Doctors and other trained healthcare providers must provide a high level of care to every patient they see. While mistakes do happen, they must follow the established procedures and protocols for diagnosing and treating each person who comes into their office. Failure to follow these protocols can lead to serious complications, worsening illness or injury, and even death.
If you or a loved one suffered needlessly because of medical malpractice in South Florida, you need a skilled and experienced legal team on your side to help you hold the doctor or hospital responsible. At the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine, our team of medical malpractice lawyers and medical experts can help you prove your claim and recover the compensation you need to pay for your medical care, ongoing care costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses. Call us today at 800-747-3733 to set up your complimentary consultation with a medical malpractice lawyer in Deerfield Beach.
What Are the Most Common Ways Medical Malpractice Occurs?
Medical malpractice almost always occurs when a practitioner deviates from the accepted protocol used to diagnose and treat a patient’s symptoms or condition. This can be accidental or on purpose. The specific situation that led to an exacerbation of your injuries or illness—or caused another health concern entirely—may vary from case to case. However, there are some common actions we see when handling these cases. Doctors commonly commit medical malpractice when they:
- Fail to diagnose an easily recognizable medical condition;
- Incorrectly diagnose an easily recognizable condition;
- Fail to follow accepted standard treatment protocol;
- Fail to prevent preventable birth injuries;
- Prescribe the wrong drugs;
- Fail to consider drug interactions; and
- Leave instruments inside a patient during surgery.
We can help you understand if your doctor acted negligently in providing the care you need based on the details of your case. If we believe malpractice caused your damages, we can pursue compensation from the doctor or hospital for you and your family.
How Can I Prove the Doctor Did Not Follow Proper Protocol in My Care?
Because of the way Florida’s medical malpractice laws work, an expert witness plays a key role in every case. The laws require us to have sworn testimony from a medical expert before we can request compensation or proceed with filing a lawsuit against the doctor or hospital. We have a team of medical experts on our side and can ensure we identify the right one to help us prove your case.
The medical expert witness must have the same or similar training and work experience as the doctor in question. They must also practice in the same region and specialty.
When we meet with the expert witness to collect their written testimony, we ask them to explain:
- The actions a competent physician would have taken in your case; and
- Whether your physician acted in the same manner as any other reasonably competent practitioner.
Their written testimony becomes the affidavit that allows us to pursue a medical malpractice claim against the doctor or hospital. This also plays a role as key evidence in your case, especially if we have to file a lawsuit to recover fair compensation. Neither the judge nor jury are medical experts, so this testimony helps them understand the negligence of your practitioner.
How Does a Florida Medical Malpractice Claim Work? Do I Need to File a Lawsuit?
Once we have the affidavit from a medical expert, we need to serve the doctor or hospital in question with a special notice about our intent to file a claim. This special notice launches an investigation on their part. By law, they have 90 days to complete this investigation and offer us a fair settlement.
In most cases, we can negotiate a settlement with the doctor, hospital, or their legal team during this 90-day window. Most medical malpractice cases settle at this juncture and we never need to file a lawsuit. Only if they refuse a fair payout during this time will we pursue further legal action against them.
How Long Do I Have to File a Medical Malpractice Claim?
The statute of limitations in Florida medical malpractice cases is complex. Overall, the laws give you four years from the date the malpractice occurred to file a lawsuit. However, you only have two years from the date you discovered the injuries you suffered because of medical malpractice. If the victim is under the age of eight at the time, these deadlines are usually waived.
We can help you determine how quickly you need to act in your case. In some situations, we may need to wait until your health stabilizes so we better understand your prognosis and the full range of damages. In others, we will need to act quickly to ensure we have enough time to file a civil suit if it becomes necessary.
Are There Limits on the Damages I Can Recover?
There are no limits on your payout if we negotiate a settlement with the doctor or their malpractice insurance provider. We will ask for a full range of damages based on your actual financial losses, your expected future expenses related to your injuries, and your non-economic damages like pain and suffering. We aggressively negotiate a settlement and refuse to settle for an offer that does not compensate you fully for your losses.
However, if we take your case to court, state law limits how much you can recover for your non-economic damages. These caps include:
- $500,000 from a licensed healthcare provider or hospital;
- $750,000 from an unlicensed nonpractitioner;
- $1 million when a licensed doctor left the victim in a vegetative state or caused their death; and
- $1.5 million when an unlicensed nonpractitioner caused the victim’s vegetative state or death.
There are some cases where the judge may override these limits. We may ask for additional compensation, for example, if a young person suffers a catastrophic injury due to medical malpractice and will require ongoing care for the rest of their lives.
How Can I Discuss My Case With a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Deerfield Beach?
At the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine, our legal team has extensive experience with successful medical malpractice claims. We have an entire network of trusted medical experts who can help us prove your claim and recover the full amount of compensation you deserve. Call us today at 800-747-3733 to schedule your free case review with one of our medical malpractice attorneys.