What is the statute of limitations for a Florida medical malpractice lawsuit?

Florida sets a strict time limit on when medical malpractice lawsuits can be filed. While other personal injury cases must be filed within four years of the accident, medical malpractice cases must be filed within two years.

The two-year period begins when the patient (or sometimes the patient’s parent, guardian or family member) knows or should have known that the injury had occurred and might have been caused by medical malpractice. The interpretation of this statute can be complicated by several different factors. For instance, there are many cases in which an injury or incident of malpractice may not be discovered for some time after it occurs.

In addition to the statute of limitations, there is also a statute of repose. This is a very strict rule which states that a health care provider may not be sued more than four years after the incident, even if it was not discovered until then. In cases of fraud or concealment, this may be extended to seven years. Also, in children’s cases, the statute of repose may not cut off a claim prior to the child’s eighth birthday.

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