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When Can You Sue a Hospital in Florida?

on  Medical Malpractice

When choosing a hospital to treat injuries or other medical conditions, we expect to be provided with adequate medical care. Unfortunately, some hospitals will fail to live up to the appropriate standards for healthcare. When this happens, there is an increased chance that a patient could be injured while they are supposed to be receiving care. If you or a family member was injured at a hospital, consult with an experienced hospital negligence lawyer today. Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA commits to providing clients with legal services to help them hold a negligent medical practitioner accountable for their actions. Our firm is here to explain when an injured party can commence a lawsuit against a hospital in Florida.

Grounds for Suing a Hospital for Medical Malpractice in Florida

Medical malpractice in a hospital occurs when a medical practitioner or member of the hospital staff deviates from the standard of care required to treat patients, which results in an injury to the patient. As a result, the medical practitioner and their employer may be held liable for their negligent actions.

Florida’s Medical Notice Laws

Before an injured patient can file a lawsuit against a hospital in Florida, they must adhere to Florida’s notice statute for cases based on medical negligence. Florida classifies a case under medical negligence if the case arises out of the rendering of medical services or the failure to render proper medical care. For example,  a doctor’s failure to diagnose a patient with cancer when the symptoms were obvious; this would qualify as medical negligence.

If a patient’s claim qualifies as medical negligence, the patient must then notify the defendants of the lawsuit before they can file the claim. Specifically, the patient must provide “presuit notice” to each defendant with by certified mail listing the following information:

  • List of all healthcare providers seen by the patient to diagnose the injuries caused by the practitioner’s negligence
  • All healthcare providers that treated the patient during a two-year timeframe prior to the injury
  • A verified written medical expert opinion in the form of an affidavit supporting the basis for the claim of medical malpractice
  • Copies of any medical records relied upon by a medical expert to assess the injury
  • A signed authorization for the release of protected health information complying with Florida Statute Section 766.1065.

Note, however, that a medical mistake does not mean that a doctor was supposed to provide you with perfect medical care. In fact, a medical practitioner need only provide a patient with the care that is standard for a medical professional in a similar position. This means that not every injury may meet the standards required to receive compensation.

Additionally, it is important to note that every accident that occurs within a hospital will not qualify as a medical malpractice lawsuit. For example, if a person were assaulted by a medical practitioner that had no involvement in their medical care, this scenario would be treated as a personal injury lawsuit instead of a hospital mistake. Personal injury lawsuits in Florida do not require notice of intent to sue.

Florida’s medical malpractice presuit requirements are extremely stringent and should not be navigated without the help of a seasoned medical malpractice attorney.

Proving Medical Malpractice

Once a claimant has fulfilled the notice requirements, they should be aware of what is required to prevail in their lawsuit. There are multiple elements a plaintiff must show to prevail in a medical malpractice lawsuit:

  • The patient was owed a duty of care by the medical practitioner
  • The medical practitioner breached the duty of care or did not provide sufficient service to satisfy the duty of care
  • The patient’s injuries were caused due to the breach by the medical practitioner
  • The patient suffered an injury or damages that are recognizable by the court of law

Each element of a medical negligence case must be proven if a plaintiff wishes to win their case. Additionally, you should be aware of whether the hospital or an individual practitioner is responsible for your injuries. For example, if you were injured by a doctor hired by the hospital as an independent contractor, this could affect your ability to hold the hospital liable for your injuries.

Statute of Limitations for Medical Negligence Lawsuits in Florida

The statute of limitations regulates the amount of time that a claimant has to file a particular cause of action with a court. If a claimant does not file their case within the timeframe, the court will bar them from pursuing compensation for their injuries.

In Florida, the statute of limitations deadline is generally two years from the date the patient knew or should have known about their injury, there are exceptions. For example, if you experienced unexplained pain after a medical procedure, but you did not seek medical assistance, this would affect your claim as you had an opportunity to discover your injury. Our medical malpractice attorney can help you navigate the deadlines for hospital negligence lawsuits in Florida.

You can find more a more detailed overview of the statute of limitations by reading our guide to Florida’s medical malpractice statute of limitations. In this article we discuss the various exceptions to the general two year statute of limitations for cases involving minors, fraud, and concealment.

Our Trusted Miami Hospital Negligence Lawyer is Here for You

If you or a family member was a victim of medical malpractice at a Florida hospital, consult with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer today. Prosper Shaked recognizes how a severe injury can drastically impact a person’s life, and he is here for in your time of need. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your claim, contact Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA at (305) 694-2676, or contact us online.