Are There Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations?

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statute of limitations

There is an important principle in the law that has to do with, essentially, giving people a time limit. If we get injured in a car accident, can we wait for years and years before we bring a lawsuit against the driver who caused our injuries? No. A time limit is placed on the time a person has to bring a lawsuit.  That time limit is written in a statute, and that statute is called the statute of limitations.   

What is tricky, however, is that there are different time limits, i.e., the statute of limitations, is different depending upon the issue.  While the statute of limitations for a car accident case is generally 4 years, a claim for wrongful death usually has a 2-year statute of limitations.  

Accordingly, if you have a personal injury claim, it would be a good idea to have a consultation with a personal injury lawyer in Stuart to understand what the time limit for your claim would be.  In fact, you can begin by looking at our previous blog about the statute of limitations.  

That being said, there are times when the statute of limitations may not need to be strictly applied.  That is to say that there are a few important exceptions to the statute of limitations in certain circumstances.  

That is what this article is about.  Here, we will discuss the exceptions to the statute of limitations in personal injury cases.  If, after reading this blog, you have additional questions about your own situation, then we welcome you to contact the personal injury attorneys in Stuart, FL – Crary Buchanan.  At Crary Buchanan, we are proud of our standard of excellence, which has allowed us to thrive as one of the oldest law firms on Florida’s Treasure Coast.  

Our personal injury attorneys in Stuart are passionate about giving you the highest quality representation.  Call us today at 772-287-2600, or schedule a free estate planning to consult online with our online contact form

Suspending – or Tolling – the Statute of Limitations

When we say exceptions to the statute of limitations, what we are really saying is that the statute of limitations may not be avoided forever.  Rather, we are saying that there are a number of situations in which you can delay, suspend, or pause the statute of limitations for a period of time.  Thus, the statute of limitations does not go away, but rather you will have more time than usual to bring a lawsuit in court.

Here are a few reasons why the statute of limitations can be tolled for a period of time.

1. Being mentally incompetent

If a person suffered from mental incapacity prior to the accident or injury, then a person who is injured in an accident will have more time to bring his or her case.  Someone who suffers from mental incapacity because of the accident does not get to toll the limitations period.  

That said, in Florida, the latest anyone can bring a personal injury action is 7 years after the date of injury.  Thus, the tolling of the statute for a mentally incapacitated person can go beyond the normal limitations period, but cannot extend beyond 7 years.

2. Evasive Defendant

It happens frequently that defendants who caused an accident will hide from a lawsuit by concealing their location in Florida or leaving the State.  In those circumstances, the statute of limitations period can also be tolled.

3. Arbitration

Florida law, like many states, tries to encourage disputes to be worked out in arbitration rather than in court. Accordingly, if there is a pending arbitration case that is connected to the personal injury at issue, then the statute of limitations period is tolled until the arbitration is complete.    

Let the Personal Injury Lawyers in Stuart Help with Your Personal Injury Case

Vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of personal injury and wrongful death in the nation. Many factors can contribute to a traffic accident, but as noted the primary reason is negligence.  Drivers are negligent in a variety of ways.  A driver who falls asleep may be considered negligent. 

When a careless driver causes an accident, you can pursue a personal injury claim or lawsuit.

It doesn’t matter what type of injury you sustained.  You have the right to seek compensation if another driver caused you injury – even if you were partially responsible for the accident.   Automobile and truck accident injuries can lead to a variety of expenses, and a personal injury claim can compensate you for these costs.  Yet, you need the right legal advocate on your side to get full and fair compensation for your damages. If you or someone you love suffered an injury, speak with a Stuart, Martin County personal injury attorney from Crary Buchanan.  We want to help you recover the money you need.

At Crary Buchanan, we are committed to providing clients with exceptional service in every aspect of personal injury law.  You can depend upon our 85 years of experience in the Florida legal industry. 

Our legal team is passionate about maintaining the high standards of professionalism and legal service that were established and practiced by founding attorneys Evans Crary Sr. and Evans Crary Jr.  Evans Crary Sr. began his law practice in Stuart in 1927 at a time when Martin County was only two years old.  He became a municipal judge at the age of 25 and served as County Attorney for 23 years. 

During his time as County Attorney, he was elected to represent Martin County in the Florida Legislature.  In 1945 he was elected to the Florida House of Representatives. He served in the House for nine years and even served as Speaker of the House before he went on to become a member of the Florida Senate.  Today, the Crary Buchanan law firm continues to practice the example of integrity, professionalism, energy, and devotion that was clearly illustrated in the lives of both Evans Crary Sr. and Evans Crary Jr.

Our clients are more than case numbers; they are people. We recognize that you are an individual with unique needs and expectations. Our team is here to meet your need and exceed your expectations.  When you work with us, you can have confidence that a caring legal advocate is on your side.

If you have more questions or want dedicated personal injury lawyers in Stuart to help you, call 772-287-2600 or schedule a free consult online with our online contact form. You can always depend on Crary Buchanan for community, experience, and trust.  Call today.