Even if you are positive a medical professional’s negligence caused your injury or disability, you still have to prove it if you want to get compensation for your damages. Understanding what the courts require can help you to collect and prepare your evidence.
If you’ve been a victim of malpractice and you’re ready to prove it, keep reading to learn how. This article will teach you what is involved in gathering compelling evidence to prove medical malpractice in Florida.
Proof of Medical Malpractice
In Florida, the first thing you’ll need to do to prove medical malpractice is to prove your relationship to the negligent provider. This is the easiest part of the process. In most cases, it is simple to prove that you were someone’s patient or that you were treated in a specific facility. After all, you have your bills as proof, right? You can also get your patient records.
Proving the relationship between you and the defendant may be easy, but the rest of the evidence you’ll need may be more of a challenge. Lawyers often bring in expert witnesses to help prove the following conditions:
- Proof that the care you received was substandard
- Proof that this substandard care caused your injuries
- Proof of the damages that were caused by your injuries
Your lawyer will tell you what kind of evidence you’ll need to prove your claim. Typically, the defendant’s insurance company will review the evidence first and offer a settlement based on how strong your evidence is. When they refuse to offer adequate compensation, your evidence will be presented to a judge or jury in court.
The Standard of Care in Florida
Medical malpractice cases in the United States are a huge problem today because according to the Journal of the American Medical Association study, medical negligence is one the first leading cause of death in the country. Until medical providers and institutions are held to higher standards, this is a problem that isn’t going to go away.
Under Florida law, medical professionals are not automatically responsible for the injuries they cause. The law describes the standard of care as the “level of care, skill, and treatment which, in light of all relevant surrounding circumstances, is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent similar health care providers.” It is only after your attorney has proven that the doctor failed to act the way a competent physician would have in a similar situation that it can be proven that the standard of care was breached.
Who Can File a Lawsuit
In Florida, injured parties or the parents of minor children who have been injured can file a personal injury lawsuit. However, when a loved one has been fatally injured by medical malpractice, the laws are different.
Section 768.21 of Florida’s Constitution has been described by some as a “free kill law” because it allows doctors and hospitals to fatally injure certain patients and get away with it. If you are a spouse or the parent of a minor child, you can sue for pain and suffering damages in cases of medical malpractice. Parents of adult children over 25 and the adult children of parents who were killed by medical negligence cannot sue for pain and suffering, no matter how great your suffering has been.
If you believe you have a valid case, it is in your best interest to consult with an attorney as quickly as possible. According to Florida law, you have two years from the day you discovered your injury or should have reasonably discovered it to file. Once this window has closed, it’ll stay closed for good.