Is there a time limit on when I can file a medical malpractice lawsuit?

Yes. Time limits on when you can file a lawsuit are called statutes of limitations. For medical malpractice lawsuits in Florida, the statute of limitations is two years from when the patient (or sometimes a family member or guardian) knew or should have known that the injury occurred and that there is a reasonable possibility that medical malpractice was the cause of the injury.

In addition to the statute of limitations, there is another rule in Florida, called a statute of repose. This rule states that, unless there is fraud, misrepresentation or concealment, a health care provider may not be sued, under any circumstances, more than four years after the alleged malpractice incident took place. This means that if a family discovers that medical malpractice occurred more than four years after the incident, they cannot recover compensation. However, the statute of repose cannot cut off a child’s malpractice claim prior to the child’s eighth birthday.

Statutes of limitations and statutes of repose can be complicated. The bottom line is that if you suspect that medical malpractice may have caused you or your child an injury, you should never delay consulting with an attorney. Even if you believe you are well within the statute of limitations, there are other important reasons why an attorney may recommend acting quickly.

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