Joe Osborne & Greg Francis, Personal Injury Lawyers & Founders of Osborne & Francis

Medical Malpractice FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions About Medical Malpractice Lawsuits in Florida

Answers from experienced Boca Raton medical malpractice attorneys

Medical malpractice is a complicated and subjective part of Florida law. The medical lobby has convinced the Florida legislature to make it increasingly challenging for the victims of medical negligence to recover the compensation they deserve. You need an aggressive and experienced Boca Raton medical malpractice attorney to recover the full and fair compensation for the harms you have suffered. At Osborne & Associates Law Firm, P.A., we specialize in representing negligence victims in their pursuit of compensation and accountability.

Schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your opportunities to recover compensation with a leading Boca Raton medical malpractice attorney

At Osborne & Associates Law Firm, P.A., we serve client throughout Palm Beach, Broward and Dade counties. Our Boca Raton medical malpractice attorneys provide free initial consultations to answer all your questions about your legal options. You can make an appointment by calling us at (561) 293-2600 or contact us online.

What is medical malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or medical professional acts with negligence. Negligence is a legal term that means “having failed to take proper care in one’s actions.” We all owe each other a certain duty of care. For example, when you get behind the wheel of a car, you owe that duty to other drivers. The same is true with doctors and medical professionals. They owe their patients this duty. 

When they breach this duty (often on accident), it’s called negligence. Negligence by a medical professional can look different depending on the case. Negligence may be truly accidental, such as something slipping one’s mind. However, oftentimes negligence occurs when a medical professional just doesn’t care. For example, they don’t go over all the details of your surgery, or they prescribe the wrong medication because it’s “good enough.” 

Medical professionals work hard, and it’s easy for things to slip their minds. However, sometimes, one mistake is the only thing standing between a patient and disability, injury, illness, or even death. 

What are some types of medical malpractice?

Medical malpractice is an umbrella term for a lot of different types of injuries and errors. Types of medical malpractice include:

  • Medication errors
  • Anesthesia errors
  • Delayed diagnosis
  • Misdiagnosis
  • Failing to monitor 
  • Surgical errors
  • Birth injuries

What types of evidence are used to prove medical malpractice?

Medical malpractice can be difficult to prove. Most people trust doctors and nurses implicitly, so it can be hard to change that opinion. To build a solid case and ensure that people believe your claims, we'll gather multiple different types of evidence, including:

  • Medical history
  • Diagnosis
  • Treatment plans
  • Your testimony

We may also hire an expert witness to give a statement. In a medical malpractice case, working with a secondary doctor or medical professional is a great way to solidify your case. They'll look at your treatment plans and medical history and give a statement on whether or not they believe malpractice was at play. We may also use medical records from other doctors, in the case that you received adequate care somewhere else after the malpractice occurred.

Can I file a medical malpractice lawsuit if I signed a consent form?

Even if you signed a consent form, you still may be able to file a malpractice lawsuit. Signing a consent form doesn't release your doctor from their duty of care. Even with a signed form, they're still required to give you the best care possible. If you were injured by a negligent doctor, they still need to be held responsible.

Can a case be reopened after it is settled?

It is generally impossible to reopen a case once you sign a settlement. That is why it is important for you to not sign anything or make any statements to the doctor’s representatives before you speak with an experienced Florida medical malpractice attorney.

Do only doctors commit medical malpractice?

There is a common misconception that only doctors can commit medical malpractice and be held accountable for it. The truth is that any person or entity the provides health care (including nurses, technicians, therapists, physician assistants, etc.) can commit medical malpractice.

Is a misdiagnosis automatically malpractice?

No, a misdiagnosis is not always grounds for a medical malpractice claim. Errors in diagnosis become grounds for a lawsuit when the physician was negligent or careless in their diagnosis of a patient. Their obligation is to do what a reasonable doctor to do with a patient in the same situation.

Who do I sue for medical malpractice? 

When suing for medical malpractice, you may sue either the doctor or medical professional directly or the place where they work. Sometimes, it can be difficult to sue a hospital directly, as doctors aren't employed directly by hospitals. However, most care facilities have policies in place for when a lawsuit is brought upon an employee. During your free case evaluation, we can give you more guidance on who you'll be suing directly. This can vary from case to case depending on the facility and its employees.

