Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Medical malpractice is a serious issue. While most of us have little choice but to trust our healthcare providers to keep us safe, the reality is that doctors and hospitals make mistakes with alarming frequency. In fact, according to Johns Hopkins, medical malpractice is the third-leading cause of death in the United States, behind only heart disease and cancer. That is why our medical malpractice lawyers are second to none when helping clients get the compensation they deserve.
At Rue & Ziffra Law Offices, we provide experienced, compassionate, and aggressive legal representation for victims of medical malpractice. With three office locations in Volusia and Flagler Counties, we handle cases against hospitals, clinics, doctor’s offices, and other healthcare providers throughout the local area. Our Medical Malpractice Department focuses solely on representing individuals and families who are struggling to cope with the effects of medical mistakes; and with an experienced nurse on staff, we are able to quickly and thoroughly assess our clients’ claims for financial compensation.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
What is medical malpractice? Simply put, medical malpractice occurs whenever a healthcare provider fails to diagnose or treat a patient with the appropriate level of care. It can be a doctor, registered nurse, clinician, hospital administrator, or another healthcare provider that makes the mistake. However, when that mistake results in care that falls below the customary medical standard of care, the patient (or their family) is entitled to seek financial compensation for any ensuing losses. This includes not only medical expenses for proper treatment – but for other related out-of-pocket expenses, loss of income, pain, and suffering, and other financial and non-financial losses.
As a patient, it is not always easy to tell if your medical condition is the result of malpractice. While some mistakes may be obvious (such as failure to diagnose a broken bone), others may not be clear without a thorough understanding of the relevant medical and legal principles. When you contact us, we do not expect you to know that you have a claim. We expect you to have questions, and we are more than happy to provide the answers you need to make informed decisions.
Why Choose Our Medical Malpractice Lawyers?
An unfavorable result following medical treatment does not necessarily mean that you have a medical malpractice claim. Furthermore, even when medical professionals make mistakes, these mistakes may not ultimately be responsible for the unfavorable results. Sometimes the results are just inevitable.
Even when the mistakes are clear and the consequences apparent, the legal issues still remain complicated. Medical malpractice claims are incredibly difficult to pursue, and very few doctors are sanctioned for their mistakes. For these reasons, it is extremely important to exercise caution when selecting medical malpractice lawyers.
For over four decades, injured patients and families across Daytona Beach, Deland, Palm Coast, and Port Orange have chosen Rue & Ziffra to represent them in complex medical malpractice claims. Clients turn to our knowledgeable team because:
How does a Medical Malpractice Claim Work?
Pursuing a claim in Florida can be a complex and time-consuming process. The initial steps in the case will include:
- Getting copies of your medical records
- Asking medical professionals to review your records
- Interviewing witnesses.
Once the initial investigation is complete, your lawyer will file a lawsuit, or complaint. The complaint typically is filed in the court of the Florida county where the medical malpractice occurred. However, a complaint could also be filed in a federal court.
In Florida, a complaint must include an affidavit, or sworn statement, from your lawyer. The affidavit must state:
- Your lawyer consulted with a medical expert
- The expert was qualified to review your case by virtue of experience and demonstrated competence
- The expert has determined in a written report that there is a “reasonable and meritorious cause” for filing a lawsuit in your case.
The amount of time it takes to resolve your case after the filing of a complaint will depend on the other side’s cooperation with answering questions and providing documents relevant to your case.
This is a formal evidence-gathering process called “discovery.” In some situations, a court order may need to be obtained to force the other side to comply with a discovery request. The time it takes to resolve the claims process also will depend on whether the medical professional involved in your case is willing to admit fault and agree to a full and fair settlement of your claim.
In many cases, a claim can be resolved without the need to go to trial. However, if a malpractice settlement cannot be reached, you can be assured that your lawyer from Rue & Ziffra, will be well-prepared to take your case to trial.
A trial may focus on both establishing the medical professional’s legal responsibility, or “liability,” and the amount of damages you should recover. In some situations, fault may be admitted, and a trial may focus only on damages. Settlement talks may continue through trial or even after a verdict is returned. Once a settlement or verdict is reached in your case, your lawyer will work efficiently to resolve any claims that may be attached to your recovery, account for your legal fees and case costs and disburse the funds you are due.
After a serious injury or accident, victims and their families have many questions in mind. We encourage you to contact us today for a free consultation, so we can personally address all your questions and concerns.
Meanwhile, these are a few of the most common questions we hear from our clients.
What Should I Do If I Suspect Medical Malpractice?
If you suspect medical malpractice, you should seek medical treatment and legal representation promptly. You need to receive an accurate diagnosis and begin appropriate treatment promptly (for your health and to help protect your legal rights). While we understand that it may be difficult to trust another medical provider, there are good doctors out there. When you contact us, we will be happy to refer you to a physician who has been treating our clients for years.
What Mistakes Do I Need To Avoid?
When seeking financial compensation for medical malpractice, there are several mistakes you need to try to avoid. Some of the most important ones are:
- Missing appointments with your doctors
- Not following your prescribed treatment plan
- Exercising too early, returning to work too soon, and making lifestyle choices that the insurance companies might be able to use against you.
During your free initial consultation, we will walk you through everything you need to know in order to protect your right to maximum financial compensation.
Does Florida La Limit The Amount Of Compensation Available For Medical Malpractice?
While Section 766.188 of the Florida Statutes sets caps for non-economic damages (e.g., pain and suffering) in medical malpractice cases, the Florida Supreme Court declared these caps to be unconstitutional in June 2017.
What Is Involved In Filming A Medical Claim In Florida?
Filing a medical malpractice lawsuit is not as simple as filing other types of personal injury claims. Florida law imposes a number of pre-suit requirements, all of which are best handled by an experienced attorney. The pre-suit requirements for Florida medical malpractice claims include:
- Review of the patient’s medical records by a medical expert who is a “similar health care provider” to the provider suspected of committing malpractice;
- Preparation of a medical expert report by the similar health care provider;
- Service of a Notice of Intent to Initiate Litigation for Medical Negligence; and,
- Completion of a 90-day pre-suit investigation period, during which the parties will exchange information regarding their respective positions on the patient’s claims.
During or at the end of this 90-day period, the health care provider accused of malpractice can either (i) make a settlement offer, (ii) admit liability and offer to arbitrate the award of damages, or (iii) reject the claim. If the provider rejects the claim, then the patient can take his or her case to court.
Speak With A Florida Medical Malpractice Attorney For Free.
For more information about how our attorneys can help you recover just compensation for medical malpractice, please contact us to arrange your free initial consultation. You can reach us 24/7, so call (386) 788-7700 or submit your case online now.