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What is the Statue of Limitations in Florida? | Felice Trial Attorneys

Overview of Florida’s Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations is essentially a deadline, determining how long you have to take legal action in various situations. Every legal scenario, from personal injuries and car accidents to contract disputes, comes with a specific timeframe in which you need to file a lawsuit. This system is crucial because it helps maintain the integrity of evidence and ensures that disputes are resolved while the details are still fresh in everyone’s mind.

In Florida, like in many other states, the specifics of these deadlines can vary greatly depending on the type of legal case. For example, if you have been injured in a slip and fall on someone else’s property, you generally have four years from the date of the accident to start legal proceedings. But if the issue is medical malpractice, you have just two years from the date you discover the injury to take action. Let’s take a closer look at how this system works and its different aspects.

Statute of Limitations for Different Case Types in Florida

Case Type

Statute of Limitations

What Falls Under This Case Type

Relevant Statute Section

Personal Injury

4 years

Injuries from accidents, slips, falls, negligence, and assaults

§ 95.11(3)(a)

Vehicle Accidents

4 years

Car, motorcycle, truck, and other motor vehicle accidents

§ 95.11(3)(a)

Medical Malpractice

2 years

Medical errors, misdiagnosis, surgical mistakes, neglect

§ 95.11(4)(b)

Product Liability

4 years

Injuries caused by defective or unsafe products

§ 95.11(3)(e)

Slip and Fall Accidents

4 years

Falls due to unsafe conditions on the property

§ 95.11(3)(a)

Wrongful Death

2 years

Death caused by negligence or misconduct

§ 95.11(4)(d)

Property Damage

4 years

Damage to personal or real property

§ 95.11(3)(h)

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How the Statute of Limitations Works

The statute of limitations sets a deadline for filing lawsuits, and this “clock” begins to run either from the date of the incident or the moment when the harm is discovered, which is often referred to as the discovery rule. This rule is quite useful in situations like medical malpractice, where the effects of a mistake might not be evident right away. For example, if a surgical error leads to complications that are only recognized months or years later, the discovery rule allows the injured party to still seek justice once the issue is identified. This makes sure that people have a fair chance to address issues that were not immediately obvious.

Special Exceptions and Provisions

Florida law recognizes certain situations that allow for exceptions to the statute of limitations, suiting specific cases where the standard limitations period may not be fair or reasonable.

  1. Minors and Incapacitated Individuals

For young people or those unable to make decisions for themselves, the law takes a compassionate approach. The clock on the statute of limitations doesn’t start ticking until they reach adulthood or regain their ability to make decisions. This gives them a fair chance to bring forward a lawsuit when they’re ready and able.

  1. Fraud or Concealment

Sometimes, key information is hidden on purpose to avoid legal consequences. In these cases, Florida law allows the statute of limitations to be extended. This means that if you discover you’ve been deceived or important facts were kept from you, you still have time to seek justice even if the standard deadline has passed.

  1. Sexual Battery or Misconduct

When it comes to serious offenses like sexual battery or misconduct, the rules are even more flexible. The law can extend or sometimes even remove the time limits for filing a lawsuit, acknowledging the gravity of these situations and the difficulties victims might face in coming forward. This provision helps ensure that those affected can take the time they need to come forward in a way that feels safe for them.

Consequences of Missing the Deadline

Missing the deadline set by the statute of limitations can seriously impact your ability to pursue justice and compensation. If you file a lawsuit after the time limit has expired, the courts will likely dismiss your case, regardless of its merits. This not only means you could miss out on potential compensation for damages or injuries but also that the responsible party might not be held accountable. That is why paying close attention to these deadlines is crucial for maintaining your legal rights. Always be proactive in seeking legal advice to ensure that all filings are timely and correctly handled to avoid losing your right to claim due to a technicality.

Role of Felice Trial Attorneys in Managing Statute Limitations

Felice Trial Attorneys specialize in guiding clients through the complexities of the statute of limitations across a variety of legal issues, particularly when it comes to personal injuries and vehicle accidents. We know the legal system can seem daunting, so our team is committed to giving you clear and simple advice. We take care of the complex parts, like filing claims on time and following the right procedures, to protect your rights and increase your chances of a favorable outcome. If you are recovering from an accident or dealing with a personal injury, our skilled injury trial attorneys are ready to give your case the timely and careful attention it needs.

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Contact us Today

Call Now

Call now for FREE Consultation

(561) 444-8822

Navigating Claims Against Government Entities

When filing claims against government entities in Florida, it is important to follow specific rules and timelines. Here’s a straightforward guide to help you understand the process:

  • Immediate Notification: Notify the relevant government entity as soon as possible. Florida requires that notices of claims be filed within 3 years after the incident.
  • Statutory Notice: Before filing a lawsuit, you must provide a statutory notice of the claim to the government entity involved. This notice gives the entity a chance to respond.
  • Waiting Period: After you file your notice, there’s a mandatory waiting period, typically 180 days, during which the government can investigate the claim and choose to settle before you can file a lawsuit.
  • Strict Deadlines: Be aware of the strict deadlines for these claims. Missing a deadline can result in losing your right to file a lawsuit.
  • Detailed Documentation: Provide detailed documentation of the incident, injuries, and damages. Precise records strengthen your claim.
  • Legal Representation: You should hire legal representation familiar with government claims. Dealing with these claims can be complex, and experienced counsel can be extremely helpful.

FAQs on Florida’s Statute of Limitations

In Florida, you have four years from the date of the car accident to file a personal injury claim. This timeline also applies to claims for property damage that occurred during the vehicle accident.

The discovery rule allows the statute of limitations to start from the moment the injury is discovered rather than when the incident occurred. This is especially relevant in cases like medical malpractice, where the harm might not be immediately apparent.

Yes, the statute of limitations can be extended in Florida under certain circumstances, such as when the injured party is a minor or when the defendant has fraudulently concealed their wrongdoing, delaying the discovery of the cause of action.

In Florida, most misdemeanors have statutes of limitations of 2 years, while felonies can vary, with some having time limitations of up to 5 years. Serious crimes like murder and other capital felonies do not have a statute of limitations.

The 2-year statute of limitations period in Florida typically applies to medical malpractice and wrongful death claims. This means you must file a lawsuit within two years of discovering the injury or death.

The time period to sue someone in Florida depends on the type of claim. Personal injury and property damage claims must be filed within four years, while fraud and breach of contract cases have a five-year limit for written contracts and four years for oral contracts.

In Florida, the statute of limitations for collecting debt through the courts depends on the agreement’s nature. Written contracts have a time frame of five years, while oral agreements are collectible for up to four years.