Florida Medical Malpractice Laws

There is a cap on noneconomic damages in the amount of $500,000 per clamant that may not exceed $1 million for claims involving death or permanent vegetative state, with limited exceptions. For medical malpractice claims involving emergency medicine, the cap on noneconomic damages is $150,000 per claimant, not to exceed $300,000 for all claimants. The statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims is two years from the date of the injury or discovery, not to exceed four years from the date of injury. There is several liability but not joint liability. Attorney fees are limited so that the claimant receives no less than 70% of the first $250,000 (exclusive of reasonable costs) and 90% of the damages in excess of $250,000. The court is required to order periodic payments of future economic damages if requested by a party. Upon request of a party, the court may order nonbinding arbitration of medical malpractice claims that is not admissible during any subsequent trial. If nonbinding arbitration does not take place, mediation is mandatory and so is a settlement conference. The claimant must submit a verified written medical expert opinion at the time the notice of intent to initiate litigation is mailed. At the time of the initial court filing of a medical malpractice lawsuit, the attorney for the claimant must certify that an investigation revealed a good faith belief there are grounds for the claims against each defendant. Experts must be licensed and specialize in the same or similar specialty as the defendant and have devoted professional time within the past three years immediately preceding the incident in appropriate clinical, instructional, or clinical research activities.

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