Case or Claim Duration Questions
How long do I have to sue after an accident?
It depends on what you mean by “accident.” In Florida, generally speaking, when you are bringing a claim for negligence, whether from a car crash or trip/slip and fall, you have 4 years from the date of the incident to either settle your case or file a lawsuit. If you are suing your own auto insurance company for uninsured or underinsured motorist protection, you have 5 years to file a lawsuit. With regard medical malpractice and wrongful death cases, the time limit, or statute of limitations, is shortened to two years. Other actions have other time frames, so it is critical to make sure you are using the right one.
While those time limitations above may seem like a long time, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible after a collision or injury. So many things can and do happen right after a collision that could come back to haunt you later. Personal injury attorneys all have stories to tell about the witness that got away, the evidence that vanished or the insurance adjuster who showed up at the hospital with a small check for the injured person. Having a personal injury attorney by your side and working for you, soon after a collision, is the safest way to prevent bigger problems from happening later.
How long does it take to get a settlement offer from a car collision?
This is a question that we get asked a lot. Unfortunately, there really is no good answer to it. Every case is different because several factors go into how long it will take for a case to be settled. Sometimes, in a case with significant injuries and limited insurance, the case may settle within days of an accident, or even sooner. In other cases, where liability or fault may be in dispute, the case could take months or years.
At Cutler Rader, we begin working for our clients immediately upon their hiring of us. We work as quickly and as aggressively as possible to move our clients’ cases toward resolution. The Cutler Rader team is motivated to get you the results you deserve as quickly as possible. Most cases can be resolved within 6-8 months, without filing a lawsuit, with some taking longer and others settling sooner. In those cases that do not resolve within that time frame, suit must be filed. In South Florida, once a lawsuit is filed, it can take anywhere from 18-24 months or longer before getting to trial, though the vast majority of cases will settle some time before trial.