ZinnLaw MediaZinnLaw statute of limitations

Time isn’t always on your side, especially when it comes to legal matters. That’s because you have a limited amount of time to file a claim following an alleged offense. In other words, if you have property damage, you have a set length of time to file a lawsuit before the legal window closes on your ability to do so. You can also think of it as a deadline to file a motion in court. After the deadline, you will no longer be able to take legal action against a party that has wronged you.

These time frames vary from state to state.  While statutes of limitations are relatively straightforward, some exceptions open the door for legal interpretation. This guide will help you understand how statutes of limitations work in Southwest Florida so you better understand legal timelines.

First, what is a statute of limitations?

A statute of limitations is a law passed by the state legislature that establishes the length of time parties have to begin legal proceedings from the date of an alleged offense. These laws pertain to both criminal and civil cases. Individuals, corporations, and public officials must abide by these statutes. After the time frame specified in the statute of limitations has passed, the claim is barred and the defendant is no longer liable for it. The purpose of the statute of limitations is to ensure that legal claims are brought forward in a timely manner, and to protect defendants from having to defend against outdated claims.

The amount of time the plaintiff has to bring legal action against the defendant varies from state to state and also by the type of offense. For example, Rhode Island has the most lenient statutes, with most spanning 10 years. On the other hand, Louisiana has the shortest statutes with many statutes lasting only one year for most cases, excluding contract law. Florida has different statutes for various matters, usually between 1 and 5 years. Even so, it’s not always easy to determine as Florida’s laws provide for extensions under certain circumstances.

It’s important to be aware of the specific time frame within which a claim must be brought in order to be considered valid, and to consult with a local attorney, such as our lawyers at ZinnLaw in Southwest Florida, to determine the applicable statute of limitations for a specific case.

Contact ZinnLaw for Assistance

Nearly all civil cases are subject to statutes of limitations. Talk with one of our experienced attorneys if you think you have a case that’s related to real estate, construction, or contract law. ZinnLaw can help you understand how the statute of limitations applies to your case. Contact us today at (239) 418-1529 – that’s (239) I-1 U-1 LAW – to schedule a complimentary consultation.