Negligent Handling of Medical Malpractice Claims before a Lawsuit
Tampa Legal Malpractice Attorney
Before bringing a medical malpractice lawsuit in Florida, the attorney for the person claiming injury must first comply with certain strict requirements. Failure to comply with them could bar the client from proceeding further. That’s when the attorney might be on the receiving end of a Florida legal malpractice suit himself or herself. The sum and substance of the requirements prior to filing a lawsuit follow.
The attorney is required to first investigate whether reasonable grounds exist to believe that there was a deviation from the applicable standard of care, and the claimant was injured by this deviation. Obtaining relevant medical records from the various providers can help confirm this.
The attorney for the claimant must retain an expert who is a similar healthcare provider for purposes of reviewing the claimant’s medical records. If the doctor believes that there was indeed a deviation from the standard of care that injured the claimant, the doctor states in a sworn statement that he or she has reviewed the records, and there are reasonable grounds to file a medical negligence case.
Upon being advised that there are reasonable grounds to proceed with a medical negligence case, the attorney must file a Notice of Intent to Initiate Litigation for Medical Negligence. This notice must contain:
- The names of any prospective plaintiffs
- The names of any prospective defendants
- A summary of the nature of the claim
- A summary of the nature of the injury
Copies of this notice must be served on every prospective defendant. They are allowed 90 days to investigate the merits of any case that might be brought against them. After 90 days, those defendants are permitted to reject the claim, offer to settle any possible cases against them, or offer to arbitrate on the issue of damages only.