Time is Running Out – Florida’s Statute of Limitations
FLORIDA’S STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
Injuries can occur in a number of ways. However, they all have something in common – a time limitations on bringing your claim in court. Florida’s statute of limitations is found at Florida Statute 95.11. This statute outlines the time limitations which apply to wrongful death, car accident and other injury and non-injury claims. Failure to bring an action within the appropriate limitations period risks being unable to bring the claim at all.
Some of the most common statutes of limitations are as follows:
|Statute||Type of Case||Limitation|
|95.11(1)||Recorded Judgment||20 Years|
|95.11(2)(b)||Breach of Written Contract||5 Years|
|95.11(3)(k)||Breach of Unwritten Contract||4 Years|
|95.11(4)(b)||Medical Malpractice||2 Years|
|95.11(4)(c)||Wages or Overtime Pay||2 Years|
|95.11(4)(d)||Wrongful Death||2 Years|
APPLYING FLORIDA’S STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
Statute of limitations can seem straight forward. However, things are not always what they seem. When a statute of limitation begins is based on the specific facts of your case. Some are easier to determine than others. For example, the statute of limitations for a car accidents, dog bites or slip or trip and falls typically begin immediately. However, actions for breach of written contract as it relates to mortgage defaults can seem almost never-ending.
In US Bank v Diamond, Case No. 5D16-3609 (Fla. 5th DCA September 1, 2017), US Bank initially filed an action for foreclosure against the Diamonds in 2010 for failing to make payments beginning in 2009. However, the 2010 case was ultimately dismissed and a second foreclosure case was filed in 2015. The 2015 case claimed no payments had been made since 2009. The trial court initially dismissed the second lawsuit. It did so because the second lawsuit contained dates of default which were outside of Florida’s 5 year statute of limitations period. On appeal, the Fifth District reversed the decision of the trial court. In doing so it stated that, as it relates to mortgages, each default carries with it its own statute of limitations period. The Fifth District found that each default, or non-payment, occurring within the 5 year statute of limitations period was still valid and to which US Bank was entitled to judgment.
One should also be mindful that several causes of action may be available to you for your injuries. Each of these causes of action may apply a different statute of limitations. As a result, in some situations there may be an alternative means of recovery which apply a second, longer statute of limitations.
Such was the case in Robinson v Auto Owners Ins. Co., 718 So.2d 1283 (Fla. 2d DCA 1998). The Robinson case explored the interplay between two competing causes of actions, negligence and contract. These causes of action carried different statutes of limitations with negligence being 4 years and contractual being 5 years. At issue was whether Robinson could sue her own insurance carrier for damages related to a car accident where the statute of limitations had already expired against the at-fault driver and therefore prevented any recovery against them. The insurance company argued that it had been prejudiced by being unable to collect from the at-fault driver. The court found in favor of Robinson. In doing so, the court stated “[u]nder Florida law, an insured is not obligated to sue the [at-fault driver] as a condition precedent to seeking UM benefits from her insurer.” As a result, Robinson’s action against her insurance company was allowed to continue even though she could not longer pursue the at-fault driver.
Statutes of limitations can be tricky. If you believe you have an injury claim or wish to seek redress, it is important you retain legal counsel. Attorneys are trained to review your case and investigate which statute of limitation, or limitations, applies to your case.
Regardless of your injury, it is important you speak to an injury attorney immediately. At Presser Law, we immediately begin an investigation and analysis of your case to determine which statute of limitations may apply to your claim. We will also explore issues of fault and explore whether any other potential causes of action are available in order to make sure you find the justice you deserve.
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If you have been injured, contact Presser Law for a free case review with an attorney to determine your legal rights. For over 10 years I have represented injury victims throughout Central Florida in their times of need and I would be honored to help you as well.
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For more information or to speak with a lawyer about your legal rights following an injury, call 407.216.2000, email me at Justin@FindYourJustice.com.
Presser Law, P.A. is a Central Florida injury firm located in Altamonte Springs. Proudly serving all injury victims throughout Central Florida including residents of Brevard County, Lake County, Orange County, Osceola County, Seminole County, and Volusia County.
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