Yes, you can sue a plastic surgeon for medical malpractice in Florida. A plastic surgeon is a licensed medical practitioner. Just like any licensed medical practitioner, you can file a medical malpractice lawsuit against them if they caused a medical error.
You must prove, however, that an act of negligence or omission took place. Visiting a plastic surgeon and not getting the results you wanted does not constitute malpractice. However, if your surgery resulted in scarring, disfigurement, or health complications, you could have the basis of a successful case.
What’s the Definition of Medical Malpractice in Florida?
Medical malpractice refers to the failure of any licensed healthcare practitioner, such as a doctor or physician, to provide proper care to a patient. These cases assert that instead, the medical professional acted negligently, ignorantly, or criminally, resulting in injuries or death.
Instances of medical malpractice include:
- Failure to properly diagnose an illness or injury
- Misdiagnosing an illness or injury
- Conducting surgery or treatment that does not comply with medical standards
- Incorrectly performing a procedure
- Failure to use sterile operating tools or rooms
- Failure to give patients appropriate attention
- Releasing patients prematurely from medical care
- Inflicting injuries to the mother or baby during labor and delivery
Medical malpractice can result in unnecessary pain, disfigurement, scarring, and wrongful death. Most medical professionals follow procedures and adhere to the standards of proper medical practice, per Florida Statutes § 766.102. Any perceived act of malpractice should be investigated to prevent injuries to other patients.
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What Goes into Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
The process of filing a lawsuit against a medical professional in Florida can be quite extensive and overwhelming. Understanding how a case should be filed can help you know what to expect during the process.
Here is a rough timeline of what you can expect from the claims process and litigation:
You Must Give Notice of Your Intentions to the Negligent Healthcare Provider
If you intend to file a lawsuit against a plastic surgeon in Florida, you must give proper notice to the medical professionals who allegedly committed the infraction. You must provide an affidavit from another professional affirming the malpractice.
The defendant then has 90 days to respond to the claim, either by denying the allegations or offering a settlement. They can also submit for arbitration.
You Could Initiate the Optional Investigation Period
Either party can request an investigation of the medical malpractice claim. Usually, this requires hiring a medical expert in the same field as the defendant. The goal is to provide proof that the claim is legitimate.
You Could Settle the Case Before Going to Court
All medical professionals in Florida must either carry malpractice insurance or have funds set aside to pay for claims, per Florida Statutes § 458.320. To avoid going to court, the liable party might offer you a settlement. If this settlement does not account for your expenses, you could proceed with a lawsuit.
You Have the Option of Going to Court
Going to court for a medical malpractice case can be exhausting and time-consuming. Yet, if you partner with our team during this process, we can manage everything involved in your case, from discovery to cross-examinations.
We want your case to end in a settlement or court award. We will do whatever it takes to achieve those results.
Your Case Must Abide By the Statute of Limitations
Even if you have a valid medical malpractice lawsuit, none of that matters if you don’t file your case within the statute of limitations. Per Florida Statutes § 95.11, you could have anywhere from two to seven years to file your lawsuit.
Understanding how this deadline pertains to you can add another layer of confusion. By partnering with our firm, we can determine how long you must file a lawsuit. If you fail to act within this period, the courts could dismiss your case.
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What Damages Can You Pursue through a Medical Malpractice Case?
If you suffered injuries because of a medical error, you may be able to recover compensation for your losses. Those damages typically fall under two different types, such as:
Economic damages come with established monetary values. We can use your medical records and other related invoices to calculate their values.
Examples of economic damages include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- The cost of assistive devices, like wheelchairs
- Mental health counseling
Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, are considered non-quantifiable damages.
- Pain and suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of consortium
You could qualify for other types of damages, depending on your situation.
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Could the Negligent Healthcare Provider Face Criminal Charges?
If the error in your case was a result of egregious negligence or wrongdoing, the negligent party could face charges. The outcome of the other party’s criminal case does not affect your ability to pursue a civil case. If the at-fault party is charged with a crime, this could help you. This would show that the doctor acted negligently.
How Long Does a Medical Malpractice Case Take?
We will do everything we can to resolve your case in a timely manner. However, it could take weeks or months to reach an agreement. We urge you to be patient throughout the financial recovery process. By hastily accepting a settlement offer, you risk incurring further out-of-pocket expenses.
Connect with Our Team Today for a Free Case Review
You can sue a plastic surgeon for medical malpractice in Florida. However, before doing so, take a moment to consider your options.
Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers can investigate your situation, prove negligence, and pursue the damages you need. To begin a free case review, dial (855) 529-0269.
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