Medical Malpractice and the Statute of Limitations in Florida

IMG_4741Medical malpractice occurs when a medical provider, such as a doctor, hospital or clinic, performs an act or omission during the course of treating a patient that deviates from the accepted norms of practice in the medical community, causing injury to the patient. Medical malpractice occurs often here in Florida. It is critical that you are aware that Florida law places a strict deadline on when you may file a lawsuit for a medical malpractice claim.

If you or a loved one is injured at the fault of a medical provider, such as a physician, clinic, or hospital, it is imperative that you hire an experienced medical malpractice attorney. The Florida medical malpractice lawyers at Gerson and Schwartz, PA are here for you! Our attorneys represent medical malpractice victims and their families throughout Miami Dade, Miami Beach, The Florida Keys, Fort Lauderdale, Broward, and West Palm Beach.

The Applicable Statute of Limitations Period

Studies find that close to 93% of all medical malpractice suits settle outside of court. The medical malpractice settlement, or payout amount, increases annually. However, if a settlement offer is not received, or a settlement offer is not accepted, you will want to file your medical malpractice lawsuit with the proper Florida court. As mentioned above, Florida enforces a strict deadline for when you may file your medical malpractice lawsuit. This is known as the “statute of limitations.” Per Florida Statutes section 95.11(4)(b), your medical malpractice lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date of the medical act, the date you discovered your injury, or reasonably should have discovered your injury.

Florida recognizes a statute of repose period for medical malpractice cases of four years.  Essentially, this means that you have a total of four years from the date of the medical procedure/treatment in question to file your lawsuit. Thus, even if you do not know about the malpractice and there was no reasonable way to discover it, the claim may not be brought more than four years after the malpractice originally occurred. Yet, if you can show that fraud, concealment or misrepresentation upon the medical provider existed, the four-year repose period becomes a seven-year repose period.  

Florida also recognizes a special statute of repose period for minor children. Per this rule, if a child is below the age of eight, the relevant statute of repose period will not begin to run until the child’s eighth birthday. Nevertheless, please be aware that if the child’s parents knew of the malpractice, or if they reasonably should have, the two-year statute of limitations period still applies.

Call us Today

If you or your loved one suffered from medical malpractice, it is important to hire an experienced attorney for your case. Doing so ensures a timely filing and will greatly increase your chances of receiving adequate compensation. Fortunately, the Florida medical malpractice lawyers at Gerson and Schwartz, PA are here for you! Contact our attorneys today at 305-371-6000 or via email at info@gslawusa.com to schedule a FREE consultation.  

(photo courtesy of Dianne Hope)

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