If you or a loved one has suffered injury or a worsened medical condition while under the care of a doctor, physician, or another medical professional, you might be curious about the process of filing a St. Petersburg medical malpractice claim. However, due to the many legal nuances associated with this process, the idea of navigating it alone can be overwhelming.
Therefore, it might be beneficial to reach out to a dedicated and knowledgeable lawyer for help. By consulting a legal professional, you could better understand your legal rights and decide if pursuing a claim is right for you.
Beginning the Claims Process
The process of filing a malpractice claim—which is different than filing a lawsuit—starts with the appropriate service of a formal document called a notice of intent to initiate litigation. This notice is a certified letter that includes the law firm’s investigative findings that the claim has merit and is not frivolous and that it is supported by an appropriate same or similar specialty medical expert by their providing an executed, verified affidavit explaining that they reviewed medical records and found evidence of medical negligence or malpractice.
Once that notice has been received by the at-fault healthcare provider, they have 20 days to provide the client with the requested information, which would include insurance information, an explanation as to what the responding healthcare provider believes happened, and any relevant medical documentation or information that helps the claimant understand the claim. Typically, the at-fault healthcare provider may respond by asking the claimant to provide additional information to their side.
Essentially, there is a 90-day pre-suit litigation period wherein the claimant and the responding healthcare provider are supposed to engage in a complete review of the potential claim and exchange of information to try to resolve the claim before a lawsuit is filed. Often, however, these cases do not resolve in that 90-day period. Nevertheless, no lawsuit can be filed until after a lawful notice of intent to initiate litigation has been properly served upon an at-fault healthcare provider, and a full and meaningful 90-day pre-suit period has been completed.
What Must be Included in a Medical Malpractice Claim For it to Be Viable in Court?
For a case of this nature to be viable in court, the claimant will be required to prove by a greater weight of the evidence that the applicable standards of medical care were breached or violated. To do this, these standards need to be established by a qualified medical expert, who will then assess whether or not they were met.
Next, the injured claimant will need to prove—either through medical records, a testimony of treating physicians, or through an expert witness—that any breaches or violations of the applicable standards of medical care caused their injuries. Finally, after establishing that there was a violation or deviation from the standard of care that caused injury to them, the claimant must, through admissible evidence in court, establish that they suffered harm or damages as a result.
There are multiple categories of damages that might be listed in these claims. However, many claims generally include lost past and future medical expenses, lost past and future wages or earnings, and finally, past and future noneconomic damages—such as pain and suffering.
Seek Legal Help with Filing a St. Petersburg Medical Malpractice Case
If you were injured while being treated by a doctor or other care professional, you should consider reaching out to a tenacious and seasoned lawyer for help filing a St. Petersburg medical malpractice case. When a medical professional is careless, reckless, or otherwise negligent in their treatment, you should not have to cover the resulting bills and medical costs alone. To learn more, schedule a consultation today.