Kelley Uustal Trial Attorney
March 29, 2014

How to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

If you experienced a worse health outcome or suffered harm throughout the course of your medical care, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. These claims help recoup expenses resulting from your medical bills and lost wages, as well as address the pain and suffering associated with your incompetent medical care. If you believe you’ve been a victim of medical malpractice, seek counsel from an experienced Fort Lauderdale medical malpractice attorney. It’s essential to act as soon as possible. Here are the steps you should take immediately following suspected malpractice:

  • Seek a Second Medical Opinion
    In cases of misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose, follow your instincts. If you think something is “off” about your medical care, ask for a second opinion. If both providers agree, you have peace of mind that you took the right action and advocated for your health. If the second provider has a different opinion about your medical issue, you might have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit, especially if your first provider’s incompetence led to a worse health outcome.
  • Talk to Your Medical Provider
    If you think that something is wrong, or you need clarification, talk to your healthcare provider before jumping straight into a lawsuit. If they truly committed negligence or missed something in your care, they may be willing to render free medical services to rectify the problem.
  • Contact the Medical Licensing Board
    If you are not getting anywhere with your healthcare provider, talk to the appropriate medical licensing board. In most cases, this would be the Florida Board of Medicine. These boards cannot force the doctor to compensate you for your injuries, but they can order sanctions or issue warnings to the provider if they suspect negligence.
  • Talk to a Personal Injury Attorney
    A personal injury attorney with experience in medical malpractice claims can provide a free and strategic review of your legal options. Along with your second opinion from a provider, they can help determine if your provider deviated from an established standard of care and committed negligence. If they believe you have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit, they can offer their services on a “contingency-fee” basis, which means you won’t owe any attorney’s fees unless you win a settlement or court judgment.
  • Know the Statute of Limitations
    Florida sets strict timelines for bringing a civil lawsuit. For cases involving medical malpractice, you have two years from the date of the medical malpractice to file a suit with the appropriate court. If you wait too long, you could lose your right to compensation.
  • Decide Whether You’ll Settle Out of Court or Go to Trial
    Sometimes, a physician’s insurer will want to offer a settlement before the formal lawsuit process begins. With the help of a personal injury attorney, you may be able to negotiate a fair settlement for your claim and avoid the lawsuit process entirely. In other cases, you’ll need the threat of court to get an insurance company to take you seriously. For this reason, it’s essential to have the guidance of a medical malpractice attorney.

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