First Steps If You Think You’re a Victim of Medical Malpractice

No one likes to get bad service, but exactly where that bad service occurs can make a world of difference. If McDonald’s serves you a hamburger with the wrong condiments, it is a problem that can be easily remedied to your satisfaction. If, on the other hand, that bad service comes from your doctor or hospital, it can have dire consequences. It also means you could be the victim of medical malpractice.

Every year, medical errors in hospitals and other health care facilities claim over 200,000 lives and injure millions more. If you think you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice, there are some initial steps to take to see if you have a claim.

Is It Medical Malpractice?

Not all bad outcomes in a hospital or other health care setting are the result of malpractice. Sometimes nothing can be done and the outcome is unavoidable. What is important is if the injury was a result of negligence or a failure to provide a certain standard of care.

medical malpractice

Some common errors that lead to medical malpractice claims are a wrong diagnosis or a failure to diagnose, a mistake during surgery (like removing the wrong body part/organ or leaving a surgical tool inside the patient), the wrong dosage on a medication prescription or an incorrect prescription, failure to provide a clean and sterile environment, anesthesia-related injuries and injuries during childbirth to either mother or child that are a result of an error on the part of the medical staff.

Statute of Limitations

If you feel you have a medical malpractice claim, time is of the essence. Every state has its own statute of limitations when it comes to filing medical malpractice claims, so it’s imperative that you know what the time frame is in your state.  In Florida, that time limit can be as short as two years from the date of the malpractice if you knew or should have known about the malpractice at that time.  There are multiple exceptions to this rule in Florida but you should obtain expert legal advice from an experienced medical malpractice attorney as early as possible to help ensure that your claim is not time barred.

Depending on your state, several factors could go into determining how much time you have to file a claim, including whether or not you knew you were a victim or could have been reasonably expected to learn that and if you are a minor. Even if you didn’t know you were a victim, many states, including Florida, have an absolute limit that can bar you from ever filing a claim if that time limit passes.

Find a Lawyer and Medical Experts

Medical malpractice cases are often quite complex and involve a lot of medical information. Without an attorney who specializes in medical malpractice, your case has very little chance of success. There are several reasons for this:

-The doctor or medical professional’s insurance company will have lawyers that know these cases. They will not respect an attorney who is a novice in this field and will have little trouble outmaneuvering one.

-There are multiple technical requirements that must be met before filing a medical malpractice suit which only an experienced medical malpractice attorney will know how to handle.

– A medical malpractice attorney will be able to get medical experts to testify on your behalf, experts with a lot of experience in these cases.

If you are in the Jacksonville area and think you have been the victim of medical malpractice, contact an experienced attorney at Hardesty, Tyde, Green & Ashton, P.A. or call 904-249-9030 for a consultation.

Additional Reading:

Medical Negligence: A Burning Issue

Medical Malpractice: Injuries and Illnesses Caused by Common Pharmaceuticals

Victim of Medical Malpractice? Call a Jacksonville Attorney Today

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