Notice Of Intent To Sue Requirement In Florida Medical Malpractice Cases
Though medical malpractice is a type of personal injury claim, there are additional details, requirements, and concepts that apply to these cases under Florida law. One important factor is that a plaintiff is required to conduct a reasonable investigation before filing a lawsuit, and the statute is very specific on how to meet the criteria. A Notice of Intent to sue must be forwarded to the health care provider, a requirement lawmakers included to avoid frivolous med mal lawsuits.
If you do not comply with all investigation requirements and provide necessary notices, your case could be dismissed entirely. Your Miami medical malpractice attorney will handle the details and prepare important documents, but you should be familiar with how the Notice of Intent works.
Overview of Notice of Intent to Sue Requirement
By law, the attorney in a Florida med mal case must complete a reasonable investigation to support a good faith belief that a health care provider engaged in medical negligence. The probe must be conducted before filing the lawsuit, and the good faith requirement is typically met by obtaining a written opinion from a medical professional that there are grounds for a claim.
When the reasonable investigation process reveals the presence of medical malpractice, your lawyer will forward the Notice of Intent. Fortunately, you pause the statute of limitations for 90 days when submitting the notice. During these 90 days, the parties will attempt to settle the case. Many medical negligence claims do settle out-of-court, proving that the requirement for sending a notice of intent does work for judicial efficiency purposes.
Timeline of Med Mal Litigation
If you do not settle your case, you can move forward with a lawsuit because your lawyer already met the statutory requirements. At this point, the legal process is very similar to other personal injury matters. The stages include:
- Filing the Complaint: You initiate litigation by filing a complaint that lays out the allegations of medical negligence, and your attorney will include a certificate regarding the reasonable investigation and good faith belief of a valid claim – i.e., a physician’s written opinion.
- Discovery and Depositions: The parties will exchange documentation that could be used as evidence, and you will likely be called for a deposition.
- Trial: This final phase of litigation involves the presentation of evidence, questioning witnesses and experts, and cross-examinations. As the plaintiff, you have the burden of proof. The jury will deliberate over the evidence to render a decision and determine damages.
Discuss Your Options with a Florida Medical Malpractice Lawyer
The reasonable investigation and Notice of Intent are critical aspects of your med mal claim, but many additional requirements apply at every stage along the timeline of your case. To ensure you receive full compensation for your medical costs, pain and suffering, and other losses, it is wise to work with experienced legal counsel. Our team at Freidin Brown, P.A. is prepared to assist, as we are well-versed in the prerequisites. Please contact our offices in Miami or Fort Myers, FL today to set up a free consultation with a skilled med mal attorney.