Statute of Limitations In Florida: 7 Powerful Exceptions That Could Affect Your Case

Statute of Limitations Florida Exceptions Chart

Florida is a state that offers a lot, from pristine beaches to bustling cities. But with the influx of tourists and residents alike, accidents are bound to happen. If you find yourself in such an unfortunate situation, understanding the statute of limitations in Florida is crucial. This article delves into the key exceptions that could impact your personal injury claim.

When you have a state with so many fun things to do and see, there will be an unnaturally large inflow of tourists. And Florida is no stranger to tourists. But with the increase in tourists, there is an increased probability of accidents as well.

Consulting the best personal injury attorneys in Florida should be a priority for those unfortunate enough to be involved in accidents. An attorney should brush aside all the troubles that you may come across when seeking compensation for your losses.

Statute of Limitations in Florida

statute of limitations in Florida

But an attorney can only help you if you initiate a claim. And this is one part where many victims fail. Forgetfulness aside, victims are often so focused on their recovery that they don’t bother to file a personal injury claim. And by the time they realize this, they’re past the statute of limitations.

For the uninitiated, the statute of limitations is a specific period of time set by the US Judiciary to file a claim. The following are the statutes of limitations for different crimes in Florida.

Type of CaseStatute of Limitations
Libel2 years
Injury to a person4 years
Fraud4 years
Injury to Personal Property4 years
Professional Malpractice2 years
Medical Malpractice2 to 4 years
Trespassing4 years
First-degree Misdemeanors2 years
Second-degree Misdemeanors1 year
First-degree Felonies4 years
Second-degree Felonies3 years
Statute of Limitations in Florida

Statute of Limitations: Exceptions

The limits mentioned above are not final. There are circumstances where the statute of limitations doesn’t apply. They are mentioned below.


Serious accidents result in severe injuries. Sometimes, the victim’s injuries may incapacitate them, rendering them incapable of going about their everyday lives, let alone seeking legal recourse. In such situations, the statute of limitations may be paused for up to 7 years from the date of the accident.

Minor victims

The statute of limitations for minor victims will be extended to 7 years. If the victim is close to turning 18, the usual statute of limitations will start as soon as they turn 18.

The defendant left the state

There are instances where defendants flee the state. This can either be due to fear of punishment or being sued. In such situations, the statute of limitations will be paused until the victim or the authorities find the defendant.

Child sexual abuse

Young children don’t reveal that they’re being abused. They may either not understand what’s happening or be too afraid of their abuser. This is one of the reasons why many victims of child abuse speak out much later.

Statute of limitations laws don’t apply to child sexual abuse in Florida.

The defendant went into hiding

This is similar to defendants leaving the state, except that instead of leaving, they go into hiding. They may change their identity to avoid getting caught. Like fleeing the state, the statute of limitations clock will be paused if the defendant goes into hiding.

Government defendant

This is applicable in cases where a person is hurt due to the negligence of a government agency or an official. Victims have 3 years to file a personal injury claim. Since the government is involved, the amount of damage the victim can claim is also limited.

Additionally, the statute of limitations does not apply to the following crimes in Florida:

  • Felonies that result in death
  • Capital felonies
  • Felonies that are punishable by life in prison
  • Lying under the oath during a capital felony case
  • Sexual battery committed on or after July 1, 2020, where the victim was under 18
  • Human trafficking

Final Thoughts On The Statute of Limitations in Florida

The statute of limitations was framed to protect the at-fault parties from being bullied. It also prevents evidence from getting lost.

However, insurance companies also use it as a defense against claiming compensation. As unfair as it sounds, it is the victim’s responsibility to initiate a personal injury claim, be it in Florida or any other state.

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Malcom Mott

Malcom is a student at Saginaw Valley University near Flint, Michigan. He is an avid writer and contributes to online media, and dabbles in using AI technologies to find new vegan recipes.

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