Medical Malpractice Lawyers Serving Naples

Knowing your rights is important when filing medical malpractice claims in Naples, Florida. Medical malpractice can cause serious injury and even death, and if you've been affected by medical negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.

In most cases in Florida, you must file a claim within two years of the date of the incident that caused your injury. This means it's important to act fast—the sooner you put together your claim and obtain legal help, the better chance you have for success in winning compensation for your medical costs and related damages.

It's also important to understand how challenging it can be to prove medical malpractice. That's why it's essential that you have an experienced attorney at your side who understands local laws and can prepare an effective case on your behalf.

An attorney can also advise on the amount of proof necessary to prove medical negligence and calculate an accurate recovery amount based on factors such as pain and suffering and lost wages.

What Requirements Must Be Met to File a Claim?

You should know that Florida has specific requirements for filing a medical malpractice claim. Before you take legal action, make sure you meet the following criteria:

  • You must prove that the medical professional had a "duty of care" to the patient. This means they were responsible for doing all they could to maintain your health, safety, and well-being.
  • You must demonstrate that the medical professional failed in their duty of care—by providing evidence that their actions were not in line with accepted standards in the industry.
  • You must be able to prove that this negligence caused or significantly contributed to an injury or death of a patient.
  • Lastly, you must have suffered physical, emotional, or financial damages as a result of the malpractice.

If you can prove these requirements and gather enough evidence for your case, you will be prepared to file a medical malpractice claim in Florida.

Steps Involved in Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim

Filing a medical malpractice claim in Florida is complicated and involves several steps. To get the compensation you deserve, it's important to understand what those steps are. Below are the key steps involved in filing a medical malpractice claim in Florida:

  • Obtain the proper documentation from your healthcare provider, such as previous treatment records and any other documents proving that you received substandard care.
  • Speak with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer in Florida who can review your case and guide you.
  • File an administrative complaint against the healthcare provider with the Florida Department of Health (DOH). This is done to initiate an investigation into their alleged negligence.
  • Submit a Notice of Claim to the healthcare provider's insurance company informing them that they may be liable for damages caused by the negligence of their insured doctor or other healthcare providers.
  • File a lawsuit against any negligent parties if it appears that you have a valid legal claim for damages resulting from medical malpractice.
  • Participate in mediation or other forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) as the court orders to try to resolve your claim outside of court before going through a full trial or arbitration process.
  • Attend trial, if necessary, to decide liability issues and present evidence showing why you should receive compensation from any negligent parties involved in your case.
Timeframes for Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim

Knowing the timeframes for filing a medical malpractice claim in Florida is important. The clock starts ticking once you identify that something happened as a result of medical negligence—this means that you have just two years from the date of injury or when you first learned about the injury to file a claim.

However, there are some exceptions to this two-year rule. For example, if you're filing on behalf of a minor under eight years old, the statute of limitations is delayed until their eighth birthday.

Also, if an injury doesn't manifest within two years of when it happened, then you must file your claim within two years of discovering it—not necessarily when it happened.

For example, if you were misdiagnosed and didn't realize it for ten months after your initial visit with the doctor, then you would have one year and ten months to file your claim from when you discovered the misdiagnosis.

Important Documentation Needed for Filing a Claim

When filing a medical malpractice claim in Florida, there are important documents you'll need to ensure a smooth process. Specifically, you'll want to compile the following:

Medical Records

These records can be gathered from all providers involved in your treatment for the condition or injury you are claiming. Ensure to obtain records from the defendant(s) and other relevant providers—this can often be done by submitting an Authorization for Release of Health Information form.

Expert Witness Documentation

Expert witness documentation is used to provide support for your case by offering professional opinions on matters such as standards of care/treatment, causation, and damages. Typically, this documentation can include medical reports or depositions provided by professionals in the medical field.

Medical Cost Documentation

You will also need documentation or receipts that accurately reflect your medical costs related to your injury or condition, such as doctor visits and any treatments received (e.g., physical therapy). Make sure to include travel expenses related to obtaining treatment as well.

