Medical professionals complete years of schooling and training in order to their jobs. The presumption is that all of this preparation will give them the knowledge and skills they need to treat people in a manner that is both professional and compassionate. When a doctor is negligent, they are contradicting their training and endangering patients in the process. A doctor’s negligence can have life-altering consequences. If you have sustained injuries due to negligence, a lawyer can help. Pursuing a medical malpractice case can be difficult, but you do not have to do it alone. If you have questions about the West Palm Beach statute of limitations, get in touch with a knowledgeable medical malpractice attorney who can answer them.
Explaining the Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations is simply a time period in which if a person does not file their claim, then they will be barred from ever pursuing that claim.
For general negligence cases such as automobile accidents, it is four years. For medical malpractice cases in Florida, it is two years from when the person knew or should have known of the reasonable possibility of malpractice. Different cases can have different statutes of limitations.
Calculating the Statute of Limitations
For a medical malpractice case, the statute of limitations is calculated as running two years from when the person knew or should have known of the reasonable possibility of malpractice with a four-year cap called a statute of repose that says that if the malpractice occurred more than four years ago except in limited circumstances such as fraud or misrepresentation even if the person just learned about the malpractice, they are out of time and they will not be able to bring the claim.
The West Palm Beach statute of limitations itself does not differ for a minor or someone with disabilities but a statute of repose does in terms of the four years which is the statute of repose. For a minor, for example, the statute of repose is up to their eighth birthday.
Whether the trial goes beyond the statute of limitations is not as relevant as when the claim was filed. As long as the claim was filed within the statute of limitations, the trial can go on after the statute of limitations ends, without too much of an issue.
If the injured person was negligent themselves, that is called comparative negligence and to the extent that a jury says that they were comparatively negligent in causing them harm, that is going to reduce the settlement amount. If the determination is that the injured person was 25% at fault and the damages are $100,000 then the injured person would only recover $75,000.
Retaining the Services of a Lawyer
The determination of when the statute of limitations starts to run in a medical malpractice case can be very complicated and the longer that somebody waits to try to pursue their claim, the more at risk they are of missing the statute of limitations and being forever prevented from pursuing their case. An experienced, local attorney will be familiar with West Palm Beach statute of limitations and can better advise you on how to proceed with your case. If you have been injured as a result of medical negligence, time is of the essence. Do not hesitate to contact a lawyer.