serious injuries can still seek fault-based compensation in many cases. If you have a fault-based claim under another driver’s insurance policy (or if you have a “third party” claim), you will need a lawyer to collect evidence of liability before it disappears.
3. You Need to Make Sure You Receive Appropriate Medical Care
When seeking financial compensation for an auto accident in Orlando, you need your medical records to reflect both the cause and extent of your injuries. While you can (and should) seek emergency medical treatment if necessary, you will also want to see a doctor who has specific experience treating patients who have claims for just compensation.
4. You Need to Document the Costs of the Accident
Beyond your medical records, you will need various other forms of documentation as well. An Orlando auto accident lawyer will be able to walk you through all of the documents you will need to collect in order to recover the financial compensation you deserve.
5. You Need to Avoid Costly Mistakes
Many types of mistakes can make it more difficult (if not impossible) to file a successful auto accident claim. The longer you wait to get a lawyer, the more likely it will become that you will make a mistake that jeopardizes your financial recovery.
6. The Statute of Limitations Establishes the Deadline to File a Lawsuit
The statute of limitations establishes the deadline to file a lawsuit in court. But, there are many steps your lawyer will need to take before he or she can file a lawsuit on your behalf. Additionally, in the vast majority of circumstances, it is both more efficient and more cost-effective to negotiate a settlement without going to court.
7. The Sooner You Get Started, the Sooner You Can Recover
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the sooner you get started, the sooner you can recover. Filing a successful auto accident claim is not easy, and you will need an experienced lawyer on your side. Hiring a lawyer promptly gives you the best chance to recover just compensation as quickly as possible.
Talk to an Orlando Auto Accident Lawyer for Free
Injured in an auto accident in Orlando? We can help. To speak with an experienced lawyer in confidence, call 800-766-1000 or request a free consultation online now.