Call: (800) 382-3176 or Chat with us
I suspect medical malpractice. What steps should I take now?
If you suspect that any healthcare provider has deviated from accepted standards of care and caused you harm, take the following steps to find out:
1. Seek medical assistance early: When it comes to your health, seeking professional medical advice as soon as symptoms appear is of paramount importance.
2. Document Your Potential Case: Keep all records of all medical interactions in relation to your injury, these includes things such as treatments and conversations with healthcare providers. You might also want to add how it has altered your lifestyle. Keep a record of important dates, names or information.
3. Get a second opinion by a doctor: Speaking to another doctor is useful when claiming damages against a violation of the standard of care; by doing so can strengthen your claim in court or mediation.
4. Speak to a qualified medical malpractice lawyer: If you have suffered damages its important to find legal representation. Make sure you speak with an attorney from your state who specializes in your case. Attorneys will analyze, discover and file a lawsuit on your behalf.
5. Florida’s Statute of Limitations: Can pose issues when filing your lawsuit. Under Florida law, medical malpractice has to be filed within two years; there are exceptions to this rule, maybe you didnt know medical malpractice happened. In this case when you don’t know and found out its from when the date it was found out. Make sure you meet the statue of limitations and file a claim for medical negligence as soon as possible.
6. Presuit Investigation: Florida law mandates presuit investigations before any civil litigation proceedings begin, so your lawyer will organize expert medical reviews and gather evidence supporting your claim.
Legal Expert Percy Martinez, Esq: To increase your chances of winning your case speak to a lawyer, I cannot stress this enough. Refer to Chapter 766 Medical Malpractice and Related Matters Florida Statutes as an excellent reference point.
Case Study: Delayed Diagnosis of Meningitis
Ana Jones was 42-years old when she experienced severe headaches, fever and neck stiffness in 2022. After seeking medical advice from Dr. Thomas of her primary care practice and receiving antibiotics prescribed to treat sinusitis symptoms from Dr. Thomas; these worsened over the next two days prompting another visit by Ana; although Dr. Thomas ordered no tests but instead prescribed stronger antibiotics instead of ordering further diagnostic testing or ordering any further testing; by day three, Ana’s condition significantly deteriorated and emergency room services rushed her in where lumbar puncture confirmed bacterial meningitis–life threatening conditions caused by bacteria from Dr Thomas and Dr Thomas had made their initial diagnosis incorrectly as her symptoms indicated bacterial meningitis as an emergency condition!
Potential Violation of Standard of Care:
Dr. Thomas’ initial diagnosis and treatment plan differed significantly from established medical best practice for treating symptoms suggestive of meningitis. According to American Academy of Neurology guidelines, persistent or worsening symptoms warranting urgent lumbar puncture should prompt immediate testing; but Dr. Thomas delayed prompt testing thereby delaying timely diagnosis, antibiotic treatment, potentially increasing complications or permanent damage for Ana.
Case Documentation: Ana meticulously recorded all medical interactions she encountered, such as appointment dates, symptoms, prescribed medications, conversations with Dr. Thomas and more. In addition, Ana kept copies of all relevant records and bills related to her care.
Ana sought a second opinion with a neurology team upon discharge from hospital who confirmed both Ana’s initial misdiagnosis as well as its possible effects.
Legal Consultation: Given Ana’s severe condition and its potential violations of standard of care, she sought legal advice from a specialist attorney specializing in similar cases.
Our attorney initiated a presuit investigation by ordering independent medical reviews and collecting evidence such as medical records, witness statements and expert opinions.
Potential Outcome: On the basis of available evidence, Ana appears to have an effective case for medical negligence against Dr. Thomas. If proven true in court proceedings, Ana could prove his negligence caused unnecessary suffering and potentially long-term complications for herself and other.
Key Takeaways from This Case Study
This case highlights the necessity of:
Before acting upon any symptoms that cause alarm, individuals should seek immediate medical care from licensed healthcare providers and record all interactions and communications related to treatment, seek second opinions if there are doubts, consult a qualified malpractice attorney and document everything that takes place with health providers as soon as possible and then seek legal counsel if needed.
About The Author
- Are patients obligated to receive a copy of their healthcare records?
- Who is the legal owner of the patient’s medical record?
- Am I entitled to my Medical Records in Florida?
- What are the legal and ethical consequences for improper documentation in medical records?
- How do I know if medical malpractice occurred?
- What types of medical malpractice are common nowadays?