Whenever you visit your family doctor, go to an urgent care facility, or seek help for a serious medical problem at a hospital, you should receive the same high-quality and compassionate care from every medical professional as they would provide to anyone else. Fortunately, most healthcare providers can be trusted to meet this basic standard with all their patients. Unfortunately, those who cannot be trusted can—and all too often do—cause catastrophic harm.

If negligence by your doctor, nurse, surgeon, or anyone assisting them directly led to you sustaining an otherwise avoidable injury or illness, you may want to discuss possible civil litigation with an experienced personal injury attorney. A qualified Largo medical malpractice lawyer at Distasio Law Firm could review your situation, offer guidance about what damages might be compensable, and help you throughout every stage of whatever legal action you pursue.

When Is a Doctor Legally Negligent?

Establishing that a healthcare provider was “negligent” to the degree that would make them legally liable for a patient’s injuries first requires proving the defendant doctor had a doctor-patient relationship with the person filing the lawsuit. Then, the injured person would need to prove their doctor violated a specific “standard of care”—in other words, that they did something so reckless or careless that no physician with equivalent skills and expertise would ever have done the same thing under the same circumstances.

Following this, there must be sufficient evidence to establish a causal link between the defendant’s failure to meet the standard of care and a specific injury and/or illness experienced by the plaintiff. Finally, the injured person must show that every economic and non-economic loss they want compensation for stemmed directly and primarily from the aforementioned injury or illness. A knowledgeable Largo attorney like Scott Distasio could go into further detail about how negligence and liability work in medical malpractice cases during a private consultation.

Basic Steps in Largo Malpractice Litigation

Importantly, Florida courts will not just take an injured person at their word who claims a doctor negligently harmed them or allowed them to suffer harm. For a medical malpractice lawsuit to proceed, the plaintiff must first obtain an affidavit of merit from a qualified medical professional who is otherwise not affiliated with the case and who must affirm through the affidavit that the plaintiff has valid grounds to file suit over a breach in the standard of care.

The plaintiff must then serve this affidavit on their prospective defendant(s) alongside a formal notice establishing their intent to sue. Once this is done, state law requires all involved parties to complete a private settlement process that can last up to 90 days and is intended to avoid the case progressing to court if possible.

All these preliminary steps must generally be completed within two years of when the injured person discovered their injuries and within four years of when the malpractice which caused those injuries actually happened. There are, however, some exceptions to these deadlines which a seasoned medical negligence lawyer in Largo could further explain.

Seek Help from a Largo Medical Malpractice Attorney

No one who goes to a medical professional for assistance should ever receive anything but the best possible care under the circumstances. Any doctor who fails to meet this standard and causes their patient harm may bear civil liability for the short- and long-term effects of their misconduct.

Because of the unique rules that apply to medical negligence lawsuits, though, proceeding with your claim without first retaining legal counsel is almost never wise. Call today to learn how a skilled Largo medical malpractice lawyer at Distasio Law Firm could help you.

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