Do you have a malpractice case?

Mark Perenich Personal Injury Attorney, Clearwater

What you should know about your potential medical malpractice case

There are certain things you have to keep in mind when considering a malpractice case, here are some guidelines for filing a malpractice case.
Basics for filing a claim:
  • A doctor-patient relationship must exist. In other words you cannot sue your friend’s doctor because he told your friend something that you thought caused yourself damages.
  • A doctor must have been negligent. Translation: you cannot sue your doctor because they made you mad. On the other hand, you do have a case if your doctor was not reasonably skillful and careful (negligent).
  • A doctor’s negligence caused injury. This means you sustained some sort of injury in result of your doctor not being careful/skillful.  This is usually when you need an expert to vouch for your case.
  • Your injuries caused damages. This means you have sustained physical or mental injury, lost wages, and/or lost earning capacity.
Common types of medical malpractice cases.
-Failure to diagnose
-Improper Treatment
-Failure To Warn Patients of Known Risks
Each state has specific rules and exceptions regarding malpractice case,  it’s important to be aware of them. Below are Florida’s statute of limitations.
  • Time limits to file a malpractice cases are usually between six months and two years.
  • Many states require a patient to be heard in front of a review panel in order to determine whether or not there is a malpractice case.
  • Also in certain states you must notify the physician.
  • And lastly expert opinions are usually needed during trial 

The Florida Medical Malpractice Statute of limitations is as follows.

 

(b)?An action for medical malpractice shall be commenced within 2 years from the time the incident giving rise to the action occurred or within 2 years from the time the incident is discovered, or should have been discovered with the exercise of due diligence; however, in no event shall the action be commenced later than 4 years from the date of the incident or occurrence out of which the cause of action accrued, except that this 4-year period shall not bar an action brought on behalf of a minor on or before the child’s eighth birthday. An “action for medical malpractice” is defined as a claim in tort or in contract for damages because of the death, injury, or monetary loss to any person arising out of any medical, dental, or surgical diagnosis, treatment, or care by any provider of health care. The limitation of actions within this subsection shall be limited to the health care provider and persons in privity with the provider of health care. In those actions covered by this paragraph in which it can be shown that fraud, concealment, or intentional misrepresentation of fact prevented the discovery of the injury the period of limitations is extended forward 2 years from the time that the injury is discovered or should have been discovered with the exercise of due diligence, but in no event to exceed 7 years from the date the incident giving rise to the injury occurred, except that this 7-year period shall not bar an action brought on behalf of a minor on or before the child’s eighth birthday. This paragraph shall not apply to actions for which ss. 766.301766.316 provide the exclusive remedy.
F.S. 95.11
Mark Perenich Personal Injury Attorney Clearwater

Personal Injury Lawsuits: Five Mistakes to Avoid to Win Your Case

Clearwater Personal Injury lawyer Mark Perenich

Today we have a guest post. Entitled:Injury

Personal Injury Lawsuits:  Five Mistakes to Avoid to Win Your Case

 If you are like most people, you never planned to be in an accident.  While it was always a remote possibility (accidents do happen) most people assume that if they are in an accident the loss will be minimal.  Perhaps some damage to the vehicle which will be covered by a liability insurance policy.   We don’t consider that we could be the ones that need repair after an accident (not just our cars) and that the injury we sustain can take months or even years to recover from.

When it comes to having a case or requesting fair compensation by law, automobile accidents are just one type of personal injury claim that can be made.  There are a variety of circumstances where individuals can suffer an accident or loss that makes a second party liable for damages depending on the circumstances.

Understand that any time you experience an event which causes you harm cognitively or physically, that there is a question of liability and a right to request compensation for loss.  Filing a personal injury suit is a means of insuring that the care, therapies or other treatments needed to recover from your loss will be there to allow you to heal and get back to your normal activities of life.

