Melbourne Medical Malpractice Lawyer
You place your trust in health care providers to care for you when you are at your most vulnerable. Unfortunately, sometimes that trust is misplaced. While everyone makes mistakes, when a doctor, nurse, or hospital makes an error or mistake in providing care, it is usually the patient who suffers.
If you, or someone that you love, has been injured by the negligence of a health care practitioner, you do have certain rights to demand compensation. A skilled Melbourne medical malpractice lawyer can walk you through the process of taking legal action. At the Pendas Law Firm, our team represents individuals throughout Brevard County who have suffered–and continue to suffer–as the result of preventable medical errors.
Medical Malpractice Cases Are Different
On the surface, medical malpractice is no different than any other form of negligence. In legal terms, negligence occurs when one party–the defendant–violates a duty of care they have towards a second party–the plaintiff–that results in a demonstrable injury to the latter. For example, if you are injured in a car accident caused by a driver who runs a red light, that driver was negligent and you can seek legal compensation accordingly.
Medical malpractice differs, however, in that there are a number of special Florida state laws that apply specifically to these types of cases. Indeed, before you can even file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Florida, the victim is required to first obtain a written opinion from a qualified medical expert who has reviewed the applicable medical records and determined the victim’s claims have merit.
If the health care provider is willing to admit negligence, the determination of damages can be submitted to binding arbitration. Arbitration means that instead of having a jury hear a case, the matter is submitted to a three-member arbitration panel. Each side picks one arbitrator, and the third is appointed by a state official.
How Long Do You Have to File a Medical Malpractice Claim in Florida?
It is also important to note there are strict, but somewhat complicated, deadlines known as the statute of limitations in which to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Florida. Normally, a victim needs to file a lawsuit within 2 years of discovering the medical error (or 2 years after they should have discovered the error through due diligence). But regardless of when the error was discovered, the lawsuit must also be brought within 4 years of when the error actually occurred.
However, if the health care provider engaged in fraud or attempted to conceal the malpractice, the statute of limitations can be extended up to 7 years after the mistake actually occurred. And in cases where the victim of the malpractice was a young child, the deadline is extended until the child’s eighth birthday.
Contact The Pendas Law Firm Today
As you can see, medical malpractice involves a number of complex legal principles and procedures. That is why it is essential that you work with a qualified Melbourne medical malpractice lawyer anytime you are planning to take on a doctor, nurse, or hospital in court. Contact the Pendas Law Firm today to schedule an initial consultation with a member of our team.