What is the statute of limitations for a child injury claim in the State of Florida? In Florida the statute of limitations is a term used to describe the time limit for the filing a lawsuit for particular action. Section 95.011 of the Florida statute sets forth the statute of limitations or time limits for claims or cases in the State of Florida. Under Section 95.011, the following time limits apply to cases or causes of action involving injured children:
3) WITHIN FOUR YEARS.—
(a) An action founded on negligence.
(4) WITHIN TWO YEARS.—
(a) An action for professional malpractice, other than medical malpractice, provided that the period of limitations shall run from the time the cause of action is discovered or should have been discovered with the exercise of due diligence.
(b) 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.
(d) An action for wrongful death.
See Section 95.11, Florida Statutes for full text of this Florida Statute.
Even with statutes of limitations or time limits, there can often times be legal challenges to the timing of the lawsuit and the notices required for certain actions like ones for medical malpractice and cases against a government entity.
Pursuant to the above statute, the time limit to file most cases involving negligence have a 4 year statute of limitations. In other words, a lawsuit must be filed within 4 years of the negligence. Cases that would be grouped in this category would include cases related automobile accidents, bicycle accidents, a pedestrian accidents, school related injuries, day care related injuries, homeowner’s related incidents, and other matters. It should be noted that if a child dies as a result of a negligent act – then the statute of limitations to file a lawsuit is 2 years from the date of the incident.
While the statute of limitations allows a parent or guardian to file a lawsuit 2 to 4 years after the incident in most cases, it is advisable for a parent to seek legal advice soon after the incident in order to get an understanding of the child’s legal rights. From a practical standpoint, a claim or case should be pursued in a reasonably timely manner to insure that the child’s bills are properly processed. Furthermore, adjusters and insurance companies are more apt to set aside monetary reserves to settle claims when a claim is promptly pursued and medical treatment is timely obtained.
Injury cases involving children can be quite complex. Because of this, a parent or guardian should seek legal advice on the various issues that arise including the statute of limitations, notices required for the insurance companies, medical bills, medical treatment, compensation and other matters.
The book titled – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know – has chapters on Automobile Accidents, Day Care Center Injuries, School Injuries, Medical Bills/ Medical Treatment, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.