West Palm Beach Law Firms
Florida medical malpractice law is very different from medical malpractice in other states. You have a very short amount of time to take legal action, and the process is complicated. Your attorney is required to conduct an investigation, and obtain verification from a medical expert, before filing a medical malpractice lawsuit on your behalf. Unfortunately, many medical malpractice victims are intimidated by Florida law and fail to pursue the compensation they need and deserve.
Florida Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
Before filing your medical malpractice lawsuit your attorney must investigate your case and verify that you have reasonable grounds. This involves gathering all of your medical records and sending them to a medical expert who practices in the same field of medicine as the healthcare professional who caused your injury. The expert must give a written opinion stating that he has reviewed all of your information and believes you have reasonable grounds to move forward with your lawsuit.
Your attorney must then send a Notice of Intent to each defendant, beginning the 90 day pre-suit investigation period for the defendant. Once the defendant has completed their investigation they may make a settlement offer, but typically they will deny the claim. At this point you can file your medical malpractice lawsuit.
Types of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice, also called medical negligence, occurs when a healthcare professional harms a patient by an act or omission which deviates from the standard of care. A poor outcome does not necessarily mean that malpractice has occurred. Examples of medical malpractice include:
- Surgical error
- Anesthesia error
- Medication error
- Emergency room malpractice, including patient dumping
- Failure to diagnose, misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis
- Birth injury
- Dental malpractice
- Psychiatric malpractice
- Failure to obtain informed consent
- Failure to recommend appropriate tests or treatment
- Treatment which is inappropriate for the condition or based on medical history
- Continuing an ineffective treatment
- Patient abandonment
Responsible Parties in Medical Malpractice
Any type of healthcare professional can be held responsible for malpractice, not just doctors. Healthcare facilities and institutions can also be held responsible. Example include:
- Surgical staff
- Physical therapists
- Rehabilitation centers
- Outpatient facilities
- Urgent care centers
Alternative for Birth Injuries
If your child has suffered a birth injury, you may be eligible for financial assistance through the Florida Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Plan (NICA). NICA benefits are limited, but you do not need to prove fault.