Daytona Beach Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Each year, medical errors account for thousands of injuries and even deaths. Medical mistakes or malpractice can result in lasting physical and emotional effects. The mental anxiety can be severe, especially when you have an individual whose trust is diminished by a malpractice incident, yet they are forced to put their life in another physician’s hands in order to correct the problem that resulted from the first medical mistake. So in addition to the physical suffering and the financial burden from medical bills and lost wages, many victims also experience significant emotional distress.
But there is help. If you suffered from a Daytona Beach medical malpractice incident, personal injury lawyer Robert J. Horst is here to assist. As a skilled medical malpractice attorney, he has the medical and legal knowledge required to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Notably, you only have a period of two years from the discovery of your injuries to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Florida, so you must take action immediately to avoid missing out on your chance for justice. If you’re in Daytona Beach, personal injury attorney Robert J. Horst can provide you with a free consultation for your case. Call (407) 601-3999.
Common Questions About Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
Daytona Beach clients often come to attorney Robert J. Horst with many questions and concerns. After all, few have ever filed a lawsuit before, and those who have will find that each medical malpractice case is unique. Understanding what to expect can help to ease some of the uncertainty and stress surrounding your case, enabling you to find peace of mind as your lawsuit moves forward.
What is Medical Malpractice?
In Florida, medical malpractice is defined as health care that falls short of the medical community’s standard of care.
Some indications of malpractice can include:
- The provider took a long time to start treatment;
- The condition got worse after treatment or a procedure;
- There was a major unexpected complication, such as paralysis, brain damage or even death.
It’s important to understand that while most Florida personal injury claims have a four-year statute of limitations, the limit is just two years for medical malpractice cases. So it’s critical that you take action as soon as possible and seek out the advice of an experienced Daytona Beach medical malpractice lawyer, especially if you have been injured by a medical mistake or a health care professional’s negligence.
Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in Florida?
Yes, Florida medical error lawsuits are very complex as they require extensive knowledge in two areas: medicine and law. Also, health care providers typically carry malpractice insurance, so they are defended by large law firms that deal exclusively with this type of case, creating a more challenging case for the plaintiff.
A personal injury lawyer experienced in medical malpractice — like Attorney Robert J. Horst — will have the knowledge, expertise and strategies required to maximize your chances of a timely and favorable resolution.
I Signed a Consent Form. Does That Mean I Can No Longer File a Claim?
Signing a consent form only grants permission to perform a particular procedure or to provide you with care. This consent form does not relieve health care providers of their obligation to provide good quality care, nor does it render them immune from liability if they act in a negligent manner.
For instance, you may consent to an appendectomy, but the surgeon will still be liable if he leaves a surgical tool inside your abdomen during the procedure.
What Do I Have to Prove in a Medical Malpractice Claim?
In Florida, personal injury attorneys must prove four things in order to have a viable case.
- Duty: Your attorney must prove that the health care professional had a duty to carry out their tasks in a responsible manner, within the established standard of care.
- Breach: Your attorney must prove that a breach occurred when the health care professional failed to carry out their duties in a responsible manner; in a manner that fell within the established standard of care.
- Damages: Your attorney must prove that you suffered injuries or harm.
- Causation: Your attorney must prove that the health care professional’s breach caused this harm or injury.
I Already Have a Settlement Offer. Why File a Lawsuit?
While you may have an offer for a settlement, this first offer is rarely fair and equitable.
In addition, the health care providers who provided you with care may have the option to place a lien against this settlement.
An experienced Daytona Beach personal injury lawyer can help you negotiate a more equitable settlement that will fairly compensate you for your losses and injuries.
How Do I File a Medical Malpractice Suit? Is There a Process?
When you work with a top Daytona Beach medical malpractice attorney, you will be required to follow a specific process in order to move forward with your case.
- An investigation must be performed to verify that there are reasonable grounds to believe that a health care provider committed a negligent act that caused injury.
- The attorney must obtain and review all of your medical records.
- The medical records must be sent to a verified medical expert for their official opinion.
- The medical expert must offer their expert medical opinion in the form of an affidavit. This is a sworn document that will attest to the nature of your injuries, and it serves as confirmation that you have reasonable grounds to seek compensation for your injuries.
- Your lawyer will file a “Notice of Intent to Initiate Litigation for Medical Negligence.” This notice will include the medical expert’s affidavit.
- A 90-day investigative period follows. During this timeframe, both sides will exchange documents and information.
- After this 90-day period concludes, the defense may offer to settle the claim or reject the claim.
Remember that poor medical results do not always equate to medical malpractice. To win your case, you will need expert medical testimony that no “reasonable” health care professional would have provided the treatment that you received. If you are uncertain as to whether you have a viable case, you should consult a knowledgeable attorney experienced in medical malpractice, such as Attorney Robert J. Horst.
Can I Sue Someone Who Isn’t a Doctor?
Virtually anyone can be subject to a lawsuit, but a medical malpractice lawsuit can only be filed against a health care professional or health care entity (i.e. a hospital). This can include physicians, surgeons, nurses, technicians, optometrists, physical therapists and hospitals.
Can I File a Lawsuit if I Was Misdiagnosed?
It might be possible to file a lawsuit if you were misdiagnosed. Medicine is an inexact science and diagnostic errors do occur; this is not necessarily an incident of malpractice. But if a health care provider is negligent and their care falls short of the set standard of care, then you may have a viable case. Each case is unique, so it’s important to consult an attorney.
What Type of Compensation Can I Receive?
You may be compensated for damages caused by the negligence of a medical professional. The legal system tries to correct the damage in an attempt to make the injured party “whole” again. You may receive compensation for economic losses and non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering. You can typically expect compensation for medical costs, lost wages (past and future if you are unable to work as a result of the injury) and loss of consortium.
If a medical professional was grossly negligent, you also may win punitive damages. Punitive damages are not designed to compensate you for a loss; rather, they’re intended to penalize or punish the other party.
Trust Your Case to a Top Daytona Beach Medical Malpractice Attorney
Attorney Robert J. Horst is highly experienced personal injury and medical malpractice lawyer who has handled difficult cases in Daytona Beach, Florida and beyond. He believes in taking a compassionate approach to each case, going out of his way to ensure that your questions are answered and that you remain informed throughout the process.
If you are suffering from the injuries caused by a health care provider’s negligence, it’s vital that you contact a Daytona Beach medical malpractice lawyer today, especially considering that you have just two years to file a claim. Contact Horst Law Firm to get a free and confidential evaluation of your case. Call (407) 601-3999.