The Statue of Limitations (SOL) for workers’ compensation in Florida (for accidents that occurred after January 1, 1994) states that you must file your petition for benefits within two years of the date of a workplace accident. If the employer or insurance company provides medical care or pays monetary benefits during those two years, then the deadline may change based on when the care or benefits were provided to you. During the first year of the two year period, the benefits will not affect the SOL.
During the second year, these benefits can extend the statue of limitations in your Florida workers’ compensation case. To extend the SOL, you must file a petition within one year of the last day of any medical or monetary benefits being received. Consider the following examples.
Tom broke his arm at work on January 5, 2015. He was treated on the day of the accident. He was also treated on April 1, 2015, on August 3, 2015, and on December 31, 2015. Unless he files a petition on or before January 5, 2017, this is when the statute of limitations will run out.
Gina slipped and fell on January 5, 2015. She was treated on the same day and was also treated on April 1, 2015, on August 3, 2015, and on December 31, 2015. However, she also returned to the workers’ compensation doctor on August 3, 2015. Her statute of limitations will run out on August 3, 2017, or one year from the final day that she received treatment with the workers’ compensation doctor.
Filing A Petition
If you file a specific petition, your statute of limitations will be suspended or tolled until the petition is no longer pending. Imagine that Gina filed a petition on August 2, 2017, which would be one day before the end of the statute of limitations on her case. If the petition is dismissed and no further benefits are provided then the statute of limitations has run in this case.
In some situations, there are exceptions to the statute of limitations in Florida. For example, if the defense is waived by the insurance company or if they do not raise their defense within a timely manner, then there may be exceptions here. Ask a workers’ compensation attorney about your specific circumstances and whether there are exceptions to the statute of limitations in your case.