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Worker's Compensation

FAQs: What is a statute of limitations?

Trial Pro P.A. is proud to advocate for accident victims all over the state of Florida, including from our Central Florida office in Orlando. Our dedicated experienced personal injury attorneys handle a range of legal matters, from employment disputes to auto accidents claims. We can use our knowledge and legal skills to help you not only achieve a favorable outcome, but relieve the legal burden from your shoulders as well. Our entire team understands how challenging and confusing litigation can be, which is why we are here for you through every step of the process.

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Frequently Asked Questions - What is a statute of limitations?

What is a statute of limitations?

The statute of limitations is a law that restricts the timeframe in which a legal proceeding can be brought. Statute of limitations (SOL) are a nearly universal concept in all legal systems throughout the world. In the United States, we have different periods of limitations for federal cases and state cases. Additionally, the SOL will vary from state to state and from cause of action to cause of action. Normally the more serious the crime, the longer the SOL is. Some crimes, such as murder, do not have any SOL. We’ve all seen crime shows on TV where someone has “gotten away” with murder for years or even decades. However, because of the lack of any SOL on the crime, charges are often filed against older individuals who committed the murder when they were young. Most crimes and all civil cases are unlike murder in that there are definite limitations on when a case or charge can be filed.

The reasons that we have limitations on when actions may be brought are fairly easy to understand. First, it is assumed that someone with a valid case would and should bring the case to court with reasonable diligence. The failure to bring a case when it should be brought has certain foreseeable consequences. If somebody waits too long to bring a case, the ability to defend it may be impaired because evidence is lost or memories have faded. Also it is assumed that people have the right or expectation to move on with their lives after a certain amount of time has expired. Litigating old cases may actually result in more injustice than justice.

Florida’s SOL’s are not unlike SOL’s in many other states. In Florida the current limitations for criminal acts are found in Chapter 775 of the Florida Statutes. The most serious felonies, a capital or life felony can be brought to trial at any time. Other felonies have three to four year SOL depending on the severity. There are special felonies which carry longer SOLs. Crimes involving the use of bombs, abuse of the elderly, and certain types of fraud fall into this special category of having SOL’s longer than four years. Sex crimes against minors also have provisions for extending the SOL. Misdemeanors have either a one or two year limitation, again with the less serious misdemeanors having a shorter period of time for prosecution. Chapter 775 also states that the SOL begins to run the day after the crime is committed, and that the state has to file an indictment or information before the time runs. (The trial, conviction and appeal are not limited by the SOL.) The criminal SOL provisions in Florida also have extensions due to the defendant being absent from the state.

Chapter 95 of Florida Statutes contains the Florida laws that limit various types of civil actions or claims. Those are generally cases involving people or corporations. The SOL involving many contract cases, certain labor laws, and foreclosures is five years. Negligence cases have to be filed within four years. Many other cases involving property disputes and intentional torts also have four year SOLs. Some civil causes of action in Florida have very short SOL’s, two years or less. Cases with extremely short SOL’s in Florida include professional malpractice, wrongful death claims, wage and overtime cases, slander cases and certain types of contract cases. Certain intentional torts, like those involving death or sexual torts against minors do not have SOL’s.

Some areas of the law in Florida, such as workers’ compensation, have unique and complicated statutes of limitations. In Florida, you have two years from the date of accident to file a claim for benefits. This two year statute is tolled or extended after the initial two year period if you are receiving authorized medical treatment or receiving money benefits from the carrier. Every time you receive a benefit from the carrier, the SOL is extended for another year. For example, let’s say you were injured in an accident that occurred on May 5, 2017. If you timely report the accident to your Employer (within 30 days), then you have up until May 5, 2019 to pursue a claim or file a petition for benefits. That deadline is extended indefinitely if your treatment or receipt of money benefits from the insurance company is ongoing. If you see an authorized doctor for treatment on April 23, 2019, the SOL will be extended beyond the initial two year period until April 23, 2020.

This two year statute in workers’ compensation can be extended in other ways also. Sometimes an injured worker will not realize that he or she has suffered a work-related injury for some time after the work incident. Sometimes injuries don’t show up immediately and sometimes you don’t know that an injury is work related. In these circumstances, the court allows you to pursue a case as long as you do so within two years of when you knew, or should have known, that you suffered a work-related injury.

Other situations in Florida that extend when you can bring a claim have to repetitive trauma or exposure cases. In these cases, the more important date isn’t when the trauma or exposure first occurred. Rather the SOL doesn’t start to run until the last injurious exposure. Let’s say that you work in an extremely loud environment for 30 years. As a result of this work exposure, you experience hearing loss. This is a work related injury. And even if the hearing loss started 20 years ago, your time to begin a workers’ comp claim would not start to run out until the date that you were last exposed to the extremely loud work environment.

