“Statutes of limitations” are laws that set time limits on how long you have to file a “civil” lawsuit, like a breach of contract lawsuit or a personal injury suit, or how long the state has to prosecute someone for committing a crime. These time limits usually depend on the claim asserted, and vary from state to state. For example, in some states you may have three years to file a personal injury lawsuit after you were hurt in car accident, but in other states you may have four years. As a general rule:
- The time period begins to run on the date your claim arises or “accrues,” like the day of the car accident, or when a contract was breached, and
- Once the statute of limitations has expired or “run,” you can’t file a lawsuit (or be prosecuted for a crime)
- The running of the statute of limitations may be tolled in certain circumstances.
- The running of the statute of limitations may be delayed until the time the claimant knew or should of known of his or her claim, but only in certain cases such as negligence, professional malpractice (i.e., medical, legal, dental, architectural, engineering, and other professional malpractice) latent construction defects, and fraud.
Below are the statutes of limitations in Florida for various civil claims and crimes. The list doesn’t cover everything. Also, the laws may change at anytime, so be sure to check the current Florida laws and read them carefully, or talk to an attorney if you have any questions.
Most of the civil statutes of limitations are in Chapter 95 of the Florida Laws. You can scroll through the laws in this Chapter to find the statute of limitations for civil claims or “causes of action” not listed below.
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Disclaimer: The statutes on this site should not be relied on without reviewing your legal situation with an experienced lawyer and making sure you are using the appropriate version of the statute for your case. The provisions applicable to your potential claim may or may not be the version that was in effect at the time of the incident because some changes to statutes are retroactive and some changes are not. Other statutes and other case law interpreting or applying these statutes may also apply to your case.
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