The statute of limitations in laymen’s terms means the allotted amount a time a person has to legally file an action. Determining the length of the statute of limitations in a lawsuit is one of the first steps in a case.
Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice in Florida
Every state determines how the statute of limitations works. It is up to the state to decide how long someone has to file a lawsuit depending on the case in question. The statute of limitations may look different for medical malpractice and premise liability, and these might limitations may look different in California and Florida. It’s important to keep in mind that the statute of limitations is only for one state and one type of case.
For Florida, the statute of limitations for filing for a medical malpractice scenario is two years from the discovery of the incident. Discovery means obtaining the initial information that a medical malpractice scenario took place. For example, if a doctor were to amputate the wrong hand of a patient accidentally, this malpractice would be discovered the moment the patient woke from his anesthetic. This means the patient would have two years to file his claim for medical malpractice from the date of his surgery.
However, other medical malpractice scenarios are not immediately discoverable. Say a doctor forgot to take a medical instrument out of someone before they closed the wound. The patient may not realize that they are walking around with a screw in their side for a couple of weeks. If the patient comes back to the doctor and the screw is found, the patient now has two years from the date of discovery to file her claim.
The only catch here is that no action can be taken later than four years from the initial occurrence of the accident. If the patient had not realized that a screw was in their side for four years, they would no longer be able to file a lawsuit for medical malpractice despite the initial discovery happening four years after the event.
Click here to learn how you can know if you have a medical malpractice case.
Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations Anomalies
Under certain circumstances, the statute of limitations may extend longer. These anomalies include:
- Medical malpractice involving a minor under the age of eight.
Children might not show the symptoms of malpractice for an extended period. For example, brain injuries that result from medical malpractice involving delivery may not be discoverable until the child is older. For this reason, a family may file an action from two years of discovery for any medical malpractice that occurred to their child while he or she is under the age of eight.
- Medical malpractice involving intentional fraud or concealment.
If the information given by a practice was intentionally concealed or fraudulent, a Florida medical malpractice lawsuit may be filed as long as it is before seven years from the initial date of occurrence. This means if fraud or concealment was a part of someone’s medical malpractice situation, they gain an extra three years from the date of occurrence to legally file suit.
Determining your Statute of Limitations
As you can see, determining the statute of limitations is not easy. If you need assistance in identifying if you have a medical malpractice case, we can help. Stewart Tilghman Fox Bianchi & Cain, P.A. is a Florida law firm that gets results for those who suffer from medical malpractice. Just recently, our firm secured a $15,000,000 verdict for a minor client who obtained cerebral palsy due to medical malpractice. Our medical malpractice attorneys have secured millions of dollars for clients who had no other option than to fight for their rights.
If you need immediate answers concerning any medical malpractice case, contact our firm now for guidance and peace of mind. Call (305) 770-6335 for a free consultation concerning your case.