Can I File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Outside the Statute of Limitations?


When a person is harmed due to a doctor’s, surgeon’s, or other medical provider’s negligence, he or she may file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Common types of medical malpractice issues include diagnosis errors, surgical errors, and general treatment errors. However, a victim of medical malpractice may only file a lawsuit before the expiration of the deadline to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. This deadline is known as the statute of limitations. In Florida, a medical malpractice victim has up to four years to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, and he or she is required to file a lawsuit within two years of discovering his or her injuries. However, as we discuss below, there are a few exceptions to the medical malpractice filing deadline. 


One exception to the Florida medical malpractice statute of limitations relates to fraud. If a medical provider engaged in fraud, and this resulted in harm to a patient, the victim has an additional two years from the date that the injury was discovered to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, even when fraud is involved, a person can’t file a medical malpractice lawsuit if more than seven years have passed since the event occurred. 


Another exception to the statute of limitations for medical malpractice relates to underage victims. In Florida, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice is extended for children under the age of eight. Children sometimes experience delayed symptoms of illnesses and injuries caused by medical malpractice, so this exception provides extra time for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. A child’s representative is permitted to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Florida up until a child turns eight.


In Florida, medical malpractice victims are permitted to seek three types of damages: compensatory, non-economic, and punitive. Compensatory damages compensate victims for tangible losses, such as medical expenses and lost wages. Non-economic damages cover losses related to pain and suffering. Finally, punitive damages are sometimes available to victims in cases that involve gross negligence. Therefore, punitive damages are rarely awarded, as most cases of medical malpractice are caused by simple negligence. However, unless one of the above exceptions apply, a medical malpractice victim must file his or her lawsuit within four years of the event and within two years of discovering his or her injuries.  

Contact our medical malpractice attorney today! 

If you have suffered injuries due to the negligence of your medical provider in Florida, you may be entitled to financial compensation. However, in order to ensure that you file your lawsuit within the statute of limitations, you need an experienced Florida medical malpractice attorney on your side. Located in Pensacola, Florida, Staples, Ellis + Associates, P.A., has over seventy years of combined experience assisting Florida’s medical malpractice victims to obtain the compensation they deserve. Please contact our office today to arrange a consultation with one of our talented Florida medical malpractice attorneys.

Posted in: Medical Malpractice