Frequently Asked Questions - What Is The Statute of Limitations For Filing a Motorcycle Accident Claim?
Each state has their own statute of limitations when it comes to filing a personal injury claim. In the State of Florida, the statute of limitations is four years from the date of your accident. You must either settle your claim or file a lawsuit before the four-year statute of limitations expires or you will forever be barred from filing a claim or receiving compensation. Because you have four years from the date of your accident to settle your claim or file a lawsuit, you should be able to successfully treat your injuries until your doctor decides that you have reached maximum medical improvement. Depending on your injuries and the complexity of your claim, the average personal injury case typically lasts about two years so the four-year statute of limitations is plenty of time to pursue the claim and settle with the insurance company. If you are hit by a vehicle which does not afford bodily injury coverage, which is not a mandatory coverage in the state of Florida, you must look to your own insurance company to file a claim under your uninsured motorist coverage if you have underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage on your own policy. If you are injured by a vehicle which affords only minimum bodily injury coverage you must settle your claim with the minimal at fault bodily injury carrier before you can turn to your own underinsured coverage if you have this on your own policy. If you end up having to file an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim, the statute of limitations extends to five years instead of the four-year statute of limitations for bodily injury claims in the state of Florida.
There are a number of injuries you can receive from a motorcycle accident so having a four year treatment window is very beneficial as you can most likely complete all of your treatment prior to the statute of limitations running out. If you do find yourself still seeking medical treatment with your statute of limitations date fast approaching, you or your attorney can file a lawsuit against the at fault party which will banish all statutes of limitations. There are no statutes of limitations against claims that have been filed with the clerk of courts and the case can continue for as long as needed or until you accept a settlement offer prior to having to take the case to a jury trial.
After you are involved in a motorcycle accident, the best thing you can do is hire an experienced personal injury attorney who can review your claim and advise you of your rights and benefits. If you suffer from any type of injury sustained in a motorcycle accident, your attorney will make sure you are being treated by the best doctors for your needs. Soft tissue injuries may not require much medical treatment but in order to make sure you are fully compensated for any type of injury you sustain, you should always make sure to be at least examined by a medical professional. Your doctor will be able to do a thorough examination to assess any and all injuries. Depending on the severity of your injuries, your doctor will probably send you for an MRI to rule out any internal injuries. After you have undergone MRI testing, the results will indicate how much more medical treatment you could probably expect to receive. If your MRI shows no internal damage or spinal injuries, you will most likely require no more than physical therapy treatment. If however your MRI results reveal spinal damages or any ligament or muscle tears, your physical therapist may refer you to a specialist.
Spinal injuries typically require an orthopedic or neurosurgical evaluation from an orthopedic surgeon or neurosurgeon. Disc bulges and herniations more often than not result in pain management treatment in the form of epidural steroid injections. If your injuries warrant spinal injections, your specialist will perform these in a surgical outpatient setting. The injections will be performed under anesthesia and are considered a minimally invasive procedure. A few days or weeks after the injections are performed, you should consult with your specialist to verify the effectiveness of the procedure. If the injections are successful, most people will continue to undergo injections for the foreseeable future which can be a hassle since they are only temporarily effective and wear off quickly. If the injections do not help relieve your pain, your doctor will likely recommend a spinal surgery as a more definitive treatment. These days, spinal surgeries can be performed in an outpatient surgical setting and most people are discharged the same day after an hour or so of observation. The recovery time frame for a spinal surgery will depend on the invasiveness of the procedure but most people are advised to remain out of work from anywhere between two to six weeks. This is good news because if you need additional surgical procedures, you can usually fit all procedures and treatment well into the four-year statute of limitations time frame.
Once you have completed your medical treatment and you and your doctors feel there is no more treatment that will make you whole again, you will probably be at the point where you can begin to negotiate a settlement for your claim. If you have hired a personal injury attorney for your injury claim, your attorney will gather all of your medical bills and records and submit them to the insurance company on your behalf. The insurance adjuster and your attorney will then spend the next several weeks negotiating a fair settlement. If the insurance company does not offer a fair settlement offer, your attorney may discuss with you the option of filing a lawsuit against the insurance company. This involves your attorney filing a complaint with the county courthouse and bringing a lawsuit about on your behalf. The benefit of filing a lawsuit against an insurance company for a motorcycle accident is that you no longer have to worry about the statute of limitations expiring. Once you file a lawsuit with the court, you have all the time you need to pursue the lawsuit.