When you go to the doctor’s office or a hospital for medical treatment, you place trust in your care provider’s medical expertise and ability to provide proper treatment. Medical Malpractice occurs when your doctor provides you treatment that does not meet the accepted standard of care, resulting in an injury, damages, or death. Doctors are human and they make mistakes, but when you hold someone’s life or well-being in your hands, you need to do everything you can to minimize and eliminate errors. If any of the following medical errors have caused you harm, then you may have grounds for a medical malpractice case:
– Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis
– Medical device malfunction or usage errors
– Negligent care
– Surgical errors
– Misreading or misinterpreting medical documents
– Improper or insufficient treatment
If you or a loved one were injured as a result of care provided by your doctor, then you may have a medical malpractice claim. To establish a case, the following elements must exist:
Doctor Patient Relationship – You must be able to prove that you went to this doctor and they provided you with a medical service.
Breach of Duty – All doctors have a duty to provide an accepted standard of care to their patients. A breach of this duty is established by showing that other doctors in the same field, given the same situation, would have made a different diagnosis or issued a different treatment.
Breach, Injury, Damages – Lastly, you must prove that the breach of duty by your doctor caused your injury and therefore is the reason for your damages.
After a hospital makes a medical mistake that causes injury, they will sometimes approach you and offer to make a fast and clean settlement. They may even try to convince you to not seek legal representation by saying that a lawyer will just take a portion of your settlement. In most cases, you will want to ignore their advice and hire a lawyer.
Often in medical malpractice cases, the medical provider will offer you a settlement and tell you that they have deducted the costs of what you would spend on an attorney. Although this may sound like a reasonable offer, more often than not, an offer like this is less than you may be entitled too. Hiring an experienced medical malpractice attorney will ensure that your rights are upheld and is your first step toward receiving the best possible outcome from your case.
A medical provider’s claim adjuster will rarely offer to pay you fair value for your case. Most offers will cover all or most of your medical expenses. While this may sound sufficient, often times your case is worth much more. The medical provider has experience handling settlement negotiations in malpractice claims and despite what they tell you, they know the true value of your claim. Inexperience and lack of knowledge puts you in an unfair negotiating position. A medical malpractice lawyer can help you determine the true value of your claim and will not let the medical provider take advantage of you.
Obtaining medical documents and records, researching diagnoses and treatments for your condition, and finding a doctor who will validate your claims is not only costly but also time consuming. While this is difficult to do, there is also a statute of limitations issue in the State of Florida when it comes to medical malpractice cases.
The statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice claim is 2 years from the time the malpractice occurred or 2 years from its discovery. Regardless of whether you know malpractice has occurred, you cannot file a claim if more than 4 years have passed from the date of the incident. However, if fraud, concealment, or intentional misrepresentation of fact prevented the discovery of malpractice, then you have 4 years from the time the malpractice occurs or when it is discovered to make a claim. Under no circumstance can you file if 7 years have passed from the date of the incident.
Two years to file a claim does not give you a lot of time to figure things out on your own, especially if you spend a few months to a year recovering from the incident. Upon gathering the necessary documents, the Khonsari Law Group can review your situation and help you understand your options and ultimately determine if you have case worth pursuing. For more information contact us by phone at (727) 269-5300 or by completing our Free Consultation form.
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