Most of us put blind faith in our doctors when it comes to healing what ails us. Generally, we trust everything they say, believing they’re the experts and know what’s best. This is mostly true. Millions of patients receive the best care possible from their doctors without issue.
But what happens if you’re one of the unlucky few who’ve been the victim of a medical mistake? Medical errors do occur, and some can cause catastrophic life-changing challenges. What rights, if any, do you have as a patient?
If you believe you’ve been injured due to your doctor’s medical mistake, an experienced medical lawyer like Freidin Brown medical malpractice lawyer. They can explain your rights and what you must do to ensure your doctor is held accountable.
Considering that you live in Florida:
What Are My Rights as a Patient?
Florida statute 381.026, the Florida Patient’s Bill of Rights, clearly states that everyone has a right to medical treatment. This treatment should be reasonable and follow generally accepted medical standards of care. Unfortunately, medical mistakes can happen.
Florida’s Medical Malpractice Act gives patients injured while receiving medical care the right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the healthcare professional they believe acted with negligence. The lawsuit must be filed within 2 years of discovering the medical mistake.
A settlement isn’t automatically given when filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. It’s your responsibility to prove medical negligence.
What to Expect if Filing a Florida Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Navigating and understanding Florida’s Medical Malpractice Act can confuse anyone who hasn’t been educated in the legal system. Although no law forbids you to file the case yourself, it would be foolish to try and do so without legal counsel. Your best chance of filing a successful case is to work with legal experts.
Here are some important things to know if you’re considering filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in Florida. The burden of proof is yours.
Standard of Care Breach
You’ll need to provide evidence that the medical professional deviated from what is considered standard care in Florida. A requirement of filing the lawsuit is to obtain an affidavit from the same type of medical staff member who you believed caused you harm, stating that they believe your injury or condition is due to medical neglect.
This legal term means that you’ll need to prove that you wouldn’t have been injured if it weren’t for the medical professional’s mistake.
Your Injury or Damages
You’ll have to prove that due to a medical mistake, you’ve suffered an unreasonable amount of pain and suffering, lost wages from time off from your job, and have had to endure medical procedures that wouldn’t have been necessary.
The injury or damage must be significant enough to have negatively affected your life.
Your doctor or medical professional can only be expected to provide an adequate level of care or treatment based on the information they have. If you fail to disclose important information, such as any medications you take, your lawsuit won’t succeed.
You’ll have the burden of proving that your injuries or damages weren’t reasonably foreseeable. An example would be if you had surgery and believed that the pain from the recovery process was too extreme. To file a successful medical malpractice lawsuit, you must have experienced an unexpected result from the surgery.
How Long Does a Florida Medical Malpractice Case Take?
Unfortunately, it won’t happen overnight. Medical malpractice cases can take anywhere from several months to several years. Each stage takes time, even way before your case goes to trial if it goes that far. It takes time for your lawyer to gather all of the required evidence. When the plaintiff and defendant meet to exchange evidence, the discovery phase can be time-consuming.
Know Your Rights as a Patient
Everyone has the right to safe medical care. You also have the right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit if your doctor made a medical mistake and performed his duties negligently.
Working with a law firm with experience in medical malpractice cases is the best way to ensure your rights are protected, and you’ll get the maximum compensation for your injury.