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Florida Medical Malpractice Payments

Updated on October 14, 2010

Medical malpractice claims are a type of tort that stem from negligence on the part of a physician or hospital. Florida has specific laws regarding how a plaintiff will receive the settlement funds from a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Source of Payments

Florida has two patient compensation funds from which plaintiffs may be paid. The Florida Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation plan is the exclusive source for funds to pay a medical malpractice settlement for certain serious birth-related injuries. The Florida Compensation Fund is sponsored by the state of Florida and is used for excess compensation above a physician's medical malpractice liability limits.

Interest and Collateral Sources

Pre-judgment interest in a medical malpractice case is not allowed in Florida. Additionally, a damage award must be reduced by any amount paid to the plaintiff by another source unless a right to subrogation exists. For instance, if the plaintiff's medical insurance paid for medical bills that were a result of the defendant's negligence, then the insurance company would have a right to subrogate and the plaintiff's award would not be reduced. On the other hand, if the doctor could show that he personally paid some of the bills then that amount would be duducted from the award.

Periodic Payments

A Florida court must order periodic payments if either party request s same if the total amount of any future economic damages exceeds $250,000. If the defendant is requesting periodic payments then the court may require security to ensure that the payments are timely made.

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