Healthcare providers are human and sometimes make mistakes. But their humanity doesn’t mean they aren’t liable for injuries they cause to patients through their negligence. Medical malpractice claims are technical and require additional investigations to file a claim against a person or provider. Working with a skilled Tampa medical malpractice attorney is the best way to understand the nuances of Florida laws and recover money for your injuries and damages.  

How Do I Prove Medical Malpractice?

Patients can’t sue their healthcare provider for every treatment that results in a negative health outcome. Medical malpractice happens when a healthcare provider is negligent in providing care. To recover compensation for malpractice, you must prove the following legal components. 

Duty to Provide a Standard of Care

Florida law requires healthcare providers to provide each patient with the same standard of care. The standard of care is measured by comparing whether another healthcare provider with equivalent training and experience would have used similar tests and treatment options on a patient with comparable symptoms. To show the provider had a duty, a patient must establish they were seeing the healthcare provider for treatment. 

Breach of Standard of Care

A healthcare provider does not necessarily breach the standard of care if the patient suffers known or reasonably foreseeable treatment complications. To determine the standard of care was breached, a patient must show their healthcare provider failed to take all reasonable steps another provider would have taken to treat the patient and mitigate complications.


Causation is often the most challenging legal component in a medical malpractice case. There are some situations where causation is apparent. For example, if a healthcare provider leaves a foreign object in a patient, the object’s existence is enough to prove the provider’s breach of care caused the injury. Generally, however, the presence of an injury itself isn’t enough to prove the healthcare provider’s breach of care directly caused the injury. 

To prove causation, medical malpractice attorneys in Florida must consult with licensed healthcare providers who can advise on the specific actions and decisions of the treating provider that didn’t align with the standard of care and how those actions caused the patient’s injury. Attorneys often have consulting healthcare providers testify in court as expert witnesses to support the claim.


Finally, a patient needs to prove they suffered damages from the injury. Damages can be awarded for past and future medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. It’s important for the claim to be as detailed as possible to try to recover the maximum amount of compensation.

Causes of Medical Malpractice

Some numerous medical procedures and processes can result in a medical malpractice claim. Frequently, injuries that trigger a medical malpractice claim result from:

  • Misdiagnosis,
  • Surgical errors,
  • Prescription medication errors, and
  • Labor and delivery complications.

Consult with seasoned medical malpractice attorneys in Tampa to learn if your injuries qualify for a medical malpractice claim. 

How Long Do I Have to File a Medical Malpractice Claim?

Generally, you must file a medical malpractice claim within two years after the date your healthcare provider injured you. If your injury isn’t immediately discoverable, you may be able to file a malpractice claim up to four years after the injury occurred. It’s important to talk with a Tampa medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible after you’re injured to protect your rights to compensation. 

Compensation for Damages

Damages in medical malpractice claims generally fall into two categories—economic and non-economic. Economic damages are easy to calculate and value, such as:

  • Hospital bills,
  • Doctor’s visits,
  • Physical therapy, and 
  • Lost wages.

Noneconomic damages compensate patients for injuries that are harder to assess and value, including:

  • Disfigurement,
  • Physical impairment;
  • Loss of enjoyment of life, and 
  • Pain and suffering.

Florida laws don’t limit the amount of economic damages you can recover, but there is a limit on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases. 

Limitations on Noneconomic Damages

In 2023, the Supreme Court of Florida struck down state laws limiting noneconomic damages in medical malpractice claims. The court ruled the limits violate Florida’s Equal Protection Clause because patients with lifelong injuries can’t recover the appropriate amount of compensation.

Unfortunately, in 2024, Florida’s legislature is considering a new bill that seeks to reinstate caps on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice claims. Time will tell if the legislature can create a bill the governor will sign.

Contact Us Today to Discuss Your Injuries

James Horne Law PA is dedicated to helping injured clients recover money that allows them to heal and move forward in life. James Horne isn’t your typical Tampa medical malpractice attorney. He enjoys going to trial and will fight for maximum compensation for your injuries. We’re committed to offering every client attention and personalized representation to address the unique aspects of your injuries. 
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.