"My surgery did not go as planned, what can I do? I am having complications related to my recent operation. I just had surgery and something has gone wrong." I am often confronted with questions just like these by concerned families regarding their loved ones. Although the details vary widely, the same question arises every time; do I have a valid Medical Malpractice Claim? So, to better inform the Ponte Vedra Beach area, I have written this blog to provide a cursory understanding of a Malpractice Claim. However, your best option would be to contact a Ponte Vedra Beach Medical Malpractice Attorney to discuss your particular case.
The Florida legislature has passed a series of statutes that make the filing of a medical malpractice claim in Ponte Vedra Beach, Jacksonville, and statewide a complex and not so advantageous to the injured victim. Florida's strict guidelines must be followed in order to bring a claim or the victim runs the risk of having the claim barred altogether.
There are 4 major steps in a Ponte Vedra Beach Medical Malpractice Claim: a presuit investigation, a presuit notification, a defendant's presuit investigation, and a final determination on whether to reject, settle, or arbitrate the damages. Before a malpractice suit can be filed, the claimant must conduct a presuit investigation (West's F.S.A. § 766.203). This investigation must state reasonable grounds as to why any defendant was negligent in the care or treatment of the claimant and that their negligence led to the injuries sustained. These findings must be supported and verified by a written opinion of a medical expert. After the completion of the presuit investigation and still prior to filing the Complaint, the claimant must notify all prospective defendants by certified mail. The letter must state an intention to litigate for medical malpractice (West's F.S.A. § 766.106).
Following receipt of the intent to litigate, the Compliant cannot be filed for a period of 90 days. During this time, the defendants must conduct an internal investigation to determine any liability, if any, of the prospective defendants. Finally, on or before the 90-day period ends, the defendants must: reject the claim, make a settlement, or admit negligence and arbitrate damages.
From this point the case will either settle or go to court to determine fault. Some additional factors to consider are the Statute of Limitations for medical malpractice claims. The statute of limitation, under F.S.A § 95.11 (4)(b), is 2 years from the time of the incident or 2 years from the time that the incident should have been discovered.
This is just a brief overview of how to file a medical malpractice claim in Ponte Vedra Beach. The statutory guidelines are complicated and must be adhered to strictly to protect your claim. That is why it is so important to contact a Ponte Vedra Beach Malpractice Attorney if you believe you may have a medical malpractice claim. Two years is a small amount of time in which to bring an action and without proper guidance your claim could be barred by the court entirely.