Medical malpractice is a subset of personal injury law. However, the medical lobby is very powerful in Florida, and doctors have managed to get the legislature to draft special rules for them. Below, we highlight 5 of the most important medical malpractice laws you should know about.
Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations sets the deadline a person has for filing a lawsuit. There is a special statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims that can be found at Fla. Stat. § 95.11(4)(b). Generally, a person has 2 years from the date of medical treatment to file suit or 2 years from the date the victim discovered or should have discovered the malpractice.
Statute of Repose
The statute of repose is also discussed in section 95.11(4)(b). This is the maximum amount of time a victim has to sue, regardless of when they discovered the medical mistake. Under Florida law, the statute of repose is 4 years. After 4 years, you can’t sue.
However, there are some exceptions:
- If the case involves concealment, fraud, or intentional misrepresentation, then the statute of repose is at least 7 years.
- A minor has until his or her 8th birthday to bring a suit.
If you have been injured and suspect medical malpractice is to blame, do not delay speaking with an attorney. The sooner you contact our team, the better.
Per Fla. Stat. § 766.106(2), a medical malpractice plaintiff must give all defendants a notice of their intent to sue. This notice must be delivered by certified mail, return receipt requested. The notice should include specific information, such as a list of all medical providers the plaintiff met with in a 2-year period. A plaintiff cannot file suit without giving this notice.
Fla. Stat. § 766.106(3) also states that a plaintiff cannot file suit for 90 days after providing notice of their intent to sue. This waiting period is designed to give defendants a chance to investigate.
Informed Consent Requirement
Before a doctor can treat you, they typically must get your informed consent. Fla. Stat. § 766.103 requires that doctors follow the accepted standard of medical practice when obtaining it. A patient also cannot sue unless they show:
- the doctor did not generally describe the procedure
- the doctor did not explain the medically acceptable alternative treatments
- the doctor did not explain the substantial hazards and/or risks associated with the proposed treatment
In any event, a doctor can still defend by showing that the patient would have undergone the procedure anyway had they been provided with the required information.
Call Us Now
As you can see, there are all sorts of hurdles the legislature has thrown up to make suing a doctor difficult. For help with your case, contact Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum today at 305-371-2692 for a free consultation.