440.19 Time bars to filing petitions for benefits.—
(1) Except to the extent provided elsewhere in this section, all employee petitions for benefits under this chapter shall be barred unless the employee, or the employee’s estate if the employee is deceased, has advised the employer of the injury or death pursuant to s. 440.185(1) and the petition is filed within 2 years after the date on which the employee knew or should have known that the injury or death arose out of work performed in the course and scope of employment.
(2) Payment of any indemnity benefit or the furnishing of remedial treatment, care, or attendance pursuant to either a notice of injury or a petition for benefits shall toll the limitations period set forth above for 1 year from the date of such payment. This tolling period does not apply to the issues of compensability, date of maximum medical improvement, or permanent impairment.
(3) The filing of a petition for benefits does not toll the limitations period set forth in this section unless the petition meets the specificity requirements set forth in s. 440.192.
(4) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, the failure to file a petition for benefits within the periods prescribed is not a bar to the employee’s claim unless the carrier advances the defense of a statute of limitations in its initial response to the petition for benefits. If a claimant contends that an employer or its carrier is estopped from raising a statute of limitations defense and the carrier demonstrates that it has provided notice to the employee in accordance with s. 440.185 and that the employer has posted notice in accordance with s. 440.055, the employee must demonstrate estoppel by clear and convincing evidence.
(5) If a person who is entitled to compensation under this chapter is mentally incompetent or a minor, the limitations period is tolled while that person has no guardian or other authorized representative, but the period shall begin to run from the date of appointment of such guardian or other representative, or in the case of a minor, if no guardian is appointed before the minor becomes of age, from the date the minor becomes of age.
(6) When recovery is denied to any person in a suit brought at law or in admiralty to recover damages for injury or death on the ground that such person was an employee, that the defendant was an employer within the meaning of this chapter, and that such employer had secured compensation of such employee under this chapter, the limitations period set forth in this section shall begin to run from the date of termination of such suit; however, in such an event, the employer is allowed a credit of his or her actual cost of defending such suit in an amount not to exceed $250, which amount must be deducted from any compensation allowed or awarded to the employee under this chapter.
History.—s. 19, ch. 17481, 1935; CGL 1936 Supp. 5966(19); s. 1, ch. 23908, 1947; s. 10, ch. 26484, 1951; s. 4, ch. 29778, 1955; s. 1, ch. 57-192; s. 1, ch. 65-120; s. 2, ch. 67-554; ss. 17, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 23, ch. 78-300; ss. 15, 124, ch. 79-40; ss. 11, 21, ch. 79-312; s. 7, ch. 80-236; s. 7, ch. 83-305; ss. 15, 43, ch. 89-289; ss. 23, 56, ch. 90-201; ss. 21, 52, ch. 91-1; s. 23, ch. 93-415; s. 113, ch. 97-103.