What Is the Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations for Minor Children in Florida
Gregg Hollander | August 2, 2023 | Medical Malpractice
A statute of limitations is a deadline for filing a lawsuit. A court can dismiss a lawsuit filed after the deadline, including a medical malpractice lawsuit. It does not matter whether you have a valid legal argument if you miss the deadline to file your lawsuit.
The deadlines for filing lawsuits vary depending on the type of lawsuit, the parties involved, and other factors. Exceptions can shorten or lengthen the statute of limitations in some cases. When the injured party is a minor, it often changes how long you have to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for injuries and damages.
The Statute of Limitations in Medical Malpractice Cases Is Important
Setting a deadline on when someone can file a medical malpractice lawsuit might seem harsh. However, Florida sets deadlines for medical malpractice lawsuits for two important reasons.
First, a deadline helps protect the evidence in a case. It forces parties to take action while evidence is available to both parties. As time passes, witnesses might die or move away, and evidence could disappear or be destroyed.
Second, a statute of limitations prevents individuals from threatening to sue medical providers for an indefinite period. The deadline requires a patient to file a legal claim within a reasonable period after receiving treatment or discovering an injury.
Florida’s Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Cases for Adults
The statute of limitations for medical malpractice lawsuits in Florida is typically two years from the malpractice. However, there is a statute of response that could lengthen the time you have to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
If you do not discover the injury immediately, you could have an additional two years to file a lawsuit. However, you must file a medical malpractice lawsuit no more than four years from the date of the actual malpractice that caused your injury. This is referred to as a statute of repose.
Additionally, if the healthcare provider used misrepresentation, concealment, or fraud to prevent you from discovering the malpractice, you could have longer to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. The filing deadline could be extended up to seven years from the date of the malpractice. However, you only have two years to file the lawsuit once you discover the malpractice.
Florida’s Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations for Minor Children
Another exception to the Florida medical malpractice statute of limitations involves minors. If a child is the victim of medical malpractice, the statute of limitations can be extended.
For instance, the two-year deadline (and four-year statute of repose) do not apply to children under the age of eight. However, the two-year deadline still applies to children older than that age, as does the four-year statute of repose.
Calculating the Florida medical malpractice statute of limitations for minor children can be challenging. The best way to protect your child’s legal rights is to contact a Boca Raton medical malpractice lawyer as soon as you suspect your child’s condition could have been caused by medical negligence or malpractice.
An attorney works with you to protect your child’s rights by holding the doctors and other medical providers responsible for the harm they caused your child. A lawyer can help you secure a fair medical malpractice settlement for your child or take the case to court if necessary.
Common Types of Medical Malpractice Claims Involving Minors in Boca Raton, FL
Children can be the victims of medical malpractice at all ages. From birth through teenage years, minors can sustain severe injuries and life-threatening conditions because of medical errors and doctor negligence.
Common types of medical malpractice claims filed on behalf of children include, but are not limited to:
- Misdiagnosis of medical conditions
- Birth injuries
- Medication errors
- Anesthesia errors
- Emergency room negligence
- Failure to refer to a specialist
- Failing to order lab work and diagnostic tests
- Surgical mistakes
- Failure to diagnose or delayed diagnosis
Sadly, medical malpractice involving minors can result in long-term disabilities. Medical errors can cause developmental delays and cognitive, physical, and emotional impairments.
A child is entitled to compensation for economic and non-economic damages caused by medical malpractice. The compensation includes reimbursement for all past medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other harm caused by the malpractice. The child may also be entitled to future damages, which could include decreased earning capacity, diminished quality of life, and ongoing emotional distress.
If you suspect a medical provider injured your child, don’t delay seeking legal advice. Your time to file a medical malpractice lawsuit on your child’s behalf could quickly slip away.
Contact Our Medical Malpractice Law Firm in South Florida
If you’ve been injured in an accident, please contact our experienced personal injury lawyers in Florida at Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation today. We have three convenient locations in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach.
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – Boca Raton Law Office
7000 W Palmetto Park Rd #500
Boca Raton, FL 33433
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – Fort Lauderdale Law Office
200 S.E. 6th Street #203
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – West Palm Beach Law Office
319 Clematis St #203
West Palm Beach, FL 33401