When a doctor or other healthcare provider fails to follow proper protocols, the result is often devastating. Doctors have to follow strict standards to prevent patients from suffering further injury during the course of treatment. When they do not, the patient can suffer serious complications and even fatal medical issues.
When a doctor acts in a negligent manner, it may constitute medical malpractice. At the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine, our attorneys can help you determine your legal options to hold the doctor accountable and recover the compensation you deserve. You may need money to pay for medical bills, lost wages, and other financial and emotional losses. Let us help. Call our office at 800-747-3733 to speak to a medical malpractice lawyer in Pembroke Pines.
What qualifies as medical malpractice under Florida law?
Malpractice occurs in a wide variety of ways, but some of the most common include:
- Failure to diagnose properly or completely;
- Not providing the treatment required under modern protocol;
- Allowing preventable injuries;
- Failing to prevent birth injuries;
- Allowing preventable surgical complications;
- Giving patients the wrong medication; and
- Writing prescriptions for the wrong medication.
Doctors and other trained hospital staff must act in a reasonable and skilled manner at all times. Florida law defines medical malpractice as the failure to follow the protocols and procedures a care provider with the same training and experience working in the same area would follow.
There are protocols in place for almost every decision a doctor faces while evaluating, diagnosing, and treating a patient. These protocols keep the patients safe and ensure they receive the highest level of care possible. Failing to follow them can endanger patients.
Sometimes, it is difficult to know if the mistakes your doctor made qualify as malpractice or not. We have seen enough of these cases to help you understand your legal options. We can advise you on whether malpractice occurred in your case.
How can you prove my doctor committed medical malpractice?
Proving negligence in a medical malpractice case requires showing your doctor did not act in a reasonable manner based on their training and experience. We do this by collecting the testimony of another doctor with a similar background and experience. We will ask them to explain how they would have handled your case and testify that your doctor acted negligently. State law requires us to collect this medical expert testimony before we file a malpractice claim.
We have the resources to identify the best medical experts to testify in your case. This is important, since this testimony frequently plays a key role in a malpractice case. When we submit our claim, we also provide the testimony in the form of a written affidavit. This provides the foundation for your case against your doctor.
What does the claims process look like?
Once we have the testimony necessary to prove your doctor acted negligently, we can move forward with the claims process to recover compensation for your damages. The next step involves serving your doctor or the hospital with a notice of our intent to pursue legal action. This notice gives them time to investigate what happened and offer you a fair financial settlement. They have 90 days to present a fair compensation package.
In most cases, we can negotiate a settlement during this time by aggressively taking on the doctor’s malpractice insurance provider and their lawyers and fighting for the full compensation you deserve. Only occasionally do we need to file a lawsuit in civil court to hold the doctor or hospital responsible for your medical malpractice damages.
What is the statute of limitations in this type of case?
Florida limits the time you have to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. While this statute of limitations does not directly affect your ability to file an insurance claim, it is important to your case to have the ability to file a suit if the insurer refuses a fair settlement offer.
For most cases, you have two years to file a malpractice suit. You may have longer if you only found out about your injuries at a later date. The same is true if your child was the victim, or you were a child when the injuries occurred. Still, you should contact us as early in the process as possible to ensure you have every advantage available in your case.
How much compensation can I recover?
We cannot put an exact value on your claim until we reach an agreement with the insurance company. However, we can estimate a value of your economic losses and put a number on your emotional damages.
Your economic losses may include:
- Additional medical bills;
- Lost wages;
- Ongoing care costs; and
- Other injury-related expenses.
Emotional damages, often called pain and suffering, are also available. If we have to file a malpractice lawsuit, the law caps how much the courts can award for this type of damage. These caps include:
- $500,000 if your claim is against a doctor or individual hospital;
- $750,000 if your case involves an unlicensed non-practitioners;
- $1 million for a claim if it left the victim in a vegetative state or caused their death; and
- $1.5 million for a claim against an unlicensed non-practitioner where the victim suffered a permanent vegetative state or death.
In some situations, the judges can override these limits. This usually happens only when young victims suffer lifelong injuries that will require ongoing nursing care. Some judges will also award punitive damages if the doctor acted particularly recklessly or the incident was a part of a much larger breakdown of protocol at the hospital.
How can I talk to a medical malpractice lawyer in Pembroke Pines for free?
The Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine offers complimentary consultations for victims of medical malpractice and their families. We have the knowledge and experience to understand even the most complex medical malpractice cases and we can successfully navigate the claims process to collect the compensation you deserve.
You cannot afford to take on a medical malpractice case on your own. We can often recover much more for our clients than they could collect otherwise. We can identify and interview the medical expert witness necessary to file your claim, serve notice to the doctor, and negotiate the best settlement possible in your case. Call us today at 800-747-3733 to get started.