Medical malpractice lawsuits are a grave matter, and as such, they tend to involve very high stakes. The payouts for medical injury lawsuits in Florida are normally very high, reaching over a million dollars in extreme cases. As such, defendants will do everything in their power to fight back and reduce this amount.
So, is there a cap on medical malpractice in Florida? As it turns out, this is not as simple a question as it may appear. Several different factors affect whether or not Florida limits medical malpractice damages in specific cases. Additionally, some recent Florida Supreme Court rulings are likely to alter the status quo concerning capping medical malpractice damages.
To answer this question thoroughly, we’ll have to go into some detail. Read on below for a more thorough understanding of medical malpractice lawsuits in Florida.
Florida Supreme Court Ruling on Medical Malpractice Caps
The final factor that complicates the answer to the question “Is there a cap on medical malpractice in Florida?” is the 2017 Florida Supreme Court decision in North Broward Hospital District v. Kalitan. In this case, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that caps on medical malpractice damages written in the statutes were unconstitutional. The decision was reached on account of the perception that these limitations were arbitrarily interpreted and enforced.
As a result of this decision, while the statutes delineate the aforementioned caps on paper, they are not usually enforced in practice. As this is a rather complex legal situation, speaking with top rated injury lawyers in Boca Raton, FL would be advisable if you have questions about your specific medical malpractice case.
Does Florida Put a Cap on Medical Malpractice Damages in 2022?
As of January 2022, the Florida Supreme court has ruled that caps on non-economic damages are unconstitutional. While the Florida Statutes still list monetary caps for 2021, these will likely be updated in the future. In short, there are no longer caps on medical malpractice claims in the state Florida. This applies to both economic and non-economic damages.
Economic vs. Non-Economic Damages
In Florida, there are no caps on economic damages. This means that when it comes to compensating the plaintiff for their medical payments and loss of income that occurred due to the medical malpractice in question, the damages cannot be limited. The plaintiff has to sue for enough money to cover the cost of both past and future healthcare needs that are a direct result of the malpractice.
However, when suing for non-economic damages, some limits can affect the amounts. This applies to suing for abstract things like anxiety, trauma, mental anguish, pain, suffering, loss of companionship, and other factors like this. Because these concepts are subjective and difficult to monetize, a cap is applied to the damages associated with these specific complaints.
Florida Statutes on Medical Malpractice Still Not Updated
Florida Statutes pertaining to medical negligence have not been updated since the Supreme Court ruling.
Previously the cap on non-economic malpractice damages was set at $500,000 for most cases. A few specific factors could cause this cap to be extended to $1 million for certain cases, such as in the event of wrongful death, extremely severe injuries, or if the plaintiff has been put in a vegetative state as a result of the malpractice.
The same monetary limitations, as they apply to defendants who are non-practitioners, were $750,000 and $1.5 million, respectively.
Get Quality Legal Representation Today
This guide will serve as a good starting point for your lawsuit. But, you will need an expert attorney to provide advice specific to your situation and represent you in court. Florida also requires you jump over many hurdles before officially filing your claim.
If you are interested in suing for medical malpractice in Florida, legal representation can assist you with your case. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our Florida medical injury attorneys to find out how our firm can assist during this difficult time.