Fort Lauderdale Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Medical malpractice is a nightmare that no one wants to live through in real life. As patients, we assume our physicians, nurses, and surgeons take our care extremely seriously – limiting the number of mistakes made in hospitals and emergency rooms. In reality, Fort Lauderdale doctors and healthcare facilities make careless errors every year. Sometimes these errors don’t do any damage, but in other circumstances medical malpractice can severely injure, maim, or kill patients. If you have been effected by one of these negligent practices, call our Fort Lauderdale medical malpractice attorneys today for a free consultation.
Common Types of Medical Malpractice Injuries
The legal term “medical malpractice” refers to any situation in which a medical professional breaches his/her duty of care to a patient, resulting in the patient’s injury or death. Medical malpractice can take many shapes and forms, and it can cause any number of harms to the victim. From worsened prognoses and dangerous drug interactions to surgeons leaving instruments in the body cavity, many things can go wrong in the medical setting. Medical malpractice cases can involve:
- Delayed or misdiagnosis
- Childbirth injuries
- Medication mistakes
- Emergency room errors
- Surgical errors
- Anesthesia mistakes
At Chalik & Chalik, we know that medical malpractice is unfortunately a rather uncommon type of personal injury accident in Florida. Still, many people try to file these claims every year. If you have reason to suspect a healthcare professional’s negligence or intent to harm involved in your recent injury or a loved one’s death, speak to a lawyer. You may also have a claim if the facility itself is guilty of negligence – for example, if a life-saving machine broke down due to lack of maintenance or an unsanitary facility contributed to your injury or illness.
Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Guidelines in Fort Lauderdale
To file for medical malpractice in Fort Lauderdale, you must do so within two years of the date the injury. If you discover the injury later – i.e., a surgeon left an instrument behind during a surgery in 2015, but you did not discover it until it began causing medical complications in 2017 – the clock doesn’t start ticking until you discover the injury. Regardless of when you discover the injury, you have a four-year deadline from the date of the injury at the latest. There are exceptions to this time limit, so speak to a lawyer before ruling out a lawsuit.
A plaintiff must fulfill special filing requirements to bring this type of claim in Fort Lauderdale. A plaintiff must serve a “Notice of Intent to Sue” to the defendant before he/she can file in the civil courts. This notice must include an affidavit signed by a medical professional. The Notice sets a complicated settlement process in motion that will last 90 days. During this time, the courts pause the statute of limitations.
The state of Florida recently ruled to get rid of its damages cap on medical malpractice claims. There used to be a $500,000 maximum on non-economic damages in these cases, and a $1 million cap if the malpractice resulted in death. In June 2017, the Florida Supreme Court ruled this cap “unconstitutional,” abolishing it within the state. To ensure you meet all the requirements and to learn more about these cases in Fort Lauderdale, trust an attorney. At the Law Offices of Chalik & Chalik, we understand the law in this area and can help you navigate the complex legal system. Call our office today for a free, no obligation consultation.