Little Known Medical Malpractice Law Could Affect You
A little-known Florida medical malpractice law can prevent lawsuits against healthcare providers in certain circumstances that has the potential to affect your medical malpractice claims. Couples that live together, even for years or decades, are limited in their ability to bring medical malpractice lawsuits on behalf of their loved ones in fatal malpractice cases if they are not officially married in Florida. An experienced medical malpractice attorney, like those at Gary Roberts & Associates, can review the facts of your claim and explain your legal options after a medical malpractice case results in death.
Florida Medical Malpractice Law
Cases where medical malpractice has been clearly established have been prevented by a little-known Florida law from being properly adjudicated by the court, and families of loved ones lost to medical provider negligence have been banned from collecting full compensation for their loss. Under the current Florida law, if a person is killed due to medical malpractice, and that person does not have a surviving spouse or a surviving minor child, then no one is allowed to collect damages for mental distress or pain and suffering. The law states that a surviving minor child must be under the age of 26 years old in order to file a claim for wrongful death in a medical malpractice case.
The original purpose of this law was to encourage doctors and other healthcare professionals to move to Florida and practice medicine as the population of Florida, in particular the elderly population, started to grow considerably. This law was meant as an added layer of protection against medical malpractice claims, which in turn promised lower medical malpractice insurance bills for medical professionals.
Effects on Your Medical Malpractice Case
With people living longer and choosing to live in situations outside of traditional marriage, this law has the potential to significantly affect loving couples and families living in Florida. Recent estimates claim that around four million older adults are living together in loving relationships but unmarried nationwide, and many of these couples are elderly and living in Florida.
In addition, Florida does not recognize common law marriage, where a couple is presumed married after living together for a certain number of years. This means that even if a couple lives together in a relationship and holds themselves out as husband and wife or as domestic partners is not enough. Couples must have a marriage license in order to pursue a medical malpractice claim if their loved one dies as a result of medical negligence or recklessness.
Call or Contact Our Office Today
Losing a loved one is never easy, and when that loss happens because of the negligence of a healthcare provider it can be even more devastating for the victim’s loved ones. To learn more about your legal options following the death of a loved one to medical malpractice, call or contact the skilled West Palm Beach medical malpractice attorneys at Gary Roberts & Associates today to schedule a free and confidential consultation of your case.