Is There A Medical Malpractice Statute Of Limitations in Florida?
Medical malpractice lawsuits in Florida have a statute of limitations. What that means is that you have a certain amount of time to file the case with the courts. If the case has not been brought, the patient loses all rights to sue the doctor. Each state has specific guidelines to follow. Some limitations are a mere six months while others are up to six years. There are some cases that may not be as restrictive as that and go far beyond the four year period.
There are sometimes exceptions to the statute of limitations depending on the state. Florida is notorious not making exceptions in medical malpractice statute of limitations, even where children are involved. That recently changed and the law now allows the child’s case to be heard up to six years beyond his or her eighth birthday. If the statute of limitations has passed in the medical malpractice case, it will be disallowed.
There are several reasons why it is important to talk to a medical malpractice attorney as soon as there is any indication that there the case is strong enough to bring suit. The first is that many attorneys will only take a case if there is enough time to prepare the case prior to filing in court. Since investigations into the matter can take several months, an attorney needs as much time as possible to prepare. A case cannot be presented to the lawyer one day and filed in court the next. Do not wait until the last minute to discuss it with the attorney. Another thing to consider is that important evidence can be destroyed when waiting too long to get aid from an attorney. An attorney can find evidence that the client might overlook. This includes the original copies of medical records for the patient.
Florida’s statute of limitations on most malpractice cases is six years. The time limit does not cover all cases and can sometimes cut it off to four years. Considering the unstable climate regarding statute of limitations, calling an attorney immediately cannot be stressed enough. The attorney may file the suit up to the last business day of the statute of limitations. The suit will be dismissed if it is even one day late.