It’s true that medical malpractice occurs throughout the United States, and it’s also true that many malpractice claims occur in Florida. Between 2012 and 2016, there were 51.86 claims made per one million Floridians. That makes this state the eighth in the county for the volume of claims.
Sadly, many victims of malpractice struggle. Some don’t file lawsuits against their doctors, while others don’t obtain qualified legal representation. By working with a medical malpractice attorney in Florida, you can seek compensation for the suffering of yourself or a loved one. To connect with an attorney, you should contact 1-800-Injured. We will get you in touch with an attorney who can take your case.
Can I Sue a Doctor for Neglect?
There are laws in Florida that protect patients from negligent doctors. All doctors are held to certain standards. When a medical professional fails to meet those standards, they can be held accountable in a civil court.
Not all patients can successfully sue a doctor for neglect. Rather, their case must meet the requirements for medical malpractice. One of the major requirements is negligence.
What is Negligence by a Doctor?
In other personal injury cases, negligence is relatively easy to define. However, defining negligence in the medical profession is more difficult. Doctors aren’t perfect, and there is some risk associated with most medical procedures.
However, all of the following could be examples of medical neglect:
- Not communicating with a patient or healthcare provider
- Ignoring a patient
- Discharging a patient too early
- Not sterilizing equipment in the operating room
- Misdiagnosing a patient
- Doing the wrong procedure on a patient
- Performing poorly during a procedure
Meeting the burden of proof for negligence is no easy task. Usually, it’s presumed that a doctor acted in a reasonable way. They are the expert in the field and it takes another expert to disprove their innocence.
Doctors have a duty of care to their patients. That duty requires them to act reasonably given the situation. If a doctor in a similar place and circumstance would have acted in a different way, you might have grounds for a claim.
It’s difficult to tell the difference between negligence and an injury associated with a procedure. You should speak with an attorney to learn whether or not your injury was caused by negligence.
Filing in Time
Time could prevent you from filing a medical malpractice claim. There’s a statute of limitations on malpractice claims, and it limits your ability to file. Generally, you have two years from the date of your injury to file your claim.
There are some exceptions to the two-year rule. If you discover the injury after the time when you were injured, you have two years from the more recent date to file. But there is a maximum limit of four years from the date of the incident. It’s unusual for the courts to make exceptions to the statute of limitations.
What Damages Will You Receive?
Your lawsuit could result in a payout. If you connect your injuries to the negligence, you could receive a settlement.
Your settlement gets you money for your damages. Some of those damages are economic. For instance, you are eligible for money for your medical bills and missed wages. You should also consider your future medical bills and missed wages. If you will be unable to ever work again, you can add that into your economic damages.
In some cases, victims can work. But they may not be able to make as much money as they’re accustomed to making. This would make them eligible to receive money for the decreased earning capacity.
You can also receive non-economic damages. It’s likely your injury caused some form of mental anguish and emotional support. Because of this, you and your family may still be suffering. Non-economic damages reflect your pain and suffering and an attorney can estimate your damages using a multiplier.
A multiplier is a number between one and five that an attorney uses to indicate the severity of their client’s non-economic damages. After they calculate your economic damages, your attorney will multiply it by the number that they determine. While this number won’t provide the exact value of your settlement, it can give a ballpark.
There’s no way to say for sure how much money you will receive from a medical malpractice lawsuit. If you want to learn more, you should contact 1-800-Injured. We will connect you with a proven medical malpractice lawyer.
Can a Family Member Sue for Medical Malpractice?
The victims of medical malpractice cases are able to file claims against their medical providers. But they aren’t the only ones who are eligible to file. In some cases, the victim’s family has a claim.
This could happen if the victim is 25 or younger. The parents of the young victim have a right to sue their child’s doctor for malpractice. However, they may not file a lawsuit for injuries or the death of a child who is over the age of 25.
If someone suffers a severe, permanent, and disabling injury after malpractice, the family members of the victim can file a lawsuit. Typically, the only family members eligible to file are the spouse, children, or parents of the victim.
They may also file a lawsuit if their loved one dies because of malpractice. But children over the age of 25 cannot file a claim for the death of their parents.
If you are unsure about your eligibility, you should contact a medical malpractice attorney in Florida. After asking you about your case, they will be able to determine your eligibility.
What Do Medical Malpractice Attorneys Do?
In 2015 and 2016, 67,951 doctors renewed their licenses in Florida and participated in a workforce survey. With so many doctors practicing in Florida, there’s a high potential for malpractice.
Fortunately, a medical malpractice lawyer in Florida is able to seek justice for a victim of malpractice. They have several roles, and each one takes you one step closer to getting compensation.
First, they are an advisor. If you have a case, they’ll let you know. Likewise, they’ll inform you if you have no chance of a successful lawsuit. This saves you time and money. Instead of wasting your time on a lawsuit that has no chance, you get to work on moving forward.
Secondly, they handle your lawsuit. The filing process for medical malpractice is extremely difficult and there are many opportunities for mistakes. They handle all of the work to ensure your paperwork is error-free. In addition to preventing errors, this also saves you time. Focus your energy on recovering and not filling out mountains of legal paperwork.
Of course, the real challenge is your legal battle. An aggressive medical malpractice lawyer in Florida knows how to fight the good fight. Their first step might be to negotiate a settlement. If that doesn’t work, they’ll go to trial for you.
There’s a lot on the line. If your case is successful, you could get enough money to recover from the financial toll of the malpractice. This type of case is particularly challenging and requires an experienced hand.
What is the Percentage of Winning a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
There’s no way to say for sure if you will win your malpractice suit. There are many factors that can impact the success or failure of your case. However, a look at some of the malpractice lawsuit statistics might help you understand general trends.
In one study of 20 years of malpractice cases, it was shown that plaintiffs win jury trials 10% to 20% of the time when they have weak evidence. With strong evidence, plaintiffs win approximately 50% of jury trials.
If your lawsuit is defendable, you could be in for a fight. The odds are stacked against you. However, you still have a chance. The right medical malpractice attorneys are capable of building a strong case and getting results.
Why is it So Difficult to Win?
There are several reasons that filing a successful lawsuit against a physician is so difficult. First, there’s the fact that some patients make fraudulent claims. In the past, there have been several instances of false claims against doctors.
Another reason has to do with the legal skill of the lawyers. There is some evidence that shows doctors hire more experienced lawyers than their victims. Without enough experience, a legal professional has a limited chance of winning.
Finally, there’s the burden of proof. Although malpractice cases are civil matters, they still have a certain burden of proof. Juries take that seriously and tend to favor the defendant unless there is strong evidence against them.
Improving Your Chances
You can do several things to improve your chances of winning a case. First, you should hire one of the medical malpractice attorneys in your area. Their job is to ensure you take all the steps necessary to get a settlement.
Secondly, you should send a demand letter. In the letter, you ask the defendant for a certain amount of money. This is an important step that often gets missed. In an effort to avoid court and the publicity that comes with it, the doctor might be tempted to meet your demands.
If you get a settlement, you don’t need to go to trial. More importantly, you don’t need to rely on a jury to get compensation. 1-800-Injured wants to connect you with an experienced legal professional. Contact us today to be referred to an attorney for a free consultation