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Florida Civil Cases: Statutes of Limitations

Statutes of limitation refer to the length of time you have to bring a lawsuit against the at-fault party in your legal case. Every state has them, and while the amount of time specified varies across states, the premise remains the same. In civil cases, the idea behind these time limitations is to help balance the claimant’s right to seek compensation with the potentially negligent party’s right not to have the threat of a civil case hanging over his or her head indefinitely.

If you have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, it’s time to consult with an experienced Tampa Bay personal injury attorney.

How Long Do I Have?

If you’ve been injured in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence (absent any intention to harm you) – called a tort claim – personal injury law applies, and the amount of time you have to bring a lawsuit depends upon a variety of different factors. Further, there are exceptions to nearly every rule when it comes to statutes of limitation. It is complicated, but you owe it to your recovery to discuss the matter with a dedicated personal injury attorney. One important point to make is that some very serious criminal charges – and their related civil charges – have no statutes of limitations.

For basic tort claims (claims based on accidents caused by negligence), the general statute of limitations is four years from the date of the injury-causing accident. The statute of limitations, however, is specific to the kind of case involved. For wrongful death and medical malpractice claims, there is a two year statute of limitations. For negligence claims against state agencies and municipalities you have three years to file for a lawsuit.

Breach of Contract

If you have a contract, such as a rental contract, and your landlord suddenly stops upholding his or her part of the deal, you have the right to seek compensation for any damages you suffer as a result, and the statute of limitations for bringing a lawsuit is five years.

Probate Disputes

Probate disputes have to do with the execution of estates, and they tend to be exceptionally complicated. Even if the decedent (the person who died) has a will in place, parties with an interest in the estate sometimes dispute the will’s content and intent. The clock starts ticking on the one-year statute of limitations for probate disputes upon the execution of the letter of administration (identifying the estate’s executor).

Other common examples of important statutes of limitation in civil law include:

Statutes of limitations are intended to give victims of negligence the time they need to bring their cases – without trampling on the potentially at-fault parties’ right to avoid the ongoing threat of civil action.

An Experienced Tampa Bay Personal Injury Attorney Is Standing by to Help

If you have questions or concerns about a statute of limitations – or anything else related to your personal injury claim – the formidable Tampa Bay personal injury attorneys at Tragos, Sartes & Tragos have a wealth of experience helping clients like you resolve their cases favorably, and we’re here for you, too. To learn more, please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at (727) 441-9030 today.