STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS: “Know Your Rights” with Attorney Jeff Vastola:
So which one is it? A statue of limitations or a statute of limitations. For those of you that guessed the latter, you’re right. But do you know why? If not, you’re about to.
Florida Statute 95.11 sets forth the periods of limitations, commonly referred to as the statute of limitations, for almost every type of case that you can file in Florida. The only exceptions are those statutory causes of action that have their own deadlines set forth in the specific statute. So why is this topic worthy of discussion, I’ll tell you.
First of all, you must understand that the periods of limitations set forth in the Statute are deadlines. Deadlines to file a lawsuit. If you do not meet the deadline, your case is over before you started. Beyond a couple of exceptions that might apply once in a blue moon, the general rule is that once the deadline has expired there is nothing you can do to get the court to reconsider. I’m sure you’ve heard that old cliché that ignorance of law is no excuse. Well that certainly holds true for Florida Statute 95.11.
The second reason that this topic is worthy of discussion is because the periods of limitations can be downright confusing. Here’s an example of a car accident involving the innocent vehicle carrying three people. The driver is on the clock for a large company, the front passenger is hurt and the rear passenger tragically dies as a result of the accident. So what are the deadlines for each claim? The driver must report the claim to Workers Compensation within 30 days, but has four years to file a negligence claim against the other driver and five years to file a breach of contract claim for uninsured motorist benefits, the injured passenger has four years to file a negligence claim and the five year breach of contract deadline to file an uninsured motorist claim, and the Personal Representative for the deceased passenger must file a wrongful death claim within two years.
Did I mention that breach of a written contract has a five year deadline from the date of the breach, but a verbal contract is only four? I’m attorney Jeff Vastola and now you Know Your Rights.