Sovereign immunity has a significant effect on medical malpractice lawsuits in Florida. In essence, this means that some hospitals are protected from being held liable for significant damages in lawsuits. This includes any hospital owned or operated by the state or county.
However, not all hospitals in Florida have sovereign immunity. As an injured patient in Florida, you must know whether or not the hospital you wish to sue has sovereign immunity. If it does, this may affect your legal options. While you can still file a medical malpractice lawsuit against a hospital with sovereign immunity, Florida law may limit your damages.
While this may seem overwhelming, don’t give up! Talk with an experienced medical malpractice attorney after your injury even if your hospital has sovereign immunity because you may have more options than you realize. Your lawyer will review the details of your case and help you explore all your legal options in a free consultation.
What is Sovereign Immunity in Florida?
Sovereign immunity is a legal concept that refers to a government entity’s protection from being sued in court. In other words, sovereign immunity protects the government from being held liable for damages in a lawsuit, including lawsuits related to medical malpractice. This protection is designed to prevent lawsuits from bankrupting the state. However, it also limits the ability of Florida patients to seek justice after a medical error.
To qualify for sovereign immunity in Florida, hospitals must meet specific criteria.
- The hospital must be government-owned or operated. Essentially, this means that the people in charge of running the hospital are working for the government rather than a private organization.
- Hospital employees involved must have acted within the scope of their employment during the medical malpractice.
- The hospital must have an insurance policy that covers at least $200,000 per claim.
- The patient must file a notice of intent to sue within a certain period of time after the incident.
Overall, while sovereign immunity can protect hospitals and the state from the financial burden of large lawsuits, it also limits the ability of patients to seek justice in cases of medical malpractice. It is vital for patients to know which hospitals have sovereign immunity and to understand the potential implications for their care.
List of Florida Hospitals That Have Sovereign Immunity
When you seek medical care in Florida, you must know which hospitals have sovereign immunity. Generally, any hospital owned or operated by the state or county will have sovereign immunity. It is important to note that not all hospitals in Florida have sovereign immunity. Most private hospitals, for example, are not typically protected by this legal concept.
List of Hospitals in Florida with Sovereign Immunity:
- UF Health Hospitals
- USF Health
- Lee Health
- Memorial Hospital
- Broward Health Hospitals
- Sarasota Memorial Hospital
- Halifax Health
- Jackson Health System
- University of Miami Hospital
- Shands Jacksonville Medical Center
- Shands at the University of Florida
- South Florida State Hospital
- Treasure Coast Forensic Treatment Center
- All VA hospitals and facilities
It is important to note that not all hospitals in Florida have sovereign immunity. Most private hospitals, for example, are not typically protected by this legal concept.
How Does Sovereign Immunity Affect Florida Patients
When a hospital has sovereign immunity, it can make it more difficult for patients to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit. Patients may be limited in seeking damages or holding the hospital accountable for their injuries. Additionally, the amount of compensation patients can receive is often limited.
In Florida, the law limits the damages to $200,000 per person and no more than $300,000 for all claims related to the same incident. Additionally, the law also limits attorney’s fees, which can complicate finding a legal advocate who will take on your case.
As a patient in Florida, it is important to understand whether the hospital you are receiving care from has sovereign immunity. This knowledge can help you make informed decisions about your healthcare and legal rights. If you are a victim of medical malpractice, seek legal advice from an attorney familiar with the implications of sovereign immunity.
The laws in Florida are continually changing. As such, it is important to talk to an experienced Florida medical malpractice lawyer after you suffer from a medical injury. Your attorney can evaluate your case and help you explore all your legal options.
Why Do You Need a Medical Malpractice Attorney in Florida?
If your hospital has sovereign immunity, why do you need a medical malpractice attorney? Many injured patients mistakenly believe there is little they can do if their hospital has sovereign immunity. However, this is not true, and a medical malpractice attorney can help.
As an injured patient, you may still file a lawsuit against the hospital for medical malpractice, even though the hospital has sovereign immunity. Your attorney will fight for the compensation you deserve, even if there is a limit to what you can receive.
Sometimes, the hospital’s actions fall outside the scope of its sovereign immunity protection. For example, if a hospital employee acted outside the scope of their employment, the hospital may be liable for their actions.
Lastly, even if a hospital has sovereign immunity, other parties might be involved in the medical malpractice claim, such as individual healthcare providers or outside contractors. When this occurs, your medical malpractice attorney can fight for justice and maximum compensation under Florida law.
Call Us Today!
No matter where you receive medical care, you have legal rights if a doctor or healthcare professional harms you. However, you only have a limited time to file a medical malpractice claim.
Call a skilled Florida medical malpractice lawyer at Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA today at (305) 694-2676 to schedule your free consultation and take the first step toward getting your life back on track. We are here to help you rebuild your life after a serious medical injury.