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Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Attorneys > Blog > Medical Malpractice > New Florida Law Aims to Limit Damages for Medical Malpractice Claims

New Florida Law Aims to Limit Damages for Medical Malpractice Claims


Medical professionals are required to use a certain amount of care in diagnosing and treating their patients. Those who fail to satisfy this standard and who cause an injury as a result can and should be held liable for their negligence. This can be achieved by filing a medical malpractice claim against the negligent medical provider. If successful, claimants can recover compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Many states, however, attempt to limit the amount that a claimant can recover by instituting what are referred to as damages caps. Florida lawmakers recently introduced a bill that, if passed, would lead to the implementation of such a cap on the monetary damages that medical malpractice victims can recover.

What are Statutory Damages Caps? 

Patients who are injured as a result of a medical professional’s negligence can often recover compensation for their medical bills and other losses. While there is no limit to the amount that a person can recover in economic damages (i.e. monetary losses for quantifiable expenses, such as medical bills and lost wages), many states attempt to place a limit on how much a person can recover in non-economic damages. Unlike economic damages, these losses are more difficult to quantify and include things like emotional distress and pain and suffering. Such a cap existed in Florida, but was found unconstitutional in 2018. According to the court that overturned the ruling, the damages cap violated equal protection laws because it lowered the amount that a person could recover by an exact amount ($350,000) regardless of how much a person actually lost.

Proposed Cap on Medical Malpractice Damages 

If enacted, the proposed legislation would reinstate a statutory cap on medical malpractice cases, which could put victims at a significant disadvantage. The new law imposes a cap on damages of:

  • $500,000 per injured patient, regardless of the number of healthcare providers found liable for causing the harm;
  • $750,000 for claims against non-practitioners, like hospitals, facilities, and clinics; and
  • $150,000 on claims involving healthcare providers in emergency cases.

It’s important to note that the proposed cap will not affect economic damages, like the costs of diagnosis and treatment of further injury, so even if the bill passes, there won’t be a limit on how much an injured patient can recover for:

  • The cost of emergency care, hospitalization, surgery, prescription medications, physical therapy, and rehabilitation;
  • Lost wages for those who were forced to miss work because of their injuries; and
  • Out-of-pocket medical expenses.

The Senate Judiciary Committee recently voted in support of the bill, but its ultimate fate remains to be seen.

Call for Help with Your Medical Malpractice Questions 

If you have questions or concerns about how the newly proposed damages cap could affect your own legal claim, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the experienced Florida medical malpractice lawyers at Boone & Davis for assistance. You can set up a free consultation with a member of our legal team by calling 954-566-9919 today.




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