When Can You File a Medical Malpractice Claim?

Learn the timelines and exceptions for filing a medical malpractice claim in Florida

Filing a medical malpractice claim involves navigating complex legal and medical issues, which is why it’s essential to understand the timing and requirements for filing such a claim. This guide will help you understand when you can file a medical malpractice claim, the critical timelines, exceptions, and tips to ensure your claim is filed on time.

Understanding Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional provides substandard care, resulting in harm to the patient. Examples include surgical errors, misdiagnosis, medication errors, and more. If you believe you have been a victim of medical malpractice, it’s important to act quickly due to the statute of limitations.

Statute of Limitations in Florida

In Florida, the statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice claim is generally two years from the date the injury was discovered, or reasonably should have been discovered. However, there are nuances to this rule:

  1. Discovery Rule: If the injury is not immediately apparent, the two-year period begins when the injury is discovered or should have been discovered with reasonable diligence.
  2. Statute of Repose: Regardless of when the injury is discovered, there is an absolute deadline of four years from the date of the malpractice. This means you cannot file a claim more than four years after the incident, even if you discover the injury later.
  3. Exceptions for Minors: For children under eight years old, the statute of limitations does not begin until their eighth birthday. However, claims must still be filed within seven years of the date of the malpractice.

Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations

There are certain exceptions where the statute of limitations may be extended:

  • Fraud: If the healthcare provider fraudulently concealed the malpractice, the statute of limitations can be extended to two years from the date of discovery of the fraud.
  • Foreign Objects: If a foreign object is left inside the patient’s body, the statute of limitations is extended to two years from the date of discovery of the object.

Steps to Take After Suspecting Medical Malpractice

  1. Seek a Second Opinion: Consult another medical professional to confirm whether malpractice occurred.
  2. Request Medical Records: Obtain all medical records related to your treatment.
  3. Consult an Attorney: Contact a qualified medical malpractice attorney to evaluate your case. Ehrlich & Naparstek can assist you in determining if you have a valid claim and guide you through the process.

Why Timing is Critical

Filing your claim within the specified timeframe is crucial. Missing the deadline can result in your case being dismissed, regardless of its merits. Therefore, it’s important to act promptly to protect your rights.

Contact Ehrlich & Naparstek for Assistance

If you believe you have a medical malpractice claim, it’s essential to seek legal advice immediately. Ehrlich & Naparstek’s experienced attorneys are here to help you navigate the complexities of medical malpractice claims. Contact us 24/7 at (772) 842-8822 (Stuart) or (561) 687-1717 (West Palm Beach and Boynton Beach) to schedule an appointment. Visit our office at 1330 SE Federal Hwy, Stuart, FL 34994.

Additional Resources

Conclusion

Understanding when you can file a medical malpractice claim is vital to ensuring your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you deserve. If you suspect you have been a victim of medical malpractice, don’t delay. Contact Ehrlich & Naparstek today for expert legal advice and representation.

 

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important PRODUCT LIABILITY FAQ

Answers from Ehrlich & Naparstek Personal Injury Lawyers

Get answers to the most frequently asked questions about personal injury cases from Ehrlich & Naparstek Personal Injury Lawyers. Learn about your legal rights, the claims process, and how to handle insurance companies effectively.

What is product liability in Florida?

Product liability refers to the legal responsibility of manufacturers, distributors, and sellers to ensure that products are safe for consumers. For more information, visit the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

What types of product defects can lead to a liability claim?

Liability claims can arise from manufacturing defects, design defects, and failure to provide adequate warnings or instructions. Learn more at the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Who can be held liable in a product liability case?

Manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, and retailers can all be held liable for defective products. For details, see the Florida Bar's Consumer Pamphlet: Product Liability.

What must be proven in a product liability case?

Plaintiffs must prove that the product was defective, the defect caused the injury, and the product was used as intended. Visit the Florida Courts for more information.

How long do I have to file a product liability claim in Florida?

The statute of limitations for product liability claims in Florida is four years from the date of injury. Refer to Florida Statutes Section 95.11 for more details.

What are some common examples of product liability cases?

Common examples include defective medical devices, unsafe drugs, malfunctioning machinery, and dangerous consumer products. Check the FDA's Recalls, Market Withdrawals, & Safety Alerts for recent cases.

Can I still file a claim if I was partially at fault for my injury?

Yes, Florida follows a comparative negligence rule, which means you can recover damages even if you were partially at fault. For more information, see Florida Statutes Section 768.81.

What should I do if I am injured by a defective product?

Seek medical attention, preserve the product, document your injuries, and contact a lawyer. For safety tips, visit the CPSC's Safety Education Center.

How do I report a defective product in Florida?

Report defective products to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and for state-specific issues, contact the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Can I join a class action lawsuit for a defective product?

Yes, if the product has injured many people, you might join a class action lawsuit. Learn more about class actions at the Florida Bar.

What is strict liability in product liability cases?

Strict liability holds manufacturers and sellers liable for defective products regardless of fault or intent. See Cornell Law School's Legal Information Institute for a detailed explanation.

What should I do if I am injured by a defective product?

Seek medical attention, preserve the product, document your injuries, and contact a lawyer. For safety tips, visit the CPSC's Safety Education Center.

How do I report a defective product in Florida?

Report defective products to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and for state-specific issues, contact the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

What are some defenses in a product liability case?

Common defenses include product misuse, alteration, and assumption of risk. For legal strategies, consult the National Association of Consumer Advocates.

How can Ehrlich & Naparstek help with my product liability case?

Ehrlich & Naparstek can provide expert legal representation to help you navigate your product liability claim and maximize your compensation. Contact us 24/7 at (772) 842-8822 (Stuart) or (561) 687-1717 (West Palm Beach) to schedule an appointment. Visit our office at 1330 SE Federal Hwy, Stuart, FL 34994.

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At Ehrlich & Naparstek, we offer comprehensive legal solutions across a broad spectrum of personal injury areas, ensuring our clients receive the dedicated and expert representation they deserve. Our seasoned attorneys are committed to championing the rights of injury victims and securing the compensation they are entitled to. Below is an overview of the key cities and each case type we service in Florida.

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Essential Personal Injury Tips

Guidance from Ehrlich & Naparstek Personal Injury Lawyers

Discover valuable tips and insights from Ehrlich & Naparstek Personal Injury Lawyers to navigate the complexities of personal injury cases. Whether you’ve been in an accident or need advice on dealing with insurance companies, our expert guidance will help you protect your rights and make informed decisions. Contact us 24/7 at (772) 842-8822 (Stuart) or (561) 687-1717 (West Palm Beach) to schedule an appointment