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INDIANTOWN MEDICAL MALPRACTICE ATTORNEY

Is there a difference between a medical malpractice case and a nursing home negligence case? Yes, although there are many similarities, there are several important differences, here are the top 4:

  1. The presuit investigation period is shorter for nursing home cases than medical malpractice cases. For nursing homes, the presuit period is 75 days, as opposed to 90 days for a medical malpractice case.
  2. Medical malpractice cases fall under the Wrongful Death Act, and the only people who can bring a claim for death are a surviving spouse or surviving children under 25. Not so for nursing home cases. Anyone appointed the personal representative of the estate is allowed to bring a claim.
  3. Nursing home cases can be brought for violation of the statutorily-mandated resident’s rights (the right for adequate and appropriate healthcare, for example) while medical malpractice cases don’t involve resident’s rights.
  4. Medical malpractice cases are filed in circuit court, while many nursing home cases are subject to arbitration instead of a trial. Nursing homes often require their residents to sign an agreement for arbitration and waiving their statutory rights to a jury trial. NOTE: If you have a loved one in a nursing home or are considering that, do not sign an agreement to arbitrate. If you’ve already signed one, send the nursing home a letter withdrawing it.

HOW MUCH CAN I RECOVER FOR PAIN AND SUFFERING?

The trial judge will instruct the jury that there is no exact standard for measuring these damages other than it should be fair and just in light of the evidence.  The items to be considered in evaluating the amount a case is worth include pain from the injuries, any disability or physical impairment, any disfigurement, mental anguish and the loss of the capacity to enjoy life both in the past and in the future.

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WHAT OTHER DAMAGES ARE RECOVERABLE?

In addition to pain, suffering, and disability, the reasonable expense of hospitalization and medical and nursing care and treatment in the past and in the future is also recoverable.  Additionally, any lost earnings lost time off work and lost earning capacity for the future are also elements of damages to be recovered.

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HOW LONG DOES A MALPRACTICE CASE TAKE?

From beginning to the conclusion of a malpractice case, a rough estimate would be 18 months.  Some cases are settled relatively quickly and others take much longer. Each case is different.

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HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO HIRE A MEDICAL MALPRACTICE ATTORNEY?

Nothing.  The initial consultation either by phone or in person is always free.  If you have a case, you do not have to pay anything until the case is successfully concluded.  If you win, attorney’s fees and costs are paid out of the settlement. If you do not win, or if it is determined that you do not have a case, you do not owe the malpractice attorney anything.  Any costs advanced by the attorney are paid by the attorney and if you do not have a case, or if your case isn’t successful, you would not be responsible for anything.

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HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO FILE A MEDICAL MALPRACTICE LAWSUIT?

The Florida Statute of Limitations for medical malpractice cases is 2 years from the date you knew or should have known that there was something wrong.  Any action must be brought on or before that time. It is important to note that you do not have to know exactly what the malpractice was, only that there was something wrong that alerted you to a problem.  That’s when the statute of limitations starts running.

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HOW MUCH DOES A LAWYER GET OUT OF SETTLEMENT?

If the case is settled before suit is filed, the attorney gets 1/3 of the settlement as his fees, plus any costs he has expanded.  Once the lawsuit is filed in court, the attorney’s fees go to 40% of the recovery and it stays at that level through trial.

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HOW DO I GET TO TALK TO A MEDICAL MALPRACTICE ATTORNEY ABOUT MY POSSIBLE CASE?

Simple.  Call the office.  You want to be able to talk directly to the malpractice attorney himself or herself and not to a nurse or paralegal about your case.  The attorney is the one who has the best information to advise you as to whether there is a case or not.

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DO I HAVE TO PROVE MY MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CASE BEYOND AND TO THE EXCLUSION TO EVERY REASONABLE DOUBT?

No.  That’s the standard for criminal cases, not for medical malpractice cases.  In a medical malpractice case, you must only prove your case to a jury by a greater and more convincing weight of the evidence.

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WHAT ARE MY CHANCES IN A MEDICAL MALPRACTICE TRIAL?

Juries like doctors and hospitals.  That being said, most malpractice cases settle prior to trial.  Once a malpractice case gets to trial in front of a jury, the statistics show that the chances of winning are only 20%.  However, every case is different and every jury is different, so the statistics don’t always mean much.

