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Statute of Limitations vs. Repose

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The Statute of Limitations legal definition: A type of federal or state law that restricts the time within which legal proceedings may be brought.

When civil lawsuits are filed in Florida the state’s statute of limitations provides the deadline for when a potential plaintiff who has suffered harm must file their claim. The statute varies from state to state and by case type. In Florida, the statute of limitation is typically around 2 years from the initial incident.  Not every case is easy to identify when or if the limitations have started. Many states use a so-called “discovery rule”, which essentially means that the statute “clock” is paused if the plaintiff genuinely did not know he or she was harmed. Often, this discovery works with the statute of repose.

The Statute of Repose legal definition: A statute that cuts off certain legal rights if they are not acted on by a certain deadline.

The statute of repose, unlike the statute of limitations, states that unless there is fraud, concealment, or misinterpretation, under no circumstance may a healthcare provider be sued for medical malpractice more than four years after the date of the actual incident of malpractice. Even if the patient or family does not know about the malpractice and there is no reasonable way to figure it out. The claim may not be brought more than four years after the actual incident of malpractice occurs.

If you’re worried about your statute of limitations or statute of repose, McMillen Law Firm is able to help you determine if you do have a case involving medical malpractice along with the time remaining in any potential case.

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