Collecting these documents isn't always easy, but it's a critical step when filing a medical malpractice claim in Florida—so don't forget to ensure you have these items before submitting your claim.

What Are My Legal Rights as A Patient in Florida?

If you're considering filing a medical malpractice claim in Florida, knowing and understanding your legal rights as a patient is important. Here are some of the most important:

You Have the Right to Receive Timely and Appropriate Care

You have the right to expect that you will receive timely, respectful, and appropriate medical care. This includes being provided with information about your diagnosis, course of treatment, and other matters related to your health.

You Have the Right to Refuse Treatment

You also have the right to refuse medical treatment at any time. If you refuse treatment, this is legally binding as long as you know its risks and benefits.

You Have the Right to Receive Your Records After Treatment Is Completed

Finally, when receiving medical care in Florida, you have the right to receive copies of your medical records after completing treatment. This includes all test results, medications prescribed, and evaluations of your condition by doctors or other healthcare professionals.

Should I Contact the Healthcare Provider or Facility First?

Though the thought of it may be intimidating, you should always contact the healthcare provider or facility you believe was responsible for your injuries before taking further action.

Before reaching out, ensure all your facts and evidence are ready to present: medical records, names of witnesses and other parties involved, and a full description of what happened. Most often, it's beneficial to have a legal professional to be by your side during this process.

At this stage, they could offer an apology or a settlement which could typically cover medical bills and lost wages due to time away from work. However, if you feel the agreement isn't fair or your case isn't being taken seriously, then filing a medical malpractice claim is the only way to try and receive compensation for damages incurred.

Can I Still File a Claim If I Signed a Waiver or Release Form?

Before you start filing a medical malpractice claim in Florida, you may be wondering if you can still file a claim if you have signed a waiver or release form.

The answer is not cut and dry. It depends on many factors, such as the language used in the release or waiver, the medical procedure involved, and whether any negligence occurred. In some cases, a signed release will protect practitioners from liability; however, it depends on the document's language.

It's important to remember that release forms don't typically affect third-party claims; for example, if a drug manufacturer is at fault for an injury or death resulting from its product. In this case, your signed release won't affect your right to collect damages in court.

Finally, any signed releases obtained through coercion or deception are not enforceable in Florida. If you feel like coercion was involved when signing your release form – whether it be physical threats or emotional pressure – then contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney who can help guide you through the process and assess the validity of your claim.

Can I File a Claim If I Don't Have Health Insurance?

Even if you don't have health insurance, you can still file a medical malpractice claim in Florida. Everyone has the right to seek justice for injuries caused by someone else's negligence, including uninsured people.

However, it's important to note that you still need to pay for medical expenses out of pocket if you don't have health insurance. That means filing a medical malpractice claim as an uninsured patient will be more complex and expensive than if you had insurance – but it's still possible.

At a minimum, here are some things you need to know when filing a medical malpractice claim in Florida without health insurance:

  • You will need to prove the nature of your injury directly related to the care you received from the healthcare provider.
  • You must demonstrate that the healthcare provider's negligence caused your injury or illness.
  • You will need documentation of all expenses related to your injury or illness that you or your family incurred.
  • You may want an experienced lawyer who is familiar with tort law in Florida and medical malpractice claims, specifically as it relates to uninsured patients, so they can advise you accordingly and ensure your rights are protected throughout the process.
Should I Speak to An Attorney?

If you think that filing a medical malpractice claim in Florida is something you should do, the first step is to speak to an attorney. Depending on your situation, a medical malpractice attorney may be able to help determine if you have a valid claim and how to proceed with filing a lawsuit.

An experienced lawyer can advise you on your rights and help ensure you don't miss out on any potential compensation. Additionally, they can assist with navigating the complex legal system in Florida.

