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Defenses In Florida Medical Malpractice Claims

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If you suffered harm from medical malpractice by a Florida health care provider, you know that there are certain facts that you must prove to be entitled to compensation. Under the state medical negligence statute, you need to show that you suffered harm because a health care provider deviated from the relevant medical standard of care that applies to a particular specialty area. You meet this burden of proof when your evidence shows the physician did not act in a way that is acceptable and appropriate under the circumstances.

As with any litigation, the defendant has the opportunity to present evidence to the contrary and defeat your claim. In other words, you could have a plethora of proof to support your position, but defenses might apply. A Miami medical malpractice attorney will advise you on the details regarding the ways physicians and their lawyers fight these cases.

 Florida’s Statute of Limitations for Med Mal Cases 

Every US state applies a deadline for filing a lawsuit, and it is two years when you are seeking damages for negligence by a healthcare provider. The clock begins to run on the date that the incident giving rights to the case occurred, which is the day your physician made the injury-causing error. If you do not file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires, you are forever barred from recovering any monetary damages.

Note that the statute of limitations is tolled when the victim of medical malpractice is a minor, which is an issue in birth injury cases that cause harm to the infant.

Deadlines Under the “Discovery” Rule 

The nature of med mal claims means that a patient may not know that he or she has suffered harm until long after the underlying incident occurred. The Florida statute of limitations allows an exception in such a situation. You may have up to four years to file a lawsuit if you did not discover the implications right away. However, if you were not proactive in figuring out the harm through due diligence, the physician has a defense based upon timing. 

Contributory Negligence by YOU 

It might come as a surprise that your own actions impact your rights in a med mal claim. When your negligence contributes to your injuries, your compensation may be reduced. You would not be held to the same standard as a physician, but a patient also has responsibilities with respect to health care. Examples of negligence include:

  • Not following doctor’s orders
  • Skipping appointments
  • Failing to take prescribed medications
  • Continuing to engage in risky behaviors 

Consult with Our Florida Medical Malpractice Lawyers to Learn More 

At Freidin Brown, P.A., our team is well-versed in the tactics used by physicians, their attorneys, and insurance companies to avoid paying for your losses. We respond with solid strategies to reinforce your rights, whether we are fighting for you in court or discussing settlement. Please contact our offices in Miami or Fort Myers today to schedule a no-cost consultation. After reviewing your situation, we can explain the laws and legal process.

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