When you attempt plastic surgery, your plastic surgeon would typically warn you about the risks of the procedure. The aim is to seek informed consent for the surgery and to escape liability for any common complication that may arise. Your surgeon will, however, not escape liability in every situation.
Florida’s medical malpractice laws give patients the liberty to sue any medical practitioner for complications due to negligence or malpractice. But first, you’d need to know if your case falls under medical malpractice in Florida. It would help if you also understood the processes for commencing a medical malpractice suit in the state. We’d discuss these and more in the course of this article.
What’s Medical Malpractice in Florida?
In Florida, medical malpractice includes all cases where an injury occurs due to a medical practitioner’s negligence. The latter can either be criminal or civil, depending on your surgeon’s intent or the degree of negligence.
To prove your plastic surgeon’s liability, you will have to show that he acted below the standard of care expected of a medical practitioner. For example, a surgeon who uses unsterile operating tools on his patients performs inconsistently with standard medical practice. He will be liable for medical negligence.
Commencing a Medical Malpractice Suit in Florida
If you’ve decided to file a medical malpractice suit against your plastic surgeon in Florida, you should follow these steps:
Send a Notice to the Doctor or Hospital
The first step to initiating a medical malpractice claim against your plastic surgeon is sending a notice to him or the hospital concerned. You can also send the message to any other medical personnel or organization implicated in the claim. This notice informs them of your intention to sue. The statement of intent to sue should also contain an affidavit from medical personnel stating that you have an excellent malpractice claim against the defendant.
2. Undergo the 90 Days Settlement Period
Typically, after serving your doctor with the notice, you would have to wait for 90 days for their response. They can either accept the claim and offer a settlement or outrightly deny it.
3. Request an Investigation
Either you or the hospital can request an investigation by hiring another plastic surgeon to evaluate the claim’s merit.
4. Initiate a Claim in Court
If the healthcare provider denies your claim, you have about 60 days from the 90 days to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in court. It would help if you were quick with this process because Florida has a time limit for filing such claims. The time limit is two years after discovering the injury or four years from the date the malpractice occurred.
What Damages Can I expect in My Medical Malpractice Claim?
As a medical malpractice victim, you can sue for some form of compensation for your injury, loss, or any complication suffered. This compensation is called damages, and they’re of 4 types:
Florida allows compensation for any financial loss incurred in the form of medical expenses while treating your injury. You would also get paid for any financial loss that would not have occurred but for the damage. For example, if the injury resulted in the loss of wages and earning capacity, the healthcare service provider would be made to compensate you for those. Economic damages get awarded upon production of receipts, bills, or other hard evidence of financial loss.
2. Non-economic Damages
Non-economic damages are compensation for non-financial losses that occurred as a result of the injury. It includes compensation for pain and suffering, disfigurement, emotional and mental anguish, humiliation, loss of enjoyment of life, etc. Non-economic damages are discretionary, and since there is no hard evidence to prove such damages, there is no specific amount to be awarded. Most of the time, the jury awards non-economic damages based on the severity of the injury.
3. Punitive damages
Punitive damages, unlike economic and non-economic damages, don’t compensate you for your injury. Instead, the court awards it against the defendant as punishment for negligence. It serves as a warning to them and other medical personnel against the future occurrence of such acts of carelessness.
Get a Lakeland Medical Malpractice Attorney Now!
While Florida allows you to sue your plastic surgeon for medical malpractice, you’d be making a grave mistake if you do so without the help of a medical malpractice lawyer. At Burnetti P.A, we have the best qualified medical malpractice attorneys to handle your claims and help you get the best compensation for your injury. If you live in Lakeland, you should consult us as fast as you can.