Some other common types of personal injury cases are:

  • Insurance Disputes
  • Long Term Disability
  • Boating Accidents
  • Trucking/Logistic Accidents
  • Motorcycle Accidents
  • Construction or Workplace Accidents
  • Child or Sexual Abuse
  • Wrongful Death
  • Slip and Fall Injuries
  • Product Liability and Manufacturer Negligence

Regardless of the type of personal injury case you have, there are a number of ways you can actually damage your chances of successfully filing suit and winning a settlement. One of the unfortunate and consistent issues with personal injury claims is that element of surprise.   Since we never expect to get into an injury or sustain a personal loss, we do not adequately prepare ourselves for the event of one.  That is when costly omissions and mistakes which can jeopardize your case will occur.

We have put together five common mistakes made by personal injury claimants who should be avoided if you intend to win your case and the fair compensation that is owed to you.

Failure to Document the Incident

When unable to resolve personal injury claims by private settlement, most suits end up going to court for decision.   Since serious injuries can result in significant monetary settlements, it is a high-stakes situation with the insurer (or the individual who is liable) fighting to avoid a costly payment.

The defendants can and will be looking for any loophole to argue the liability of the personal injury suit and try to discharge the claim and/or lower the amount of legal liability they have in the eyes of the court.  And the best way to do that is to isolate weaknesses in the personal injury claim.

Train yourself to record the pertinent information and key points that will support your personal injury claim.   These include:

  1. Date and time of accident.
  2. Weather conditions, ice, water or other environmental factors present at the scene.
  3. The speed you were driving (if operating a vehicle).
  4. Anything you may have overheard from other participants or people on the scene.
  5. Take pictures for documentation.  As many as possible.
  6. Lawyers for the defendant (or Insurer) will evaluate any weakness in the injury case as a means of reducing the amount of settlement they may be forced to pay.  That’s why documenting everything and doing it in a manner that is legally defensible is so critically important.

Delay in Reporting the Loss

For all personal injury claims there is a statute of limitations.  Some of these limitations are outlined in private contracts where insurance coverage is involved, and can be found in the waiver that is signed by tour operators and transportation providers, for instance.   In some cases they allow you a shorter amount of time with which to report any personal injury that occurs as a result of their personnel or equipment and facilities.

If you are considering a law suit for personal injury you must act quickly following the accident, and seek the advice of a lawyer immediately.   The Lawyer will be able to ascertain whether you have sufficient circumstance to file a claim.

Failing to Seek Medical Evaluation

If you have sustained an injury due to a motor vehicle accident, slipping fall or other kind of injury you may feel like a doctor’s evaluation is not needed.  Immediately following the accident the human body will elevate its adrenaline which can act as a temporary pain blocker while the injured is in shock.   You may have sustained a significant injury which may not present itself until the day or two days after the injury.  Ensure you see a doctor or emergency room immediately following any accident to get the important first examination which will measure and estimate physical loss (if any) for legal purposes.

Be Honest About Previous Injuries because you would be amazed by how much Insurance Companies are able to know about your health history, when it comes down to making a request.  It’s fraud, so don’t do it.

Refusal to Follow Medical Advice is another problem that can cause you to lose your personal injury suit.   If you have been injured and you are receiving therapy, ensure that you are following your practitioner’s advice precisely.   If it appears as though you may be exacerbating your injuries by not following medical advice, your law suit will be jeopardized.

We know that thinking about having an accident can be stressful, but it is important to prepare yourself for the day when you may be injured and confronted with the important task of presenting your best personal injury case for compensation.  Make a checklist of things to remember and keep it in your car and in your wallet to prompt you to pay close attention to the details that can give you the best chance at winning your law suit.

Author Bio:

Frank Pipolo is President of FP Internet Marketing a certified Internet marketing consultant, professional marketing advisor to law firms, legal marketers, administrators and lawyers, and writer for Swope, Rodante P.A., a Tampa Florida law firm that specializes inMotorcycle Accident Lawyer. He has more than 20 years’ experience partnering with clients to build their business through development and implementation of track-proven Internet marketing strategies.. Follow him on Google+

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