Medical malpractice statutes and limitations are not straightforward. This ambiguity can serve to protect both the patient and the medical professionals who are doing their best to help their patients with the knowledge and resources that are accessible.
The clock starts ticking at the time medical care is provided, but another clock starts ticking on the day the patient realizes there are problems that could indicate malpractice.
However, in the event that a provider actively covers up the malpractice and deceives the patient, all clocks stop.
Here’s what you need to know.
What Is the Florida Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations?
When a person receives medical care, the general rule is that they have two years from that date to file a malpractice claim in Florida.
This two-year limitation is extended to four years in certain circumstances. For example, if the person doesn’t realize they have suffered harm as a result of the medical care for up to four years after the medical care, this timeline is extended. This delayed realization would have to be proven in court in addition to the need to prove that malpractice occurred.
If the person doesn’t realize they were harmed due to a medical provider’s care until four years and one day or beyond, any attempt to file a malpractice case will be thrown out unless they can show that the doctor or medical facility actively covered up the malpractice or deceived the patient. This will also need to be proven in addition to the original malpractice claim and the facts supporting the delayed realization of harm.
It is important to note that a patient must file a Notice of Intent before filing a malpractice case. This will detail the nature of that case and give the person or business 90 days to respond. This filing stops the clock on the statute of limitations.
In many cases, a settlement offer may be provided within that 90-day period, but if the professional or business indicates that they will not settle, the patient must file a malpractice suit within the remaining time left in the 90 days after notice or the amount remaining in the statute of limitations, whichever provides them with more time.
What Are Florida Medical Malpractice Caps?
There are also some caps in place when it comes to how much a patient may ask for and be granted in a malpractice case. When it comes to non-economic damages, like “pain and suffering,” the cap is set at $500,000. If the damages are economic in nature (such as lost income due to malpractice), the cap is set at $1,000,000.
Florida Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice: Get Help
Medical malpractice cases can be complicated. If a settlement is desired, legal counsel can help to ensure a fair and protected deal. Contact Florida Healthcare Law Firm now to discuss the terms of any medical malpractice claims and get help moving forward.