Did a doctor or medical provider make an error that caused you harm?
You might consider filing a medical malpractice claim to recover damages. If so, it is crucial to understand how the Florida statute of limitations on medical malpractice limits your time to file a lawsuit.
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What Is a Statute of Limitations?
A statute of limitations is a law that sets a deadline for filing a lawsuit. The court can dismiss a lawsuit filed after the statute of limitations expires. The person may have a valid claim and evidence proving malpractice, but the court can dismiss the case without considering the merit of the claim.
The statute of limitations varies depending on the type of claim. Other factors and exceptions to the statute can change the deadline for filing a lawsuit. It is always best to seek legal advice as soon as possible after an accident or injury.
Why Does Florida Impose Statute of Limitations in Medical Malpractice Cases?
Florida imposes a statute of limitations on medical malpractice claims for several reasons. Setting a filing deadline for a medical malpractice lawsuit forces parties to take prompt action to pursue a claim, which gives both parties access to evidence that could be lost as time passes.
Statutes of limitations also keep cases moving through the courts in a timely manner. Without a statute of limitations, the courts could become bogged down with cases for claims that arose years or decades ago.
Setting deadlines for filing medical malpractice lawsuits prevents patients from indefinitely threatening medical providers with lawsuits. Patients must pursue claims within a reasonable period of being harmed because of the medical provider’s alleged breach of the medical standard of care.
What Is Florida’s Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Lawsuits?
Florida imposes a two-year statute of limitations for most medical malpractice claims. Generally, the two-year deadline begins on the date of the malpractice. However, there are exceptions to the two-year deadline for filing medical malpractice lawsuits.
Statute of Repose for Medical Malpractice Lawsuits in Florida
Florida has a statute of repose that could give you more time to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. The statute of repose gives you two years from the date you discovered an injury or should have reasonably discovered an injury.
Therefore, suppose you discovered a year after surgery that a doctor’s mistake caused you harm. Under the statute of repose, you could have two years from the discovery of harm to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
However, the statute of repose does not extend the medical malpractice statute of limitations indefinitely. You must file a lawsuit no more than four years from the date of the malpractice that caused your injury, regardless of when you discovered the harm.
Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Deadlines in Cases Involving Fraud, Concealment, or Misrepresentation
Another exception exists if the medical provider used misrepresentation, concealment, or fraud to try to keep you from discovering their negligence and malpractice. For example, let’s say a surgeon realizes they made a mistake when they performed a post-op x-ray. The surgeon then removes the x-ray from your file and conceals the mistake.
In this case, you could have up to seven years from the date of malpractice to file a lawsuit. However, you still only have two years after discovering the malpractice to file a lawsuit.
Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations for Minors
There are different rules for medical malpractice cases involving minors, especially children under the age of eight. For instance, the aforementioned statute of repose won’t necessarily apply to cases involving children under that age.
The medical malpractice statute of limitations for minors can be complicated to understand. If you suspect a medical provider caused your child harm, you should speak with a Boca Raton medical malpractice lawyer immediately.
When Should I Hire a Lawyer for Medical Malpractice in Boca Raton, FL?
Applying the statute of limitations to medical malpractice cases can be tricky. You must consider all factors of the case and relevant exceptions to the general two-year deadline. The best way to protect your right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit is to seek legal advice immediately.
Attorneys offer free consultations, so speaking with an attorney about your situation costs nothing. Additionally, most attorneys take medical malpractice claims for a contingency fee.
Instead of paying the attorney upfront for legal services, you only pay the attorney’s fees after the lawyer recovers money for your claim. Therefore, you do not need to worry about how to pay an attorney to take your case. If the attorney believes you have a medical malpractice claim, they will take the case for a contingency fee.
What Damages Could I Receive for a Medical Malpractice Claim in Florida?
- Past and future medical bills
- Long-term personal and/or nursing care
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Past and future lost wages
- Diminished quality of life
- Impairments and disabilities
- Reduction in future earning capacity
- Physical pain and suffering
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Scarring and disfigurement
The value of your medical malpractice claim depends on many factors, including the evidence proving a doctor committed malpractice, and the malpractice caused your injuries. The type and extent of your injuries also impact how much your medical malpractice claim is worth.
Our Boca Raton medical malpractice attorneys work with leading experts in their field to determine the extent of your injuries and damages. Our legal team carefully documents all damages to increase the value of your claim. Ultimately, we fight to obtain the maximum compensation for your case.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Boca Raton Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Medical malpractice causes severe injuries, impairments, and financial losses. Proving medical malpractice is the first step in recovering compensation for your damages. Contact our office today, you can call us at (561) 347-7770 to schedule a free case evaluation with an experienced Boca Raton medical malpractice attorney at Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers.