The Florida Statute of Repose Provides Additional Time to File Some Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

When a person suffers injuries because of the negligence of a medical provider, the victim or their representative may file a Florida medical malpractice lawsuit to recover compensation for the damages that they sustained. Incidents of medical malpractice occur more frequently than people may realize. In addition to death, the most common reasons for medical malpractice claims include severe and pervasive brain damage resulting in lifelong care. In most cases, medical malpractice relates to diagnosis errors, surgical errors, and general treatment.

Florida law provides that medical malpractice victims may seek three main types of damages from the negligent health care provider:  compensatory, non-economic, and punitive damages. Victims may be entitled to compensatory damages to cover tangible losses, such as medical expenses and lost wages. By contrast, non-economic damages are designed to address losses related to pain and suffering. Courts rarely permit punitive damages, and these damages only apply in situations in which the provider engaged in gross negligence.

These damages are only available if the lawsuit is timely filed. Under Florida law, medical malpractice victims must file their lawsuit within two years of discovering their injuries and no later than four years after the incident. However, there are certain crucial exceptions in specific incidents of medical malpractice.

One significant exception is when the victim is under eight years old. Lawmakers reasoned that young children under eight years old might not exhibit medical malpractice symptoms for quite some time. For example, many brain injuries do not manifest until the child reaches school age. Florida law allows a child’s representative to file a medical malpractice lawsuit up until the child’s eighth birthday.

Another exception applies if the medical provider engaged in intentional fraud or concealment. For example, a state appellate court recently issued an opinion in a medical malpractice lawsuit concerning issues of fraud. In that case, the family alleged that a hospital concealed an injury that hospital staff discovered during surgery. The family argued that the hospital hid this finding because it knew that it was a result of the hospital’s negligence in failing to adequately work up, evaluate, and treat the individual’s condition. The court ultimately held that the family was unable to meet their evidentiary burden because they did not provide evidence that there was intent to conceal the findings or that the hospital misrepresented their findings.

Florida law extends the statute of limitations for medical malpractice lawsuits for two years from the date that the injury was discovered. However, the claim cannot be filed if more than seven years have elapsed since the incident.

Have You Recently Suffered Injuries Because of a Negligent Florida Health Care Provider?

If you or a loved one has recently discovered that your injuries were caused by a negligent medical professional, you should contact the dedicated Florida medical malpractice attorneys at Friedman, Rodman & Frank, P.A. The attorneys at our law firm have a long history of successfully representing Florida victims. Our skilled litigators have recovered substantial sums of compensation on behalf of victims. Our clients have recovered compensation for losses related to medical expenses, rehabilitative treatment, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact our office today at 877-448-8585 to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our medical malpractice attorneys.

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