When you’re ill or injured and require medical care, you go to a doctor or healthcare professional who can diagnose your condition and provide the proper treatment. You put your faith in their knowledge and expertise that they’ll get you back to being your normal self again.
Although most healthcare professionals in the state of Florida provide high-quality patient care, medical neglect does happen. If you’re one of the unfortunate few who’ve gone from bad to worse due to a medical mishap, you do have the right to sue and receive compensation.
The process to do so isn’t as straightforward as one would think. You’ll need to jump through several hoops before filing a medical malpractice claim in Florida.
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What You’ll Need to Do to File a Medical Malpractice Claim
The Florida Malpractice Act has several different requirements that must be made before you can file a medical malpractice suit against your healthcare provider. For those seeking to hold their healthcare providers accountable for a medical mishap, they should first visit a Miami medical malpractice lawyer at Freidin Brown. You’ll need a medical malpractice attorney with the experience and knowledge to navigate your way toward a successful claim.
The requirements to file a malpractice claim to receive compensation can be somewhat clouded by legal terminology that’s confusing to the layperson. An experienced malpractice attorney can do most of the leg work for you, giving you the peace of mind that your claim will be filed properly. You must file your claim before the Florida statute of limitations expires.
Perform a Full Investigation
The initial step to filing a medical malpractice claim in Florida is to have your lawyer perform a full investigation to determine if there is enough evidence to prove that your healthcare provider was negligent. This will begin with proving that you had a doctor-patient relationship and obtaining all documented diagnosis and treatment information. Your lawyer will also meet with a medical expert who will provide an opinion that medical negligence did occur.
Once your attorney has gathered sufficient proof that your healthcare provider was negligent, they’ll need to inform your healthcare provider that you will be filing a medical malpractice claim against them. This pre-suit notice must be sent by certified mail with the return receipt requested, be sent before filing a lawsuit, and state that you intend to initiate litigation.
Your healthcare provider then has 90 days to perform their own investigation. You must wait out the 90 days before moving forward in any way.
Once 90 days have passed, your healthcare provider is required to issue a response to your claim. They can reject your claim, offer you a settlement amount, or decide to move forward with negotiations.
Your attorney will then advise you to either accept the settlement amount or to move forward with the negotiations if they feel the compensation is too small. The dispute resolution process can take a significant amount of time and go through several different stages. Here’s what to expect:
- Negotiations – Negotiations are when both parties will sit down to discuss the matter. Your lawyer will most likely ask for a larger compensation, and your healthcare provider could agree or return with a counteroffer.
- Mediation – If negotiations fail, the next step of the dispute resolution process would be to bring in a neutral third-party expert who will listen to both sides and offer a non-binding option.
- Arbitration – If mediation doesn’t bring about a compensation amount that both parties agree to, the talks will go into arbitration. Again a neutral third-party expert will be brought in; however, their decision will be final and cannot be appealed.
Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
If you’ve gone through the dispute resolution process and, for whatever reason, chose not to use an arbiter, you can now move forward with formally suing your healthcare provider in court for medical malpractice. Most malpractice cases are resolved without the need for going to court, but sometimes this is necessary to receive the proper compensation.
Medical Malpractice Claims in Florida – Final Thoughts
Don’t try to navigate Florida malpractice requirements yourself. You’ll need to consult with an experienced Florida malpractice lawyer to get properly compensated for your malpractice claim. Most firms will take your case on a contingency basis, so you won’t have to front any upfront money to get the process started.