When a health care provider’s negligence causes illness or injury, the injured person can sue for medical malpractice. Understanding the legal process can improve your chances of a successful case.
Review the important considerations for victims of medical malpractice in Florida.
Notice of intent
As in many states, you cannot directly file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Florida. First, you must give the health care provider official legal notice of your intent to sue. This document must include an affidavit from another health care provider certifying that your injuries likely resulted from malpractice.
After the health care provider receives this notice, he or she has 90 days to offer you a settlement outside of court. After receiving the settlement, you have 60 days to accept it or move forward with the lawsuit. You can also ask for 90 days for medical investigation by a qualified expert.
Statute of limitations
Florida residents who have experienced medical malpractice injury must file a lawsuit no more than four years from the date of the incident. You also only have two years from the date on which you found out about or should have known about the injury resulting from malpractice. In cases involving concealment of the malpractice by the health care provider, the statute of limitations extends to seven years. The state tolls, or pauses, the statute of limitations after you send the notice of intent.
Florida no longer has a cap on non-economic damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit. This category includes compensation for pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and other losses without a specific monetary value.