What are the Limitations on Pain and Suffering in Medical Malpractice Cases in Florida?
Medical malpractice law is complex, and you may not always receive straightforward answers to your questions. When you have a case that involves pain and suffering, you need to know Florida’s limitations and how they affect you.
Laws can change, and in Florida, you have a limited time to file a lawsuit for pain and suffering. How do limitations on pain and suffering in medical malpractice cases in Florida affect you?
A knowledgeable and experienced medical malpractice lawyer at Berman Law Group can guide you through your medical malpractice case. Consider these limits when you want to sue for pain and suffering.
Types of Limitations on Pain and Suffering Cases
If you believe you are a victim of medical malpractice, you should know that you have a time limit for beginning your lawsuit. Pain and suffering cases also limit the damages you can expect to receive from your settlement.
The Statute of Limitations
Before you even consider filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, you must consider that you have a specific amount of time to do so. This period, known as the statute of limitations, is two to four years in Florida.
The time starts counting down once you learn that the medical malpractice took place. For example, you may have seen a doctor for your symptoms three years ago and received a diagnosis. However, if you learn two years after that visit that your doctor did not run the right tests and misdiagnosed you, the statute of limitations begins when you learn of that misdiagnosis.
Financial Limitations on Pain and Suffering
When dealing with medical malpractice, your pain and suffering may feel unquantifiable. You may face lasting effects from the injury to yourself or a family member. You may even need to cope with the loss of a loved one that could have been prevented.
Under Florida law, pain and suffering as a result of medical malpractice is considered non-economic damage. That does not mean you haven’t experienced financial issues, but it does mean that matters like medical costs or loss of income are handled differently.
There’s no easy way to determine the value of your pain and suffering. You can easily calculate medical bills and missed paychecks. However, pain and suffering due to medical malpractice vary from one person to the next.
Examining a variety of factors will help the court determine your award for pain and suffering. In the state of Florida, the limit used to be $500,000 for most cases until 2017.
Changes to Pain and Suffering Limitations
In 2007, a dental assistant from Broward County had surgery to treat her carpal-tunnel syndrome. After the surgery, she had severe damage to her esophagus due to medical malpractice during anesthesia.
The jury decision resulted in an award of $4 million, which the court then reduced due to the cap on non-economic damages.
Following an appeal process, the Florida Supreme Court decided that the limitation on pain and suffering in medical malpractice was unconstitutional, and the caps violated equal protection rights.
What Do These Changes Mean for You?
When trying to figure out a dollar amount to compensate for pain and suffering, the court may consider:
- Your age
- The extent of your injuries
- Potential future difficulties
- Any pre-existing conditions you may have
If a health care professional fails to meet an appropriate standard and leaves you disfigured, suffering from severe anxiety or mental anguish, or you have a loss of enjoyment of life, you are a victim of medical malpractice.
Due to the Florida Supreme Court decision, your award for pain and suffering due to medical malpractice no longer has a $500,000 limit. Instead, you have the chance to be fairly and fully compensated.
Finding a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Florida
If you believe you’ve suffered medical malpractice, the Berman Law Group can help. As a medical malpractice law firm, we have extensive experience in medical malpractice cases.
We don’t limit ourselves in the fight for our clients’ rights. We dedicate ourselves to our work, and we treat our clients with compassion. Our firm has medical malpractice lawyers in Florida cities including:
- Boca Raton
- Deerfield Beach
Contact a medical malpractice attorney from Berman Law Group at 561-660-9995 for answers and advice regarding your case.
Disclaimer: The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.
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