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What Constitutes Medical Malpractice in Florida?

Fiol & Morros Law Group|Posted in Medical Malpractice on June 29, 2020

Medical malpractice is a personal injury practice area that describes the negligence of a health care practitioner injuring a patient. If a professional in the health care industry breaches a duty of care to a patient, resulting in preventable injuries, illnesses or death, the professional or facility could be liable for the patient’s damages. Filing a medical malpractice claim in Florida is how an injured patient can seek justice and compensation.

Who Can File a Medical Malpractice Claim in Florida?

Any patient can file a medical malpractice claim in Florida if he or she has evidence proving medical negligence. Patients have a right to expect reasonable and prudent care by their physicians and other health care workers. If someone breaches this duty of care, injuring the patient, the patient will have the right to file a medical malpractice claim in Florida. Although it is possible to file a claim pro se, or unrepresented, it is more common for plaintiffs to hire Tampa medical malpractice attorneys to file their claims for them.

You might have grounds to file a patient injury lawsuit in Florida if you or your attorney finds evidence of negligence or malpractice during your medical care. Medical negligence refers to a health care worker failing to fulfill the accepted standards of care for the medical industry. Medical malpractice is the knowing or intentional breach of duty with a wanton disregard for patient safety. Your lawyer will have the task of proving the defendant in question – such as a doctor, nurse or hospital – owed you a duty of care based on a professional medical relationship, breached this duty and caused your injuries.

Who Can You Sue for Medical Negligence?

If you suspect medical negligence or malpractice contributed to your injury or illness in Florida, work with an attorney to identify the appropriate defendant(s). This party can vary according to who or what most likely caused your injuries. You may need a lawyer to investigate your case to assign fault.

  • If your physician is guilty of misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose, a medication error, failure to treat or another type of medical malpractice, he or she could act as the defendant. Most physicians and surgeons are independent contractors, not employees of the hospital. This will make them independently liable for damages.
  • Nurse or employee. If the doctor is an employee of the hospital, or the at-fault party is a worker such as a nurse or maintenance person, the health care facility could be liable for your damages. Hospitals, emergency rooms and medical centers are vicariously liable for the negligence of their employees.
  • You may also have a claim against a hospital in Florida if it directly caused your injury or illness. If you developed an infection due to unsanitary premises, for example, the health care facility itself could be liable for your damages. The hospital could also be responsible for negligence in its hiring, training and operational procedures.

Other potential at-fault parties in a Florida medical negligence claim include contractors, subcontractors, medical device manufacturers and drug manufacturers. Identifying the appropriate defendant(s) in your medical negligence claim may take assistance from an attorney.

Time Limits on Filing a Medical Negligence Claim

If you believe you have grounds for a medical negligence claim in Florida, act quickly to file your suit. Contact a medical malpractice attorney right away to discuss your rights. It is critical to work swiftly if you wish to meet Florida’s medical malpractice statute of limitations. This law gives plaintiffs a maximum of two years from the date of the malpractice or discovery of injury to bring a cause of action. You also have a statute of repose (maximum time limit) of four years, regardless of the date of discovery. If you or your lawyer do not file a medical malpractice claim within this time limit, you could lose all right to seek recovery from the at-fault party. Do not delay in contacting an attorney for assistance with a claim.