Comparing NICA and Medical Malpractice Suits in Florida: What Parents Need to Know

We hope you find this Nursing Home Neglect Blog Article both Helpful and Informative.

When faced with a birth-related neurological injury, parents in Florida are often overwhelmed, not only emotionally but also when it comes to understanding their legal options. Two avenues of recourse are available: The Florida Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Act (NICA) and medical malpractice lawsuits. Both come with their own sets of pros and cons, requirements, and outcomes. In this blog post, we’ll help you understand the key differences between NICA and medical malpractice suits, so you can make an informed decision on what’s best for your family.

Eligibility and Requirements


Requirements: NICA has stringent eligibility criteria. The injury must be neurological, caused during labor, delivery, or immediate resuscitation post-birth. The attending obstetrician must also be a member of NICA at the time of birth.

Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

Requirements: To file a medical malpractice lawsuit, there must be evidence of medical negligence or error that directly resulted in the birth injury. This often requires testimonies from medical experts to validate the claim.

Burden of Proof


Burden of Proof: Under NICA, there’s no need to prove fault or negligence. You merely have to establish that the injury happened during the birth process and meets the specified criteria.

Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

Burden of Proof: In a lawsuit, you must demonstrate that the medical staff breached the standard of care, directly causing the injury. This process is often more complicated and time-consuming.

Compensation and Benefits


Compensation: NICA offers a comprehensive compensation plan covering medical expenses, custodial care, and even a one-time payment of $100,000 to parents. However, it does not offer compensation for pain and suffering.

Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

Compensation: A lawsuit could result in a broader range of compensations, including non-economic damages like pain and suffering. However, there’s no guarantee of winning, and the process can be lengthy and costly.

Time and Expenses


Time and Expenses: The NICA process is generally quicker, less adversarial, and less costly than a lawsuit. Legal and administrative costs are also usually covered as part of NICA benefits.

Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

Time and Expenses: Lawsuits can take years to resolve and can be financially draining. If you lose the case, you might also be liable for court costs.

Limitations and Exclusions


Limitations: NICA has some limitations, such as not covering non-economic damages and not duplicating benefits received from other sources like insurance.

Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

Limitations: While lawsuits don’t have these limitations, they come with their own risks, including the risk of losing the case entirely and the financial costs involved.


The choice between pursuing NICA benefits or filing a medical malpractice lawsuit can be daunting. Each has its own merits and drawbacks, but understanding these can help you make an informed decision. Always consult with legal professionals experienced in both NICA claims and medical malpractice cases to navigate this complex landscape effectively. Your family’s well-being, both emotional and financial, may depend on the path you choose.



Call 407.612.6464863.324.3500 today to speak with an experienced Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyer who proudly serves Lakeland, Orlando, and throughout the State of Florida.

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Sanga Turnbull

Sanga Turnbull is the founder and principal attorney at The Turnbull Law Firm, a Florida law firm helping personal injury victims in Winter Haven and Orlando recover compensation for harm done to them by the negligence of others. The comprehensive personal injury practice at The Turnbull Firm includes all manner of motor vehicle accidents, nursing home neglect and abuse, slip and fall, workplace and industrial accidents, medical malpractice, catastrophic injury, wrongful death, and more. Injury victims or their families are invited to call The Turnbull Firm for a no-cost, confidential consultation about any potential claims they may have.