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Medical Malpractice Lawsuits in Florida

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Date:   6/13/2019 7:41:29 AM   ( 15 mon ) ... viewed 166 times

With more than 17,000 medical malpractices cases being filed in the US alone, it pays to know about the medical malpractice lawsuits if you are a resident of Florida. If you have proper evidence and want to claim for medical malpractice in Florida, there are several points which you should take into account. Do understand; a malpractice lawsuit is entirely different than other cases like slip and fall, personal injury, or vehicle accidents.

State statutes govern these cases and then interpreted through case law. You should know, Florida’s legislature has left no stones unturned in making it improbable for individuals to get compensation against those who are attached to the profession of health care. However, if you have compelling evidence, nothing is stopping from you to get compensation. This guide will help you familiarize with the Florida laws related to medical malpractice.

Statutes of Limitations and Award Limits

Precisely, the statute of limitation refers to a deadline. The plaintiff must file the lawsuit against a healthcare provider within a specific timeframe. Furthermore, things can get complicated as the plaintiff has to complete a series of formalities. Even a slightly miscalculated step can lead to postponing the lawsuit, and ultimately, the person would miss the deadline. Again, the sum which the plaintiff might receive is in most cases limited, or better to say “capped” in several states. So, here are the rules that you should know.

Time limits for filing a lawsuit

In Florida, you can sue the healthcare provider within two years of identifying the injury, or you have four years from when the malpractice took place. If the deadline is over, no medical malpractice lawsuit will be entertained. The only exception being, the healthcare provider, has purposefully deceived you. In such cases, you get a timeframe of seven years from the date of the malpractice. Lastly, remember, the minors are exempted from the statute of limitations.

The outcome of Pre-suit requirements on Statute of Limitations

The rule in Florida states, you must serve a notice of intent for suing the healthcare provider before you can take legal action in the court. It will require you to have an affidavit from someone of the medical fraternity which clearly states you have a legitimate medical malpractice claim. After serving the notice, it initiates a complicated settlement procedure that cans last 90 days, and there is toll applicable to the statute of limitations in this period. In case, the healthcare provider specifies earlier than 90 days, and that they do not agree to settle, you get 60 days or the days remaining of the statute of limitations for suing. If you file for an investigation period, you can get another 90 days.

Capping the damages ruled unconstitutional in Florida

As we mentioned, there was a cap on the compensation amount in such medical malpractice lawsuits. However, in June 2017, the Florida Supreme Court gave the verdict in favor of the plaintiff. The judgment pointed out these caps as illogical for the plaintiffs who deal with dire injuries. Consequently, all the statutory limits on medical malpractice lawsuits were turned down, on the ground that they were unconstitutional.

The role of a lawyer

Understanding the complexities involved in these lawsuits, you must hire an attorney for a detailed investigation. If the plaintiff is the person who suffered, the attorney must know in details for clearing the facts related to the case. On the unfortunate event, where the person is no more, the lawyer must speak with the family members of the victim.

The next step would require obtaining the victim’s medical records. A renowned attorney will do this all, and save you from getting into the legal hurdles. Lastly, the involvement of a medical expert for an independent review is also necessary. The medical expert needs to be of the same designation as the defendant. The lawyer will know the best course of action; always consult them for understanding your rights and how you can satisfy the necessary legal obligations.

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