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Medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in America, and capping damages for lawsuits does little to deter physicians and hospitals from harming another patient in the future. Several states put a limit on the amount of compensation a patient or a surviving family member can receive in a medical malpractice settlement. In Florida, there is no cap on economic damages such as medical expenses and lost income, but there is a cap on the amount of non-economic damages, which includes pain and suffering.
The highest amount of compensation a Florida plaintiff can receive for non-economic damages is $500,000 against practitioners or $750,000 against non-practitioners. While this limit is lower in other states such as Texas where the cap is $250,000, it still creates a dangerous situation for victims, their families and all future patients of the doctor and/or hospital at fault.
The cap on damages gives doctors, nurses and hospitals minimal incentive to prevent medical errors and negligence from occurring in the future. For example, a physician who is found negligent for causing one or more severe birth injuries should likely be let go by the hospital and lose his or her license. Due to the cap, the doctor receives the equivalent of a slap on the wrist, as the compensation is typically paid through medical malpractice insurance.
What’s more, Florida law puts a cap on punitive damages (which serve the sole purpose of punishing the physician responsible) unless the patient provides proof that the medical professional meant to do him or her harm.
Medical malpractice law in Florida is complicated. You need an experienced lawyer to handle your case and make sure you receive all of the compensation you’re owed for your injuries or the wrongful death of a loved one.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice or negligence, please call our lawyers in Orlando today at (407) 712-7300 for a FREE consultation. Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter serve clients in Orlando, Florida and nationwide.