Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Claims
In Florida, patients who suffer injuries because of the negligence of a medical provider often have the option of filing a medical malpractice lawsuit to recover compensation for their losses. However, this is only possible for those who file their claims before the two year deadline, as cases filed after this statute of limitations has passed are almost always dismissed by the court. There are a few exceptions to this general rule, which give claimants a few more years in which they can file a claim, so if you or a loved one recently sustained an injury due to a medical provider’s negligence, it is important to contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer who can ensure that your claim is filed before the statute of limitations has passed.
Florida’s Statute of Repose
Under state law, Florida residents who are injured as a result of a medical professional’s misdiagnosis, surgical error, or negligent treatment may have standing to file a medical malpractice claim against the responsible party in question. However, these individuals only have two years from the date that their injuries are discovered to file a claim. In most cases, plaintiffs who fail to abide by this deadline will miss out on the chance to recover compensation for their medical bills and pain and suffering. Fortunately, there are a few exceptions to this general rule, one of which is known as the statute or repose, which states that claimants who missed the two year deadline due to concealment, fraud, or intentional misrepresentation by a medical provider, have up to four years from the date of the incident that caused their injury to file a claim.
However, even in these situations, the statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice claim in Florida cannot exceed seven years from the date of the medical professional’s negligent actions, unless the suit is being brought on behalf of a minor who will not turn eight years old until after the statute of limitations has passed.
Types of Damages
Plaintiffs who properly file their medical malpractice claims before the two, four, or seven year deadline can seek three types of damages from the negligent party who caused their injuries, including:
- Compensatory damages, which cover tangible losses like medical bills, lost wages, and property damage;
- Non-economic damages, which provide compensation for losses that are more difficult to quantify, such as pain and suffering and emotional distress; and
- Punitive damages, which are intended to punish a defendant for particularly egregious behavior or gross negligence.
Recovering these damages can make all the difference when it comes to paying off medical debt and making up for lost wages following a serious injury, so it is especially important for plaintiffs with medical malpractice claims to speak with an attorney about filing deadlines before moving ahead with their case.
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