Medical Malpractice In Florida
Being a victim of medical malpractice can severely affect your and your loved ones’ lives, and the process of filing a medical malpractice claim can be difficult and confusing. This blog post is meant to share some insight on what to do if you are a victim of medical malpractice and are unsure of what to do.
Florida’s medical malpractice laws are very complex, so if you believe that you’re a victim, its important to get in contact with an attorney as soon as possible, because there is only a two-year statute of limitations on your claim. This means that you have to file your claim withing two years of the date of injury, but the statute of limitations on medical malpractice claims can be increased by two years if the injury was not immediately noticable. If your doctor committed fraud or tried to conceal the injury, the statute of limitations can be extended to up to seven years after the date of injury.
While it is understandable that medical professionals can make mistakes, it’s also important to know that there are certain regulations and procedures that doctors are required to follow to protect their patients. Medical malpractice claims begin when a doctor violates these procedures for any reason, and examples include but are not limited to misdiagnosed or undiagnosed conditions, medication errors, surgery errors, improperly administered anesthesia, etc.
Medical malpractice cases require certain legal standards to be met to have the possibility of being brought to court, and you should also know that not every health complication constitutes a medical malpractice case. Sometimes there can be complications with surgeries and people can die even if the doctor or surgeon was trying their best to save the patient’s life. To bring a medical malpractice case forth, you need to have a formal doctor-patient relationship with whomever you are suing, proof that the doctor acted negligently, and you must also be injured.
Proving a medical malpractice case is even more difficult, requiring you to have another medical professional from the same field to testify in court or sign a sworn affadavit that supports your claim of malpractice. So, if you get injured because of a negligent heart surgeon, you need a different heart surgeon to either testify or sign an affidavit that confirms the presence of medical malpractice. You also need to be able to prove that the reason for your injuries was your doctor’s negligence (AKA causation).
One last thing to know about medical malpractice cases is that there are no limits on the non-economic damages. This includes damages like loss of quality of life, anxiety, mental anguish, and chronic pain. Before, there was a $500,000 cap for practitioners and a $750,000 cap for non-practitioners to pay for damages like the aforementioned. There has never been a cap on economic damages such as medical bills and future earnings lost, but there have been proposed bills to go around the Florida Supreme Court’s decision in North Broward Hospital Dist. v. Kalitan, which led to the dissolution of non-economic damage caps.
Hopefully this blog post has been able to inform you about medical malpractice cases and what to do if you believe you’re a victim of one. Remember, an apple a day keeps the doctor away!