You have a right to file a civil claim against a doctor, a hospital, or any other health care providers or medical facilities if their deviation from medical standards causes you harm. However, medical malpractice cases are more complex than other types of lawsuits, and they will likely be up against strong legal representation.
There are many requirements that must be met before a medical malpractice case can be brought to court, and it must be done before the allotted time frame, known as the statute of limitations, expires. While medical malpractice lawsuits can provide you with the financial compensation you deserve, the process is challenging without the help of a medical malpractice attorney.
Medical malpractice is more common than most people realize. Statistics provided by Johns Hopkins University have shown it to be the third leading cause of death in the United States. This is a terrifying statistic. We need to be able to put trust in health care professionals. It is essential that we hold those responsible to account for and prevent future instances of medical malpractice.
If you or someone you love has suffered due to medical malpractice, then call us today at (941) 444-4444 for a free consultation with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is where a health care professional fails to meet certain standards of care expected of them. It could be a doctor, a nurse, a hospital, or any other medical professional or institution. In order for a medical malpractice lawsuit to be filed, it must be proven that the failure to meet these standards led to increased harm. Common examples include:
- Misdiagnosing or failure to diagnose a medical condition, leading to improper treatment or a delay in proper treatment that worsens a patient’s condition.
- Medication errors such as prescribing the incorrect medication, an incorrect dose, or an ingredient that the patient is allergic to, leading to preventable harm.
- The use of unsterilized equipment, leading to infection.
- Preventable birth injuries can affect the mother or child.
- Surgical errors.
- Failing to follow basic medical procedures such as not recording patient history or discharging too early.
- Failure to follow up with patients who need it.
Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Requirements
There are many pre-suit requirements that must be met before a medical malpractice lawsuit can be filed in Florida that go beyond those of a standard personal injury lawsuit.
First, your medical malpractice attorney will obtain an affidavit from a medical professional which confirms that your injury or illness is related to medical malpractice.
Following this, the person or entity that you intend to sue must be made aware that you intend to initiate litigation against them. They must also be presented with the affidavit that confirms that your injuries are a result of medical malpractice.
The defendant has 90 days to respond to your case. This gives them an opportunity to review your medical records and collect evidence in an attempt to prove that your injuries are not due to medical malpractice. If medical malpractice is clear, then this could lead to a settlement offer, which can then be negotiated. However, unlike other personal injury claims, most medical malpractice cases are fought in court.
When the 90 days are up, you then have a right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, you will have a limited amount of time to do this.
Deadline to File Medical Malpractice Claims
As per Florida Statute 95.11, every lawsuit in Florida must be filed before the statute of limitations expires. If you fail to file your lawsuit on time, you will risk losing your right to compensation. A medical malpractice lawyer will ensure that you meet important legal deadlines.
For most types of personal injury, you will have four years from the date of your accident to make a claim. However, for a medical malpractice claim, you have just two years from the date you discovered your injuries. However, you also have a maximum of seven years of the incident regardless of whether you were aware of your injuries.
Although you have two years, in reality, it is best to move as quickly as possible. If you file a lawsuit quickly, then you will be more likely to be able to gather strong evidence to support your claim.
Negligence Laws in Florida
All medical professionals owe their patients a duty of care, and in order to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, it must be proven that the duty of care was breached, and therefore, the medical professional acted negligently. It must then be proven that their negligence caused your injuries.
In order for negligence to be proven, it must be shown that the harm caused to you was reasonably foreseeable. For example, if you had an allergic reaction to a medication, but the allergy was unknown, it could be argued that this was not foreseeable. However, an experienced attorney may look to prove that it was your doctor’s responsibility to test for allergies.
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Due to Medical Malpractice in Florida
In the worst-case scenario, medical malpractice can cause the death of a patient. Under Florida Statute 768.16, only immediate family members, including the spouse, parents, and children of the deceased, can claim damages under a wrongful death lawsuit, which must be filed by a representative of the deceased.
The family of someone who has died due to someone else’s negligence can claim damages for things like lost wages and funeral expenses, as well as any medical bills the deceased may have incurred before their death as a result of medical negligence.
Damages You May Be Able to Claim Through a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Following medical malpractice, you should not be left with financial stressors. With proper compensation, you can focus on your recovery. Your attorney will work tirelessly to secure maximum compensation.
- Medical expenses – All medical expenses you have incurred as a result of medical malpractice should be accounted for, as well as any costs of future care. This should cover hospital bills, rehabilitation costs, medication, home adjustments, travel to and from the hospital, and more. It is a good idea to keep a record of all of your expenses to use as evidence.
- Lost wages – If you have missed work as a result of medical malpractice, then you are owed your lost wages both past and future. If you are left unable to do the same type of work you once did, then you should also be compensated for lost earning potential and the cost of re-training.
- Pain and suffering – The harm caused by medical malpractice moves beyond physical injuries. Emotional suffering and physical pain are often important aspects to consider. Especially where physical injuries leave people unable to participate in the same activities as they did before. All of this should be compensated for, and while these types of damages are up to interpretation, a medical malpractice lawyer will help ensure you are properly compensated.
How Much Will a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Cost?
At The Law Place, we work on a contingency basis monitored by The State Bar Association. This means that we do not ask for any money upfront. Instead, our fee is taken as a percentage of your settlement where your case is successful. If you do not receive compensation, then we do not receive anything. There are no hidden fees, and all our costs are upfront and agreed upon before you agree to representation.
How an Attorney Can Help You File a Medical Malpractice Claim
If you think that you or a loved one have sustained injuries due to medical malpractice, then contact The Law Place today. We offer a free consultation where we will evaluate the circumstance of your specific case and advise you on what you should do next. We are committed to open and honest communication throughout legal proceedings.
It is essential that you are compensated for your injuries and that we hold medical professionals to account when they act negligently.
When you hire The Law Place, you know your case is in safe hands. Most of our attorneys have the highest AVVO rating of 10.0 based on things like success rate, client reviews, awards, years in service, and more.
Medical malpractice claims are complex, and while you are recovering from an injury, you should not have to battle Florida legal system alone. Medical professionals will have strong legal representation, and it is essential that you level the playing field.
At The Law Place, with your permission, we will discuss your case as a team to ensure that no stone is left unturned. A whole team of lawyers will review your case, while one of our attorneys will be your advocate and will support you on your journey.
Contact us today for a free consultation at (941) 444-4444.