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Are medical malpractice claims limited in Florida?

In Florida, there were caps on the awards that could be given for medical malpractice claims. As of a report from June 28, the Florida Supreme Court has ruled these caps as unconstitutional. The court ruled them as unconstitutional because they limit the rights of patients to recover compensation for medical negligence.

As a patient who may need to recover damages, this is good news for you. Here are a few things you need to know about the ruling.

Why do noneconomic damage caps and other medical malpractice caps matter?

They limit a patient's right to compensation. Imagine being a person who suffers a serious, catastrophic injury because of a doctor's negligence. Now, imagine you're told you can't collect more than $250,000. It would seem arbitrary and have no real connection to your actual medical needs or the cost of the care you want to receive. That's the same issue the court had with the previous caps and why they're not constitutional today.

Why is it important to have medical malpractice caps, or should they be against the law?

Having no caps has the potential to raise doctors' insurance premiums and force practices out of business, but some would argue that it holds doctors accountable. Those who do their jobs to the best of their abilities have little to worry about, while those who are negligent are held accountable.

The rules regarding medical malpractice award caps may change again in the future. If you're injured, it's important to move your case forward while the courts are unable to limit your total award. That way, you have the best chance of getting all the compensation you need for your care.

Source: Insurance Journal, "Commentary: Florida High Court Med Mal Award Cap Ruling Ignores Market History," Robert E. White, Jr., accessed July 05, 2017

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