Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Tampa Personal Injury Attorney Richard Mitzel has litigated many Medical Malpractice claims for deserving clients who have been injured as the result of negligent care by healthcare providers.
Below is information that you may find helpful. Feel free to read through it, then call Mr Mitzel for a FREE Consultation (352) 251-0005.
The Florida Law regarding the procedure to successfully bring claims against healthcare professionals is extremely difficult to navigate. It is also very time consuming and expensive. Mr. Mitzel understands the complexities of the law and has over 30 years of experience in dealing with the obstacles presented by the Medical Malpractice Law.
Standard of Care
Whether or not a person has been injured by negligent medical treatment depends on the Standard of Care regarding the treatment rendered or failed to be rendered. It is a National standard, not a local standard. It means “how would a similarly qualified practitioner have managed the patient’s care under the same or similar circumstances.”
The Burden of Proof
The burden of proving that the standard of care was not met is up to the injured claimant. It is not up to the accused healthcare provider to prove that the standard of care was met.
The only way to ascertain if the applicable standard of care was not met is to secure all of the medical and hospital records that have been generated by the care that was rendered. Next, an expert medical witness of the same or similar qualifications must be retained to review all of the records. If the opinion of the expert is that the standard of care was met, then the claim would not be successful if suit is filed. However, if the expert reviewing the medical records feels that the care rendered that caused the injury was below the applicable standard of care. The next step is to file a letter of intent, which must be done before a lawsuit can be filed.
The Letter of Intent
What this means is the expert witness signs an affidavit regarding the medical negligence of the offending healthcare provider. Then a letter is sent to the provider along with the affidavit advising that the client is prepared to file suit for the damages sustained and the reasons why he should prevail in court. By law, the healthcare professional has 90 days to respond.
The proposed defendant has 90 days to review the claim, retain an expert and respond to the claim. If their expert reviews the claim and opines that the standard of care was met, then a letter is sent to the client along with the affidavit denying the claim within the 90 days. Also, the healthcare provider can choose not to respond to the letter of intent and after 90 days passes, by law, the claim is deemed to be rejected. Lastly, the proposed defendant can admit fault and the lawsuit can then be filed.
This rarely happens.
Healthcare providers and/or their insurance companies seldom settle medical malpractice claims without a suit being filed. They will fight the claim, even if it is valid, for as long as they can. The only cases they will consider settling before trial are those where responsibility is proven during the discovery process, and the damages are substantial.
The lawsuit then can be filed and the litigation begun at the expiration of the 90 days or upon receipt of written denial from the provider, whichever occurs first.
An Experienced Attorney
For these reasons, you can see why you need an experienced, successful and aggressive attorney who gives you the best chance to be compensated for the injuries and damages you have sustained. If I can be of help, please contact me (352) 251-0005.