Understanding Florida’s Medical Malpractice Three Strikes Rule

Florida hosts some of the best medical professionals in the world, but sometimes even they make mistakes that can severely harm their patients. Florida has implemented a unique law known as the “Three Strikes Rule” for medical malpractice cases to help reduce these incidents and protect patients from repeat offenders. 

This rule has been a topic of discussion among healthcare providers and patients, so understanding it is crucial for anyone seeking or providing medical care in Florida. A seasoned  medical malpractice lawyer in Port Lucie can help you get fair compensation if you sustain injuries because of medical negligence. 

Keep reading to learn more about the three-strikes rule.

What Is the Three Strikes Rule in Florida?

Under Florida’s medical malpractice three-strikes rule, if a doctor has been found liable for three separate incidents of medical malpractice, they may be subject to losing their license to practice medicine. This rule is in place to protect patients from doctors who have a history of negligence or misconduct. 

If a doctor commits three instances of medical malpractice, they will be required to appear before the Florida Board of Medicine to determine if their license should be revoked. The Board considers the severity of the doctor’s misconduct and any prior disciplinary action that has been taken against them. 

Patients who believe a doctor may have injured them with a history of medical malpractice can file a complaint with the Board. The Board will then investigate the matter and decide whether to take disciplinary action against the doctor.

Under What Circumstance Does the Rule Apply?

The Rule applies when a healthcare provider has been found liable for medical malpractice three times. 

In this case, the Rule requires a healthcare provider to take specific actions or face further financial penalties. Specifically, the health care provider must:

  • Develop a corrective action plan
  • Submit the plan to their state medical board for approval
  • Conduct an in-depth review of patient records for any additional malpractice claims
  • Institute measures aimed at preventing future incidents

Failure to comply with the stipulated requirements may lead to suspension of medical license privileges and civil monetary penalties. Consult a medical malpractice lawyer near you to learn more.

How Does the Rule Affect Medical Malpractice Claims?

The “three strikes rule” can significantly impact medical malpractice claims in Florida. This rule applies to physicians and facilities and essentially states that if either party has three separate incidents of medical negligence within three years, they will be automatically suspended from practicing medicine.

This rule was implemented to improve the quality of care in Florida. Although it may seem like a harsh measure, it is essential to understand that each incident of medical negligence is taken very seriously. This rule is designed to protect patients and ensure the best possible care.

What Are the Legal Implications of a Three Strikes Initiative?

When Florida lawmakers passed the state’s first-in-the-nation “three strikes” law for medical malpractice cases, they were clear about one thing: the intent was not to infringe on patients’ rights.

But that’s precisely what some attorneys and legal experts say has happened since the law took effect.

The three strikes rule, as commonly called, requires plaintiffs in a medical malpractice case to present clear evidence that their injuries were caused by negligence by the health care provider. If they are unsuccessful, they cannot collect any damages – no matter how severe their injuries may be.

Critics of the law say it has sharply decreased the number of medical malpractice cases filed in Florida because most plaintiffs cannot meet the high burden of proof required by the three-strikes rule. They also say it has made it nearly impossible for patients seriously injured by medical negligence to obtain justice through the courts.

Supporters of the three strikes rule argue that it has helped to reduce frivolous lawsuits and lower insurance premiums for doctors and other health care providers. They also point out that plaintiffs can still recover compensation for damages if they can prove that their injury was caused by the healthcare provider’s gross negligence or intentional misconduct.

Successfully Negotiating a Three Strikes Claim with the Help of a Medical Malpractice Lawyer

This rule says that if a doctor has three claims filed against them within five years, they will be automatically excluded from the Florida Medical Malpractice Joint Underwriting Association (FMMJUA). They will no longer have coverage for medical malpractice claims and will need to find another way to insure themselves.

A few strategies can be used when negotiating a three-strikes claim. The first is to try and settle the claim before it goes to trial. Working with the doctor’s insurance company and agreeing on a fair settlement can quickly achieve this. It’s essential to remember that insurance providers usually aim to settle for less than the claim is worth, so it’s important not to accept the first offer.

Another strategy is to go to trial and win the case. If the jury favors the patient, the doctor will not be automatically excluded from the JUA. However, if the jury finds in favor of the doctor, the patient will not be able to collect any damages from the doctor or their insurance company.

The third strategy is negotiating a settlement after the case has gone to trial before reaching a verdict. This is executed by contacting the insurance company and informing them that you are willing to

Alternatives to the Three Strikes Rule

There are many potential alternatives to the Three Strikes Rule that could be implemented to better protect patients and healthcare providers in Florida. Some of these alternatives include:

  • Requiring all medical malpractice claims to be filed through a special tribunal or court system. This would allow for more uniformity and transparency in adjudication and ensure that only valid claims are brought forward.
  • Requiring that any party bringing a medical malpractice claim against a healthcare provider must first give notice of their intention to do so. This would allow providers an opportunity to take corrective action before a lawsuit is filed, potentially avoiding litigation altogether.
  • Establishing a system of binding arbitration for medical malpractice claims. This would allow for claims to be resolved outside of the traditional court system, potentially saving both time and money.
  • Implementing stricter licensing requirements for healthcare providers. This would ensure that only those adequately trained and qualified are providing care to patients, potentially reducing the incidence of errors and negligence.
  • Increasing the total value of damages awarded in medical malpractice cases. This would incentivize plaintiffs to bring forward valid claims and deter providers from engaging in negligent or reckless behavior.

Call a Seasoned Medical Malpractice Lawyer In Port St. Lucie, Florida

The three-strikes rule in Florida is an essential law for those planning to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Understanding how this rule works can help claimants make an informed decision about their case and learn what strategies they should use when filing a claim. 

If you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice in Port St. Lucie, Florida, call a seasoned medical malpractice lawyer immediately. Contact us at (561) 800-8000 to schedule a free consultation.

Contact Information