Orlando, FL asked in Civil Rights, Civil Litigation and Personal Injury for Florida

Q: What is the civil statute of limitations for the victim of attempted murder in Florida?

I was the victim of a stabbing about 20 years ago. It still mentally affects me to this day. It has also affected where I would be financially, my work progress and status, and my overall quality of life. The perpetrator was caught quickly since I knew him and was placed in a mental facility for several years. I recently found out(through searching the web to make sure he isn't living close to me)that he owns a house in Jacksonville, FL(where the assault happened). I live about 3-4hrs from there now. I feel this to be unjust and unfair that this person who tried to kill me and given such a light sentence that never seemed to fit the circumstances of the crime is living so much more comfortably than I am. This was someone that I had known(ex upstairs neighbor)and seemed "normal" to me and my friends that also knew him. He smashed my bedroom window(which I thought was from a storm)and when I went outside I saw the front and back windshields of my car had been smashed then saw him coming

1 Lawyer Answer
Charles M.  Baron
Charles M. Baron
  • Civil Rights Lawyer
  • Hollywood, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Sorry to hear about your ordeal. I can tell you generally what the limitations period would be in a situation like this, but any question on the limitations period for an incident causing damage to you is a question asking for specific legal advice to rely on - which cannot be answered in this forum because that would create an attorney-client relationship (simply for the advice). To obtain legal advice to rely on, you must schedule a consultation with an attorney.

The Fla. civil limitations period (for making a claim for money damages) that generally applies to a battery (a physical, bodily attack) is four years from the date of the incident. Same for assault (physical confrontation, before touching, creating fear of imminent bodily harm). So, GENERALLY speaking, 20 years out would be outside the limitations period for those two types of torts (wrongful acts under civil law). However, the statute of limitations does not prevent filing a suit for money damages; it's an affirmative defense that may be raised in response to a lawsuit. If a lawsuit complaint is not responded to, the plaintiff might be able to obtain a default judgment against the defendant.

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