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I HAD A DOCTOR/HOSPITAL ALMOST KILL ME BY DOING SOMETHING WRONG. FORTUNATELY I AM FINE NOW, BUT DO I HAVE A CASE?

No.  There won’t be a case unless they cause permanent, disabling injuries to you as a result of their negligence.  It’s like a truck running a stop sign in front of you but not hitting you. They were negligent, but you can’t sue them because they didn’t hit you.

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WHAT IS THE WRONGFUL DEATH ACT?

Florida has a law called the Wrongful Death Act which greatly restricts who can sue for the death of a loved one due to medical or hospital negligence.  If a loved one dies as a result of medical negligence, the only persons who are able to bring a lawsuit would be the surviving husband or wife or surviving children under the age of 25.  They are known as survivors under the Wrongful Death Act. Anyone else would not qualify as a survivor under the Wrongful Death Act and would not be able to bring a lawsuit.

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WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MEDICAL MALPRACTICE AND NEGLIGENCE?

There is no difference.  The two are interchangeable.  Negligence/medical malpractice is defined as the failure to use reasonable care.  Reasonable care on the part of a doctor, hospital or healthcare provider is that level of care, skill, and treatment, which, in light of all circumstances, is acceptable and appropriate by similar and reasonably careful physicians, hospitals or healthcare providers.  The law defines medical negligence as doing something that a reasonably careful physician, hospital or healthcare provider would not do under similar circumstances, or failing to do something that a reasonably careful doctor, hospital or healthcare provider would do under similar circumstances.

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HOW DO I CHOOSE A MALPRACTICE LAWYER?

Medical malpractice is a very specialized area, and many lawyers who actually advertise for medical malpractice cases do not actually handle those cases themselves.  Try to select a lawyer who specializes in this area. A medical malpractice lawyer is the one who is experienced in this area, who knows the ins and outs of this law and who has a stable of highly qualified medical experts to assist in bringing the case.

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DO I HAVE A MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CASE?

Medical malpractice lawyers hire medical experts from the top teaching hospitals from around the county to review cases and often spend upwards of $75,000 to $100,000 or more in costs alone in bringing a malpractice case.  Therefore, if the injuries from alleged medical negligence are minor or not permanent and disabling, it would normally be something that the lawyer would end up spending more in costs than the client would hope to recover at the end of the day.  Therefore, any alleged medical malpractice resulting in death or serious permanent injury should be reviewed by a medical malpractice lawyer. If the malpractice results in a minor injury, it’s probably not going to be a case.

Many times the malpractice attorney can give you a preliminary opinion on whether he thinks there is a case or not, but in Florida, in order to begin a medical malpractice case, the medical records have to be reviewed by a medical expert of the same specialty as the potential defendant, and the reviewing doctor must sign an affidavit giving his opinion that there was medical malpractice which caused the injury.

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SURGICAL INJURY OR DEATH

Surgical injury or death may be as a recognized complication, or it may be due to medical malpractice. Our experts can find out for you.

NEWBORN
BIRTH INJURY

Malpractice occurring during or just after birth of a baby can result in a lifetime of heartache and care, and such injuries should be investigated.

GIVE YOUR DOCTOR A CHECKUP

Find out your doctor’s educational background, credentials, board certification and prior claims.

BRAIN DAMAGE
OR DEATH

This can happen from a head injury, a bleed, a stroke or lack of oxygen to the brain, and can possibly be from medical malpractice.

SLIP AND FALL
INJURIES

Most falls in nursing homes or assisted living facilities can be prevented with proper safety measures and the proper attention of the intitution’s staff.

FREE
LIVING WILL

Be the Captain of your own medical decisions. You can prevent arguments among family members. Make decisions easy for your family. Ensure doctors follow your wishes.

WRONGFUL
DEATH

This is outrageous, five times as many Americans die every year from hospital/doctor mistakes than die from auto accidents.

NURSING HOME ELDERLY ABUSE

Unexplained injuries, bruises and other related injuries may be the result of nursing home abuse. These injuries are a felony under Florida law.

If dogs don't go to heaven when they die, when I die, I want to go where they go.

