When visiting a doctor’s office or a medical facility, you expect a high level of competency from your health care provider. Suffering serious physical injuries from a medical professional’s negligence likely never enters your mind. Unfortunately, medical malpractice can — and does — happen. If it happened to you, you might be entitled to compensation. A medical malpractice lawyer in Plantation can help.
Time is of the essence when filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in Florida. You have two years from the date your injury occurred — in most cases — to file a malpractice claim. Contact the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine at 800-747-3733 to schedule a free case evaluation.
What can Anidjar & Levine do for me?
We help you determine which medical professional or medical facility to hold legally responsible for your injuries. We will also determine whether the medical professional in question is an employee or an independent contractor. If the medical professional is an employee, we can likely hold the hospital liable for its employee’s actions; if the medical professional is an independent contractor, however, we can only hold the individual liable.
Our team of attorneys, investigators, and medical experts also determines how health care professionals failed to follow medical protocols and how their negligence lead to your injuries.
This involves establishing the four elements of negligence:
- Duty of Care: Medical professionals have a duty to follow a standard of care established by the medical community for treating patients.
- Breach of Duty:A medical professional breached the responsibility owed to you as a patient. For instance, if your doctor confirmed you have heart disease but did not prescribe you blood thinners, your doctor breached the duty of care owed to you by neglecting to provide necessary medication.
- Negligence: The medical professional’s negligence caused you harm. In the example mentioned above, if you had a heart condition and later suffered a stroke, we could establish that your doctor’s negligence resulted in you sustaining a more serious injury.
- Damages:Damages refer to the expenses and losses you experienced due to your injuries. For instance, your stroke may have required you to spend time in the hospital and a rehabilitation facility. As a result, you had out-of-pocket medical expenses.
Navigate the Process
After we complete our investigation and establish liability and negligence, Florida’s medical malpractice statute requires us to notify all potential defendants to tell them that you plan to file a claim. As a part of this notice, a qualified medical expert provides a written opinion validating your claim that negligence occurred in your medical treatment.
This notification starts a 90-day period for the defendants and their insurance companies to review your malpractice claims. After 90 days, the defendants can reject your claim, make a settlement offer, or admit liability and negotiate damages. If the defendants refuse to settle or offer you a fair settlement, we will discuss filing a lawsuit.
We will ensure we file this suit promptly to avoid overstepping the statute of limitations.
We can help you recover the compensation you need.
Our legal team works hard to ensure you receive the compensation to which you are entitled under Florida law. Florida’s medical malpractice statute does not put a limit on economic damages, such as past and future medical bills, lost earnings, current and future rehabilitation costs, and any other expenses paid due to medical malpractice.
The state law previously capped noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering, at $500,000, and at $1 million if medical negligence resulted in a permanent vegetative state or death. In June 2017, however, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that capping noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases is unconstitutional and violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Florida Constitution. The court concluded that the caps on noneconomic damages “…arbitrarily reduce damage awards for plaintiffs who suffer the most drastic injuries.”
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your injuries, we may demand punitive damages from the defendants. Punitive damages punish medical professionals or a medical facility for intentional or gross misconduct. For instance, courts have awarded punitive damages when doctors sexually abuse patients or when a surgeon removes the wrong body part.
In most cases, Florida’s statute limits punitive damages to three times the amount of compensatory damages awarded (for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering) or $500,000, whichever is greater.
In cases involving wrongdoing motivated by “unreasonable financial gain” and the dangerous nature of the defendant’s conduct had a high likelihood of causing injury, punitive damages may not exceed four times the amount of compensatory damages awarded or $2 million, whichever is greater.
Call Anidjar & Levine and let us review your medical malpractice case.
Medical errors are now the third leading cause of death in the United States, according to a study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Victims who survive the malpractice often suffer long-term effects and must contend with their injury for the rest of their lives.
If you suffered injuries because of a health care professional’s errors and negligence, we can help you. We can navigate the process and help you hold health care providers liable for their negligent actions.
Contact the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine today at 800-747-3733 for your free initial consultation.