Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations is the maximum time that one can wait before filing a lawsuit. If a lawsuit is not filed within the applicable statute of limitations, an injured individual can be forever barred from taking legal action against those responsible for causing his or her injury. This time period varies depending on the jurisdiction and the type of claim.
In Florida, the statute of limitations for most negligence claims is four years; however, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice is shorter—it is two years from when the patient either knew, or should have known, that the injury occurred or that there was a reasonable possibility that the injury was caused by medical malpractice. Further, the statute of repose for medical malpractice claims is four years. This means that unless there is fraud, concealment, or misrepresentation, a healthcare provider may not be sued for medical malpractice more than four years after the actual incident of malpractice, regardless of whether the Plaintiff knew or should have known about the injury. There are certain extensions to the statute of repose in the case of children under the age of 7.