The Florida Medical Malpractice Guide was created by Victory Law Firm to help injured residents obtain maximum compensation. Call our lawyers for a review.
We put our faith in our doctors to help us heal, get better and keep us safe, but sometimes our trust is betrayed. When you have been a victim of medical malpractice, your life can change in a split second. Our Florida medical malpractice lawyers are very familiar with the types of incidents that would be considered negligent and we want to provide you with justice if you have experienced this. It’s important to us that you get justice because we want to show these careless and negligent people that they cannot get away with what they’ve done and they will be held accountable. Set up a free, initial consultation today to get started.
What is Medical Malpractice?
After suffering harm at the hands of a medical professional, you might be wondering whether or not you can file a medical malpractice case. You’ve likely never had to do this before and aren’t sure what it even means to have a case against a medical practitioner. If you have suffered at the hands of a medical care practitioner and you believe that it was because of something that they did wrong, then you likely have a medical malpractice case. Here are some examples to give you a clearer idea of what constitutes a medical malpractice case.
If you have been prescribed a certain medication— say thyroid medication for a number of years— and you go to your pharmacy to get a refill and, without your knowledge, the pharmacist gives you the wrong pills, you might be able to file a claim. That’s because not only are you not receiving the medication that you need for your thyroid but perhaps you are accidentally taking something that has a host of unwanted side effects. As a result, you now are suffering not only the effects of missing out on your necessary medication, but also from the effects of the medicine that you should not be taking. We would be bringing a case against the pharmacy for this malpractice for pharmaceutical error.
Let’s say that perhaps you showed up to the emergency room complaining about chest pains and having shortness of breath. If they send you home with a diagnosis that says you were having an anxiety attack or something relatively minor but you end up having a heart attack and needing intensive treatment to survive it, then we can file a claim for medical malpractice because of their failure to diagnose. This is particularly common with women because their cardiac symptoms tend to be believed less and don’t align with male heart attack symptoms.
When we file a claim, it is either because you had a diagnosis that was delayed or missed, had an error during surgery, a pharmaceutical error, a medical product defective issue or a birth injury.
The trauma that you suffer after having been a victim of medical malpractice can devastate your life in the worst of cases. The only way to know for sure whether or not your harm that you’ve suffered is in fact a medical malpractice case is to reach out to our Florida medical malpractice lawyers right away so we can look at the case details and tell you whether or not you should be pursuing legal action.
We are prepared to take on even the most challenging of cases to provide you with the legal representation that you need most in this very troubling moment of your life. Call and set up your free consultation today.
How Long You Have to File
When you are thinking about bringing a medical malpractice case, we want you to act urgently. It’s important that you reach out to our Florida medical malpractice lawyers right away because we have to adhere to the Florida statute of limitations. This is a hard and fast one and if you miss the statute of limitations, then you will be barred from receiving compensation.
In Florida, the amount of time you have between the date that you discovered you are a victim of medical malpractice and the date after which you are going to be barred from receiving compensation is four years. Because it is sometimes difficult to realize you have been the victim of medical malpractice, they do give you time to discover your injury. If you are in that type of situation, the date that you discover you are a victim of medical malpractice is the date on which the statute of limitation starts.
The other aspects in which you need to act urgently after you’ve been involved in a medical malpractice case is not only reaching out to our lawyers right away, but also getting the care that you need to recover from the harm and damages you had to suffer. We do understand that it can feel very counterintuitive to return to a doctor when a doctor is the reason you are in the pain that you are in today; however, it’s very important that you do so for your own well-being.
We also strongly advise against giving the insurance company that represents the liable party any sort of statement about what happened. Insurance companies are notoriously greedy and they will use any excuse they can to reduce what they are going to give you. By speaking to them about the incident you are becoming vulnerable to them and their tactics. Do not give them the upper hand. Let us speak to them on your behalf.
Florida Claims Process for Medical Malpractice
We want to emphasize the fact that you need to make the right choices in this time period. When you pursue justice for your medical malpractice case, you are doing so under the knowledge that you get one shot at it. You don’t get to settle this case and then later go and ask for a different result. This is a one-shot trial and the results that you end up with are going to be the ones that you have to live with. Knowing that, we hope you go into the selection process of finding a medical malpractice attorney carefully. You want your Florida medical malpractice lawyers to have a track record of success handling these types of cases. You also want to be able to trust them that they are going to prepare your case well. If we end up needing to go to trial, you don’t want your lawyer to be surprised by this and not prepared to succeed.
Having a lawyer fighting for your rights more often than not ensures that the results are going to be fuller and fairer than they would if you tried to do this by yourself. They are the ones who are going to be able to foresee any issues and prepare for them accordingly.
The justice that we seek is going to be money damages. This money damages are meant to help you return to the life that you lived prior to your medical malpractice. When you file this case, you are bringing it against a liable party but that does not mean the doctor is going to be shelling out your compensation for you out-of-pocket. Their insurance company is going to be the one to fulfill your financial award. Keep in mind that dealing with an insurance company means dealing with a company that wants to make a profit and wants to reduce what you will get. We fight for you to receive compensation for any and all financial losses that you’ve had to suffer, as well as any physical, mental or emotional damages you’ve had to face.
