Doctors and other healthcare providers must uphold the highest of standards when providing treatment and patient care. Because of the serious nature of their jobs, the law requires them to have years of extensive training on how to diagnose, test, treat, and observe progress in patients with a variety of medical concerns.
When doctors fail to follow these protocols and a patient suffers undue pain or further injury, this may constitute medical malpractice. Medical malpractice can cause major complications and even death.
If your doctor or other care provider acted carelessly or negligently and it caused you or a family member to suffer, the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine can help. Our lawyers know you want to hold the doctor accountable for his mistakes and that you need compensation to cover additional medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses. Call our office today at 800-747-3733 to schedule your complimentary consultation with a medical malpractice lawyer in Port St. Lucie.
Was it medical malpractice?
Doctors are only human. They, too, make mistakes. However, there is a big difference in a mistake and medical malpractice. In order for malpractice to occur, the care provider must have failed to act in the way a reasonable professional with the same training and experience would have acted. Usually, this means failing to follow accepted protocols, which leads to:
- Failing to diagnose something other doctors could diagnose;
- Not offering the appropriate and accepted treatment;
- Allowing preventable injuries, especially during childbirth;
- Prescribing the wrong medications;
- Patients receiving the wrong medications; and
- Preventable surgical complications.
Every situation a doctor finds himself in has an accepted protocol, designed to keep patients safe. This protocol can call for double-checking names and birthdates on charts before giving medications or paying attention to which limb he marks prior to an amputation. These protocols exist for a reason. Failing to follow them can have dire consequences.
When we meet to discuss your claim, we can help you understand where things went wrong in your case. We can help you identify who caused your injuries and explain your options for compensation.
Can I file for compensation in my case?
Before we can recover compensation for your medical malpractice injuries, we need to prove your doctor acted negligently. To do this, we need to show he did not live up to the high standards expected of a Port St. Lucie healthcare provider. To win a medical malpractice case, Florida law requires us to show that your doctor failed to provide the same standard of care as peers with similar training and experience.
This is where those accepted protocols come in. If a doctor always follows the accepted protocols and procedures when treating patients, he cannot be guilty of medical malpractice. If your doctor did not follow these procedures, we can often file a claim for compensation to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
How long do I have to file a medical malpractice claim in Florida?
Florida law places limits on how long you have to file a lawsuit against a doctor or other negligent care provider. In most cases, there is a two-year statute of limitations for malpractice cases. If you only found your injuries later or if the victim was a child, you may have longer.
This is why it is essential you contact us as soon as possible about your claim. The sooner we begin the process, the sooner you can have the cash you need in your pocket.
What role does a medical expert play in a case like mine?
Florida law requires that a medical expert provide written testimony approving your claim before we can ask for compensation for your damages. This expert must have similar training and experience as the doctor we are filing a claim against.
We use our network of community partners and other resources to identify an expert that meets the qualifications for your case. Then, the expert reviews your situation and offers an opinion about the protocols and procedures a competent physician would have used to diagnose, treat, or otherwise help you. This written testimony highlights how your doctor failed to follow those accepted protocols. This is the proof we need to move forward with your medical malpractice claim.
What is the medical malpractice claim process like?
After we secure testimony from a medical expert, we are free to serve your doctor with the special notice saying we intend to file a medical malpractice claim. Florida law requires us to file this notice, and gives the doctor or his hospital 90 days to offer you a fair compensation package.
After filing this notice, we typically begin discussions with the doctor’s malpractice insurance provider or a legal team representing the doctor and hospital. We negotiate aggressively, fighting for the money you need to cover the losses you experienced because of your doctor’s negligence. In most cases, we can reach a fair settlement during this period. Occasionally, we must pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit because the insurance company refuses a just settlement that covers your expenses as well as your pain and suffering.
How much can I recover from my claim?
There is no way to give you an exact value of your claim without first knowing the specifics of your case and the total of your losses. We can often recover the full amount of economic damages—medical treatment, lost wages, and other expenses—in a medical malpractice claim. In addition, we can ask for pain and suffering damages. If your case goes to court, Florida law caps these damages. These limits include:
- A $500,000 cap when the claim is against a doctor or single hospital;
- A $750,000 cap when the claim involves unlicensed non-practitioners; and
- A $1 million cap when the malpractice resulted in the victim being in a vegetative state or resulted in death. This limit rises to $1.5 million in cases involving unlicensed non-practitioners.
In some cases, the judge may override these caps. This typically only occurs when the malpractice caused serious injuries and the victim will require ongoing, lifelong nursing care. We can also request punitive damages in some very specific situations, such as if the doctor deliberately caused you harm.
How can the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine help?
Medical malpractice laws are complex and require a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer to successfully navigate. You do not want to face a team of lawyers from an insurance company alone. We can guide you through this complicated process by locating a medical expert witness, securing testimony, and negotiating a fair settlement that covers your losses.
Call the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine today at 800-744-3733 to set up a free consultation with a Port St. Lucie medical malpractice lawyer.