Why You Need a Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Suffering an injury as a result of a medical professional’s carelessness may have life-changing consequences for the victim and their family. To make matters more difficult, Florida has a complex medical malpractice statutory scheme that contains many requirements and procedures that a victim must follow in order to file a lawsuit for compensation. While some people try to navigate the legal process alone, having your case rejected or dismissed as a result of a procedural error may have irreversible consequences, particularly if the statute of limitations for your claim expires. At The Grife Law Firm, our experienced Boca Raton medical malpractice lawyers have counseled many patients and other injured people in South Florida, pursuing the full amount of compensation that they deserve. We can make sure that the procedural requirements are carefully followed so that your rights are preserved.Understanding Florida’s Pre-Suit Screening Process and Other Procedural Requirements
One of the first and most important legal requirements that a medical malpractice victim must consider is the pre-suit screening process. According to Florida Statutes Annotated section 766.106, before a victim may file a lawsuit for medical negligence, they must provide a medical expert in the same field as the potential defendant with information regarding their negligent treatment. After reviewing the information, the expert must provide the victim with an affidavit indicating that they have concluded that the victim’s treatment was in fact negligent. This affidavit must be included with the notice of intent to file a legal complaint. The notice must be served on the potential defendant. If the expert declines to provide an affidavit verifying the negligent treatment, the plaintiff may not send the potential defendant the notice of intent to sue. There are also various other documents that the plaintiff must provide to the potential defendant, and the pre-screening process must occur within Florida’s two-year statute of limitations for medical malpractice actions.
There are several other significant Florida statutes in this field of law. As a knowledgeable medical malpractice attorney serving the Boca Raton area, Michael K. Grife is familiar with their nuances. According to section 766.104, an attorney filing a lawsuit on behalf of a victim must conduct a reasonable investigation into the alleged negligence and identify grounds for a good-faith belief that negligence occurred before initiating the litigation. Once the plaintiff sends the potential defendant a notice of intent to sue, section 766.204 provides the defendant with the right to require the plaintiff to appear for a medical examination by an appropriate health care professional after reasonable written notice. Also, after the plaintiff sends the notice of intent to sue, each party is obligated under section 766.205 to provide the other with reasonable access to any information within their custody or control that will help the parties evaluate the potential claim.
Finally, section 766.206 provides that after the completion of the parties’ pre-suit investigation activities, either party may ask a circuit court to assess whether there is a reasonable basis for the parties’ claims or defenses. If the court concludes that there is no reasonable basis for the victim’s claim, the court may dismiss the lawsuit and require the victim to pay the potential defendant’s attorneys’ fees. Alternatively, the court may strike a defendant’s responsive documents if it finds that the defendant did not comply with the statutory requirements governing the response that it must provide to a notice of intent to sue.
If litigation begins, the plaintiff will need to show that the defendant’s treatment constituted a breach of the level of care, treatment, and skill that a similar professional would provide when faced with the same circumstances. The plaintiff will also need to show that this breach was the cause of their injuries and damages. Expert testimony will be critical for each of these elements, which is another reason why consulting an attorney rather than going it alone may make a huge difference in your case.Consult a Tenacious Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Boca Raton
In Florida’s complex medical malpractice system, one wrong procedural move might end up costing you your access to the compensation that you rightfully deserve. At The Grife Law Firm, we have counseled health care negligence victims throughout South Florida, including in Miami, West Palm Beach, and Fort Lauderdale. Our Boca Raton medical malpractice attorneys understand how important this matter is to each patient and their family, and we can ensure that you receive attentive and vigorous legal counsel. To set up a free consultation with an injury lawyer, contact us online or at 1-855-998-0770.