Suing a healthcare provider or a Florida hospital for medical malpractice is not just about documenting your injuries and proving negligence on the part of the doctor. In reality, there are more factors that come into play and must be taken into account when filing a medical malpractice suit in Cooper City or elsewhere in Florida.
We brought our Cooper City medical malpractice attorney from the Law Offices of Bradley Hartman to answer some of the most common questions asked by injured patients after medical treatments, surgeries and procedures.
What is the statute of limitations for medical malpractice in Florida?
Each state has its own requirements when it comes to the deadline and statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases. In Florida, for example, the statute of limitations imposed by state law differs from other states in the U.S.
The statute of limitations is a specified period of time before which the injured party (plaintiff) has a legal right to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit against the medical professional, nurse, doctor, physician, surgeon, or another party, for his/her negligent act or omission to act.
In Florida, if your doctor failed to provide the high-quality medical care that other reasonably competent doctors would have provided under similar circumstances, and this caused you injuries and/or trauma, you must file a medical malpractice lawsuit within two years of discovering your injury (or when you were reasonably expected to discover the injury).
However, Florida medical malpractice laws offer additional protections to those who missed the deadline. You are required to bring a suit at least four years from when the negligent act or omission to act occurred. Also, it is not uncommon for healthcare providers to conceal the fact of their medical or surgical error by employing various fraudulent tricks and intentionally deceiving you.
In cases when the medical provider intentionally deceives you and lies about his/her act of medical malpractice, Florida’s statute of limitations stretches the time limits up to seven years from the date the act of malpractice occurred.
Can I file a medical malpractice suit any day I want?
If you believe that you have been injured as a result of a medical or surgical error, the process of filing a medical malpractice suit may be more complicated than you think. Our Cooper City medical malpractice lawyer Bradley Hartman explains that one of the pre-lawsuit requirements in Florida is to submit a notice of intent to sue before actually bringing a lawsuit in court.
In the notice, you must provide an affidavit from a competent doctor or medical professional giving you green light to sue and stating that you have a valid and legitimate reason to believe that you have been injured as a result of your healthcare provider’s negligence, recklessness or omission to act.
How long does it take to file a medical malpractice suit in Cooper City?
Generally, the notice triggers a legal process that lasts 90 days. After the passing of these 90 days, you will be eligible to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the negligent doctor.
If the negligent healthcare provider – who can potentially become the defendant – issues a response earlier than 90 days that he/she does not want to settle your claim, you will have 60 days or the remaining amount of days/weeks/months/years of the statute of limitations to file a lawsuit (whichever is longer).
Do Florida medical malpractice laws cap the recoverable damages?
There used to be caps on non-economic damages that could be recovered in a medical malpractice lawsuit if you were suing a negligent healthcare provider in Cooper City or elsewhere in Florida. The medical malpractice damages cap was $500,000 on non-economic damages if you have been injured, or a $1 million cap on non-economic damages if your family member died or was in a vegetative state as a result of the medical professional’s negligence. However, in an unprecedented decision in June 2017, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that these medical malpractice damages caps are “unconstitutional,” eliminating any statutory limits on seeking damages in medical malpractice suits.
Speak to our Cooper City medical malpractice attorney at the Law Offices of Bradley Hartman to find out how much you can recover in economic and non-economic damages in your particular case. Let our skilled lawyers help you obtain the compensation that you truly deserve. Get a free consultation by calling our offices at 954-438-1000 or fill out this contact form.