Doctors and other medical practitioners must undergo extensive schooling and supervised, hands-on learning before they can work on their own. This is due to the very nature of their jobs; they make life-and-death decisions for their patients every day. They have certain protocols and procedures they must follow to ensure each patient receives the proper triage, diagnosis, and treatment. Failing to follow these accepted practices can cause immense harm to the patient.
At the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine, our team of medical malpractice attorneys can work with you to help you understand your legal options if you suffered injuries or an illness because of a mistake your doctor, their clinic, or staff at the hospital made during the course of your treatment. If necessary, we will file a claim on your behalf and fight for the full value of the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 800-747-3733 for a free case review with a medical malpractice lawyer in Port Charlotte.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Doctors are only human. Sometimes, they make minor mistakes. State law understands this and does not hold it against them. However, failing to abide by the accepted protocols and procedures in understanding the seriousness of a patient’s illness or injury, diagnosing them, and treating them is not just a minor mistake. This is medical malpractice. Malpractice occurs in a wide variety of ways, but all result from a failure to follow the commonly accepted practices of other doctors with the same level of training in the same geographical area.
Some of the most common ways we see medical malpractice occur include:
- Failure to triage a patient properly or misunderstanding the seriousness of their condition;
- Failure to diagnose a condition another doctor would diagnose;
- Failure to adhere to the standard treatment protocol;
- Failure to warn patient of risks of treatment;
- Failure to stop a patient from suffering preventable complications;
- Failure to stop preventable birth injuries;
- Prescribing the wrong medication or administering the wrong medication;
- Prescribing medication with a known interaction or reaction; and
- Surgical mistakes, including lost instruments during a procedure.
These are only some of the ways medical malpractice can occur in South Florida. If you believe you suffered from complications or a prolonged illness because of a mistake your doctor made, call us today. We can help you understand if the action—or lack of action—is malpractice and advise you of your legal options for compensation. We offer complimentary case evaluations, so you have nothing to lose by talking to us about your illness or injury.
How Can We Prove the Doctor Failed to Follow Proper Protocols?
Florida medical malpractice laws require us to identify a medical expert witness who will attest to the malpractice your doctor or other practitioner committed. This is often the key evidence in this type of claim, giving both us and the judge insight into how inappropriately your doctor behaved.
Before we can even notify the doctor or hospital of our concerns, we must collect written testimony in the form of an affidavit from this witness. The laws require us to recruit a witness who has similar training and a similar background as the doctor in question and works in the same geographical area.
We have dozens of expert witnesses throughout South Florida. We can quickly locate and recruit one to testify on your behalf for your Port Charlotte medical malpractice claim. In their testimony, they will discuss the current best practices and protocols for a patient suffering your condition. They must testify as to what a competent and reasonable practitioner would do based on your symptoms and whether or not the actions your doctor took were those of a reasonably competent practitioner.
How Does the Medical Malpractice Claims Process Work?
After we collect the affidavit from the medical expert witness, we can file the paperwork and serve notice of our claim with the doctor’s legal team and malpractice insurance provider. They have 90 days from the date they receive this notice to complete an investigation of the incident and offer a fair settlement that meets our needs to cover your losses. It is usually in their best interest to settle this type of claim quickly, so they engage in settlement negotiations during this period.
Often, we can reach a fair settlement based on the evidence of your losses during this period. Most medical malpractice cases settle out of court and you receive your money within a few months of filing our claim. Of course, not every case goes smoothly. If they deny any wrongdoing or refuse to offer a fair settlement during this 90-day window, we can file a lawsuit against them in civil court.
What Is the Statute of Limitations on a Medical Malpractice Claim?
In most cases, we only have two years from the time you discover the malpractice until you lose the eligibility to file a lawsuit against the doctor or hospital. The Florida statute of limitations for medical malpractice is complex, however. If you do not discover the medical malpractice for more than two years, there is likely still a four-year limit from the date the malpractice occurred. When the victim of malpractice is a minor, you may have an exception to the statute of limitations that gives you a longer period to file a claim.
As you can probably tell, it is often difficult to understand exactly how long you may have to file a lawsuit against an incompetent doctor. We can help you understand how long you may have, but it pays you to take action as soon as possible after discovering your injuries.
Does Florida Law Limit the Amount of Damages I Can Recover in a Malpractice Claim?
Florida law allows us to recover all your economic losses you suffered, but there is a cap on how much we can recover for pain and suffering and other non-economic losses.
Occasionally, a judge will override these limits for victims who suffered catastrophic injuries due to medical malpractice. We may also be able to collect additional compensation by asking the judge to award punitive damages based on the facts of the case.
How Can I Reach a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Port Charlotte?
If you believe you were the victim of medical malpractice in South Florida, our team at the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine can help you understand your rights. Call us today at 800-747-3733 to schedule a free case review with a Port Charlotte medical malpractice lawyer.