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Florida Medical Malpractice
By Heidi Turner
Under Florida medical malpractice law, patients who are injured due to medical negligence on the part of their health care provider may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the person or organization responsible for their injury. Florida, however, has strict rules regarding medical malpractice claims and patients hoping to file such a claim are advised to speak to an attorney to ensure they follow the proper procedure.
To make a claim of medical malpractice (or medical negligence), patients must show that they had an existing patient/provider relationship with the person responsible for the injury; that the healthcare provider was negligent in their duties; that the negligence caused injury to the patient; and that the injury resulted in damages to the patient.
Florida Medical Malpractice Claims
Medical negligence occurs when a healthcare professional or organization fails to provide care that meets an accepted standard. Cases in which the patient is harmed but the healthcare provider acted reasonably and competently are not considered medical malpractice. In other words, it is not enough that the patient was harmed, the healthcare provider must have been negligent in allowing the harm to occur.
Patients who file a Florida medical malpractice claim will likely have to support their claim with evidence including medical reports and diagnoses, medical files and related documents, and physical evidence.
In Florida the statute of limitations on filing a medical malpractice case is two years from when the patient knew or should have known that medical malpractice caused an injury. Florida also has a statute of repose, which means that except in extenuating circumstances, the patient must file the lawsuit within four years of the incident, even if the patient did not know about the malpractice within that time.
Florida Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations
Exceptions to the statute of repose include situations in which the medical provider committed fraud or misrepresentation.
Florida has strict requirements before a medical malpractice lawsuit can be brought. These include having an attorney conduct an investigation into the claims, having a "similar health care provider" (similar to the person who committed the alleged medical malpractice in training and expertise) who is a medical expert review the patient's records, having the expert verify there are reasonable grounds for a malpractice lawsuit, and filing documents involving a notice of intent to initiate litigation.
Florida Medical Malpractice Pre-suit
In 2016, a Florida family filed a lawsuit against Wolfson Children's Hospital in Jacksonville, and a doctor at the hospital, alleging a 19-month-old suffered severe health problems as a result of negligence. The baby Ava-Kate Parsons, swallowed a lithium batter in March 2016. The mother, who witnessed the event, called 911 and had Ava-Kate taken to hospital where she demanded the batter be removed immediately.
Florida Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
According to the lawsuit, the doctor told Ava-Kate's parents that the situation was the same as swallowing a coin. Despite recommendations that batteries be removed within two hours, it was five hours before the battery was removed from Ava-Kate. As a result, the parents say Ava-Kate suffered an electrical burn in her esophagus and required further surgery. The parents say they have spent up to $400,000 on medical bills for required treatment.
Florida Medical Malpractice Legal HelpIf you or a loved one has suffered similar damages or injuries, please fill in our form and your complaint will be sent to a lawyer who may evaluate your claim at no cost or obligation.
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