Medical malpractice can ruin lives with injury or death. It is important for you as a patient to be informed about this issue. Knowing your rights and having a qualified attorney can assist you in recovering damages from medical malpractice.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Common types of medical malpractice are failure to diagnose, or incorrectly diagnosing a medical condition, improper treatment that is outside standard medical practice, and failure to inform the patient fully of treatment options and known risks of treatment.
To prove medical malpractice, you must have evidence such as all doctor and hospital records. This is especially critical of patient malpractice information that is legally yours and cannot be withheld from you during a lawsuit. It is necessary, for you as the plaintiff during the court trial, to have a medical expert witness. The witness should be in the same field of medicine as the defendant or should have been in medical practice for a minimum of five years.
Statues of Limitations
It is important to understand there are limits for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in Florida. You must start a malpractice lawsuit within two years of discovering the injury or four years from when the injuries occurred. The law considers any lawsuits filed after this time to be invalid but with a few exceptions. Limitations are less stringent if a care provider fraudulently conceals the malpractice. The statute of limitations is then two years from when the injuries were finally discovered or seven years from when the malpractice occurred. The statute of limitations does not apply to a minor child if the case is started on or before the child’s eighth birthday. However, even in a case of fraud, there is a seven-year time limit before the child’s eighth birthday for filing a lawsuit.
Who is Liable?
Both medical practitioners and non-practitioners are liable for medical malpractice. Furthermore, hospitals can be responsible for non-employee physicians. This is a matter of corporate negligence where the hospital should be the supervising entity of those who work on its premises.
Florida has laws that cap damages in medical malpractice lawsuits. These caps apply to a plaintiff’s non-economic and subjective damages such as mental anguish, loss of companionship, anxiety, and pain and suffering. There are different caps for doctors and other licensed care practitioners and non-practitioners. Medical malpractice lawsuits have a $500,000 cap on non-economic damages against medical practitioners and the cap is up to $750,000 for non-practitioners. There are no limitations a plaintiff can recover for past and future medical care, lost income, lost future earning capacity, and other financial losses because of the malpractice.
Contact Farah & Farah to discuss your situation. You can reach us at (800) 533-3555.