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Florida Medical Malpractice

When someone in Florida is injured or dies in a medical setting--either because of a medical professional's actions or inaction--a patient or his or her family will often consider a Florida medical malpractice lawsuit.

What Is Medical Malpractice in Florida?

According to Wikipedia's definition of medical malpractice:

Medical malpractice is professional negligence by act or omission by a health care provider in which the care provided deviates from accepted standards of practice in the medical community and causes injury or death to the patient. Standards and regulations for medical malpractice vary by country and jurisdiction within countries. Medical professionals are required to maintain professional liability insurance to offset the risk and costs of lawsuits based on medical malpractice.

Do You Have a Florida Medical Malpractice Case?

At a basic level, you must prove two things to be successful in a Florida medical malpractice case:

  • The doctor or medical professional treating you made a mistake
  • You were harmed as a result of that mistake

In determining whether the Florida medical professional made a mistake, the Florida court will look at the medical standard of care. In other words, what is the generally accepted method of treating patients in your area with similar medical problems? For example, the standard of care for a 90-year-old lung cancer patient in Florida would not necessarily be the same standard of care for a 45-year-old lung cancer patient in California.

Not only must you show that the Florida doctor's act or omission was a mistake, but you must also prove that this mistake injured you.

In other words, you probably do not have a valid Florida medical malpractice claim if your doctor treated you according to the medical standard of care in your area in Florida. And you probably would not have a valid medical malpractice claim if you were not harmed by the doctor's treatment, even if it did violate the standard of care in Florida.

Who Can Commit Medical Malpractice?

Doctors, nurses, dentists, technicians, hospitals, and hospital workers can all commit medical malpractice, according to the American Bar Association.

Your Florida medical malpractice attorney can advise you whether you have a valid Florida medical malpractice claim and against whom you have a potential claim.

How Long Do You Have to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

Every state has a statute of limitations, or time period in which you can file a civil lawsuit against another party, such as a doctor or nurse. The Florida medical malpractice statute of limitations is two or four years (depending upon when the injury was discovered).

If you and your Florida medical malpractice lawyer are unable to negotiate a settlement with the person at fault in your medical malpractice case, you should consider filing a lawsuit before the statute of limitations runs out.

Additional Florida Medical Malpractice Resources

The Bureau of Justice Statistics information on medical malpractice trials

American Bar Association's medical malpractice resources

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation's report on Medical Malpractice Law in the United States

The Florida Patient Safety Corporation

Florida medical malpractice statutes

Florida Department of Health Division of Medical Quality Assurance

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