There are two primary types of damages that can be sought in a medical malpractice case:
- Economic Damages. These include hospital bills, lost wages, adaptive technologies, rehabilitation, and all other demonstrable expenses incurred due to the injury
- Noneconomic Damages. These include physical pain, emotional suffering, and similarly intangible damages
For years, the state of Florida capped noneconomic damages at $500,000 for medical malpractice that resulted in serious injury and $1,000,000 for malpractice that resulted in death or put the patient in a vegetative state. While these statutes are still “on the books,” the court has deemed them unconstitutional, making them unenforceable.
What is the Cap on Damages in Florida Medical Malpractice Cases?
In its 2017 ruling in the case, North Broward Hospital District v. Kalitan, the Florida Supreme Court found that caps on medical malpractice claims violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Florida Constitution. This means that, while there is a statutory cap on damages for medical malpractice claims in Florida, there is no real cap placed on these damages in our state.
In other words, yes, there is a cap but, no, it is not enforceable. You are entitled to seek compensation commensurate with your actual damages following injury from a negligent healthcare provider in Florida. However, having the right and actually getting compensation are two very different things.
You Need an Attorney
According to the National Institutes of Health, victims of medical malpractice are seldom the victors in these claims. In fact, physicians win 50-90% of all medical malpractice cases – even those that go to trial. Without an attorney on your side, your chances for securing fair compensation are slim at best.
At Hickey Law Firm, we investigate claims of medical malpractice to help identify all instances of negligence. We use this information to build strong cases for our clients and we prepare each claim for trial, even if it is likely to settle in mediation. In this way, we can provide the most effective representation regardless of the course the claim takes.
Do you need a medical malpractice lawyer? Call Hickey Law Firm at (305) 371-8000 to schedule your free case review today.