How Florida’s Statute of Limitations Applies to Cancer Misdiagnosis
While your focus is usually on treatment and recovery from a situation involving the failure to diagnose cancer, there’s a very important concept that you should note about your rights. The
Florida statute of limitations affects a medical malpractice claim in a very profound way, restricting the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit. Any amount of time that’s measured in years may seem far away, but you’d be surprised how quickly it expires. Since you’re barred from recovering any compensation for your losses after the deadline, you should get a firm grasp on some of the basic concepts – and how they apply in a unique way in cases regarding a medical mistake.
A Florida cancer misdiagnosis lawyer can offer specific details after reviewing your circumstances, but you can read on for a background on how the statute of limitations works.
Synopsis of Florida’s Statute of Limitations: In short, in any case involving medical malpractice, Florida provides you two years from the date that the injury-causing incident occurred. When your claim centers on the failure to diagnose cancer, this might be the date that a health care provider erred by:
- Failing to detect the symptoms;
- Neglecting to conduct additional screenings in the presence of potential signs of cancer;
- Failing to contact and communicate with you or other health care providers regarding your diagnosis;
- Diagnosing you with cancer when you don’t have it, commonly referred to as a false positive diagnosis; or
- Other conduct that deviates from the medical standard of care that other providers would have offered under similar circumstances.
The “Discovery” Rule: While the default statute of limitations is two years, there’s one key exception that’s important in medical malpractice claims – and which is a frequent issue when the claim involves a failure to diagnose cancer. It’s often the case that you can’t pinpoint the date that the physician made an error in detecting your medical condition. If you didn’t receive a diagnosis, you may not know that you suffered injuries or other harm for quite some time. As such, Florida’s statute of limitations includes a discovery rule, which allows you two additional years from:
- The point where you discovered the medical error, i.e., that your doctor failed to issue a proper diagnosis; OR
- The date that you should have discovered the mistake through the exercise of due diligence.
Through the discovery rule, you could potentially get up to four years from the date of the incident that led to your harm, but no more. You should note that, when the victim of a cancer misdiagnosis is a child, the statute of limitations doesn’t bar a claim brought before his or her 8th birthday.
Get in Touch with a Florida Cancer Misdiagnosis Attorney Right Away
This general information on Florida’s statute of limitations should convince you that quick action is essential if you believe that you suffered harm from a physician’s failure to diagnose cancer. To get started right away with a claim for medical malpractice, please contact the Miami failure to diagnose cancer lawyers at Freidin Brown, P.A. You can speak to a member of our team and set up a free consultation regarding your legal options.