In the state of Florida, there are certain medical malpractice laws in place to protect the patients as well as the medical providers. If you believe that you were a victim of medical malpractice in Florida, you should understand the laws and your rights.
You should also contact a medical malpractice lawyer in West Palm Beach or elsewhere in Florida.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a physician or other healthcare professional deviates from their duties, causing you injury. In most cases, it is the negligence of the healthcare professional that causes the injury. The degree of the injury and the level of negligence has a great deal to do with the compensation that you would deserve.
Is There a Time Limit to File a Lawsuit?
The time limit that you have to file a lawsuit is also known as the statute of limitations. The statute varies from state to state, therefore, if you were treated by a healthcare professional in Florida, you should know how the statute of limitations in Florida medical malpractice laws work.
According to Florida law, you have to file a lawsuit within two years of the date that you discovered your injury. Also, it must be within four years of the date that the malpractice occurred.
There are a couple of exceptions to this rule. First, if it is proven that the healthcare provider fraudulently concealed the medical malpractice, the statute changes. In cases like this, you have seven years from the date that the malpractice occurred.
The second exception is in regards to a minor. The statute would not apply if the case is started on or before their 18th birthday.
What Are My Responsibilities Before Filing a Lawsuit?
Before you go to court in the state of Florida, you are required to inform the healthcare provider of your plans to sue. You would be required to obtain an affidavit from a suitable healthcare provider stating that you have a valid reason to file a medical malpractice claim. A medical malpractice attorney can help you acquire this.
As soon as the healthcare provider receives this information, the settlement process will last 90 days. The healthcare provider can choose not to settle within that 90-day period. If they choose this option, you will only have the remainder of the statute of limitations to file a lawsuit.
If you need more time, you can file for an extension called an investigation period. This would give you extra time to hire a medical malpractice lawyer to start investigating the case.
Are There Damage Caps on Florida Medical Malpractice Cases?
Under Florida law, there are caps regarding how much money you can receive in compensation. For example, if the healthcare professional’s negligence resulted in your pain and suffering, there would be a $500,000 cap placed on this portion of the settlement. If the medical professional’s negligence resulted in the death of their patient or a chronic vegetative state, there is a cap of $1,000,000.
How Long Before My Medical Malpractice Case in Florida Is Resolved?
If you are planning to file a medical malpractice suit against your healthcare professional, don’t expect it to be resolved quickly. In many cases, it can take months and even years for the case to be resolved.
This is because a medical malpractice case requires both legal and medical expertise and testimony. In most cases, you won’t even be dealing with the healthcare professional. Instead, you will be dealing with the healthcare professional’s medical malpractice insurance carrier.
These people have a great deal of knowledge regarding medical malpractice, therefore, they will fight very hard against your claim. This is why you should have a medical malpractice lawyer working for you. It is your best chance of receiving the compensation that you deserve.
If you are a victim of medical malpractice, you have the right to be compensated for your healthcare professional’s negligence. It is important that you understand how the medical malpractice laws in Florida work so that you have the best chance of being fairly compensated.