Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim
Do you suspect that you were injured because of the negligence of a medical care professional? You might be looking into filing a medical malpractice claim. Here is what you need to know about how that would work.
Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim | The Process
In the State of Florida, you can’t jump right away into filing a medical malpractice suit. You have to go through a pre-suit process, during which time your attorney will gather all relevant medical records and send these to an expert for independent review. This expert will provide an affidavit, which your attorney will send via certified mail to the medical provider. That medical provider will have 90 days to consult with an attorney and malpractice carrier, and at the end of that period must either admit or deny the claim. If the medical provider denies your claim, your attorney will file a lawsuit.
To win your case, you need to do more than document substandard care. Substandard care per se does not cause damages. You need to prove causation – in other words, that the documented substandard care directly caused physical and/or emotional damages. In general, you also have to demonstrate catastrophic, long term, or permanent damages. If you recover before too far into your suit – and suits will, again, last years – you may only get enough in recoverable damages to pay your attorney and the expert witnesses you hired.
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Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim | Case Length
In Florida, the pre-suit process (explained above) adds a 90-day waiting period before a case can even go to trial. Medical malpractice is one of the more frequently litigated areas of law, which means the courts are backed up. One case could take two to three years if mistakes or acts of negligence are well-documented or obvious, or to five to six years in cases that require deposition of experts from around the country, and conflicting evidence or testimony.
Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim | Case Value
If you’ve been a victim of medical malpractice, you and your family need compensation. The complexity of malpractice cases, however, requires significant research and testimony from expert witnesses, all of whom must be paid. You can’t pay them out-of-pocket – you’re already struggling. This money has to come from your reward. Because of that, your damages have to rise to a certain level, so you can pay your attorney and expert witnesses and still have compensation left over. As such, it is not generally worth your time to pursue a claim for a minor injury.
If you need help filing a medical malpractice claim, please call our Tampa medical malpractice lawyers today for a free consultation.