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Do I Have a Medical Malpractice Case?

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Posted on May 14, 2024

Do you have a medical malpractice case? Follow this guide to determine if your situation meets the requirements to file a claim under Florida law.

Do I have a medical malpractice case

Florida Medical Malpractice Requirements

There are 3 legal requirements to file a claim for malpractice in Florida:

  • Your doctor made a negligent mistake that caused you harm.
  • You suffered damages as a result of the medical error.
  • You are within the statute of limitations.

Read on for a detailed explanation of each of these requirements.

Contact a Tampa medical malpractice lawyer to discuss your specific situation and determine if you can file a claim.

Did Your Doctor Make a Negligent Mistake?

The first requirement for a medical malpractice case is that the doctor (or other healthcare provider) deviated from the accepted standard of care.

The standard of care refers to the level of skill, care, and treatment that other healthcare providers in the same field would provide under similar circumstances.

So if your doctor made a mistake that most competent doctors would not have made, that could constitute malpractice.

You’ll also need to prove that the medical error directly caused you harm or injury.

Simply having a bad outcome is not enough – the bad outcome must be directly linked to the provider’s negligence.

It’s important to get your medical records and have them reviewed by an independent medical expert who can evaluate if malpractice occurred.

An expert will look at things like your diagnosis, the treatment plan, informed consent process, and whether all appropriate tests/procedures were performed properly.

Did You Suffer Damages Because of the Medical Error?

To have a malpractice case, you must show that you suffered quantifiable damages as a result of the medical error.

This could include additional medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, permanent disability, etc.

If you have suffered damages due to the medical error, you’re entitled to recover compensation from the healthcare provider who was negligent.

If you haven’t suffered damages, you may not be able to bring a medical malpractice claim. However, you should still report the medical error to the Florida Board of Medicine.

Has the Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations Passed?

The statute of limitations is the deadline to file a lawsuit. In Florida, you generally have 2 years from when the medical error was discovered and up to 4 years from when the incident took place.

But there are exceptions that can extend the amount of time you have to file your case.

Common exceptions to the statute of limitations are:

  • Children who were the victim of medical negligence have until they turn 18 to pursue a claim.
  • The statute of limitations does not apply if the healthcare provider concealed information or misled you to prevent you from discovering their medical error.
  • The statute of limitations does not apply in cases where a medical professional caused intentional harm.

Contact a Medical Malpractice Attorney

Medical malpractice cases are extremely complex, so you should consult with an attorney to review your specific situation and assess whether you have grounds to proceed with a lawsuit.

Call (813) 471-4444 today for a free consultation with a medical malpractice lawyer at Vanguard Attorneys.