Although doctors, nurses and other medical professionals are largely successful in fulfilling their responsibility of providing outstanding care to their patients, there are some instances where mistakes may have been made, sometimes with catastrophic consequences. If you or someone you love has been affected by medical negligence at a Florida hospital, you could be entitled to compensation.
Unfortunately, the laws in Florida can be confusing, and offer greater protection to hospitals, doctors, and insurance companies than to the patients that require their services. For these reasons, it is important to understand what your rights are, and what help you can enlist to support you in your claim.
So, what do you need to do next? Here is our guide on what to do during a medical malpractice case.
Don’t wait to start your claim
The statute of limitations is a legal deadline for filing a lawsuit. If you try and start a medical malpractice claim after the statute of limitations has expired, the case will be immediately dismissed. In Florida, the statute of limitations is two years from the date that the patient, or patient’s representative, identified that an injury or medical problem had occurred, and that it was reasonable to believe that this may have been caused by medical malpractice.
The statute of repose
In addition to the statute of limitations is another time-based rule, known as the statute of repose. In some instances, the injury caused by medical malpractice may not become apparent until years after the treatment or surgery that caused it. In these circumstances, the patient has two years, as per the statute of limitations, to make their claim.
However, Florida’s statute of repose law states that unless there is fraud, concealment, or misrepresentation on the part of the hospital, under no circumstances can a healthcare provider be sued for medical malpractice more than four years after the date of the incident that caused injury*. If you can prove fraud, concealment, or misrepresentation has occurred, the statute of repose may be extended to seven years.
*There is a special rule for children. Please speak to Frank Eidson, PA for further information.
Find an experienced, recommended medical malpractice lawyer
As you may have gathered from the information above, suing a hospital for medical malpractice is far from straightforward and you will need someone on your side who knows the law and can apply it successfully to your advantage.
Medical malpractice law is often considered a specialized field and finding the right attorney could make or break the success of your case. The best way to source a great lawyer is to first ask around for recommendations. Even if you can’t get a recommendation specifically for a medical malpractice lawyer, you are bound to know someone who has had a good experience with some form of attorney, and they may be able to recommend someone who specializes in the field that you need.
Gather your evidence for medical malpractice
If you are going to present a strong claim, you will need to have as much evidence as possible. This could encompass a variety of different things, including medical records, details of prescription medications and reports from medical professionals. Your knowledgeable and experienced medical malpractice attorney will be able to tell you exactly what evidence will benefit your case and will work with you to source everything that you need.
Trust in your medical malpractice attorney
Your specialist attorney will have the unique skill and experience to gather all the information needed to present a strong, compelling case. If your case goes to court, he or she will represent you and your claim with the conviction it deserves and will work tirelessly to get you the best possible result.
If you are a Florida resident and you or someone you loved has experienced injury as a result of medical malpractice, Frank Eidson can help you receive the compensation that you are entitled. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our professional, friendly team today at 407-410-4610.