If you were injured as a result of the negligence of a doctor or other medical professional, you may be able file a medical malpractice lawsuit to receive compensation for your injuries. While the damages you can receive can be substantial, the actual legal process is fraught with red tape and complications designed to discourage people from pursuing this type of litigation. While the hurdles are numerous, you deserve compensation for the many complications that result from medical malpractice and should seek all legal remedies. If you were injured or lost a loved one due to medical malpractice, contact a Miami Medical Malpractice Attorney today.
Statute of Limitations
In Florida the statute of limitations, or time limit in which someone can file a lawsuit, is shorter than for most other negligence claims. While the statute of limitations for most negligence claims is four years, for medical malpractice it is only two years after the injury occurred or after a person should have reasonably known that the injury was caused by medical malpractice.
In Florida, a victim of medical malpractice must follow strict pre-suit requirements if they hope to file a malpractice suit. If one does not closely follow these requirements, the litigant could be barred entirely from filing the suit.
Before filing the lawsuit, the attorney of the injured person must conduct an investigation to determine whether medical malpractice was the cause of the injury and that there are reasonable grounds to assume a medical professional was negligent in his or her duties. The attorney must also gather and review all medical documents related to the injury. Then the medical records must be reviewed by an independent medical professional in a similar field. This professional must provide a written statement swearing that he or she has reviewed the documents and that he or she believes them to be grounds to proceed with the lawsuit.
The attorney then must send a notice to the court containing the medical professional’s affidavit, the names of the prospective plaintiffs and defendants in the case and a summary of the injury. This notice must also be sent to the defendants that you are suing.
After all this, there is a 90-day pre-suit investigative period where both parties exchange questions regarding the injury, request documents and make unsworn statements. At the end of the 90 days or during, the defendant can either reject the claim, make a settlement offer or agree to arbitration. In arbitration, the defendant is assumed to have admitted liability and the arbitration will only be regarding the issue of damages.
As you can see the pre-trial requirements are extensive, costing considerable time and legal fees. This is clearly an attempt to disincentivize people from litigating medical malpractice, therefore you should never attempt this process unless you are certain certifiable medical malpractice has occurred.
Contact a Miami Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today
Suffering injuries from medical malpractice is never easy, and neither is filing a medical malpractice claim. At the Law Office of Gerson & Schwartz, we have extensive knowledge of Florida medical malpractice laws that can help you circumvent the bureaucracy and receive the damages that you are owed. Contact us today for a free consultation.