Florida Medical Malpractice Claims Are Incredibly Serious
Medical malpractice claims are often highly contentious and emotionally draining. Because Florida laws governing medical malpractice can be difficult to understand, it is highly recommended that you consult West Palm Beach’s knowledgeable medical malpractice attorneys at Thompson & Thomas, P.A.
Statutes of Limitation
Under Florida state law, you are required to file a medical malpractice suit within two years of discovering the injury or, at the latest, within four years of when the malpractice occurred. Simply put — even if there was no way for you to have discovered the injury within four years, a Florida judge will dismiss your claim if you sue the health care provider more than four years after suffering an injury due to medical malpractice.
Florida law offers one exception with regards to the statute of limitations governing medical malpractice. You may file a medical malpractice suit after four years if you can prove that the medical provider fraudulently concealed the malpractice — i.e. intentionally hid the malpractice in the first place. If this applies to your situation, you may file a medical malpractice lawsuit within seven years of the date of the injury.
Pursuant to Florida state law, you are required to serve a notice of intent to sue a health care provider before you can sue in court. This notice of intent includes a signed statement from a medical professional declaring that you do, in fact, have a valid medical malpractice claim. Once the notice of intent is received, the medical provider has 90 days to evaluate the claim. If the medical provider denies the claim, or fails to respond at all within the 90 day period, you may file your lawsuit.
Damage Caps for Non-Economic Damages
Florida Legislature previously enacted a law capping noneconomic damages resulting from medical malpractice. However, in 2015 the Florida Supreme Court found this law to be unconstitutional. Presently, there are no arbitrary caps on nonecomomic damages in Florida for medical malpractice claims. The only exception involves requests for binding arbitration. As part of the 90 day presuit process, a medical provider may admit liability and request the claimant to submit to binding arbitration. If the claimant agrees to submit to binding arbitration, their noneconomic damages are capped at $250,000. If the claimant refuses a request for binding arbitration and proceeds to trial, their noneconomic damages may be limited to $350,000.