Too many people go to the hospital only to end up sicker or more injured than when they were admitted. Often, substandard medical care is to blame. In Florida, you can bring a medical malpractice lawsuit against a hospital, but you need to be aware of the process.
Identify Who Injured You
The fact that you were injured in a hospital does not mean you can automatically sue. Everything depends on who injured you. For example, if a nurse or other hospital employee made a mistake that caused harm, then you can sue the hospital, since it is the employer.
Things are more complicated if a doctor injured you. For one, most doctors are not employees of the hospital but are instead independent contractors. In that case, you sue the doctor individually but not the hospital.
However, sometimes a hospital can still be negligent, even if the doctor was an independent contractor. For example, the doctor might not have had proper licensing or have had her license suspended, which the hospital should have discovered before it extended admitting privileges. If the hospital didn’t do a proper background check, you might be able to sue them.
Pay Attention to Deadlines
Florida’s statute of limitations sets strict deadlines injured victims must meet if they want to bring a lawsuit in court. Generally, you have only 2 years from the date of injury to bring a lawsuit, with extra time allowed if you could not reasonably discover that you had a valid legal claim within that window. However, you have an absolute maximum of 4 years from the date of treatment to sue, with some limited exceptions.
If you fail to meet these deadlines, a judge will toss your case, and you won’t be able to hold the hospital accountable for its errors.
Follow Pre-Suit Requirements
Florida has set extra hoops that victims must jump through before they can have their day in court. In particular, you will need a sworn affidavit from a doctor stating that you have a valid claim, which you must submit at the start of your lawsuit. If you don’t have this affidavit, you won’t be able to proceed with your case.
The Only Medical Malpractice Attorneys to Call in Miami
Lawsuits against hospitals are complex, and the sooner you start building your case, the better. Hospitals have armies of lawyers at their disposal to fight off claims, and you will be at a disadvantage if you don’t have equally qualified legal help in your corner.
At Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum, we have recovered millions of dollars in medical malpractice cases for our clients, and we are eager to assist you, too. Call 305-371-2692 to schedule a free consultation.