When a doctor or physician breaches their duty of care or is negligent in the level of care he or she provides, it is imperative that you hire an experienced medical malpractice attorney that has the skills and experience to properly evaluate your case. Medical malpractice lawsuits in Florida are unique as section 766.106, Florida Statutes, require that all medical malpractice case be submitted to a pre-suit.
Prior to filing a medical malpractice action, you must provide a notice of intent to initiate litigation to all potential defendants via certified mail, return receipt requested. The notice must include very specific language and include a full medical history for the past 2 years, including the names of all health care providers and the medical records. The defendant is then given ninety (90) days to conduct a full pre-suit investigation. No lawsuit may be filed during the 90-day period. However, the ninety-day period tolls the statute of limitations.
In Florida, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases is two years from when the patient knew or should have known that an injury occurred due to medical malpractice. This means that knowledge of the injury alone, does not trigger the statute of limitations to begin. Rather, the injured party must have reason to believe or knowledge that the injury was possibly caused by medical malpractice. For example, if a mother gives birth to a stillborn child, the mother is aware that an injury occurred. However, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until the mother learns or reasonably should know that the stillborn birth was a product of medical malpractice.
In Florida, in order to prevail in a medical malpractice case, you must show that (1) that a doctor-patient relationship existed, (2) that the doctor deviated from the accepted and prevailing professional standard of care in their treatment of the patient, (3) the deviation of the standard of care injured the patient, and (4) the injury led to the patient incurring damages.