The statute of limitation refers to the length of time in which a plaintiff can file a claim. The principle behind statute of limitation is that lawsuits cannot be improved as time passes by. For one, clear details of the facts can be blurred as memories can fade and witnesses may die, go away, or lose interest of the case. Ideally, court prefers to settle the case as soon as disputes develop (Warner, 2010). However, for professional and product liabilities, with injuries may take time to manifest, many courts adapted different rules such as postponing the running of the statute until the injury has been reasonably discovered. The length of time differs among states and branches of law (Danzon, 1985). The long and deferred statutes of limitations lead to long tail of claims and contributed majority of medical malpractice and product liability (Danzon, 1985). In this section, statutes of limitations for medical malpractice in two states are compared.
For example, in Florida, the statute of limitation for medical malpractice is two years from the time that the patient, family member or guardian knew, or discovered the injury was caused by medical malpractice. The malpractice must be filed within two years after the incident was discovered but with no more than four years after in case of fraudulent concealment or intentional misinterpretation. However, this should not be beyond seven years after the occurrence of the actual incident (Miller, 2006).
Many states have implemented no limit on the award given on the victim if he wins the case and the total sum to be given is dependent on the decision of the jury. However, the state of Florida implements caps on the amount of award to be given. Non-economic damages ranges from $500,000 to $1,500,000 only and may be doubled in severe injury on the patient and depending on the circumstances of the malpractice and its effects on the individual and immediate family. On the other hand, the punitive damages may be unlimited if the malpractice is proven to be done on purpose and full intent (Medical Malpractice, 2011).
However, many states also implement rule that established the amount range or sliding scale for the amount of money attorneys will charge to clients having medical malpractice claim. In case of Florida, it implements sliding scales of cases settling before filing an answer to an arbitrator or getting before trial and other cases in which liability is admitted and only contested is the...