The short answer to your question is yes, the statute of limitations can run out, even if an attorney has been retained.
In a car accident situation in Florida, the statute of limitations is four years from the date of the accident, not two as has been mentioned by another attorney above. However, since you indicate that depositions have been taken in the case, that indicates to me that the action has been filed in the Circuit Court. Therefore, the statute of limitations has been protected and the case has been commenced within the appropriate time limit.
Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to insure proper advice is received.
If, by SOL you mean statute of limitations, the answer is no, they are not protected. The case needs to be filed before the statute expires which, under normal circumstances, is 2 years. If it is in the hands of an attorney and it is not filed within the time period, then woebetide that attorney.
The foregoing is offered for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. No attorney client relationship has been formed hereby and none has been intended.
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I don't know how depositions are going on if no lawsuit was filed. I suspect someone may not understand the facts here. It is the attorney's responsibility to make sure the SOL does not run. Good luck to your friend.
The author of this post is licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. This post is intended as general information only, and is not provided as legal advice in connection with any specific case, and does not create an attorney-client relationship.
I agree with the above attorneys’ analysis, but would like to add in a typical case depositions are taken under Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.310. This rule states, “After commencement of the action any party may take the testimony of any person, including a party, by deposition upon oral examination.” As these depositions are after “commencement of the action”, the lawsuit would have to have been filed before the taking of depositions. Of course I do not know the details of your situation, so this is just food for thought.
I have included below a summary of Fla. Statute 95.11 regarding Limitations other than for the recovery of real property, which outlines the limits of actions in Florida cases.
Professional Malpractice: For medical malpractice, 2 years from the date of the act giving rise to injury, or within two years from the date the injury was or should have been detected, but no malpractice action may be commenced more than four years following the act giving rise to the injury. These limitations apply to minors aged eight or older.
Personal Injury: 4 years.
Fraud: 4 years.
Libel / Slander / Defamation: 2 years.
Injury to Personal Property: 4 years.
Product Liability: 4 years.
Contracts: Written, 5 years; Oral, 4 years. Actions for specific performance must be commenced within one year.
From the desk of T. Edmund Spinks, Esq. P.L.
304 Plant Ave. S. Suite 100
Tampa, FL 33606
Disclaimer: legal information is not the same as legal advice -- the application of law to an individual's specific circumstances. Although we go to great lengths to make sure our information is accurate and useful, we recommend you consult a lawyer if you want professional assurance that this information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation. This information is not intended as legal advice for an individual situation, it is only provided as information.