You might need extensive treatment to recover from your medical malpractice. You might need psychiatric intervention if you suffer anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder. We want you to be able to receive all of the care you need while you’re waiting for the results of your case, as we’d like you to reach a maximum medical recovery. Not only are you taking care of yourself when you do this, but you are also helping us better understand how much this accident has affected your life negatively. When we have this knowledge, we can better ensure that we are fighting for the fullest possible result we can get.
Any financial loss that you have is completely relevant and should be reflected in the end results. If you needed to miss work to recover, we want to recover those lost wages. If you can no longer return to the same type of work that you used to do before this, then we want to make sure that you are set up after this case resolves so you don’t have to worry about your lost earning capacity. We fight tirelessly for this justice.
Frequently Asked Medical Malpractice Questions
Do most medical malpractice cases in Florida go to trial?
We were on a consultation the other day with a potential client who had suffered at the hands of a doctor, and she was wondering if her case was going to have to go to trial. Medical malpractice cases in Orlando, Florida, are very aggressively litigated. The statutes tend to favor the defense of the doctors, so they usually take these cases to trial. We certainly will more than likely have to file a lawsuit. We’ve only seen one case in our office that we didn’t have to file a lawsuit on.
We do have to file a lawsuit, we do have to go through a lot of discovery, and that does take time. Even then, at the end of the day, usually you will get some type of an offer before trial. Even though they are aggressively litigated, most cases – and what we mean by trial is having a trial in front of a jury – there’s an opportunity to settle before reaching trial. You have to remember; trial is risky for both sides. There’s a risk for the defense that the jury is going to sympathize with you, and there’s also the chance for the defense that they won’t sympathize with you and you won’t make any recovery, but it’s still a risky proposition.
Usually we’ll get some type of an offer and these cases will also settle, but they don’t settle like a regular motor vehicle accident case or a slip and fall case in Florida. It usually takes a lot longer and a lot more preparation. You really need an attorney for medical malpractice that’s experienced and understands how to prepare the case and what needs to be done to get it to a posture where it can possibly settle.
For this or any other questions, feel free to give us a call for a free consultation.
How do I choose the best attorney for my medical malpractice case in Florida?
Selecting the right attorney for a medical malpractice case in Florida is a little bit more difficult than some may think. Medical malpractice in the state of Florida is a very specialized and pretty difficult field that requires someone that’s very well-versed and experienced in that area of law. There’s a lot of requirements that you must do before you even make a claim. There’s some investigation that needs to be done. There are strict timelines to when these investigations must be completed by or you can lose your rights to pursue a medical malpractice claim.
The Medical Association of Florida has done a great job to protect their doctors, and they’ve made it extremely difficult for you to make a claim for any type of medical negligence. It’s important you find someone that’s done it in the past, that has the experience, and can give you a consultation whether you have a claim or not and can pursue that claim for you aggressively.
We invite you to give us a call. We’d be happy to discuss this or any other subject with you. Particularly for medical malpractice cases, they require a little more investigation than you normally would. With our experience, we’ll be able to give you an honest opinion about your case or any other questions that you may have.
How do I determine the value of my medical malpractice case?
As with motor vehicle accidents, clients typically ask us how much their case is worth how the value of a case is determined. For medical malpractice it’s unique. Medical malpractice cases tend to be aggressively litigated and defended by the insurance companies and the representatives of the doctors and hospitals. There are also very large insurance policies. We’re talking about insurance policies worth hundreds of millions of dollars. In those types of circumstances, they can be as aggressive as they need to be when defending these claims.
The cost of bringing these cases to trial is pretty high. They can be anywhere from $25,000 to $50,000 to $150,000. We’ve seen cases that have cost $300,000 in preparation, just to get to trial. The medical malpractice cases that are viable in Florida tend to be cases that have a significant value because of the economics; that’s the only way to make it economically feasible for a law firm or an attorney to take a case to trial.
How to determine the value of your case is difficult. A lot of people think that just because they’re injured, they have a case that’s got a significant value, and it may, but, under medical malpractice rules, it may not. It just depends. This is a non-answer, we understand, but it’s just incredibly difficult to really give an accurate measure of damages without seeing what the malpractice was, how clear it was, and what the type of injuries are. Suffice to say if an attorney does accept your case, it’s because they believe that there’s a significant value.
If you have any questions related to your specific case, if you can tell us a little bit more about what happened, a little bit more about your injuries, we would certainly be able to at least be able to tell you more or less the range of value of what your case may be worth. If you have those questions or to answer any other questions, feel free to give us a call.
How long does a medical malpractice case take in Florida?
