What is the difference between the statute of limitations and the statute of repose for Florida medical malpractice lawsuits?

Florida sets certain time limits on medical malpractice lawsuits. The difference between the statute of limitations and the statute of repose is important to understand.

First, the statute of limitations states that a medical malpractice lawsuit cannot be filed more than two years from when the patient knew or should have known that an injury occurred and might have been caused by medical malpractice. So a patient may be able to file a lawsuit more than two years after an incident of medical malpractice if they did not discover it until later.

However, the statute of repose provides another type of time limit. It states that a health care provider may not be sued more than four years after an incident of malpractice, even if the patient did not discover it. If it can be proved that the health care provider committed fraud, concealment or misrepresentation, then this limit can be extended to seven years. Also, in children’s cases, the statute of repose cannot cut off a claim before the child’s eighth birthday.

It is important to note that the statute of limitations and the statute of repose are independent of each other, and if either one expires, then a claim cannot be brought. Interpretation of these statutes can be complex, so it is important to consult with a personal injury attorney.

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