Medical Malpractice: How Long do I Have to File a Claim in Florida?
Did you know that under Florida law you have a limited amount of time within which you are permitted to file a medical malpractice claim? This means that if you attempt to file a med mal claim in Florida after your statutorily prescribed time period has expired your claim will be barred and you will not be able to recover damages for your losses through the courts! Therefore, if you are considering filing a medical malpractice claim in Florida it is very important that you read this rest of this article carefully and then consult with a local personal injury attorney without delay in order to best avoid having your claim barred by Florida’s medical malpractice statute of limitations or statute of repose.
Florida’s Med Mal Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations is a law that restricts the timeframe within which a particular type of legal proceeding may be brought (aka filed). States impose statutes of limitation on a wide variety of different claims and crimes. For example, in Florida, we have separate statutes of limitation for general personal injury claims, libel/slander claims, injury to personal property claims, trespass claims, etc. We also have a statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims.
Florida’s medical malpractice statute of limitations is contained in section 95.11(4)(b) of the Florida Statutes and in relevant part states that an action for medical malpractice must be commenced within two years from the date on which the incident giving rise to the action occurred, or two years from the date that the incident is discovered (or should have been discovered with the exercise of due diligence). This seems pretty straightforward, right? Think again. Accurately calculating the date on which Florida’s two-year statute of limitation starts to run can be extremely tricky, especially in medical malpractice cases that involve an injury that did not immediately manifest itself. Additionally, to make matters even more complicated a medical malpractice plaintiff (i.e. the injured person who is suing) in Florida must also be careful to abide by our state’s medical malpractice statute of repose.
Florida’s Med Mal Statute of Repose
Florida’s medical malpractice statute of repose, also contained in section 95.11(4)(b) of the Florida Statutes, is a harsh rule which states that medical malpractice claims in Florida may not be filed in any case more than four years after the date on which the incident or occurrence out of which the cause of action accrued, unless the action is brought on behalf of a minor on or before the child’s eighth birthday. However, if the plaintiff can show that fraud, concealment, or the intentional misrepresentation of fact prevented the discovery of the injury then the plaintiff can file their claim anytime during the two years following the date on which the injury should have been discovered with the exercise of due diligence, so long as the claim is not filed more than seven years from the date on which the incident giving rise to the injury occurred.
Reach Out to Us for Help
While there are some recognized exceptions to the Florida laws outlined above, these exceptions only apply in a very limited number of circumstances and should not be relied upon if possible. Don’t risk having your medical malpractice claim barred by a statute of limitations or a statute of repose, contact the Mander Law Group today and get your claim filed as soon as possible. Give our Dade City office a call at (800) 557-0411.