We trust doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals with our lives. We expect that they will use their expertise to keep us healthy and safe. Unfortunately, medical professionals make careless mistakes every day. Sometimes these mistakes can seriously injure an innocent patient.
In Florida, injured patients have the right to hold a negligent medical professional responsible for the harm they’ve caused.
Are you struggling with an injury because of medical negligence? If so, contact the experienced legal team at Lavent Law for immediate assistance. Our Miami medical malpractice attorneys understand how important a financial settlement can be when you’re fighting to recover from an unexpected injury. We’re prepared to hold your doctor accountable for their actions and make them pay for the harm you’ve suffered.
Call our office to schedule your free consultation today.
Filing Your Medical Malpractice Claim On Time
When you suffer an injury because of a negligent medical professional you have the right to file a lawsuit. However, there is a deadline for when your claim must be filed. In Florida, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims is generally two years. The two-year clock begins to run when you discover, or should have reasonably discovered, that you were injured.
The right to file a lawsuit generally expires four years after the date of the medical malpractice. So, you’ll probably be unable to recover compensation if you haven’t discovered your injury within four years. However, the statute of limitations doesn’t apply if your doctor intentionally deceived you and hid the malpractice. You’ll retain the right to file your claim if the doctor tried to keep the malpractice under wraps.
Standard of Care for Medical Professionals in Florida
Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals dedicate years of their lives to studying medicine and preparing to enter the medical field. This includes hundreds of hours in the classroom, hands-on practical experience, and rigorous testing. This is all necessary to ensure that our healthcare professionals have the level of skill and knowledge that are required to provide safe medical care.
In order to make sure that medical professionals provide the very best care, they’re held to a higher standard of care than most. In Florida, “the prevailing professional standard of care” for a medical professional “shall be that level of care, skill, and treatment, which in light of all relevant surrounding circumstances, is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent similar health care providers.”
In other words, medical professionals have to use the level of skill and care that other reasonably prudent medical professionals would use in the same situation.
Defining Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional is negligent in the diagnoses, treatment, or care of a patient. Negligence means that your doctor breached the standard of care that was appropriate for your case. You can file a medical malpractice lawsuit when that breach of duty is the cause of your injury.
There are many different ways for a medical professional to commit medical malpractice. Some examples of medical malpractice include:
- Misdiagnosing a patient
- Delaying the diagnoses of a patient
- Failing to order diagnostic tests
- Surgical errors
- Errors in the administration of anesthesia or medication, and
- Prescribing the wrong course of treatment.
It’s important to note that your injury must have not been a foreseeable risk of your course of treatment. For example, let’s say that you developed a blood clot after surgery and develop severe complications. You may not be able to pursue a medical malpractice claim against your doctor if blood clots were a foreseeable risk of that surgery.
Steps Necessary For Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in Miami
Medical malpractice cases in Florida can be complicated. There are specific steps that must be taken – in a very specific order – if you want to recover compensation. It’s important to make sure that you enlist the help of an attorney who has experience handling these important cases.
1. Request Investigative Period
If you believe that you’ve been injured because of medical negligence you have an obligation to conduct an investigation. You’ll have to file a petition with the court to initiate a 90-day investigative period. The statute of limitations applicable to your case will pause for the duration of the investigation. This investigation is intended to determine if you have a valid medical malpractice claim.
2. Medical Expert Affidavit
You’ll have to get another medical professional on board if you want to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Specifically, you’ll have to get an affidavit from a medical professional stating that you have a legitimate claim. This medical professional must have reviewed your case and believed that your doctor failed to provide an appropriate level of care. Your medical malpractice lawsuit cannot begin without this certificate of merit.
3. Notify Your Doctor
Once you’ve secured an affidavit from another medical professional you must notify your doctor of your intent to file a lawsuit. The notice must be provided at least 90 days before you file your claim with the court.
4. Consider the Doctor’s Response
Your doctor has 90 days to respond to your notice of intent to file a lawsuit. There are a few possible responses. First, your doctor could admit to medical negligence and offer to compensate you for your injuries. Second, your doctor could refuse to admit negligence but offer to settle the dispute privately. Finally, your doctor can deny responsibility for your injuries.
If your doctor admits fault, you’ll have 50 days to accept or reject their offer. If your doctor rejects your claim, you’ll have at least 60 days to file your lawsuit.
No Caps on Damages in Florida Medical Malpractice Cases
Medical negligence can change a patient’s life forever. While some victims may be able to recover from their injuries over time, others will not be so fortunate. Since injuries can vary so greatly, so can the cost of medical negligence. One patient may experience $50,000 in damages while another faces millions in costs of the course of their life. It’s hard to place an arbitrary limit on damages available to medical malpractice victims. Thanks to the Florida Supreme Court, there are no limits to the amount of compensation you can recover from a medical malpractice lawsuit.
If you’ve been injured because of medical negligence you can recover compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Nursing care
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Loss of enjoyment of life, and more.
Contact Lavent Law to find out how our personal injury attorneys can help you maximize your financial award.
Call Miami Medical Malpractice Injury Lawyer Boris Lavent Today
Have you been injured because of medical malpractice in Miami? If so, it’s important to understand your legal rights and options. Contact Lavent Law to schedule a free consultation with our skilled legal team. Our Miami medical malpractice lawyers will review your case and answer any questions you have. We understand that an unexpected injury can be devastating. We’re here to help you get the money you deserve. Call today to get started on your case.