All of us, especially our aging loved ones, require the expertise of skilled doctors, nurses, specialists, and other medical professionals to keep us alive. After many years of intensive training, the vast majority of them are dedicated to meticulously living up to the Hippocratic Oath of “do no harm.” Unfortunately, just like with all professions, those we entrust with our medical care make serious, sometimes fatal, mistakes. Any egregious mistakes may rise to the level of medical malpractice. This blog is intended to serve as a general guide for understanding medical malpractice claims in Florida, as well as what you need to do if you want to bring forth a claim.
What Rises to the Level of Medical Malpractice?
Although you might be 100 percent convinced that you have a valid medical malpractice claim on your hands, you need to convince a judge or jury of that fact. Proving this is an uphill battle. In Florida, you must show that a reasonable standard of care that applies to the specific medical professional who committed the alleged malpractice was breached.
More specifically, it requires that you obtain a sworn affidavit from a medical professional who practices in the same field as the alleged offending party. The affidavit must state that it is of the opinion of the professional that you have a valid medical malpractice claim. For your suit to be successful, you generally must prove that the negligent actions of the medical professional was the main cause of your injury or condition.
Statute of Limitations
States vary on the statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice claim. In Florida, as with many other civil matters, you must file the claim within two years of discovering the injury (or when someone reasonably would have discovered the injury). In some rare cases, the statute of limitations can be up to four years after the alleged malpractice was committed.
Notice of Intent to Sue
Florida law requires claimants to notify their healthcare providers of their intent to bring the malpractice claim. From there, the clock starts ticking; the defendant has 90 days to respond, after which you have 60 days to formally file a lawsuit.
What Can You Recover Monetarily?
The state Supreme Court struck down a law that capped damages for a successful malpractice claim at $500,000 for non-economic damages. So, malpractice suits are like other civil suits in that you may recover economic, non-economic, or, in rare cases, punitive damages.
Filing a medical malpractice claim in Florida can be a long, arduous, and complex process. These difficulties are compounded by the fact that you or a loved one is likely severely limited physically due to the injury. Put some of your burdens on Feldman Legal Group; call our Main office at 813-639-9366, or toll free at 1-855-284-3254 today.