Professional Negligence (Malpractice) Laws in Florida

Group of attorneys

Professional negligence, commonly known as malpractice, occurs when a professional fails to meet the expected standard of care, resulting in harm or injury to a client or patient. In Florida, like in other states, individuals who have been harmed by professional negligence have legal rights and remedies available to them. Whether it involves medical malpractice, legal malpractice, or any other professional misconduct, understanding the legal landscape and the steps to protect your rights is crucial. In this blog post, we will explore professional negligence laws in Florida, discuss your legal rights as a victim, and outline the available remedies to address the harm caused by professional malpractice. By familiarizing yourself with these important concepts, you can make informed decisions and seek appropriate recourse if you have been a victim of professional negligence.

Professional Negligence Defined

Professional negligence occurs when a professional, such as a doctor, lawyer, accountant, or architect, fails to adhere to the standard of care expected within their profession, resulting in harm to a client or patient. The professional is expected to possess the knowledge, skills, and expertise that a reasonable professional in their field would have. When they fall short of this standard, they may be held liable for professional negligence.

Establishing Professional Negligence

To establish a claim of professional negligence in Florida, certain elements must be proven:

  • Duty of Care: The professional owed a duty of care to the client or patient. This duty arises from the professional-client relationship and the expectation that the professional will act in a competent and diligent manner.
  • Breach of Duty: The professional breached their duty of care by failing to meet the accepted standard of care. This can involve errors, omissions, or a failure to exercise reasonable skill and judgment.
  • Causation: The professional’s breach of duty directly caused harm or injury to the client or patient. It must be shown that, had it not been for the professional’s negligence, the harm would not have occurred.
  • Damages: The client or patient suffered actual damages, such as physical injuries, financial loss, emotional distress, or other adverse effects, as a result of the professional’s negligence.

Legal Rights and Remedies

As a victim of professional negligence in Florida, you have legal rights and remedies available to address the harm caused. These can include:

  • Compensation for Damages: If you can establish professional negligence, you may be entitled to financial compensation for the harm you have suffered. This can include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other economic and non-economic losses.
  • Disciplinary Action: In some cases, professional negligence can result in disciplinary action against the professional’s license or certification. Reporting the negligence to the appropriate professional licensing board or regulatory authority can help protect others from similar harm.
  • Corrective Actions and Reforms: Instances of professional negligence may lead to changes within the profession itself, such as revised guidelines, enhanced training programs, or improved safety protocols. Your case can contribute to preventing future instances of negligence and promoting higher standards of care.


Professional negligence (malpractice) in Florida can have serious consequences for individuals who have placed their trust in professionals. Understanding your legal rights and the remedies available to you is essential if you have suffered harm due to professional malpractice. Seeking the guidance of an experienced attorney specializing in professional negligence cases can help you navigate the legal process, gather evidence, and build a strong case. Remember, professional negligence claims require a comprehensive understanding of the legal principles and the ability to present a compelling case. By asserting your rights and pursuing appropriate remedies, you can seek justice and hold professionals accountable for their negligent actions, while also helping to protect others from similar harm in the future.