Clearwater Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Patients see healthcare professionals to get better, not worse. For some Clearwater residents and visitors, however, medical treatment goes horribly wrong, serious mistakes are made and the patients and their loved ones suffer as a result. When medical mistakes are caused by negligent medical professionals, victims may have legal rights to seek compensation for the harm done.
At the Fernandez Firm, our experienced team of medical malpractice attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of those injured by negligent doctors, nurses, hospitals and health care providers. We regularly handle medical malpractice cases in Clearwater and have, over the past several years, obtained outstanding trial results and settlements on behalf of clients injured throughout the State. To learn if you have a case, call our Clearwater medical malpractice attorneys today or complete a free case evaluation for immediate assistance.
Experienced Clearwater Malpractice Attorneys
In nearly 25 years of serving the Clearwater community, the Fernandez Firm has helped thousands of people injured because of negligence throughout Florida. We can help you too. Our Clearwater medical malpractice attorneys have obtained more than $90 million in settlements and verdicts on behalf of injured clients and their families. That success is due to hard-work and knowledge of how the legal system, insurance companies and medical practices work.
Medical professionals can and should be held accountable when their failure to act results in patient injury. At the Fernandez Firm, before we pursue any medical malpractice case, we obtain an affidavit from medical expert we hire to review your case. When our experts find a doctor, nurse or other healthcare provider failed to meet the standard of care, we will file a lawsuit to recover all damages you may be entitled to and we don’t get paid unless we win! If you believe that you or someone you love is the victim of medical malpractice, contact our office today.
Florida’s Complex Medical Malpractice Law
Medical malpractice is a complex area of law in Florida. If you think you or a loved one has suffered loss or injury due to the mistakes of a healthcare provider you need to talk to an attorney knowledgeable and experienced in this field of law. This is not a claim you should trust to an attorney who occasionally handles personal injury cases or who has never tried a medical negligence action.
There are aspects of Florida medical malpractice law which are vastly different than those in other kinds of negligence cases.
- The lawsuit must be filed within two years of discovering the injury, or when you should have discovered the injury, or, at the latest, four years from when the malpractice was committed. This is known as the statute of limitations. Even if you suffered a long term injury due to the malpractice and could not have discovered it within four years, your case will be dismissed if you sue the healthcare professional more than four years after the mistake was made.
- There is a limited exception: if you can show the healthcare professional fraudulently concealed the malpractice (lied to you or intentionally deceived you so you would not discover it). In this situation, the statute of limitations is two years from when you actually discovered the injury or seven years from when the malpractice occurred.
- Under Florida law you need to provide a notice of intent to sue to the healthcare provider prior to filing the lawsuit. This notice includes providing an affidavit from a retained medical expert stating that you have a valid medical malpractice claim. This notice starts a 90-day investigation period, during which time, the “clock” of the statute of limitations period does not run.
Negligence Law and Medical Malpractice
Every instance where a mistake by a healthcare provider causes harm is not medical malpractice. The law generally allows healthcare professionals to make a range of decisions and take (or decide not to take) a number of actions. In order to bring a successful medical malpractice case in Clearwater, you have the legal burden of showing,
- The healthcare provider owed you a duty of care,
- His or her actions fell below (or breached) the professional standard of care,
- You suffered a loss, injury or damages recognized by Florida law, and,
- That breach is the factual and proximate (or legal) cause of your injury and damages.
Often the key dispute in a medical malpractice case is the second element. What was the standard of care the medical professional should have met when you were a patient?
- You would need to establish the professional failed to meet the level of care, skill and treatment which, in light of all relevant surrounding circumstances, is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent providers in the same medical field.
- The evidence would need to show the medical professional’s treatment fell below the standard of a competent medical professional in the same situation, considering all of the facts of your situation.
This standard of care is normally established through expert witnesses. They are expert healthcare professionals who look at what happened, state what the standard of care was in your case and whether that standard was breached. Both sides use expert witnesses to help argue their cases.
Clearwater Medical Malpractice? Call Today!
If you have questions about whether you are the victim of medical malpractice and how your rights to compensation can be protected, contact a Clearwater medical malpractice lawyer at our firm today at 1-800-222-8163. Our attorneys are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide answers and your case evaluation is free.