Months ago, your doctor convinced you that you needed surgery to repair your back. But now, your back is in worse condition than before. And you’re convinced that the doctor’s incompetence is to blame.
You’re not the only one. Research shows that about 400,000 patients who are hospitalized experience preventable harm every year.
Fortunately, it is within your rights to seek compensation for any injuries that a negligent doctor has caused you. The question is, how do you establish a medical malpractice case in Florida?
Here’s a rundown on how to navigate a malpractice case.
Let’s jump in!
Breaching Standard of Care Caused Injury
To establish a medical malpractice case in Florida, you must first offer evidence that your doctor breached the established standard of care.
To do this, you must find a medical professional who is currently practicing in the field that your allegedly at-fault doctor is. Then, you will need to ask that medical expert for an affidavit.
An affidavit is a document that indicates that the medical expert swears to be truthful about the nature of their work, just as they would when testifying in court.
Without an affidavit, your Florida malpractice claim will not move forward as this is a requirement in Florida before bringing your claim.
Note that for specialists, they require you to have an affidavit from a similar type of specialist. So, if a specialist has injured you, be sure to get an affidavit from a similar specialist.
In addition to acquiring an affidavit, you need to prove causation as part of your claim. Specifically, you have the burden of proving that your physician’s breach primarily caused your injury, or was your injury’s “proximate cause.”
Put another way, you need to prove that more likely than not your injury would not have occurred had your doctor not acted negligently.
Medical Malpractice Led to Damages
Another important step in establishing your medical malpractice case is to prove that the allegedly at-fault doctor caused your injury.
For instance, be prepared to demonstrate that you accrued hefty medical expenses as a result of their negligence. Although not required, it is also helpful to prove that your injuries caused you to miss work for a long period of time. Finally, you’ll need to demonstrate that the doctor’s actions caused you extensive pain and suffering.
Doctor Ignored Your Medical History
If your doctor disregarded your medical history, proof of this should also be submitted as part of your Florida malpractice claim.
For example, let’s say you notified your physician that you were taking a particular medicine. However, your doctor prescribes another medicine that interacts with your first medicine in an adverse way.
In this situation, your doctor could be held liable for your medication’s reaction. That’s because the doctor received enough information to provide reasonable care to you and failed to do so.
Doctor Caused Avoidable Injuries
When filing a medical malpractice case, you must also prove that you sustained injuries that were not inevitable or reasonably foreseeable.
For example, let’s say you undergo heart surgery. To reach the heart, your surgeon has to cut through the breastbone.
In this situation, pain is inevitable. For this reason, you cannot sue the doctor for causing pain in your breastbone area. However, you can sue them if you are able to prove that they did not perform your surgery properly.
Investigating Your Case
When it comes to establishing your malpractice case, it is essential that you hire an attorney right away. A lawyer can conduct a thorough investigation of what took place to determine if you have a case.
For starters, they’ll speak with you or your family members to obtain a detailed timeline and story.
Next, the attorney will review your medical records. This can be a complex and challenging process, which is why it’s best to leave this job to your attorney.
Your attorney can then speak with a medical expert and review your medical records with them. Through this process, they can determine if the allegedly at-fault doctor failed to care for you properly and thus caused your injuries. If this is the case, then you’ll enter the pre-suit period.
The Pre-Suit Period
The pre-suit period is a period of 90 days during which the reportedly negligent doctor can do their own investigation of what happened in your case.
Once the 90 days are up, the doctor may offer you a monetary settlement, or they may simply deny your claim.
If your claim is denied or the settlement isn’t large enough to resolve your case, then your attorney may recommend filing a formal lawsuit against the doctor.
Filing a Lawsuit
Note that you have two years after you knew or should have known of the alleged medical malpractice to file your malpractice suit in Florida.
Note that the doctors prevail in eight out of 10 medical malpractice cases that end up going to trial. For this reason, it is critical that you choose a reputable attorney to represent you in court.
Fortunately, if you win your case in Florida, there is no maximum amount of damages you may receive for injuries stemming from medical malpractice.
How We Can Help with Your Medical Malpractice Case
It may be in your best interest to file a Florida malpractice claim if you suffer an injury at the hands of a Florida doctor. As long as you can demonstrate that the doctor caused your injuries due to breaching the established standard of care, you likely have a medical malpractice case.
At RHINO Lawyers, we have represented numerous victims of medical malpractice ranging from birth injury to cosmetic surgery malpractice. Get in touch with us for a free consultation regarding your case today.
CONTACT A TAMPA Medical Malpractice ATTORNEY
In short, if you believe you’re a victim of medical malpractice, you may not know your rights. Above all, don’t struggle through the process alone. Actually, our personal injury team is here to help you with any legal needs you might have regarding your case.
Lastly, let RHINO Lawyers answer your questions and review the facts of your case with a Free Consultation. So, get started by completing the “Free Instant Case Evaluation” or by calling us any time, day or night, at 844.RHINO.77.