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Florida’s Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury Claims

Florida Statute of Limitations

In Florida, the statute of limitations is four years for personal injury claims. This means that the lawsuit must be commenced within a period of four years, not that the lawsuit has to be completed within four years. [1] The formal commencement of a lawsuit occurs when a formal complaint is filed through, what is typically and e-filing system, in the proper venue that is required to commence the lawsuit.[2]

Personal Injury

Under Florida State Statute §95.11(3)(a), it states that the lawsuit must be filed: “(3) within four years . . . (a) An action founded on negligence.”[3] Thus, if you have been in a form of an accident, such as a car accident or a slip and fall, that requires the main claim of the complaint to be based on the negligence of the other person or company, then you have four years before the statute of limitations expires.

Wrongful Death

Under Florida State Statute §95.11(4)(d), wrongful death claims must be commenced within two years. This means that if the central claim of a complaint is wrongful death, then it should be commenced within two years of the wrongful death against the person or company that caused it.[4]

Medical Malpractice

Under Florida State Statute §95.11(4)(b), the statute of limitations for medical malpractice is only two years with some exceptions listed here below:

“An action for medical malpractice shall be commenced within 2 years from the time the incident giving rise to the action occurred or within 2 years from the time the incident is discovered or should have been discovered with the exercise of due diligence; however, in no event shall the action be commenced later than 4 years from the date of the incident or occurrence out of which the cause of action accrued, except that this 4-year period shall not bar an action brought on behalf of a minor on or before the child’s eighth birthday.” “An “action for medical malpractice” is defined as a claim in tort or in contract for damages because of the death, injury, or monetary loss to any person arising out of any medical, dental, or surgical diagnosis, treatment, or care by any provider of health care.”[5]

Additionally, any sort of action that is concerning healthcare, and healthcare providers, which are people in privity with a provider of healthcare are also covered in this medical malpractice statute of limitations if there is fraud, or concealment, or intentional misrepresentation. This is an exception that allows the statute of limitations to be extended forward two years from the time that the injury is discovered, known as the discovery rule here in the state of Florida. It does not apply to actions for which ss. 766.301-766.316 provide the exclusive remedy.[6]

Construction Injuries

Under Florida State Statute § 95.11(3)(e)), “Actions other than for recovery of real property shall be commenced as follows: … (3) Within four years: … (e) An action for injury to a person founded on the design, manufacture, distribution, or sale of personal property that is not permanently incorporated in an improvement to real property, including fixtures. … (p) Any action not specifically provided for in these statutes.”[7]

Products Liability Discovery Rule in Florida

According to case law, Carter v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., 778 So. 2d. 932, 936 (Fl. 2000), the discovery rule in the state of Florida permits for a period of four years from the “time of the fact that gave rise to the cause of the action were actually discovered by the claimant or should have been discovered by the claimant with the exercise of due diligence.”[8]

Here at the Michael Brady Lynch Firm, if you have questions about your statute of limitation on a personal injury claim please contact us.

[1] Fla. Stat. Ann. § 95.11

[2] Fla. Stat. Ann. § 95.11

[3] https://www.flsenate.gov/laws/statutes/2011/95.11

[4] http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0000-0099/0095/Sections/0095.11.html

[5] http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0000-0099/0095/Sections/0095.11.html

[6] http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0000-0099/0095/Sections/0095.11.html

[7] http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0000-0099/0095/Sections/0095.11.html

[8] Carter v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., 778 So. 2d. 932, 936 (Fl. 2000).

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