What qualifies as medical malpractice? Is it the same as negligence?
Yes, those terms are interchangeable. According to Florida law, medical malpractice is EITHER a doctor or health care provider doing something that a reasonably careful doctor or health care provider wouldn’t do under the same circumstances, OR a doctor or health care provider failing to do something that a reasonably careful doctor or health care provider would do under the same circumstances.
AND, that action or inaction must have caused serious harm or death to the patient.
How do my Fort Pierce clients prove medical malpractice?
You need to prove a medical malpractice case by expert testimony. That is, you have to have the case reviewed by a medical expert of the same specialty as the medical provider you’re suing, and that medical expert must say that the person you’re bringing the claim against fell below the standard of care for a similar health care provider. Of course, the defense will bring their own experts into the case, who will say that the health care provider you’re suing did everything just fine.
If your expert gets you over this first hurdle, then you also must prove, through your expert, that the malpractice was what caused the damage to your client.
There can be negligence (malpractice) and there can be damages, but to win a malpractice case, your lawyer—through his expert witnesses—must prove that the malpractice, and not anything else, was what caused the damage.
How long do I have to bring a malpractice claim?
Each state has different laws concerning when a malpractice claim can be made. These are called Statutes of Limitation, because they limit the time to file a claim.
In Fort Pierce and in the sate of Florida, the Statute of Limitation for medical malpractice is 2 years from the date you knew or should have known something was wrong, but no more than 4 years. It’s important to note that you don’t have to know specifically that there was malpractice, or what specifically was wrong. The time starts when you knew something wasn’t right. Continuing treatment for the problem does not extend the Statute of Limitations.