The pre-suit process in medical malpractice cases in Florida is a mandatory phase before a lawsuit can be officially filed in court. This process is designed to streamline potential claims by fostering settlements or resolutions without going to trial, and it includes several specific steps:

  1. Notice of Intent to Initiate Litigation: The first step is for the plaintiff (the patient or the patient’s representative) to serve a notice of intent to sue to each prospective defendant. This notice must include an affidavit from a medical expert attesting that there appears to be evidence of medical malpractice. The notice must provide details of the claim such as all known health care providers, copies of all medical records relied on by the expert that signed the affidavit, and an executed medical authorizaion required by statute.

  2. Pre-Suit Investigation by Defendants: Upon receipt of the notice, the defendant(s) enter a pre-suit investigation period which lasts 90 days. During this time, the defendant(s) and their insurer are expected to conduct a detailed review of the claim to determine its validity. This may include reviewing medical records, consulting with medical experts, and other investigatory activities.

  3. Discovery: During the pre-suit period, both parties are allowed to engage in discovery, which includes taking unsworn statements, acquiring medical and other records, propounding written questions to each other, and conducting interviews with involved parties.

  4. Response by Defendant: At the end of the 90-day period, the defendant must provide a response. This response can be an offer to settle, a rejection of the claim, or an offer to arbitrate the claim.

  5. Arbitration Option: Arbitration can limit the types of damages that are recoverable, such as punitive damages, and might also cap the amount of damages.

  6. Settlement Discussions: Throughout the pre-suit period, the parties can engage in negotiations to settle the claim out of court. If a settlement is reached, the lawsuit may be avoided.

If the parties do not agree to settle or arbitrate, or if the claim is rejected by the defendants, the plaintiff then has the right to proceed with filing a formal lawsuit in court. This pre-suit process is crucial as it sets the stage for the potential legal battle in court and encourages parties to settle early to avoid protracted litigation.

You can reach Hospital and Medical Malpractice Lawyer J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo by dialing his direct number at (786) 272-5841, calling the main office at (305) 461-1095, or Toll Free at 1 (866) 71-CLAIM or email Attorney Gonzalez-Sirgo directly at [email protected] or by text at (305) 929-8935.

J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo
J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo, P.A.
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