The Process Of Filing A Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
A study from 2018 estimates that approximately 250,000 deaths due to medical error occur in the United States each year, making medical mistakes the third-most common cause of death. However, only an average of 10 percent of medical errors are reported. This happens for many different reasons, not least of all being intimidated by the complexities of the medical malpractice system. If you are in Florida and believe that you have been the victim of a medical mistake, you have the right to file suit against those who injured you – but doing so can be time-consuming and difficult.
Can I Even File Suit?
It is important to understand that not every medical mistake rises to the level of malpractice – for example, if a mistake did not lead to a patient being harmed, there is nothing to file suit over. However, for those that do cause harm, it is crucial that you be able to link the harm with the actions (or lack thereof) of your doctor before you think about seeking compensation – if there are other factors that could have caused your injuries, you will not prevail on your claim.
If you can establish that your doctor breached the prevailing standard of care, and that their actions directly caused the harm you suffered, you may believe that you have a strong case for medical malpractice, and you very well might. However, Florida law imposes additional requirements on an injured plaintiff that can sometimes derail the most badly injured from actually filing their cases.
Other Potential Roadblocks Exist
In addition to the question of whether your case meets the definition of medical malpractice, Florida law establishes certain other requirements that an injured plaintiff must meet before they will be permitted to file suit against a medical provider. These criteria must be fulfilled within the two-year (or four-year, depending on the specific facts of your situation) statute of limitations for cases involving medical malpractice, which means that an individual must act fast or that time will disappear.
The biggest roadblock for an injured plaintiff is Florida’s “pre-suit investigation” requirements, which require the plaintiff to ‘investigate’ whether there are ”reasonable grounds to believe” that the defendant was negligent. Because of a perceived ‘crisis’ in the healthcare industry, the state tries to curb the number of malpractice lawsuits lest insurance premiums rise – but if you have been injured by the negligence of a medical professional, you deserve a chance to receive the compensation you are due.
Contact An Orlando Medical Malpractice Attorney
Being injured by a medical professional can feel like a betrayal of trust, and if the injury is serious, it can feel too intimidating to try and recover compensation for it while you focus on healing. An Orlando medical malpractice attorney can help – the Hornsby Law Group has experience in these matters and will work hard to give you the best chance at financial recovery. Call our office today for a free consultation.