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Negligent Security Seminar | March 2015

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    Understanding Florida’s Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Cases

    Whether you’re visiting a doctor’s office, hospital, dentist’s office or other medical facility, you entrust the practitioners caring for you to do their best to heal your ailments or at least alleviate your symptoms. Unfortunately, medical errors are common, often leaving patients in worse condition than before they sought care. In these situations, the injured patient or, if the medical error resulted in death, the patient’s family, may consider pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit against the provider or facility involved

    While medical malpractice cases can be an effective way to recover damages for the harms caused by a healthcare provider’s negligence, they must be filed within a strict time frame called the statute of limitations. In Florida, the standard statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases is only two years from the date the harm was discovered or reasonably could have been discovered. However, if the harms stemming from the malpractice could not have been discovered immediately, the statute of limitations may be extended to a maximum of four years. There are also two notable exceptions to these rules:

    • Minors. When the victim of malpractice is a child, the statute of limitations may be extended to his or her eighth birthday. The reason for this is that sometimes, young children do not display signs of a medical problem right away. For example, if malpractice that occurred during a child’s birth causes a mental or physical health condition, it may go unnoticed until the child starts experiencing developmental delays.
    • Fraud. If the patient discovers that a medical provider engaged in fraud or concealment, the statute of limitations may be extended for an additional two years from the time of discovery. However, even if fraud was involved, the case may not be filed more than seven years after the malpractice occurred.

    If you believe that you or a loved one has suffered injuries or illness due to a healthcare provider’s mistake, it’s crucial to get in touch with a qualified medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. At Leighton Law, our team has extensive experience representing victims of medical malpractice, and has secured some of the largest verdicts in state history on behalf of our clients. To request a consultation, call us today at 888.988.1774.

    Article by:

    John Leighton

    A nationally-recognized trial lawyer who handles catastrophic injury and death cases. He manages Leighton Law, P.A. trial lawyers, with offices in Miami and Orlando, Florida. He is President of The National Crime Victim Bar Association, author of the 2-volume textbook,Litigating Premises Security Cases, and past Chairman of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America’s Motor Vehicle, Highway & Premises Liability Section. Having won some of the largest verdicts in Florida history, Mr. Leighton is listed inThe Best Lawyers in America (14 years), “Top Lawyers” in the South Florida Legal Guide (15 years), Top 100 Florida SuperLawyer™ and Florida SuperLawyers (14 years), “Orlando Legal Elite” by Orlando Style magazine, and FloridaTrend magazine “Florida Legal Elite


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