If you’ve been injured in any sort of accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. However, Florida law only gives you a certain amount of time to file your claim. Given the fact that the legal process can be complex and confusing, it’s a good idea to talk to a Boynton Beach personal injury lawyer before you do anything.
The discovery rule can have a significant impact on your personal injury case and understanding its ins and outs is essential to ensure a successful outcome. Here, we’ll explain what this rule is and how it can impact your personal injury lawsuit.
What is the Discovery Rule?
In general, the discovery rule is a legal principle that says that the clock on the statute of limitations doesn’t start ticking until the plaintiff knows (or reasonably should have known) that they have been injured. This can be tricky to apply in practice because it’s not always clear when someone has “discovered” their injury.
What your personal injury attorney in Boynton Beach will have to do is submit specific evidence demonstrating exactly when you realized you were hurt.
What Are Situations in Which the Discovery Rule Would Apply?
There are a few different situations in which the discovery rule might come into play in a personal injury case. For example, if you were in a car accident and didn’t realize you were injured until weeks later, the discovery rule would give you a slightly longer period of time to file your claim.
The discovery rule can also be applied in cases where the injury is latent, meaning it takes time for symptoms to appear. For example, if you were exposed to hazardous materials at work and only developed health problems years later, the discovery rule would allow you to bring a claim even though the accident happened long ago.
If you think the discovery rule might apply to your case, it’s important to speak with an experienced Boynton Beach personal injury lawyer who can help you investigate your claim and make sure your rights are protected.
Your Boynton Beach Personal Injury Lawyer Can Explain How the Rule Works
If you were hurt in an accident, you may be wondering how long you have to file a legal claim. Florida law has very specific rules on this topic.
According to Florida Statute §95.11, plaintiffs in a personal injury case have two years from the date of their accident to file their claim. The law also states that the two years will not start until the plaintiff discovers that they were, in fact, injured.
The reason this rule is referred to as the “Discovery Rule” is because your personal injury attorney in Boynton Beach can buy you a little extra time if you didn’t discover your injuries for weeks or months after the accident.
It is important to point out that, until March 23, 2023, plaintiffs had four years from the date they discovered their injury. When House Bill 837 was signed, it reduced this time to two years. However, the new rule only applies to cases that originated after 2023.
What Is the Rationale Behind the Discovery Rule?
The discovery rule is based on the premise that it would be unfair to require someone to file a lawsuit before they even knew they had been injured. For example, if you are in a car accident and do not immediately feel any pain, you might not realize you were injured until weeks or even months later.
The discovery rule gives you a reasonable amount of time to seek medical treatment and consult with a personal injury attorney in Boynton Beach before having to decide whether to file a lawsuit.
Your Boynton Beach Personal Injury Lawyer Must Prove That the Discovery Rule Applies in Your Case
For the discovery rule to apply in your case, you must be able to show that you could not have reasonably known you were injured at the time of the accident.
If, for example, you develop pain shortly after the accident and seek medical treatment right away, it may be difficult to argue that you did not know you were injured until much later.
If you are successful in invoking the discovery rule, you will be able to proceed with your personal injury case and seek compensation for your damages. If you are unsuccessful, however, your case will likely be dismissed, and you will be barred from recovering any compensation.
If you think the discovery rule may apply in your case, it is important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help investigate your case and determine whether you have a valid claim.
What Are the Benefits of the Discovery Rule in a Personal Injury Case?
If you have been injured in an accident, the discovery rule may be beneficial to your personal Injury case.
The discovery rule can be helpful in two ways. First, it allows a plaintiff who was unaware of his or her injury at the time of the accident to still file a lawsuit within a reasonable amount of time after discovering the injury.
Second, the discovery rule may also extend the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit. According to Florida Statute §95.11, you only have two (2) years to file your personal injury lawsuit. This may seem like a lot of time. However, you have no idea how long it will take to determine the nature and extent of your injuries and damages.
If, on the other hand, your personal injury attorney in Boynton Beach can show that you did not discover your injury until after the accident occurred, the court may extend the statute of limitations.
Potential Problems with the Discovery Rule in a Personal Injury Case
The truth is, it can be hard to know when exactly you were injured. This is especially hard if the injury is something internal, like a carotid artery dissection or cancer.
If you’re not sure when your injury occurred, it’s important to talk to a Boynton Beach personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. They can investigate the facts of your case and figure out when the statute of limitations should start running.
Otherwise, you might miss your chance to file a lawsuit and get compensation for your injuries.
What Happens if Your Boynton Beach Personal Injury Lawyer Missed the Filing Deadline?
If your Boynton Beach personal injury lawyer misses the statute of limitations filing deadline, you may still be able to file a claim if the discovery rule applies. However, the defendant is going to argue that you should’ve discovered your injuries long before you say you did.
Whether the rule applies, thereby extending your time to file, will depend on the judge. If they believe that you did not discover your injuries until weeks or months after your accident, you’ll be granted the additional time.
The Defendant Will Argue That You Should’ve Discovered Your Injuries Much Earlier
If you were injured in an accident, the defendant may argue that you should have discovered your injuries much earlier. Their attorney may have evidence showing that you were not only aware of your injuries but discussed it with other people.
One example of this has to do with social media. Our Boynton Beach personal injury lawyers have handled cases where the plaintiff posted about their injuries online. However, when we met with them for the first time, they told us it took them six months to learn that they were hurt.
Sit Down with an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney in Boynton Beach, Florida
If you were hurt in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation. It all depends on what your personal injury attorney in Boynton Beach is able to prove. This won’t matter, however, if you don’t file your claim in time.
Florida law only gives you two (2) years to file your claim. The two years starts on the date of your accident. There are times, however, when it takes a while to realize that you were hurt. In situations like this, your Boynton Beach personal injury lawyers can help.
Contact one of the seasoned personal injury attorneys in Boynton Beach at Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers today at (561)800-8000 to schedule your free, initial consultation. Our attorneys will work hard to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.