As some of the most experienced and best medical malpractice attorneys in Miami, we know about the struggles our medical malpractice clients have endured. This article will give you tips to help you avoid becoming a victim of medical malpractice, as well as answer some common questions you may have about your medical malpractice case.
Here is the list of topics covered in this article to help you:
- Three steps to take to avoid being a medical malpractice victim
- Is your medical malpractice case worth pursuing?
- What are the fees associated with your medical malpractice case?
- What are the different types of medical malpractice compensation?
- How does the statute of limitations apply to medical malpractice cases in Florida?
3 Steps To Take To Avoid Being A Medical Malpractice Victim
The first step is to know the ways to prevent yourself from being a victim. While each case requires a finely tailored approach, our years of seeking justice for our clients have revealed a few questions people should ask themselves, or their loved ones, before reporting medical malpractice.
- Did you have an advocate? If you are visiting a hospital or meeting with a doctor, ensure that you bring a friend, parent or colleague to advocate on your behalf. When you are sick, it’s best to have an ally by your side—someone who knows your wishes and can ensure your doctor is looking out for your best interests.
- Did you question your doctor? When consenting to an operation or accepting a diagnosis, you are putting your life in your doctor’s hands. You have a right to question your doctor. While discussing medical issues is often uncomfortable, it is crucial to be as informed as possible.
- Did you get multiple opinions? Sometimes, questioning your doctor isn’t enough to avoid becoming a medical malpractice victim. If your diagnosis is severe enough that your doctor recommends surgery or powerful medications, seeking an additional medical opinion can be essential to ensure you have the best possible result.
Is My Medical Malpractice Case Worth Pursuing?
Being subject to medical malpractice takes a toll on your life. From the costly medical bills to relinquishing control over your everyday routine, your life can drastically change due to a medical error. That’s why when starting a case, one question we often receive is: Is our case worth pursuing?
For those in the process of beginning a medical malpractice case, the value of the case cannot be determined instantly. It takes commitment, dedication, and time, especially since medical malpractice claims can take anywhere from 18 months up to 2 years to fully close.
So, when trying to answer the question about pursuing a case, we believe the answer to this question depends on you, your circumstance, and your willingness to participate. Here are some additional questions to consider:
Have your injuries caused you physical, emotional, and mental damage?
- Physical damage occurs when the victim has actual physical injuries to the body along with conditions such as scarring and disfigurement
- Emotional distress results when the victim is traumatized mentally and suffers from problems such as anxiety, loss of enjoyment for life, emotional distress, and/or shock.
- Mental trauma, along with emotional distress, can affect one’s personality and mood, with symptoms typically being severe crying and anger, loss of energy, and appetite.
Are your injuries keeping you from participating in your everyday life?
- Medical malpractice injuries can completely change your life. Apart from the physical injuries that may result in a lifelong handicap, there are typically also financial stressors involved in every case. From medical bills to time away from work due to injuries, medical malpractice can put victims in debt and add to the growing list of stress the victim is already enduring.
As some of the top medical malpractice attorneys in Miami and Florida, our goal is maximizing the value of your case. Sometimes that means extra steps need to be taken before, during, and after your case goes to trial to ensure that the value is maximized to its full potential.
What Are The Fees Associated With My Medical Malpractice Case?
When most people think of attorneys and the fees they charge, they typically think of one thing—hourly billing. How much is my attorney going to charge me? Are they counting every email exchange, text message, or phone call? Is every minute of my case going to be billed?
When it comes to medical malpractice, this isn’t the case. In medical malpractice cases, the fees are derived from contingency fees, meaning the attorneys only receive a payment if they make a recovery on your behalf. All of the costs of medical malpractice cases—investigative costs, expert costs, litigation costs, and preparation for trial—are paid for by the attorneys. In other words, as medical malpractice attorneys, we don’t get paid if we don’t recover for you.
Yes, costs will vary from case to case, because each has different facts and circumstances, but in the end, our goal is your goal: to get you the compensation and justice you rightly deserve.
What Are The Different Types Of Medical Malpractice Compensation?
As one of the largest medical malpractice firms in Miami and Florida, our goal is always to get you the justice you deserve and maximizing the compensation you or your family are entitled to. There are two types of compensation a medical malpractice victim can receive: economic compensation and non-economic compensation. The form of compensation you receive will entirely depend on the many facts and complex issues unique to your claim.
Economic Compensation: A medical malpractice victim receives economic compensation if they were harmed in a way that had a measurable impact on their current and future way of life. A few examples of measurable damages include:
- Extensive medical costs
- Rehabilitation costs
- A loss of the ability to maintain future income
The monetary value of the settlement you receive will be paid for the financial damages you experienced and will also lessen any future financial issues you or your family will face.
Non-economic Compensation: Non-economic compensation for medical malpractice cases is given in response to damages that do not have a measurable economic impact on you or your family’s way of life. A few examples of non-economic damages are prolonged or permanent physical and mental suffering, the death of a loved one, and disfigurement. Because the cost of these damages cannot be directly measured, assigning a monetary value to them is a very complex process that often requires insight from outside financial experts.
Our team of seasoned Florida medical malpractice attorneys and experts will fight for your case and help you and your family begin the next chapter of your lives with peace of mind.
How Does The Statute Of Limitations Apply To Medical Malpractice Cases In Florida?
“Statutes of limitation” are laws that define the timeframe for when a claim can be filed in court. Their purpose is to ensure that claims are brought within a reasonable amount of time and also to protect defendants from the indefinite threat of a lawsuit.
Statutes of limitation push the plaintiff to take action and decide whether they want to press a lawsuit. In Florida, most civil cases have a statute of limitations of four or five years, depending on the circumstances and the type of case.
Medical malpractice cases under Florida law, however, have a two-year statute of limitations. This means plaintiffs with medical malpractice cases in Florida must investigate their claim and file suit within two years from the date the medical malpractice is discovered or should have been discovered, by the plaintiff.
A four-year “statute of repose” also applies to medical malpractice cases under Florida law. This means that, at most, a medical malpractice claim must be brought within four years from the date in which the medical malpractice or negligence occurred. But there are two exceptions to the four-year statute of repose:
- Fraud: There is a seven-year maximum cap for cases where a prospective defendant has committed fraud or made an intentional misrepresentation that has prevented you from discovering the medical malpractice. So, if a healthcare professional has covered up his or her medical negligence such that it could not possibly have been discovered, an injured party will have an extended statute of repose.
- Minor Child: Parents or legal guardians of a child under the age of eight have until the eighth birthday of the child to bring a medical malpractice claim on the child’s behalf.
Because of the two-year statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases, it is important to act as soon as you suspect medical malpractice or negligence has occurred.
For additional information about your Florida or Miami medical malpractice case, read our 6 helpful tips to help you understand medical malpractice. As some of the best Miami medical malpractice attorneys, we want to continue to help you, and injured parties throughout the state of Florida, maximize the results from your medical malpractice case.
If you or a loved one have suffered from medical malpractice, turn to Grossman Roth Yaffa Cohen, the best medical malpractice attorneys.