The term “statute of limitations” is the amount of time you have by law to file a lawsuit. The statute of limitations under FL § 95.11 for medical malpractice in Florida is usually two years from the negligent act, but sometimes you can get a little more time.
Every kind of lawsuit, such as medical malpractice, breach of contract, or personal injury case, has a statute of limitations. These deadlines vary depending on the grounds of the litigation and every state determines its own timeline.
How Florida Measures the Time You Have to Bring a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Depending on your situation, you might have two years, four years, or a different deadline for filing a medical malpractice case in Florida. Here are some of the main possibilities:
- Two years from the date of the incident. Let’s say that the harm from medical negligence is apparent right away. For example, a surgeon accidentally cut the spinal cord during back surgery, and the patient cannot walk. The patient will have two years from the date of the operation to file the legal action.
- Two years from the date the patient discovered the incident. Sometimes the patient does not realize immediately that the doctor made a mistake. By way of example, a doctor performs a vasectomy on a man for birth control. Six months later, the man’s partner gets pregnant, and DNA tests show the baby to be the offspring of the man who had the surgery. The man has two years from that point to file a lawsuit for medical malpractice.
- Two years from the date that the patient should have discovered the incident. In the previous example, the patient should have realized that the pregnancy was the result of a failed vasectomy when the DNA tests proved that he was the father. He cannot wait for several years to bring legal action.
- Florida law usually puts an outer limit of four years to file a lawsuit from the date of the incident if there was a delayed discovery of the harm.
- If the health care provider committed fraud, concealment, or intentional misrepresentation of facts that delayed or prevented the plaintiff from discovering the injury, Florida law can add on up to two years from the date on which the injured person eventually discovered or should have discovered the incident.
- The outer limit for filing a lawsuit is seven years from the incident when there has been fraud or other misconduct that delayed or prevented the discovery of the harm.
- The time limits are different when a child is the victim of medical malpractice. Several factors will determine the amount of time to bring a lawsuit for a child victim.
Contact a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Right Away
FL § 766.106 requires a specific, sometimes lengthy process before filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. We will have to investigate the claim, obtain copies of your medical records, review the evidence, and give the defendant 90-days’ notice of the intent to file a medical malpractice action.
Contact the Montero Law Center right away, so we have enough time to help you before the deadline runs out on your medical malpractice case. Call today at (954) 767-6500 for a free consultation.