How to Sue a Doctor for Medical Malpractice in West Palm Beach, FL
Gregg Hollander | March 21, 2022 | Medical Malpractice
When we are ill or injured, we seek treatment from a medical professional. We make an appointment to see a doctor or go to the emergency room or urgent care facility. We trust that the doctor will diagnose the condition and prescribe a treatment plan that helps us heal and recover.
However, doctors make mistakes. Some physicians are negligent. Unfortunately, a doctor’s negligence and wrongdoing can cause harm and injury. In some cases, medical malpractice can lead to wrongful death.
You can sue a doctor for medical malpractice in West Palm Beach, FL. Medical malpractice lawsuits provide compensation for injured patients and their families.
However, filing a medical malpractice lawsuit is complicated. It involves several procedural requirements before you can file the lawsuit. Therefore, it is wise to seek legal advice from a West Palm Beach medical malpractice lawyer as soon as you believe that a doctor’s actions caused you harm.
What Are the Steps to Sue a Doctor for Medical Malpractice in West Palm Beach, FL?
Before filing a medical malpractice claim in Florida, you must take specific procedural steps. Those steps include:
Verify the Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Claims
A statute of limitations is the deadline for filing a lawsuit against another party. If you do not file the lawsuit before the deadline, the court dismisses your case.
The statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims in Florida is generally two years from the date the malpractice was discovered or should have reasonably been discovered.
However, there is a strict four-year deadline from the date of the malpractice to file a lawsuit, except in a case brought on behalf of a minor before the child’s eighth birthday. The statute also provides an extension of the deadline to file medical malpractice lawsuits in cases of concealment, fraud, or intentional misrepresentation.
Calculating the deadline to file a medical malpractice claim in Florida can be confusing. Therefore, it is always best to seek legal advice as soon as possible if you believe you are the victim of medical negligence or medical errors.
Send a Notice of Claim for Medical Malpractice
Before filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, you must send a notice of claim to the doctor and all other potential defendants. The notice of claim is required by Florida Statute §766.106. The statute provides detailed instructions for sending the pre-suit notice.
A pre-suit notice must be given at least 90 days before filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. The notice must include information about the basis for the medical malpractice claim. It must also include information about the medical expert you hired to complete an affidavit supporting your claim.
Provide a Certificate or Affidavit of a Qualified Medical Expert
Before filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, you must complete a pre-suit investigation. The investigation determines the basis for your malpractice claim.
You need a medical expert to complete an affidavit certifying the basis for your medical malpractice claim. In addition, the medical expert must find reasonable grounds to determine that malpractice occurred. Without the affidavit, you cannot file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Florida.
Prove Medical Malpractice Occurred After Filing a Lawsuit
To win your case, you must satisfy the legal standard proving that your doctor is guilty of medical malpractice.
Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or other medical professional:
- Owes you a duty of care;
- Breached the duty of care by failing to provide care that meets or exceeds the accepted medical standard of care; and
- Directly caused you to sustain an injury or worsened an illness or condition.
The medical standard of care is specific and based on the facts of your case. The standard of care varies depending on the circumstances.
Therefore, you need a medical expert to testify regarding the standard of care applicable in your case. Also, the medical expert needs to testify how the doctor’s conduct failed to meet the acceptable medical standard for your situation. Finally, you have the burden of proving that the doctor’s conduct caused your injury and you sustained damages.
What Damages Are Available for Medical Malpractice Claims?
Once you prove that your doctor committed medical malpractice, you must prove you sustained damages.
Damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit may include:
- Medical costs incurred because of the malpractice
- Physical pain and suffering
- Loss of income, wages, and benefits, including reductions in future earning potential
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Permanent impairments and disabilities
- Loss of quality of life and enjoyment of life
In addition to your damages, your spouse may have a claim for loss of consortium. That claim would be separate from your claim for damages.
Contact a West Palm Beach Medical Malpractice Lawyer For Help With Your Claim
An experienced West Palm Beach medical malpractice lawyer will evaluate your case during a free consultation. The lawyer will explain the process of filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in detail and how the law firm can help you recover money for injuries and damages caused by a negligent doctor.
Contact Our Medical Malpractice Law Firm in South Florida
If you’ve been injured in an accident, please contact the location nearest you for a free consultation:
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