Medical malpractice may be one of the most traumatic types of injury a person can suffer. You put your trust in medical professionals, and when you come away worse off than when you put yourself in their hands, the physical and emotional toll can be overwhelming. That is particularly true when, although your trust has been seriously damaged, you are reliant on continuing medical care as the result of the malpractice.
A physician, medical professional or medical facility that has not lived up to the appropriate standard of care may be liable for your injuries and other damages, but medical malpractice cases tend to be much more complex than the typical personal injury case.
Types of Tampa Area Medical Malpractice Cases
For many people, “medical malpractice” brings to mind doctors and hospitals. However, medical malpractice occurs in a much wider range of circumstances. Some other malpractice claims involve:
- Dentists and oral surgeons
- Nursing homes
In addition, medical device manufacturers may be liable for injuries related to use of their devices.
Pursuing a Medical Malpractice Case in Florida
One of the reasons a medical malpractice claim is more complicated than the typical personal injury case is that Florida law imposes additional burdens on the plaintiff’s attorney before the case can be filed. At the time of filing, the attorney must certify that he or she has conducted an investigation and has a good faith belief that there is a basis for the medical malpractice claim. That investigation must include a written opinion from an expert.
This means that the plaintiff or the attorney must make an investment in hiring at least one expert witness before even determining whether the case will be filed. Since most victims of serious injuries are not in a position to make a speculative financial investment in a medical malpractice case, the plaintiff will typically need to retain a medical malpractice attorney who works on a contingency fee basis and is willing and able to advance costs of litigation such as expert witness fees.
Time Limits on Florida Medical Malpractice Filings
In a typical Florida personal injury case, the injured party has four years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit. The statute of limitations on medical malpractice cases is half that, or just two years. However, the shortened timeline is not the only complication associated with the special time limit on medical malpractice cases. The date that the two-year period starts running and the date after which no case can be filed regardless of other factors may vary depending on factors such as the age of the patient and when he or she became aware of the injury.
Talk to a Tampa Medical Malpractice Attorney Right Away
As soon as you know that you or a loved one has sustained an injury that you suspect may be the result of medical malpractice, make contact with an experienced malpractice lawyer. Simply determining whether you have a viable claim can be a complex process in itself, and with uncertain timelines you can’t afford to delay beginning the investigation.
Call 1-800-253-5523 or fill out the form on this page right now to schedule your free consultation with one of our experienced Tampa medical malpractice attorneys.