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What Is Considered Medical Malpractice? | Colling Gilbert Wright

Can I Sue a Doctor for Negligence?

Doctors make mistakes just like everyone else. In fact, medical mistakes are alarmingly common. A study published by Johns Hopkins Medicine found that medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in the United States; and, according to a survey conducted by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and the University of Chicago, 4 in 10 adults report having, “experience with medical errors, either personally or in the care of someone close to them.” 

Today, virtually all doctors have medical malpractice insurance. This insurance provides coverage in the event that a doctor makes a mistake that harms a patient. So, if you or a member of your family has suffered due to a doctor’s negligence, you can hire a lawyer to file an insurance claim; and, if necessary, your lawyer can sue your doctor’s insurance company in court.

The Orlando medical malpractice lawyers at Colling Gilbert Wright have extensive experience in cases involving medical negligence. We understand the complexities of these difficult cases, and we have the knowledge, skill, and resources necessary to hold negligent doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare entities accountable for their wrongdoing.

When Can You Sue a Doctor for Negligence? 

There are several circumstances in which patients and families can sue their doctors for negligence. Some of the most common forms of medical negligence include:

  • Diagnostic Errors – Misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, and failure to diagnose
  • Surgical Errors – Wrong-site and wrong-side surgeries, wrong procedures, anesthesia errors, and mistakes resulting in traumatic injuries
  • Emergency Room Negligence – Failure to order appropriate tests, misreading test results, and failure to treat
  • Medication Errors – Overdose, underdose, failure to ask about allergies or other contraindications, and prescription of the wrong drug
  • Treatment Errors – Improper treatment, delayed treatment, and errors during treatment

If you or a loved one experienced complications while receiving medical care (or after seeing a doctor) and you have concerns about any of the above, you should speak with a medical malpractice lawyer promptly. An experienced medical malpractice lawyer will be able to review your (or your loved one’s) medical records, consult with experts if necessary, and provide a comprehensive assessment of your (or your family’s) legal rights. 

How Do You Sue a Doctor for Negligence?

Suing a doctor for negligence is not easy. Medical malpractice insurance companies will go to great lengths to try to avoid liability, and they will do so without any regard for the impacts their actions have on patients and their families. 

To file a medical malpractice claim against your doctor, you need evidence of liability. If you are suffering due to medical negligence, you will need to see a specialist who can diagnose the cause of your condition. If you are dealing with the loss of a loved one, you will need a medical expert to review your loved one’s medical records and prepare a report explaining why his or her death is attributable to malpractice. An experienced medical malpractice lawyer will be able to tell you who to see or engage an appropriate medical expert on your behalf. 

When filing a medical negligence claim, you also need evidence of your losses. This includes not only financial losses such as additional medical expenses and loss of income, but also non-financial losses such as pain and suffering, emotional trauma, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment of life. 

How Long Do You Have to Sue a Doctor for Negligence? 

The amount of time you have to sue a doctor for negligence is governed by Florida’s statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims. Florida also has what is known as a statute of repose. 

Under Florida’s statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims, you have two years to sue your doctor for negligence. This “limitations period” runs from the date you discover (or reasonably should have discovered) your doctor’s negligence. 

However, you do not have an indefinite amount of time to discover your doctor’s mistake. Under Florida’s statute of repose, you have a maximum of four years from the date of your doctor’s mistake to file a lawsuit in most cases. So, if you discover your doctor’s mistake three years after it was made, you may only have one year left to file a claim. If you discover your doctor’s mistake five years after it was made, Florida’s statute of repose may bar you from filing a claim entirely. 

Crucially, there are some exceptions to Florida’s statute of repose. Specifically, you can file a lawsuit for up to seven years if you are unable to make a timely discovery due to your doctor’s fraud, concealment, or misrepresentation (i.e. if your doctor lies to you about the mistake he or she made). There are special rules for certain cases involving child patients as well. 

Discuss Your Case with an Orlando Medical Malpractice Lawyer for Free

If you have more questions about suing your doctor for negligence, we encourage you to contact us promptly for a FREE and confidential consultation. To speak with an Orlando medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible, call (800) 766-1000 or tell us how we can reach you online now.

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