Florida Supreme Court Declares Pain and Suffering Damage Caps Unconstitutional for Medical Malpractice Victims Who Survive The Malpractice
In a big win for Florida patients, the Florida Supreme Court recently ruled the existing damages caps on pain and suffering awards in medical malpractice cases where the victim survived the malpractice to be unconstitutional. These caps were put in place by the Florida Legislature as part of an effort to “fix” what the Legislature called a crisis in medical malpractice insurance for physicians. However, these caps often shortchanged patients who suffered catastrophic injuries as a result of a physician or other healthcare practitioner’s negligence in Florida.
The Florida Supreme Court had previously declared the statutory caps unconstitutional in cases involving medical malpractice where the victims died as a result of their injuries from the malpractice. This recent decision has leveled the playing field so that any victim of medical malpractice, whether they survive a healthcare practitioner’s malpractice or not, is entitled to be adequately compensated for their pain and suffering caused by the malpractice.
What Does This Decision Mean for Victims of Medical Malpractice in Florida?
The Florida Supreme Court’s decision means patients who were catastrophically injured by a healthcare practitioner’s negligence but survived now are entitled to recover the full amount a jury determines they have experienced in pain and suffering. Patients who suffered catastrophic injuries were previously discriminated against by the arbitrary amounts that were set forth in the statutory damage caps imposed by the Florida Legislature. This was one reason the Florida Supreme Court struck down the damages caps in medical malpractice cases, because it violated victims’ equal protection rights under Florida law to be adequately compensated for the full extent of their injuries. Florida juries are now free to assess for themselves whatever they consider the appropriate measure of pain and suffering, both past and future, that a victim of medical malpractice has suffered without being constrained by the previous damage caps. This will enable patients who have suffered catastrophic injuries to be made whole for their injuries without worrying they will run out of money to pay for necessary medical treatment or other expenses due to an arbitrary damages cap imposed by the Florida Legislature.
Contact Schwed, Adams, Sobel & McGinley if You Have Been the Victim of Medical Malpractice in Florida
At Schwed, Adams, Sobel & McGinley, we have a combined wealth of legal experience of more than 150 years representing those who have suffered catastrophic injuries due to a healthcare practitioner’s medical malpractice. We are comfortable explaining the often dauntingly complex issues involved in medical malpractice cases involving catastrophic injuries to non-medically trained jurors in simple, understandable terms. If you or a loved one have suffered an injury caused by the negligence of a healthcare practitioner, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys of Schwed Adams today for a free consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org or 877.694.6079 to discuss your situation and your legal options.
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