4 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim
Because medicine isn’t an exact science, it can be hard to determine when malpractice has occurred and when unanticipated complications are to blame for a patient’s deteriorating condition. If your procedure didn’t go as planned and you’re wondering whether you have grounds for action, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Did My Medical Team Follow the Most Widely Accepted Standard of Care?
Generally speaking, you’re only going to have grounds for a claim if your provider deviated from the most widely accepted standard of care. You’re going to have to determine how they failed to behave as any other reasonable provider would have in the same circumstances, and then you’re going to have to find a way to prove it.
Thankfully, a resourceful medical malpractice attorney can help. As long as you turn to a reputable firm, they will be equipped to conduct a thorough investigation, consult relevant experts, and depose eyewitnesses in an attempt to gather evidence that supports your claim.
2. Could My Complications Have Been Prevented?
Could your medical team have prevented the complications you suffered by taking reasonable measures? Did they ignore obvious signs of trouble, for example, or fail to provide adequate follow-up care?
If experts agree your complications were totally unanticipated, your medical team couldn’t have been expected to prevent them. If, on the other hand, they should have been caught in a timely manner—or shouldn’t have arisen at all—you may have a case for negligence.
3. Did I Suffer Actual Damages as a Result of My Medical Team’s Negligence?
Sometimes, when medical providers make mistakes, they catch them right away. If they’re able to correct them immediately, they can usually keep the patient from suffering any adverse effects in the process. Should this be the situation you’re facing, you won’t have grounds for a claim.
In order to take action against a provider or facility, you must have incurred actual losses as a result of their negligence. In Florida, recoverable damages include:
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress;
- Loss of enjoyment in life;
- Medical bills;
- Lost wages;
- Domestic help; and
- Replacement services.
4. Have I Missed the Filing Deadline?
If the statute of limitations has passed, the liable party will have no incentive to settle because they know you won’t be able to take them to court. In Florida, the standard fling deadline for medical malpractice suits is two years from when the cause of action was discovered or should have been discovered; however, no case can be brought more than four years after the cause of action occurred.
As there are a few exceptions to this statute, it’s wise to seek legal counsel as soon as possible. You may have much less time than you realize to commence the proceedings.
Discuss Your Case with a Medical Malpractice Attorney in St. Petersburg
If you think your doctor made a mistake while diagnosing or treating you, turn to Emerson Straw. We will investigate the care you received and gather the evidence needed to take action against the liable provider (or the facility that employed them). To schedule a free case review with a medical malpractice lawyer in Florida, call (727) 821-1500 or complete our Contact Form.