We were speaking to a friend of the firm recently. He said that his mom had been seeing a doctor and felt that maybe the doctor had made a mistake, and he was wondering if we could evaluate the case for him. He asked how long it takes, and we thought that might be an interesting topic to share about the length of time that these medical malpractice cases take. Unfortunately, medical malpractice is one of the areas of law that takes the longest to resolve. The reason is because there’s a pre-suit investigation required, which is very time consuming. You have two years to go through that process, and then there’s the litigation process.
The Florida Medical Association has done a good job of protecting their doctors and have been able to protect them to a certain extent, so insurance companies tend to be very aggressive in the way that they defend these cases. It’s not uncommon for medical malpractice cases to take years and years of litigation. We’ve been fortunate to resolve a few medical malpractice cases relatively quickly, but it’s not the common occurrence.
Every case is different, and it’s important that you talk to a qualified attorney that’s experience in this field that can give you an estimate of how they’re going to defend the case and how aggressive the defense is going to be. That’s going to depend on what happened, the type of injuries, and whether the liability is clear. Every case is different, so we invite you to give us a call. We can sit down with you, see if your medical malpractice case is one that is right for being resolved early, and we can give you a free consultation related to that topic. If you have any questions on this or any other topics, feel free to give us a call.
How much does a medical malpractice lawyer cost in Florida?
Many times, during the consultations with our clients they ask, “How much is this going to cost me?” Fortunately, we charge on what is called a contingency basis, which means we only get paid in the even that there’s a recovery made on your behalf. This means that technically, at the beginning of a case, you don’t have to front any of the costs for either the attorney or the cost to prepare your case, and at the end we take a percentage.
For medical malpractice cases, it’s a little bit different. There’s some constitutional issues that we have to discuss related to what percentage we’re allowed to charge and what percentage we request to charge, and that’s something that needs to be discussed in a consultation setting once we know the specifics of your case and what it’s going to require to take your case forward. Initially it’s a free consultation and, if we do take on your case, there’s really no payment unless there’s a recovery. It’s a very low-risk thing for the client.
It’s important that you contact us. Feel free to contact us if you feel like you’ve suffered at the hands of a medical professional. Contact us and we’d be happy to help, happy to answer any questions you have, and the consultation is absolutely free. For this or any other questions, feel free to give us a call.
Should I speak to the insurance company after a medical malpractice injury?
Medical malpractice in Orlando, Florida, is one of the most complicated and most aggressively litigated areas of practice. It’s never a good idea to contact the hospital about whether you believe there was some type of negligence that occurred or not. It’s always best to speak to an attorney first. Whether it’s a hospital or a small practice, many times just the fact that you believe that there was negligence, and you bring that to their attention, can cause them to start taking steps to make sure that they can defend themselves. It’s important to allow the attorney to do the investigation and allow the attorney to contact them once all the evidence is in. It’s important that you allow the attorney to do their job.
These cases are not the type that the hospital will settle with you individually. They hardly settle at all. Usually these cases require a lawsuit and require you getting close to trial before there’s ever any type of discussion for settlement. It’s important that you don’t reach out to anyone except your attorney. Allow them to explore the case and obtain the evidence before you make any type of action.
If you have any type of question regarding this or any other subject, feel free to contact us for a free consultation.
What mistakes can I avoid after a medical malpractice case?
A client recently asked, in the event that they suffered an injury from medical malpractice in Orlando, Florida, what they should avoid and what they should do or not do. It got us thinking of mistakes people tend to make in medical malpractice cases. Usually, especially with smaller doctors’ offices, one of the main mistakes that we see them make is they inform the physician and try to make a claim on their own. That’s a big mistake. We’ve seen additional records added to files. We’ve seen records removed from files. We’ve seen them prepare themselves if there’s a lawsuit coming. That’s one of the worst things you can do, is to give them a heads up as to what is coming, because of the risk of the evidence not being the same or not being there when you do decide to make a claim. That’s really the most important thing.
The next thing is waiting too long. A lot of people say, “I feel worse now after my treatment, after my surgery, after my visit. I feel a lot worse but let me see what happens.” That’s a big mistake. You want to have that case evaluated as quickly as possible. Florida has a very strict time limit. It’s usually a two-year statute of limitations for you to bring a claim. There are some exceptions, however, and that is a very complicated area as well. The sooner you act, the sooner you consult with an attorney, the sooner your case is evaluated, the better, just because of the strict time limits that are available. If you don’t follow those time limits, you could lose your rights forever.
It’s important that, if you feel that maybe there was a mistake made, you immediately get a consultation with a qualified attorney that specializes in medical malpractice. As attorneys, we must be able to protect your rights and we need the time to do so. For this or any other question, feel free to give us a call for a free consultation.
Call Our Florida Medical Malpractice Lawyers
We are passionate about bringing representation to injured victims in our community. If you have suffered a terrible fate with a medical care practitioner, then we hope you reach out to our office immediately. Our Florida medical malpractice lawyers are very attentive and promise to always be there to provide you with the information and support that you need. We will fight tirelessly to ensure that our clients get justice. Call to set up a free consultation today.