Florida Medical Malpractice - The Key Pre-Suit Notice
The aim of this guide is to provide a quick, go-to summary of the components of a pre-suit notice required in any Florida medical malpractice case. By statute, a potential Plaintiff must send a pre-suit notice to the Defendant(s) advising them of the claim and including an expert medical opinion.
Pre-Suit Notice RequirementAll prospective Plaintiffs in Florida medical malpractice cases must provide pre-suit notice to all potential defendants within the 2-year statute of limitations. Once the pre-suit notice is sent, the Defendants have 90 days to reasonably investigate the claim. Note that prior to sending the pre-suit notice, the Plaintiff is required to conduct a reasonable investigation and believe in good faith that he/she has an actionable medical malpractice claim. The pre-suit notice is really a distilled version of Plaintiff's investigation and gives the Defendants a chance to investigate and potentially settle the claim before suit if filed.
Pre-Suit Notice ComponentsThe pre-suit notice must be sent by certified mail and must include:
o An expert medical opinion corroborating reasonable grounds to support the Plaintiff's claim. (And copies of all medical records relied on by the expert in forming his/her opinion)
o A list of all known healthcare providers seen by the Plaintiff for the alleged injuries subsequent to the alleged medical malpractice.
o A list of all known healthcare providers seen by the Plaintiff during the 2-year period prior to the alleged medical malpractice.
o An executed release of protected health information in the form prescribed by statute. (see Fla. Stat. 766.1065(3) and * 5.35)
Repercussions for Failure to ComplyIf the above components of the pre-suit notice are not included, the pre-suit notice may be found to be void by the court. And ultimately, the Plaintiff's case for medical malpractice against the Defendants may fail.