What Is The Statute Of Limitations For Florida Birth Injuries Cases?
All US states impose deadlines on when someone can bring legal action for any type of case, from criminal charges and breach of contract claims to vehicle crashes and other accidents. In medical malpractice lawsuits alleging negligence by health care providers, the Florida statute of limitations is two years. If the injured patient does not file a lawsuit before it expires, he or she is barred from recovering any compensation. There are some exceptions and circumstances that “toll” or stop the clock, giving the plaintiff more time to initiate litigation.
Birth injuries are an example of where the med mal statute of limitations is extended. These claims involve medical errors during pregnancy, labor, delivery, or post-delivery care. They may be a type of personal injury case and fall under the umbrella of medical malpractice, but birth injury matters are a separate section under the statute of limitations. A Tampa medical malpractice attorney can describe the deadlines that apply to your case, and a summary is also informative.
Overview Statute of Limitations for Birth Injuries: Whenever a child is the victim of personal injuries, including medical malpractice, there are special time restrictions because of capacity issues. Minors operate under a legal disability, so they cannot file a lawsuit to seek damages for birth injuries. Of course, parents also have standing to sue on behalf of the child. The Florida statute of limitations for child victims of medical malpractice takes these factors into account in establishing deadlines:
- Parents have 2 years from the date the birth injuries occurred to file a lawsuit.
- They may get up to 4 years under the “discovery” rule if the incident giving rise to birth injuries could not be discovered through proper diligence.
- Despite the 2- and 4-year deadlines, parents can still file a birth injuries lawsuit up until the child’s eighth birthday.
- When there has been fraud, concealment of birth injuries, or other intentional misrepresentations, parents have 7 years from the date of the harm. Again, parents still have up to the child’s eighth birthday to initiate litigation.
Do Not Delay Despite Deadlines: Even the shortest statute of limitations at 2 years is a long time when you are incurring medical bills for your child’s care, possibly missing work, and enduring significant pain and suffering. Therefore, you should not view these deadlines as a reason to wait to pursue a birth injuries claim. When you take prompt action, you move the legal process along and may receive compensation faster. Plus, medical malpractice claims rely heavily on evidence and recollections of the parties and other witnesses, both of which can deteriorate over time.
Keep in mind that it may be good reason to wait if physicians are still assessing birth injuries to issue a proper diagnosis and prognosis for your child’s future.
Contact a Florida Birth Injuries Lawyer to Discuss Strategies with Timing
It is always a wise strategy to move promptly with legal action, and our team at Greco & Wozniak P.A. is ready to get started with the legal process. Please call 813.223.7849 or go online today to schedule a free case review at our offices in Tampa, FL.