How much compensation will I receive for my medical malpractice case?

The amount of money you’ll receive for your claim is highly personal. We understand the need to know this information immediately, but only an attorney can help determine your case’s worth. During your free case evaluation, an attorney may be able to give you a ballpark estimate depending on your records. 

To get an idea of the compensation that you may receive, you can look at these factors:

  • The severity of resulting injuries, illness, etc. 
  • Your total economic damages
  • Your quality of life 

The severity of your resulting injuries plays a crucial role in determining your claim’s value. If medical malpractice caused severe results that required further medical treatment and additional costs, you’ll receive more compensation than someone with less severe injuries or illnesses. 

To calculate your total economic damages, you’ll want to look at your bills and records and determine how much money you’ve paid because of your injury or illness. What prescriptions did you have to purchase? Did you require further surgery because of the error? These questions can help you get an idea of your potential compensation. 

On top of that, you’ll want to look at your quality of life and how it has changed since the malpractice occurred. This change plays a huge part in the amount of compensation you receive for things like pain and suffering. 

How long will my case take?

There is no time limit on how long a case can last. It generally takes anywhere between 1-3 years for a settlement to be reached or for a case to go to trial. This depends on the type of evidence available, court delays and the willingness of the defendant to agree to a reasonable settlement.

Will my medical malpractice case go to trial?

Almost all personal injury cases are settled outside of court. However, if we're dealing with a stubborn insurance company, we may need to take your case to trial in order to get the best outcome.

What is the statute of limitations for a medical malpractice claim?

The statute of limitations on medical malpractice claims is generally two years from the day that the harm occurred. There are some exceptions. The most notable exception is that juveniles have two years from their 18th birthday to file a lawsuit.

How do I know whether I have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit?

Medical malpractice is often subtle and can be difficult to prove. The basis for a case is that the medical professional must have caused you harm by not living up to their duty of care to their patient. Your best course of action is to take advantage of a free initial consultation with our Boca Raton medical malpractice attorneys if you have any questions about whether you have a claim.

Do I need to hire a malpractice attorney? 

Taking on a medical malpractice case without an attorney can be extremely difficult. People are hard-wired to trust doctors, so it can be hard to prove that one caused you damage. However, with an experienced medical malpractice attorney, we’ll be able to gather damage, speak with expert witnesses, and put together a statement that shows how you were hurt in great detail. 

By hiring an attorney, you can feel confident knowing that you’ll receive the compensation that you deserve. 

Video Transcript

So you've been in a car accident. What happens next? There are many things that you should do but here are the three most important:

Number One: See a doctor immediately. 

A broken bone is easy to see, but some injuries are not. The most common injuries from car accidents happen in the neck, back, or head. The only way to diagnose and treat them is by seeing a doctor. A doctor can help ease the pain, provide medication, reassure you of how your injury may impact your daily life, and tell you what not to do to make it worse.

A visit to the doctor can also give you legally protected time off to recover and rest your body after an accident, and it documents and provides the evidence you may need for your case. Even a five-mile-per-hour car accident can cause a serious injury. So whether you've had a severe accident or a minor collision, see a doctor. And if you don't have medical insurance, let us know and we'll make sure that you receive the proper care. 

Number Two: Write everything down.

Even if it seems small, during times of stress or injury it is common to forget the little details. Make sure you keep note of the pain that you're in. With neck, back, and head injuries, sometimes simple activities such as walking up the stairs or picking up a toddler may cause severe pain. 

You may not be sleeping well at night. Documenting how much you sleep and how often you wake up due to pain is also very important. And lastly, if you have any cuts or bruises, take daily photos as you heal. This will provide visual evidence of the injuries that you've suffered. 

Number Three: Do not speak to an insurance company until you've spoken to a lawyer.

Please understand that the insurance adjuster works for a billion-dollar corporation and not for you. Their interests are solely for their insurance company, and their goal is to provide you with the least amount of financial settlement as quickly as possible. When you do speak with them, remember they will record the conversation. Why do they do this? Because they've been trained to ask questions that may confuse you. So talk to us before you talk to them. 

So remember: See a doctor, document everything, and call us before calling the insurance company for your free private consultation. We are here for you. Real tough lawyers fighting real tough issues.

contact our office to speak to a lawyer.

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Frequently Asked Questions