What is the Statute of Limitations for a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Florida?


Every year tens of thousands of Minnesota snowbirds and tourists travel south to enjoy Florida’s warm weather. Unfortunately, some of these travelers suffer injuries in Florida due to car accidents, slip and falls, medical malpractice, assault, swimming pool accidents, accidents at amusement parks and attractions, and assault due to negligent security.

These injury victims must hire a Minnesota attorney, Florida attorney, or an attorney licensed in both Minnesota and Florida to recover losses from the tortfeasor or an insurance company. The injured rightfully wonders: What are the time limits for filing personal injury claims in Florida.

At the time of writing this article, the Florida Statutes provide the following time limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit:

  • An action founded on negligence: 4 years.
  • 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 wrongful death: 2 years.
  • An action founded on alleged abuse (as defined in the statutes), or incest, may be commenced at any time within 7 years after the age of majority, or within 4 years after the injured person leaves the dependency of the abuser, or within 4 years from the time of discovery by the injured party of both the injury and the causal relationship between the injury and the abuse, whichever occurs later.
  • An action for assault, battery, false arrest, malicious prosecution, malicious interference, false imprisonment, or any other intentional tort except as otherwise provided in the statutes: 4 years.
  • Injuries on a cruise ship: cruise ship companies limit time periods for filing personal injury claims, for example: 6 months to notify the cruise line and 1 year to file a claim. This is a complex and developing area of the law. If you are injured on a cruise ship you should contact a qualified lawyer immediately.

These statutes of limitation are subject to change and the analysis of when the limitations time period begins to run, and whether it may be extended due to, for instance, fraud or concealment require a complex analysis. Accordingly, it is imperative that the injured Minnesota snowbird or tourist contact an attorney licensed in Florida, or Minnesota and Florida as soon as possible for a claim evaluation.

Attorney Mark C. Santi is licensed to Practice Law in Minnesota, Florida, and New York.

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