If you live in Orlando or anywhere else in the state of Florida and have been injured due to the negligence of a doctor, nurse or other healthcare professional, it’s important to know about the medical malpractice laws in the state. You may actually have a legitimate malpractice claim if the circumstances surrounding your situation involve any of the laws in place in Florida.
Statue of Limitations and Award Limits
All states have a statute of limitations for filing all types of claims and cases. This is the amount of time you have for filing your lawsuit. If you do not file within the time frame, your case will not be heard by the court, which means you cannot collect compensation for your injuries. In a malpractice case, you have up to two years from the time your injury was discovered to file a lawsuit. In some cases, that time frame is up to four years from when the malpractice took place. There is one exception to that rule, which is if the healthcare professional fraudulently concealed the malpractice. For instance, if your doctor deliberately deceived you in a way that you wouldn’t realize their actions led to your injury, you would have two years from the time the injury was discovered and seven from the time when the malpractice itself actually took place.
When a minor is the victim, the statute of limitations doesn’t apply if the case is filed on or before the child’s eighth birthday.
Pre-Suit Requirements on Statute of Limitations and Their Effect
In the state of Florida, when you plan to sue for malpractice, you are required to serve a notice of intent to the healthcare provider. This has to include an affidavit from a medical professional that states you have a valid claim for medical malpractice. The settlement process that takes place thereafter is fairly complex. It can last for 90 days and if the provider doesn’t want to settle, you have 60 days or the remainder of the statute of limitations to sue. You can also receive an additional 90 days if you file for an “investigation period,” which requires a medical expert to investigate the case.
Damage Caps Limiting Non-Economic Recovery
Florida is one of the states that relies on different caps for defendants who are considered medical practitioners, such as a doctor (as opposed to “non-practitioner” defendants like healthcare entities). In general, there is a cap of $500,000 on non-economic damages in malpractice suits when they are against practitioners. The cap is greater against non-practitioner defendants to $750,000. The caps apply to the total amount a defendant is required to pay in a case. The number of defendants in a case doesn’t matter, which means the total amount is distributed equally if the plaintiffs are awarded for their injuries or damages.
However, in the event that the malpractice resulted in a patient falling into a vegetative state or dying, the cap is increased to $1 million. The court can also override that cap and award $1 million to an individual plaintiff if the injury is particularly catastrophic and the situation would justify it.
If you believe you have a legitimate medical malpractice claim, it’s important to get in touch with a skilled attorney who knows how to handle such a case. The Payer Law Group has lawyers who are experienced in the area of malpractice. Contact the Payer Law Group at your earliest convenience to discuss your case. You can call us for a free consultation at 866-648-1510 or to obtain more general information call 407-648-1510. You can also visit our website at payerlawgroup.com.