How to Sue a Doctor for Malpractice in Florida
Gregg Hollander | July 7, 2022 | Medical Malpractice
Healthcare providers owe their patients a duty to provide adequate care. If they fail to uphold this duty, Florida law allows injured patients to file a medical malpractice claim to seek compensation for the harm they have suffered. However, suing a doctor for malpractice is a complex process that usually requires the help of an experienced medical malpractice lawyer and expert witness to corroborate your claim.
Follow Procedural Guidelines
The Florida Comprehensive Medical Malpractice Reform Act is the state’s law that explains how to sue a doctor for medical malpractice. It establishes a variety of procedural guidelines that you must follow when pursuing this type of claim. This law gives you two years from the date of alleged malpractice to file a claim. Specifically, this law applies to substandard care provided by healthcare providers, such as:
- Ambulatory surgical centers
Your lawyer can evaluate your claim and explain whether this law applies to your case based on the type of job the negligent healthcare provider has.
Investigate the Claim
Under the Florida Comprehensive Medical Malpractice Reform Act, a medical malpractice lawyer must first conduct a pre-suit investigation before advancing a medical malpractice claim. This is to determine which defendants are liable for medical negligence.
The Florida Bar explains that a petition is made to the court, and an automatic 90-day extension is granted during this investigation period. This period is also in place to help encourage settlement between the parties.
Provide Legal Notice
Once the plaintiff’s lawyer begins the investigation, they must give each potential defendant notice that they are planning on suing for malpractice before they file a lawsuit in court. After this notice is mailed to the defendant, the lawyer cannot file a lawsuit against the defendant for 90 days.
The defendant’s insurer also has to investigate the claim and determine if there is any liability for medical malpractice. If the defendant does not believe there are any grounds for a medical malpractice claim, they must provide a written verified medical opinion of this nature.
The parties are required to cooperate during this investigation, share medical records, and act in good faith.
Establish You Have a Viable Claim
Your legal complaint will need to establish that your claim meets all of the requisite elements, which include:
- You had a doctor/patient relationship with the healthcare provider who harmed you
- Your healthcare provider owed you a duty of care
- The provider did not act within the prevailing duty of care
- Because of the provider’s failure to act within the appropriate standard of care, you were injured
- You suffered compensable damages
All medical providers owe patients a standard of care that corresponds with the type of care another medical provider in the same specialty would provide under similar circumstances. When they fail to uphold this standard, you have the right to pursue compensation for the damages you suffered. Suing a doctor can be an intimidating process, but a reputable medical malpractice lawyer can help.
Make a Demand for Damages
In Florida, patients who have been harmed by medical negligence have the right to seek compensation for economic damages they suffer, which may include:
- Additional medical expenses incurred because of the malpractice
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
Additionally, they can seek compensation for damages that are not as easy to quantify from an economic standpoint, including:
- Pain and suffering
- Physical impairment
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
If you would like to learn more about the potential value of your claim, a West Palm Beach medical malpractice firm can give you an estimate.
Contact Our Medical Malpractice Law Firm in South Florida
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – Boca Raton Law Office
7000 W Palmetto Park Rd #500
Boca Raton, FL 33433
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – Fort Lauderdale Law Office
200 S.E. 6th Street #203
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – West Palm Beach Law Office
319 Clematis St #203
West Palm Beach, FL 33401