Workers’ compensation also has other ways that the two year statute is extended. If the Employer misleads the employee or fails to inform that employee of their rights, the SOL can be extended. Other situations that can extend or revive the statute of limitations include situations where there are permanent implants in somebody’s body as a result of an accident or where a carrier authorizes medical care after the statute of limitations has already run. In this latter case, the carrier is said to have “revived” the claim, essentially bringing a dead claim back to life.

As stated above, negligence cases have a four year statute of limitations. These are the cases that we often think about involving car accidents, slip and falls, etc. The four years is only the time that you have to file suit. A lawyer should definitely be involved in any personal injury case well before the time to file suit approaches. Some aspects of your personal injury case will have very short deadlines, even expiring weeks after an accident. Because the laws are complicated and lawsuits need preparation before they are even filed, TrialPro strongly encourages you to contact an attorney as soon as possible after an accident. Waiting too long can have dire consequences!

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At Trial Pro, our traffic collision attorneys operate on a contingency fee basis. That means we cover the costs of investigating, constructing, negotiating and litigating your lawsuit. We do not bill you anything unless we recover compensation on your behalf. If we do not win your case, you will owe us nothing.

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If you or somebody else you love has been impaired due to someone else's negligence or neglectfulness, you need a renowned attorney by your side who is familiar with the statutes and regulations in Florida.

Our Orlando injury attorneys are experts in personal injury lawsuits and have been acknowledged by our peers for our success. Several of our lawyers have been mentioned as Super Lawyers and distinguished litigators for their success on behalf of our clients.

We have recovered favorable judgments and settlements that contributed in assisting personal injury victims recoup from their injuries, pain and suffering and medical bills, or the loss of a loved one. Let us help you recover the max amount of compensation you are entitled to for your personal injuries.

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FL Drivers Involved in Accidents in 2017

Annually millions of americans are injured, in many instances fatally, in car accidents. In 2011 only, more than 2.2 million people were hurt in the estimated 5,338,000 police-reported car accidents and 32,367 killed in traffic accidents involving automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, pedestrians, and bicycles.

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Piercy Stakelum

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Piercy Stakelum, originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, is the senior attorney at Trial Pro., P.A. Mr. Stakelum carries a zealous nature and his motor is fighting for those who have been compromised. Ask him what his heart yearns for and he’ll summarize it in one word: justice.

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Andy Rariden is a leading civil trial lawyer that adds to the collective legal expertise at Trial Pro, P.A. Although he is originally from Charleston, S.C., Mr. Rariden was raised in Florida. He carries over 20 years of civil trial experience and is committed to defending each of his clients.

Brian Davis Personal Injury Attorney

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Mr. Davis has built up over two decades of extensive experience trying and disputing cases for clients. Over time, the proficient lawyer has handled a wide range of cases, obtaining successes in lawsuits involving car accidents, medical malpractice, and more.

Don Williams Personal Injury Attorney

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A native of Orlando, Don Williams has provided commitment and dedicated legal representation to clients throughout the area. The proficient attorney has a keen heart for helping others which is one among many attributes that distinguish him as a leader.

Tyler Nicoll Personal Injury Attorney

Tyler Nicoll

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Born in Ohio, Tyler Nicoll is a dedicated personal injury attorney and an integral part of the Trial Pro, P.A. team. Mr. Nicoll was raised in Coral Springs, Florida. Mr. Nicoll's primary areas of practice include personal injury accidents, overtime disputes and other related matters.

Mike Davis Personal Injury Attorney

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Mike Davis holds over twenty years of professional legal experience under his belt and he is always ready to utilize it in favor of his clients. He is an established professional in the industry, uniquely qualified to provide legal counsel to individuals who have been compromised.

Steve Johnson Personal Injury Attorney

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At the beginning of Steve Johnson's legal career, he advocated for clients such as General Motors and Ford Company. As time went by, the attorney realized he held a special interest for insurance disputes and decided to join the team of Trial Pro law professionals.

Marc Williams Personal Injury Attorney

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Marc Williams is an invaluable member of Trial Pro. P.A., dedicated to handling first party insurance claims arising out of Southwest Florida. He has been recognized as a professional in the field, becoming a recipient of the Florida Academy of Trial Lawyers Bronze Eagle Award.

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Our team at Trial Pro, P.A. doesn’t just glance over your case and throws it to the side. We don’t see you as just another number. In order to obtain victory on your behalf, our personal injury attorneys take a closer look at the details. We believe that quality legal representation is tied to full commitment – not a job that’s done halfway. When you choose Trial Pro, P.A., we prove that mediocrity isn’t in our DNA.

