As the Florida Legislature just concluded their most recent session, we are sad to report that they have again passed a series of laws which restrict the rights of patients who are injured due to their doctor’s negligence. The two most alarming restrictions include requiring plaintiffs to use experts which are of the exact same specialty as the doctor who committed the malpractice. This will cause plaintiffs great difficulty as often certain specialists refuse to testify against other doctors.
The other disconcerting provision of the new law allows a defendant doctor’s attorney to breach patient confidentiality and have direct communication with a plaintiff’s own treating doctor.
Medical malpractice is an unfortunate an unintended part of medical care in Florida. Misdiagnosis or the wrong treatment can result in irreversible harm or even wrongful death. Plantation, Florida, lawyer Joseph I. Lipsky has over 20 years of experience helping clients prove their injuries were the result of medical malpractice.
To prove fault in a medical malpractice case, you must prove that the health care professional violated the standard of care that they owed you. Each standard of care is based on what would be expected of that doctor or other medical professional in the medical community that they are practicing in. This will vary for each case and requires experts in the medical field to testify about what the standard of care is and how it was violated.
Unlike other types of personal injury cases, plaintiffs seeking to bring a medical malpractice claim must first gather all of their medical records, which in itself may be expensive, as the legislature previously passed a law allowing hospitals to charge $1.00 per page for copying medical records. Then the plaintiff’s attorney must find an expert to review the voluminous medical records for purposes of rendering a verified opinion that the medical care provided was below the standard of care. Once such a verified opinion is obtained, the plaintiff may then begin the pre-suit screening period, in which the defendant has 90 days to conduct an investigation into the claim, including the taking of unsworn statements from the plaintiff. Only at the conclusion of the pre-suit period is the plaintiff permitted to file their lawsuit.
As you can see, medical malpractice cases are very complex. They require a lot of investigation and consulting and testifying experts to prove to the court that you deserve compensation for your injuries. Given these complexities, it is always a good idea to involve a lawyer as early as possible. The state has also placed severe time limitations on bringing your suit.
If you or a loved one has been injured because of medical malpractice, please call 1-888-FLA-LAW8 or contact the Law Offices of Joseph I. Lipsky, PA today for your free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced wrongful death lawyer. We have convenient office locations in Plantation, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, West Palm Beach, Key Largo and Delray Beach, Florida.