Understanding Florida’s Medical Malpractice Laws

Lady Justice, gavel, stethoscope and a bookMedical malpractice laws are complex. If you’ve suffered serious injuries because of the carelessness or negligence of a medical professional, it’s imperative that you hire a lawyer. If you try to take on a doctor or a hospital on your own, you are unlikely to get the compensation you deserve. Even a technicality that seems minor could cause an insurance company to reject your claim. You’ll stand even less of a chance if you try to file a lawsuit on your own. While you will need professional advice and representation from our Florida medical malpratice attorneys, you may find it helpful to understand a bit more about what Florida’s laws say about medical malpractice.

What Is Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice can occur in several ways. However, regardless of the details, you need to prove that a healthcare facility or medical professional did not meet the established standard of care. Not every mistake a doctor or nurse makes constitutes medical malpractice. Similarly, not every poor medical outcome is a sign that someone did something wrong.

Medical malpractice often takes the form of:

  • Delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis
  • Delayed treatment or failure to treat
  • Medication errors
  • Surgical errors
  • Birth injuries
  • Defective medical products

Several types of illnesses and injuries can result from medical malpractice. While some are temporary, others are so serious that they result in permanent disability or disfigurement.

Elements Of A Medical Malpractice Claim

Filing a lawsuit for medical malpractice isn’t easy and you’ll need help from a medical malpractice lawyer in Lakeland. It is not enough to believe that your doctor did something wrong. In order to have a successful claim, you need to prove certain elements.

The Doctor Failed To Meet The Expected Standard Of Care

You need to show that a doctor, nurse, or another healthcare professional breached their duty towards you as a patient. You will have to find a medical expert who is willing to testify that your doctor didn’t meet the established standard of care. This expert is usually a doctor practicing in the same field. Without a sworn affidavit from an expert, the court won’t hear your case.

That Failure Caused Your Injuries

It’s not sufficient to prove that a healthcare professional breached the established standard of care. You also have to prove that this breach was the proximate cause of your injury. This means that were it not for the doctor’s negligence, you would not have suffered harm.

You Suffered Damages

You won’t file a medical malpractice claim for a bruise or a few scratches. You must have suffered significant harm and losses that can be remedied by financial compensation. It’s costly to pursue a medical malpractice claim so you need to make sure it makes sense to file a lawsuit. Your injury should have resulted in considerable medical expenses, lots of time off work, and significant pain and suffering.

Recovering Damages Via A Medical Malpractice Claim

If you can prove that a doctor’s negligence caused you harm, you can seek damages. Typically, you’ll be eligible for compensation for both economic and non-economic losses. Economic damages include medical expenses and lost wages while non-economic damages include pain and suffering and mental anguish.

You shouldn’t delay in contacting an attorney to find out if you have a case. In Florida, you typically have two years to file a medical malpractice claim. However, there is a four-year statute of repose and a seven-year cap for matters involving fraud, intentional misrepresentation or fraud on the part of a healthcare provider. It’s important that you work closely with a lawyer to ensure that you don’t miss any deadlines associated with your case. If you don’t file your lawsuit in time, you could be barred from doing so.

Contact Burnetti P.A. Today To Discuss Your Case

Medical malpractice cases need to be taken seriously. Never try to handle one on your own. If a medical facility offers you a quick settlement, you shouldn’t accept it without contacting a lawyer. Regardless of what the doctor or hospital and their attorney will tell you, they aren’t looking out for you. They want to settle the matter quickly so they can save money and their reputation.
You need to contact a Lakeland medical malpractice attorney so they can review your case and advise you accordingly. At Burnetti P.A. we offer a free consultation during which we will discuss your legal options and explain how we can help you. Call us today to get started on your case.