What is the statute of limitations for nursing home abuse or neglect?

As with any type of legal action, the courts want claims made in a timely fashion. The longer the time between the date the act occurred and the claim is made makes it more difficult for a fair outcome to be achieved for all parties. As time goes on, witnesses can no longer be located, evidence disappears and the recollection of witnesses and parties may fade. With the intent to avoid prejudice to either party the Florida Legislature set strict time limits within which an action for abuse of neglect occurring in a nursing home. Florida Statute 429.296 sets those time limits. According to the statute, “Any action for damages brought under this part 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.”

An exception to the 2 year/4 year time limit exists in the event that there was a fraudulent concealment or intentional misrepresentation that prevented the act of abuse or neglect from being discovered. This exception holds that “In those actions covered by this subsection in which it can be shown that fraudulent concealment or intentional misrepresentation of fact prevented the discovery of the injury, the period of limitations is extended forward 2 years from the time that the injury is discovered with the exercise of due diligence, but in no event not more than 6 years from the date the incident giving rise to the injury occurred.”

This section shall apply to causes of action that have accrued prior to the effective date of this section; however, any such cause of action that would not have been barred under prior law may be brought within the time allowed by prior law or within 2 years after the effective date of this section, whichever is earlier, and will be barred thereafter. In actions where it can be shown that fraudulent concealment or intentional misrepresentation of fact prevented the discovery of the injury, the period of limitations is extended forward 2 years from the time that the injury is discovered with the exercise of due diligence, but in no event more than 4 years from the effective date of this section.

If you, or a loved one, know of a family member that has been a victim of nursing home abuse, you need to contact a qualified, experienced attorney to advise you of your legal rights. The Law Office of Dan Newlin  & Partners is dedicated to protecting those rights.  Call Dan now at (407) 888-8000. We have a staff that is experienced in handling nursing home abuse cases and knows the right questions to ask in order to get the right answers. You are encouraged to call our office any time for a free consultation and it would be an honor to answer any questions you may have.