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At Trial Pro, P.A. We're expert Personal Injury Attorneys. Our trial lawyers in Fort Myers specialize in all types of personal injury claims. Trial Pro, P.A. was founded in 2001 and has grown to include five class A offices across Florida staffed with expert personal injury lawyers and support teams. Trial Pro and its expert Personal Injury Attorneys have been selected to Best Law Firms in America, Lawyers of Distinction, America's Top One Percent, Top 100 U.S. Law Firms, The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers, The Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and received many more distinctions and awards.

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At Trial Pro, we don't sit back, cross our fingers, and hope for our case to settle. Our Personal Injury Attorneys in Naples aggressively bring the fight to the insurance company. We'll leave no stone unturned in our effort to maximize the value of your case because we know that the only number that matters to you is the amount of money that you get in your pocket at the end. We fight for your harms, losses, pain, suffering, inability to enjoy life, disability, inconvenience, lost earnings, mental anguish, scarring, medical bills, and so much more. We understand how your injuries affect you and your family. We'll work hard for a fast recovery for you. But getting you the right money is much more important that just getting you fast money.

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Former Trial Pro, P.A. clients constantly testify of how happy they were when we resolved their case. This is our main priority – to go above and beyond their expectations. Yes, we measure our success by the number of court victories we’ve attained. However, we also measure effectiveness by our clients’ satisfaction and experience with Trial Pro, P.A. Most of them come from other firms feeling ignored and rejected. When they transfer over to us, we work hard to radically change their situation and win their litigation case.
If you are in one of these former clients’ shoes and find yourself strongly dissatisfied with your current car accident attorney or firm, we want to represent you!
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Florida Personal Injury Lawyers with Best Results

A car accident can be scary and frustrating. When you experience a personal injury accident, the last thing you need on your plate is a law firm that can’t rightfully represent you. If your attorney’s firm is too small and consequently, it is getting pushed around, it’s time to reconsider your choice of legal representation. On the other hand, you do not want to have a fully loaded firm that is too busy to give you a call. The trial attorney’s at Trial Pro, P.A. carry credibility and reputation. We don’t ignore our clients or skip phone calls. Neither are we controlled by insurance companies.
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When you need expert legal counsel for your case, turn to the firm that has more than a century of collective legal experience and insight. At Trial Pro, P.A., we have put that experience to good use, advocating for thousands of clients over the years. In that time, our team has obtained millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements. As seasoned Florida personal injury lawyers and wage and hour attorneys, we know how to handle a comprehensive range of legal matters.

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Ever since 2001, the practice has held an exceedingly significant track record of successes. Every year, our reputable law firm is awarded for its impressive mark in the legal field. Trial Pro, P.A. has been recognized by Lawyers of Distinction, Florida Justice Association, Better Business Bureau (BBB) and more. Chief attorney Piercy Stakelum is a proud member of The National Trial Lawyers Top 100, an invitation-only organization compromised of highly regarded and credible lawyers. Trial Pro, P.A. has also been acknowledged by Super Lawyers. They recognize outstanding lawyers who have acquired exceptional professional achievement.

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Trial Pro, P.A. is a proud advocate for personal injury clients throughout the State of Florida. The DNA and foundation of our law firm is passion. While we are passionate about the law, we are even more zealous about fighting for those who have been hurt due to the negligence of others. Our trial attorneys fully embrace authenticity and integrity. With over 100+ years of collective legal experience, our reputable law firm has become a trusted choice for injured individuals. Trial Pro, P.A. has a remarkable reputation for winning. After experiencing a car accident, the last thing you desire is to have an attorney that doesn't know how to adequately represent you. You want a trustworthy and reliable law firm that will walk you through every step of your case. You want a group of attorneys that will pursue justice on your behalf and acquire the maximum compensation. At Trial Pro, P.A., we don't see you as just another case number on our list. We don't turn our backs on you half-way throughout the process. Our former clients can testify that they've truly experienced the Trial Pro, P.A. difference. Quite frankly, most of them have pursued our representation because of others that have recommended us. There are a handful of characteristics that distinguish us from other lawyers but our credibility is the best one amongst all.

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Expering a car accident can be frustrating and scary but our promises to you are fully authentic. Trial Pro, P.A.'s personal injury legal attorneys do not under-deliver. Instead, we do everything in our capabilities to go above and beyond your expectations.

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You shouldn't have to beg for a call back from your attorney. You shouldn't have to beg for an update on your case. At Trial Pro, P.A., we don't operate in that manner. We constantly call our clients to give them updates on their claim. If we miss a call, we promise to always return it.

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