Valenzuela Law Firm, PA | Trial Attorney
Attorney Henry E. Valenzuela

Is there a time limit to filing a misdiagnosis lawsuit?

On Behalf of | May 21, 2024 | Misdiagnosis

Time is of the essence when filing a misdiagnosis lawsuit in Florida. The state imposes strict deadlines, known as the statute of limitations. If you fail to initiate legal action within this timeframe, the court might dismiss your case.

According to Florida law, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims, including those involving misdiagnosis, is two years from the time of discovery, with the exercise of due diligence. However, there are some additional rules under the law. For example, one states that the action should start within four years from the date the incident occurred or within four years from the termination of the doctor-patient relationship, whichever is earlier.

Exceptions to the statute of limitations

Still, there are a few exceptions to consider. For victims under the age of eight, the statute of limitations begins when the child turns eight. If fraud, concealment or intentional misrepresentation prevented the malpractice’s discovery, the statute extends seven years from when it is or should have been discovered. If a foreign body is discovered years after a procedure that causes injury, there is a two-year period from the discovery.

The discovery rule

Florida applies the “discovery rule” in misdiagnosis cases. This means the clock does not start until the patient knows or reasonably should have known about the misdiagnosis and resulting injury.

Every state has its own exceptions to the rule. If you are unsure and want a thorough investigation before moving forward with a lawsuit against the responsible parties, you may seek help from legal professionals who can advise you of your rights and guide you accordingly.

Taking prompt action is critical

While the statutes provide some flexibility, it is advisable to take action when you suspect a diagnostic error. Gathering evidence and building a strong case takes significant time, and delaying could jeopardize your ability to hold the negligent parties accountable.

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