The injuries one sustains as a result of South Florida medical malpractice may last forever – but the time window in which you must initiate legal action does not.
As our Palm Beach medical malpractice attorneys can explain, there is generally a two-year statute of limitations for Florida medical malpractice claims. Generally, if you do not file your lawsuit within this window, your claim may be time-barred. These limits are set forth in F.S. 95.11(4)(b).
Although it’s true that often these cases are resolved through settlement negotiation, they are more complex than other types of personal injury claims. They require expert witnesses, extensive evidence, and a great deal of preparation. It’s often necessary to file a lawsuit just to preserve the claim so that we can continue negotiations. Settlements can often be beneficial to claimants because they can lead to faster resolutions and save the time/expense/emotional toll of a trial. Still, it’s important when hiring a Florida medical malpractice lawyer that you choose one with extensive experience, a track record of success in similar cases, and who is unafraid to take a case all the way to trial if necessary.
Note that the statute of limitations varies from state-to-state, so if you recently moved here from elsewhere, the time limits and requirements were probably different.
Are There Any Exceptions to the Two-Year Limit?
There are exceptions to the two-year statute of limitations for Florida medical malpractice claims, but they are limited in scope.
The clock starts ticking usually on the date of the incident. However, it might not start until the date you discovered or should have discovered the incident through the exercise of due diligence. So perhaps you were harmed by medical malpractice, but you didn’t know – and couldn’t have known – that was the cause right away. In those situations, the court will ask at what point you reasonably should have become aware there was an issue.
Despite this, there is a hard stop of four years from the date the incident occurred. This is referred to as the statute of repose. So let’s say you don’t discover your injuries or that the source of your injuries was medical malpractice until three years after it happened. In that situation, you would have just one year in which to file your claim.
To file any Florida medical malpractice case beyond four years, the fact pattern needs to reflect one of the following situations: Continue reading