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How Long Do You Have to Sue for Medical Malpractice in Florida?

On Behalf of Cronin & Maxwell

Recovering from any type of medical procedure, even if it was routine, can be a long and difficult process. Your recovery can be complicated if you were injured or are unable to work for longer than expected because of the actions of your medical provider. We expect the medical professionals we work with to provide us with the best possible care, but mistakes can happen at any time. If you were injured or have been dealing with emotional or financial damages following a medical procedure, you may have grounds to file a medical malpractice claim. Cronin & Maxwell, PL, can help you navigate the legal process of filing and completing a medical malpractice claim.

How long do you have to sue for medical malpractice in Florida?

What Is Medical Malpractice?

Medical professionals have a duty to provide the best possible care to each of their patients. If they fail to meet the correct standard of care and cause harm to a patient, either physically, emotionally, or financially, they have committed medical malpractice.

Medical malpractice is very serious, and there are many things that could constitute a malpractice claim. Some cases involve medical professionals who make a clear mistake while caring for a patient. They could make an error during a surgery or cause a significant birth injury while delivering a baby. Other instances of malpractice are caused when a medical professional is neglectful, possibly missing a key diagnosis or failing to order a screening. If you have been the victim of medical malpractice, you should file your claim as soon as you are able.

How Long Do You Have to File a Claim for Medical Malpractice in Florida?

Florida has a statute of limitations in place for medical malpractice claims. You must file your claim within two years after you first discovered the injury or damages caused by the medical professional. Overall, medical malpractice claims cannot be filed more than four years after the date of the incident. The one exception to this is if the claim is being filed on behalf of a minor under the age of eight. Those claims must be filed before the child in question turns eight. If you choose to pursue a medical malpractice claim, you will be required to prove several key things.

What Do You Have to Prove for a Medical Malpractice Claim?

If you are pursuing a medical malpractice claim, there are four things that you must prove.

  1. Duty. The first thing that must be proved in a medical malpractice case is that the medical provider had a duty to care for the patient that was harmed. This means that you are responsible for establishing that there was a relationship of care between you and your medical provider.
  2. Breach of care. Once the duty of care has been established, you must then prove that the medical provider did not fulfill that duty appropriately. This means that they either made a blatant mistake or they did not respond the way a reasonable medical professional would in the same situation.
  3. Injury or damages. The third thing you must prove in a medical malpractice claim is that the patient experienced an injury or loss while they were being treated by the medical provider.
  4. Cause of injury. The final element that you must prove can be the most difficult. Once it has been established that the patient was harmed or experienced a loss while in the provider’s care, you must prove that the action, or lack of action, on the part of the provider caused the injury or damages.

If you can prove each of these things, your medical malpractice claim is more likely to be successful. The team at Cronin & Maxwell, PL, can help provide you peace of mind and guidance as you navigate this journey.

FAQs

Q: What Is the Average Medical Malpractice Settlement in Florida?

A: Medical malpractice settlements can vary widely, depending on the severity of the injury and the damages that were incurred. On the national level, the average settlement for a medical malpractice claim is over $240,000. In most cases, there is a formula that legal professionals will use to calculate the settlement amount. The formula combines the full value of the economic and non-economic damages that the patient has faced or may face in the future. That total will be used to establish a potential settlement amount.

Q: What Is Considered Medical Malpractice in Florida?

A: There are many things that could be classified as medical malpractice in Florida. Generally, any situation where the actions or decisions of a medical professional harm a patient is considered medical malpractice. In some cases, an action directly harms the patient. These may include birth injuries, a mistake made during surgery, or prescribing the wrong medication. Other instances of malpractice occur when a provider fails to respond or act as another provider might. These cases often involve not ordering the correct tests or making an incorrect diagnosis.

Q: Can I File a Medical Malpractice Claim After Ten Years?

A: No. The state of Florida has a statute of limitations on filing medical malpractice claims. In most cases, you must file your claim within two years after you first discovered the injury or experienced the loss. Overall, there is a limitation on medical malpractice claims of four years from the actual date of the injury or incident. If you are filing a medical malpractice claim on behalf of a child, such as a birth injury, the claim must be filed prior to the child’s eighth birthday.

Q: Does Florida Have a Cap on Medical Malpractice Settlements?

A: There is currently no cap on settlements for economic damages incurred by medical malpractice in Florida. This means that there is no limit on how much a patient may receive to cover medical care, lost wages, and other monetary losses that resulted from medical malpractice. There was a cap on non-economic damages, like anxiety or pain, between $500,000 and $1,000,000 depending on whether the malpractice resulted in a death, but that cap was ruled unconstitutional by the Florida Supreme Court in 2017.

Dealing with an injury or any type of damages following a medical procedure is daunting. With decades of combined experience, Cronin & Maxwell, PL, can help you navigate your medical malpractice claim.

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