Bringing a medical malpractice case in Florida involves several specific steps, designed to ensure that both the plaintiff and defendant have fair opportunities to prepare their cases. Here’s an overview of the process:

  1. Pre-Suit Investigation:

    • Medical Record Review: Before filing a lawsuit, the plaintiff must conduct a pre-suit investigation to confirm there is a reasonable basis for the malpractice claim. This typically involves obtaining and reviewing medical records and consulting with medical experts.
    • Expert Affidavit: Florida law requires the plaintiff to obtain a written opinion from a medical expert, confirming that there appears to be evidence of medical negligence. This affidavit must be provided to the defendant as part of the pre-suit notice.
  2. Notice of Intent to Initiate Litigation:

    • The plaintiff must send a notice of intent to sue to each prospective defendant. This notice includes the expert affidavit and allows the defendant 90 days to respond. During this period, the normal statute of limitations is paused.
  3. Defendant’s Pre-Suit Investigation:

    • Upon receiving the notice, the defendant also conducts a pre-suit investigation. The defendant can request the plaintiff undergo an additional medical examination, and they may also consult their own medical experts.
    • Settlement Offer or Denial: After their investigation, the defendant may offer a settlement, deny the claim, or admit liability but dispute the damages.
  4. Filing the Lawsuit:

    • If mediation fails and the claim is not resolved, the plaintiff can then file a formal lawsuit in court.
    • Complaint and Answer: The plaintiff files a complaint, outlining the allegations of negligence and the resulting harm. The defendant must file an answer, responding to each point of the complaint.
  5. Discovery Process:

    • Both parties engage in discovery, exchanging documents and information related to the case. This includes depositions, requests for documents, and interrogatories.
  6. Pre-Trial Motions:

    • Either party may file pre-trial motions, such as motions to dismiss the case or motions for summary judgment, which can resolve the case or certain issues without a trial.
  7. Mandatory Mediation:

    • If the case has not settled during informal settlement negotiations, mediation is typically required before proceeding to trial. This is a formal process aimed at resolving the dispute with the help of a neutral third-party mediator.
  8. Trial:

    • If the case is not settled or dismissed, it proceeds to a trial where both sides present their evidence and arguments. A judge or jury then makes a decision regarding liability and damages.
  9. Post-Trial Motions and Appeal:

    • Following a trial, there may be post-trial motions and potentially an appeal by either party if they believe legal errors were made that affected the outcome of the trial.

Each step in this process is governed by specific rules and timelines that must be followed to properly bring and maintain a medical malpractice action in Florida. It's often advisable for plaintiffs to work with attorneys experienced in medical malpractice to navigate this complex process effectively.

You can reach 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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