Working with an experienced medical malpractice attorney can give you the best chance at recovering any damages or losses that may have resulted from medical negligence or wrongdoings. But remember: even though suing for medical malpractice can result in compensation, it doesn't guarantee success—so consider every factor before making a decision.

How Do I Choose the Right Attorney for My Case?

When filing a medical malpractice claim in Florida, the most important step you can take is to find the right medical malpractice attorney. That's why, when choosing an attorney, you need to research and ensure you have someone experienced in medical malpractice law.

Here are some key tips to help you choose the right attorney for your case:

  • Research the attorney's experience and qualifications – ideally, they should have specific experience with medical malpractice cases in Florida.
  • Ask them questions such as: How long have they been handling medical malpractice claims? Do they provide free consultations? What is their success rate?
  • Ask for references from past clients or contact their bar examiners for information about their track record with medical malpractice law.
  • Ensure that you and the lawyer are on the same page regarding how much you will be paying for legal services and what these will cover.
  • Get everything in writing–including all agreements between you and your lawyer–so that there are no misunderstandings down the road.

By taking the time to research potential lawyers, asking questions, getting references, and verifying credentials, you'll be well on your way to finding a qualified attorney who can help you get justice in your case.

What Type of Compensation Am I Eligible For?

When filing a medical malpractice claim in Florida, you'll undoubtedly ask yourself, "What type of compensation am I eligible for?" The answer will depend on your case, but you can pursue a few different types of damages.

Economic Damages

These damages involve direct monetary costs, like medical bills, lost wages, and rehabilitation expenses. They are used to compensate you for actual losses suffered due to the malpractice.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are designed to reimburse victims for more intangible losses such as physical pain and suffering or emotional distress caused by the malpractice. Examples include things like anxiety, loss of companionship, and mental anguish.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are intended to punish wrongdoers and deter others from committing the same type of act in the future. It is important to note that these damages are not typically awarded in medical malpractice cases unless a particularly egregious act was committed. However, in rare cases where gross negligence occurred, punitive damages may be awarded by the court.

How Long Will It Take to Settle My Claim?

When you file a medical malpractice claim in Florida, one of the biggest questions will be, "How long will it take?"

Settling a medical malpractice claim in Florida can be lengthy, and you should expect it to take anywhere from 12-36 months from the time you file your claim. The length of time can depend on a variety of factors, including:

  • The strength of the evidence
  • The complexity of the case
  • Whether or not parties are willing to settle out of court
  • The jurisdiction where you are filing your claim

While it might feel like a huge burden waiting for your claim to settle, remember that every step of this process is important—because, in the end, you will eventually have closure on what happened and receive compensation if necessary.

Can I Appeal a Denied Claim?

You may wonder if it's possible to appeal a denied medical malpractice claim. The short answer is yes. You can file an appeal as long as it is within the allotted time frame. There are four common grounds for appealing a denied medical malpractice claim in Florida, which include:

  • The court made a mistake in its ruling on the facts or procedure that affected the outcome of your case;
  • New evidence has been discovered that did not exist at the time of the claim;
  • The court reached a decision that was contrary to the law; or
  • The court awarded an amount that was too low, given the severity of your injury, damages, or losses.

If you believe any of these grounds apply to you, you should contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer to discuss your options further and explore if filing an appeal is right for you.

Contact Frankl Kominsky Medical Malpractice Lawyers Serving Naples

If you're considering filing a medical malpractice claim in Florida, the attorneys at Frankl Kominsky are here to help. We provide experienced and compassionate representation for people who have been wrongfully injured by medical negligence, and our experienced legal team is dedicated to helping you get the compensation you deserve from the parties at fault.

At Frankl Kominsky, we understand that filing a medical malpractice claim in Florida can be confusing and overwhelming. That's why we are here to provide the answers and guidance you need to ensure your case is taken seriously and that justice is served.

When it comes time to file your medical malpractice claim in Florida, trust the attorneys at Frankl Kominsky to guide you through this challenging process. We will fight for justice and the compensation you deserve—let us help you get it.

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