Laws hold people accountable for their actions. Still, they also recognize that accused people need a fair opportunity to defend the allegations against them. So while those who are wronged are entitled to seek justice, those who stand to face a penalty are entitled to have the matter settled while they have the best opportunity to defend themselves.

The Florida Legislature has assigned periods of time during which someone harmed can claim against the wrongdoing party. The time periods for a statute of repose vs. a statute of limitation have different events that trigger the moment they start to run.

Most personal injury claims must be made within 2 years in Florida. At Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath we recommend making a claim as early as possible to ensure the highest quality of evidence will be available to support your case. Get started with a West Palm Beach personal injury lawyer today.

statute of repose vs statute of limitations

What is a statute of repose?

A statute of repose sets a limited number of years after an event or action occurs, during which injury claims can be made. A statute of repose begins to run before any harm has been done and can end before an injury occurs.

Statutes of repose typically apply to situations where people may be harmed by products manufactured or constructed by others long after completion and are an attempt to fix a reasonable period of liability.

Products are considered to have a useful life, during which time they are expected to perform as promised. However, beyond a product’s useful life, the manufacturer is no longer responsible for any harm caused.

Statute of repose Florida

Florida uses statutes of repose to terminate liability for several types of legal actions.


An action based on fraud must be brought within 12 years from the date the fraud was committed, even if the fraud is not discovered until sometime after the repose period.

Product liability

No action for personal injury – including wrongful death – can be brought for damage based on the use of a product (with a useful life of 10 years or less) if the harm occurs more than 12 years after the product was delivered to the first consumer.

All products, with the exception of aircraft, vessels weighing more than 100 gross tons, railroad equipment, and improvements to real property, are presumed to have a useful life of 10 years or less.

The repose period will not apply if a claimant used a product during the repose period but did not discover the harm until after the period had expired. The repose period also does not apply in situations where the manufacturer knew the product was defective and tried to hide the defect.

Construction defect

In April 2023, the statute of repose regarding construction defect claims was shortened from 10 years to 7 years by Senate Bill 360. The new law also changed the point at which the statute of repose will begin to run.

The new triggering event for the start of both the statute of limitations and the statute of repose will be the earlier:

  • Issue of temporary certificate of occupancy
  • Issue of certificate of occupancy
  • Issue of certificate of completion
  • Date construction abandoned (if not completed)

Statute of repose vs. statute of limitations

Statutes of limitation limit the period of time a claim can be made after the harm is experienced or discovered. Both statutes of limitation and statutes of repose can apply to a particular claim. A statute of limitation is usually a shorter period of time within the longer statute of repose.

The statute of limitations for fraud is 4 years in Florida. The time period begins to run when the fraud is discovered or should have been discovered. If the fraud is discovered 5 years after it occurs, a claimant will have 4 years to bring a claim.  If the fraud is discovered after 10 years, a claimant will have just 2 years to bring a claim. If the fraud is discovered 13 years later, the statute of repose has barred the claim.

Product liability claims are often based on negligence. Claims based on negligence must be brought within 2 years of the harm being discovered or should have been discovered. A claim for product liability cannot be made 4 years after discovering the harm, even if the statute of repose has not expired.

Timing matters. Call an attorney today.

If you or a loved one have been injured by someone else in Florida and you believe you have a claim against the wrongdoer, come talk with a premier personal injury lawyer at Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath. During your free consultation, we will advise you about the statute of limitations vs. statute of repose affecting your claim and outline the strategy for you to recover compensation.