Medical malpractice is a civil wrongdoing that can interfere with proper patient care and recovery. Even under the best circumstances, a patient may not make a full recovery after a serious illness or injury. When a physician or health care center breaches its duties of care or acts negligently, a patient may not have a fair chance at improving. If you believe you are a victim of medical malpractice in Florida, act before the expiration of your statute of limitations. Failure to meet your deadline could lead to the loss of the option to file.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is an act or omission that a typical physician, nurse, surgeon, hospital or other health care entity would not have committed under the same circumstances, often resulting in harm to the patient. It can refer to many different mistakes that can cause physical injuries, illnesses, infections and wrongful deaths in patients.
- Failure to diagnose
- Medication mistakes
- Surgical error
- Poor patient care
- Birth injury
- Hospital negligence
- Dental malpractice
Medical malpractice happens when someone in the health care industry violates the professional standards of care while treating a patient. The standards of care will depend on the situation and the role of the physician. Medical malpractice can cause a range of serious injuries and health complications, as well as preventable patient fatalities.
Florida Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations
Every type of civil claim in Florida has a statute of limitations. This is a legally enforced deadline by which a claimant must bring a claim to have a valid lawsuit. Statutes of limitations are in place to push claimants into filing as soon as possible after recognizing malpractice or discovering a related injury. Prompt filing can keep the justice system fair for everyone. Statutes of limitations in Florida change according to case type.
Florida Statute 95.11 states that you must file a medical malpractice claim within at least two years of the date the malpractice occurred to have a valid claim. Otherwise, you must file within two years of the date you reasonably should have discovered the malpractice. You also have a statute of repose (blanket deadline) of four years. You have a maximum of four years from the date of the medical malpractice to file, regardless of when you discover your injury.
Exceptions exist for victims who are minors. If the victim was under the age of eight at the time of the malpractice, his or her family has until that child’s eighth birthday to file. Another exception exists for cases involving fraud. If the defendant’s intentional act of fraud, concealment or misrepresentation of facts interfered with proper patient care, the patient will have two years from injury discovery or seven years maximum from the date of the incident to file.
Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Timeline in Florida
The average medical malpractice lawsuit in Florida can take one year or longer to resolve. Medical malpractice cases are notoriously complex, often involving lengthy legal processes and assessments. Your medical malpractice lawyer may need to hire experts, obtain medical evidence, spend time building a case, schedule a hearing, and present your case before a judge and jury before you can achieve an award. Do not expect a fast settlement for a medical malpractice claim. Your case could take months or years to resolve. Contact an attorney for an estimated timeframe for your specific claim.
Damages in Medical Malpractice Claims
If you meet the statute of limitations and your injury lawyer succeeds in proving medical malpractice, you and your family could receive compensation for several different damages the health care entity caused. The defendant might owe you financial compensation for your related medical bills, past and future pain and suffering, permanent disability, lost income, loss of consortium, legal expenses, and more. You could be eligible to recover economic and noneconomic damages for all your related losses. A Florida medical malpractice attorney can evaluate your case and help you fight for maximum compensation.