One in every three hospitalized patients in the US encounters a hospital error. Just under half of all medical malpractice claims are a result of errors in diagnoses. In inpatient incidents, surgery errors account for approximately one-third of medical malpractice claims.
In order to have a medical malpractice case, you must be able to prove medical negligence. Medical negligence is defined as a failure of a medical professional to provide care that is in line with or exceeds the standard of care in their field and, as a result, causes harm, injury, or death to a patient. To pursue a medical malpractice claim, the patient must show that the injury resulted in disability, loss of income, unusual pain, suffering and hardship, or significant past and future medical bills. This requires testimony from individuals considered “medical experts” in the relevant field.
Five Reasons Why You Need a Specialist
1. While no lawyer can guarantee a favorable outcome for a client, a medical malpractice specialist gives the client the best opportunity for a favorable settlement. He or she has a sense of which cases to take and which cases to avoid.
Medical malpractice cases require experience and professional, detailed knowledge of the law in order to properly review them. Experience comes with years of evaluating cases, trying them, and settling them.
Some cases with provable acts of neglect or malpractice will never successfully settle, primarily because the jury award would not be substantial enough to justify the time, energy, and considerable expense required in order to move the client’s case forward. That’s why some clearly eligible malpractice cases aren’t pursued because the cost of obtaining and reviewing the records and obtaining the opinion of a qualified expert in order to pursue the case outweigh the potential recovery. Any client who has suffered a loss because of medical negligence should never become involved in protracted litigation with a case that has minimal chance of being won.
2. No medical malpractice case can be successfully pursued in Florida without a qualified expert physician or other healthcare provider rendering a written opinion that there is a good faith basis to believe the incident, result, or event was the result of medical negligence. An experienced medical malpractice specialist will have the skill and contacts to find the best experts—those who have worked on similar cases in the past—needed to review the records on a potential case.
3. Florida has specific statutes and rules of procedure controlling virtually all aspects of pursuing a medical malpractice case. Compliance with these requirements is mandatory in most situations. Making a mistake on just one of the requirements can be fatal to a client’s case. A medical malpractice specialist lawyer will be most familiar with the requirements of Florida law.
4. There is a shortened period of time within which a medical malpractice case must be brought, generally within two years from the time the victim or the victim’s attorney knew or should reasonably have known of the existence of the potential claim. This is not always a bright line test; there are shades of gray in many situations as to when the statute of limitations begins to run. Allowing the statute limitation to expire before a claim is brought is generally disastrous to a potential claim. Regardless of the date in which the existence of a claim is discovered, all medical malpractice claims are subject to a four-year statute of respose, after which it becomes nearly impossible to file a claim.
5. Florida has a special notice requirement in order to pursue a malpractice claim against a healthcare provider. This notice has to be in a certain format, contain specific information, and be supported by a written opinion of a qualified expert. Such notice must be filed within a certain time limit and must be done within the period of the statute of limitations. An experienced medical malpractice specialist lawyer has the best understanding of both the notice requirements and the statute of limitations.
The Value of a Board-Certified Trial Lawyer
Jim Dodson’s Law team includes an of counsel relationship with board-certified civil trial lawyer, David A. Eaton, who has over thirty years of experience litigating and pursuing medical malpractice claims. He is an expert at interviewing clients, conducting investigations, drafting motions, developing trial strategies, litigating cases, and negotiating settlements. As a medical malpractice lawyer, Mr. Eaton works with medical professionals to develop case theories, expert reports, and testimony to support client cases. He is adept at gathering and analyzing medical records and conducting depositions of medical experts, medical personnel, and other third parties.
David Eaton takes pride in helping people, representing individuals and families who have suffered a loss through the negligence or intentional acts of another. He is a prepared and thorough in-depth fault investigator of claims and is an aggressive representative for his clients in the prosecution of cases in court. Mr. Eaton is also an AV rated lawyer by Martindale-Hubble, reflecting the highest level of peer confidence in his general ethical standards and legal ability.