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A BRIEF HISTORY OF INDIANTOWN

History Of Indiantown

The Seminole people originally established Indiantown as a trading post. Following the First Seminole War, tribes who were fleeing south from the US Army found the area to be an attractive place to settle in due to its abundant fishing and hunting spots as well as its relatively higher elevation. During the 1890s white American migrants settled the area.

Old Indiantown Road – Inside of Timer Powers Park, there is a historical marker sign detailing Juniper Indiantown Road the way it existed from the 1900s through the late 1950s. From the inscription on the sign, from 1900 through the late 1950s, the communities of Indiantown and Jupiter were connected by Jupiter Indiantown Road, which gave residents access to various resources. The area was governed by Dade County when a new road was cut in 1899. Around that time in Indiantown, brothers Dessie and Joe Bowers developed citrus groves and also operated a trading post where they and the Seminoles traded goods for hides. Transporting goods by oxcart took two days on the 16-mile road. In 1912, improvements were made to the road when mules were used for hauling shell rock coming from Jupiter. The St. Lucie Canal around 1916 intersected the road that was near Indiantown. There was a hand winched ferry offered cross passage until 1927 when a one-lane turning bridge was constructed. Cattle ranches, homestead, and then later the Jenkins and David sawmill became established along this road. It was also called the Central Dixie Highway, the Jupiter Okeechobee Road, and the Jupiter Grade Road, and it became State Road 29 in 1936. By the late 1950s, the historic dirt road was replaced by nearby paved highways. Palm Beach and Martin Counties declared the road to be a Scenic By-Way in 1993.

Indiantown was transformed in 1924 when S. Davies Warfield constructed an extension of Seaboard Air Line Railway running from Coleman to West Palm Beach, directly passing through Indiantown and stopping there.

Warfield planned on making Indianhub the Seaboard rail line’s southern hub. Towards this end, he planned out a model city, which involved building a railroad station, housing, and school, and laid out streets. Warfield built the Seminole Inn as well, which is on the National Register of Historic Places now.

Today’s Seminole Inn

However, after 1926 the 1920s Florida land boom fizzled out A year later, Warfield died, which put an end to his plans of making Indiantown the southern headquarters of the Seaboard. The Okeechobee hurricane in 1928 wreaked great destruction and further development was halted.

In 1952 there was a serious attempt at revitalizing the local economy when Indiantown Development Corporation was sold and then was restructured into Indiantown Company. This company was involved in the construction of new sewage and water systems, housing developments, and docks using the St. Lucie River, as well as a 6,000-foot airstrip to bring in civilian air traffic and small cargo.

During the 1950s and 1960s, Circle T Ranch and the Circle T Rodeo Bowl were at Indiantown. Around 15,000 visitors attended the 1963 Rodeo which at the time made it Florida’s largest tourist attraction. The Ranch was bought out later and became a film studio.

Seaboard trains continue stopping at the depot in Indiantown throughout the 1960s. However, in 1972 when Amtrak took over, passenger service was eliminated to the station. Several years later the depot was demolished. virtually the only thing that remains from the 1920s boom is the Seminole Inn.

The contributions that Warfield made to Indiantown have been memorialized in many ways, including Warfield Elementary School and Warfield Boulevard (the major route through Indiantown).

Indiantown’s economy currently heavily relies on seasonal agriculture. Also, the town continues using its position close to the intersection of numerous major roads to act as an infrastructure and transportation hub. There have also been attempts to capitalize on wetlands nearby and to get the Rodeo revitalized to draw more tourists in.

WHO ARE

MY INDIANTOWN CLIENTS?

My clients are people who have been seriously and permanently injured by medical/hospital errors; who have had family members die at the hands of incompetent doctors or nurses; whose elderly loved ones have been abused and mistreated by uncaring nursing home staff. Many cannot even leave their houses because of their injuries. Sometimes their computer is their only contact with the outside world. These are my people!

“It's personally rewarding to bring justice and closure to these clients who have been so horribly injured through the negligence or incompetence of others. Please accept this FREE e-book which will help you navigate and understand the process involved in a medical malpractice law suit.”

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This FREE e-book, will help the Indiantown victims of medical malpractice understand and navigate through the legal process. This guide was written by Kip Sinclair based on his many decades of experience dealing with medical malpractice cases. Fill the form below to get your FREE ebook!

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