Sadly, thousands of Americans will suffer from injuries caused by negligent doctors this year. An injured patient or their family member might wonder, “when can I sue a doctor in Florida for medical malpractice?”
Medical malpractice is a serious issue that affects patients and their families. Before you can sue a doctor in Florida for medical malpractice, you and your Florida medical malpractice attorney must prove negligence and file this lawsuit before the deadline. If you miss this deadline, you won’t be able to sue your doctor, even if they’re guilty of medical malpractice.
Can You Sue Your Doctor in Florida For Medical Malpractice?
One of the first things that may come to mind after falling victim to medical malpractice in Florida is if you can sue your doctor for medical malpractice. The answer is yes. You can sue your doctor if their negligence or recklessness led to your injuries and the harm you suffered. All doctors, nurses, and medical practitioners must provide competent medical services to their patients and ensure they are not injured.
As you may know, medicine requires years of intense studying and training before entering the field. However, this does not guarantee that a doctor will treat you well. In such a situation, you may be able to hold the liable party responsible for your losses. In other words, you may be able to file a lawsuit against your doctor if he or she caused you harm.
What’s the best way to do this? Hire an experienced medical malpractice attorney in Florida.
Common Causes of Medical Negligence Claims
When you visit the hospital to address a health issue, you expect the staff to care for you. Such is the case for the thousands of people who visit the emergency room every year in Florida. While some people may be fortunate enough to receive the necessary treatment, others may not be as lucky. Many innocent patients are injured or die because of negligent healthcare providers.
Some of the most common causes of medical negligence include the following:
Infections are common whenever a person suffers an open wound. Keeping rooms and surgical tools sterile is essential to ensure a patient’s safety during surgery and prevent life-threatening hospital infections. However, many negligent healthcare providers, including surgeons, surgical tool technicians, anesthesiologists, and other professionals, sometimes fail to follow safety protocols. When a person undergoes surgery, their organs are exposed to the environment in the operating room. If there are bacteria in the room or if the surgical tools are not adequately cleaned, the patient can be exposed to bacteria, which in many cases can be fatal.
Sadly, it is not uncommon for negligent physicians to perform the wrong surgery on a patient. This is a scary scenario, especially if you are expecting to have a routine operation performed. For instance, there have been cases where a surgeon amputates the wrong limb of a patient. In other instances, a doctor may remove a perfectly healthy organ due to communication errors or mistakes in paperwork. At this point, a patient cannot recover the lost limb or organ and may have to live a life of hardship due to medical negligence.
Medical negligence is not limited to errors made in the operating room. For instance, you may visit your doctor because of a mental illness requiring specific medication. As you may know, these medications and other prescription drugs require particular doses. A change in your prescription or a mislabeling of medication can lead to severe adverse reactions and injuries. If a bad medication injures you, you may have the right to file your claim against the liable party.
How to Sue Your Doctor in Florida
You can file a lawsuit against a negligent doctor for any harm they have caused. However, to do so, you and your Florida medical malpractice lawyers must provide proof of the legal elements of a medical malpractice claim.
All medical malpractice claims are based on negligence. For this reason, you, as the plaintiff, have the burden to prove all the elements of negligence and provide the court with the basis of your claim. Without all these elements, you may not be able to obtain the compensation you need for your losses.
When you hire a Florida medical malpractice attorney, they will work quickly to establish that your doctor or medical professional acted negligently. They will need to prove these elements of medical negligence.
Duty of Care
The first element you must show the court is the duty of care. Through the doctor-patient relationship, your doctor is bound to provide you with medical care following their profession’s standards. In other words, your doctor must act like any prudent, reasonable physician would under similar circumstances.
Breach of Duty
The violation of duty can be proven by showing that your doctor steered away from what is expected of a person in his or her profession. In other words, your doctor breached their duty to provide you with professional, diligent, and appropriate medical services.
You must also show that your physician’s breach of duty caused your injuries. For instance, you must show that their medical mistakes led to wrongful surgery, wrongful medication, or wrongful death and caused your losses.
Finally, you must show that you suffered losses due to your doctor’s negligence. This can be demonstrated by providing evidence of things such as your medical bills, lost wages, and your pain and suffering.
How Long Can You Sue Your Doctor for Medical Malpractice?
In Florida, a law limits the time a patient can file a lawsuit against a healthcare provider for medical malpractice. This law is known as the statute of limitations. In Florida, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice is two years from the date of the incident or two years from the date the incident was discovered or should have been discovered. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if the patient is a minor, the statute of limitations does not begin until the patient turns 18. Additionally, if healthcare fraud was involved, the statute of limitations may be extended.
Can You Sue a Doctor in Florida Without Medical Malpractice Insurance?
Most physicians and healthcare professionals have medical malpractice insurance. In fact, the state of Florida requries that all helathcare providers have this type of insurance to cover the cost of lawsuits and any settlements for medical expenses, pain, and suffering.
However, what if your doctor doesn’t have medical malpractice insurance to protect them from the liability of malpractice lawsuits? You can still sue a doctor in Florida, even if they do not have medical malpractice insurance. However, you will need an experienced med mal attorney to help you through this process and ensure that your rights are protected. In the event that your doctor is uninsured, it is important to ensure that they have the financial means to pay any judgment or recovery obtained from them.
Miami Doctor Negligence Attorney Handling Medical Malpractice Claims
If you or someone you know suffered injuries due to the actions or omissions of a careless, reckless doctor, Prosper Shaked can help. At Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA, we understand the difficulties associated with a doctor’s negligence. That is why we strive to fight aggressively and strategically to get the compensation you deserve.
Contact us for a free, confidential consultation with an attorney today by calling our offices at (305) 694-2676.