Exceptions to Florida’s Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice

Stethoscope and scales of justice, medical malpractice.

When an individual suffers injuries due to the negligence of a medical provider, such as a doctor or surgeon, the victim may file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Medical malpractice is common in Florida, with the most common types being surgical errors, diagnosis errors, and general treatment errors. However, financial compensation is only available to victims who file their lawsuits before the expiration of the medical malpractice filing deadline (also known as the statute of limitations). Under Florida law, a victim of medical malpractice has no more than four years to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, and he or she must file a lawsuit within two years of the discovery of the injuries. However, there are exceptions to the statute of limitations for medical malpractice in Florida. Below is an overview of these exceptions. 

What Are the Exceptions to Florida’s Statute of Limitations?

Age Exception

One exception to Florida’s statute of limitations for medical malpractice applies to underage victims. Specifically, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice is extended to children under eight years old. The reasoning behind this exception is that young children sometimes experience delayed symptoms of injuries and illnesses caused by medical malpractice. For example, certain types of brain injuries don’t manifest until children reach school age. A representative may file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Florida up until a child’s eighth birthday.

Fraud Exception

Another exception to the medical malpractice statute of limitations applies if the medical provider engaged in fraud. Fraud extends the filing deadline an additional two years from the date the injury was discovered. However, even when fraud is present, a medical malpractice lawsuit cannot be filed if more than seven years have passed since the malpractice occurred. 

Damages in Medical Malpractice Cases 

Medical malpractice victims in Florida may seek three main types of damages: compensatory, non-economic, and punitive damages. Compensatory damages in medical malpractice cases cover tangible losses, such as lost wages and medical expenses. Non-economic damages in Florida medical malpractice cases address losses related to pain and suffering. Finally, punitive damages apply in cases involving gross negligence by a medical provider. Thus, punitive damages are rarely awarded, as most cases of medical malpractice involve simple negligence. However, as noted above, in order to be eligible for financial compensation, a medical malpractice victim must file his or her case in a timely manner.  

Contact our medical malpractice attorney today! 

If you are a victim of medical practice in Florida, you may be entitled to financial compensation. However, in order to ensure that you meet the statutory deadline for filing (or to determine your eligibility for an exception), 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 as soon as possible to set up a consultation with one of our talented Florida medical malpractice attorneys.

Posted in: Medical Malpractice