Medical malpractice can cause serious, sometimes permanent complications for victims. Doctors and medical specialists require extensive training and supervised practice to learn the proper protocols and procedures to observe, diagnose, and treat injuries and ailments. When they act carelessly or recklessly and do not follow these protocols, this is malpractice.
If you or a family member suffered personal injuries and other damages because of medical malpractice, the skilled lawyers from the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine can help you get the compensation you deserve. We can recover the money you need to pay for medical care, lost wages, future care, and other expenses. Call us today at 800-747-3733 to learn more about your legal options from a medical malpractice lawyer in Kendall.
How Does Medical Malpractice Occur?
Everyone makes mistakes, even highly trained doctors and other healthcare providers. A mistake does not necessarily constitute malpractice, however. Malpractice occurs when a doctor fails to follow the proper protocols an equally trained, reasonable physician would follow in the same situation.
Each incident has its own specific details we will need to investigate before we pursue compensation in your case. However, there are some common ways medical malpractice occurs. We often win cases for our clients after a medical provider has:
- Failed to diagnose a medical condition another doctor would have identified;
- Failed to follow accepted standard protocol;
- Failed to prevent birth injuries;
- Prescribed the wrong drugs or failed to prevent drug interactions;
- Left instruments inside a patient after surgery; or
- Made other surgical mistakes.
Why Are Expert Witnesses Important to a Medical Malpractice Case?
Florida law requires expert witness testimony to confirm medical malpractice before we can pursue a claim against the doctor or hospital who caused you harm. The requirements for identifying this expert and getting an affidavit are complex, since they play such a key role in these cases.
Our expert witness must have a similar background, training, and experience as the doctor in question. We have a strong network of practitioners we can turn for this expert testimony. Once we identify the right expert witness, we collect their written testimony. This testimony must include:
- The actions a competent doctor with similar training would take to observe, diagnose, and treat your condition; and
- Whether your doctor provided the same level of care as a reasonably competent practitioner.
Expert witnesses provide the most important evidence in most medical malpractice cases. Judges, jurors, and others in the court system do not have medical training. Without expert testimony, they cannot know the proper protocols for treating your condition.
What Is the Claims Process Like in a Medical Malpractice Case?
Like other states, Florida places a time limit on how long you have to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against a negligent provider. In most cases, you have two years from the date you discovered the malpractice to file a civil suit. The statute of limitations also outlines a maximum of four years from the date the incident occurred and provides extended time limits for victims under the age of eight years old. These deadlines mean it is important for us to take action quickly after you suffer damages, because there is a process we must navigate before we can file a lawsuit against your doctor or hospital.
The first step in getting the payout you deserve is to serve the accused doctor, hospital, or other facility with special notice of your intent to pursue compensation. This notice includes the affidavit from the expert witness as well as information about your injuries and damages.
After they receive this special notice, the doctor or hospital has 90 days to investigate the incident and offer us a fair settlement. Often, they come to us with a much lower settlement than we can accept based on the details of your damages. We will aggressively negotiate a higher payout. We can usually settle our clients’ cases at this point.
If we cannot negotiate a settlement that covers your medical bills, ongoing care costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses, we can file a lawsuit. In a civil suit, a judge or a jury awards the compensation for your damages.
How Much Can I Collect With a Claim?
We need to fully investigate your case before we can give you a good idea of what a fair settlement may look like. A fair settlement will include enough compensation to cover your current and future malpractice-related expenses, as well as non-economic losses like pain and suffering.
Your current losses may include:
- Medical bills;
- Rehabilitation and therapy costs;
- Lost wages; and
- The cost of assistive or adaptive equipment.
Your future losses may include:
- Ongoing care costs;
- Long-term care facility expenses;
- In-home nursing care;
- Future medical care related to your injuries; and
- Losses related to not being able to return to your previous job.
We use the total cost of these expenses to put a value on your pain and suffering losses. This helps us determine a fair compensation range and allows us to ensure the settlement we negotiate will cover all of your damages.
If your case goes to court, there are some limits Florida law places on your payout, however. These caps cover only non-economic damages and include:
- A $500,000 cap in a suit against a licensed practitioner;
- A $750,000 cap in a suit against an unlicensed nonpractitioner;
- A $1 million cap when the incident killed the victim or left them in a vegetative state; and
- A $1.5 million cap when a nonpractitioner caused a permanent vegetative state or the patient’s death.
In addition, the judge may override the cap in some cases. We can argue you qualify for additional non-economic damages if you or your family member suffered catastrophic injuries that result in the need for ongoing care or cause extraordinary pain and suffering.
How Can I Reach a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Kendall?
The medical malpractice lawyers from the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine are available to answer your questions 24/7. We offer complimentary consultations throughout South Florida. Call us at 800-747-3733 today to schedule a time to talk with an attorney who understands these complex laws.