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Florida Medical Liability/Malpractice Statutes of Limitation
All states have set deadlines for when a patient may file a civil claim, known as statutes of limitation, for medical liability and malpractice claims. The majority of the states have special provisions regarding the time limits for minors to file medical liability and malpractice claims. Twenty-two states have special provisions regarding foreign objects.
Fla. Stat. §95.11 Two years from injury or discovery, no more than four years from injury. If fraud, concealment of injury or intentional misrepresentation prevented discovery within four-year period, two year additional extension from discovery, not to exceed seven years after the act. Minors: age 8.
Florida Medical Liability/Medical Malpractice Laws
Damage Award Limit or Cap
§766.118. Noneconomic damages limited to $500,000 per claimant. Noneconomic damages shall not exceed $1 million for cases involving death or permanent vegetative state, or 1) a manifest injustice would occur unless increased noneconomic damages are awarded, based on a finding that because of the special circumstances of the case, the noneconomic harm sustained by the injured patient was particularly severe; and 2) The trier of fact determines that the defendant's negligence caused a catastrophic injury to the patient. Noneconomic damages limited to $150,000 per claimant for cases arising from medical negligence of practitioners providing emergency services and care, the total noneconomic damages recoverable by all claimants from all such practitioners shall not exceed $300,000.
§768.73. Punitive damages limited to the greater of three times amount of compensatory damages or $500,000. Where the wrongful conduct was motivated solely by unreasonable financial gain and the unreasonably dangerous nature of the conduct, together with the high likelihood of injury resulting from the conduct, was actually known by the managing agent, director, officer, or other person responsible for making policy decisions on behalf of the defendant, the amount of punitive damages shall not to exceed the greater of four times the amount of compensatory damages or $2 million. Where the defendant had a specific intent to harm, and the defendant's conduct did in fact harm the claimant, there shall be no cap on punitive damages.
Limits on Attorney Fees
Florida Constitution, Article I, Section 26. In any medical liability claim involving a contingency fee, the claimant is entitled to receive no less than 70 percent of the first $250,000 in all damages received by the claimant, exclusive of reasonable and customary costs, whether received by judgment, settlement, or otherwise, and regardless of the number of defendants. The claimant is entitled to 90 percent of all damages in excess of $250,000, exclusive of reasonable and customary costs and regardless of the number of defendants.
Fla. Atty. Conduct Reg. §4-1.5. Attorneys’ fees in excess of the following amounts are presumed unreasonable: (1) In cases that settle before filing an answer or appointing an arbitrator: 33-1/3 percent of any recovery up to $1 million; plus 30 percent of any recovery between $1 million and $2 million; plus 20 percent of any portion exceeding $2 million. (2) In cases after filing an answer, demanding an arbitrator through the entry of judgment: 40 percent of any recovery up to $1 million; plus 30 percent of any recovery between $1 million and $2 million; plus 20 percent of any portion exceeding $2 million. (3) If all defendants admit liability and request a trial only on damages: 33-1/3 percent of any recovery up to $1 million; plus 20 percent of any recovery between $1 million and $2 million; plus 15 percent of any portion exceeding $2 million. An additional five percent of any recovery after institution of any appellate proceeding is filed or post-judgment relief or action is required for recovery on the judgment.
§768.78. In any action for damages based on personal injury or wrongful death arising out of medical malpractice, whether in tort or contract, in which the trier of fact makes an award to compensate the claimant for future economic losses, payment of amounts intended to compensate the claimant for these losses shall be made by one of the following means: 1. The defendant may make a lump-sum payment for all damages so assessed, with future economic losses and expenses reduced to present value; or 2. The court shall, at the request of either party, enter a judgment ordering future economic damages, as itemized pursuant to §768.77, to be paid by periodic payments rather than lump sum.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund
§766.105. Patient’s Compensation Fund
§766.301 et seq. Florida Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Plan
Medical or Peer Review Panels
§395.0193. Peer review
§766.101. Immunity for medical review committee