A medical malpractice case process in St. Petersburg involves first identifying the medical malpractice or negligence and then identify a similarly situated medical provider to review the claim. In Florida, a similar medical provider must go over the individual’s medical records and be willing to sign a notarized affidavit confirming that malpractice occurred. These steps must happen before a person or their attorney can even bring about a medical malpractice claim in St. Petersburg.
After you and your medical malpractice attorney have gone through the initial steps, there is a 90-day pre-suit period where a person cannot file a lawsuit and is obligated to engage in what is called pre-suit discovery. Pre-suit discovery is done with the doctors and the lawyers on the other side in which the person has the right to gather information in unsworn statements, interrogatories, and request to produce before the right to file a claim attaches.
Very few medical negligence cases settle, the vast majority are cases that have to be litigated. This is because the expenses and the damages tend to be so large that the insurance companies and their physicians are willing to gamble that a jury will not find medical negligence or determine that their exposure is far less than the actual value of the claim.
The biggest mistake in the medical malpractice case process in St. Petersburg is that the victims of malpractice, or their families, fail to contact lawyers soon enough. They end up running out of time to bring a case or valuable evidence that was necessary to bring the claim has already been destroyed.
Individuals should consider contacting an experienced malpractice lawyer as soon as they believe that they or somebody they love may have been the victim of medical negligence. That at least gives attorneys an opportunity to identify and get certain records or request that certain lab result or specimen be preserved for future review.
Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations for medical malpractice in St. Petersburg is two years from the date a condition is identified or occurs. However, under no circumstances can it be more than four years from the date that the medical negligence was committed. That is called the statute of repose.
St. Petersburg has a very close-knit medical community and it is sometimes difficult to identify physicians willing to testify in medical malpractice matters or even identify medical negligence because the physicians may cover for each other. As this is necessary to put forth a medical malpractice claim in Florida, it can be a difficult hurdle to overcome.
Another notable trend in St. Petersburg medical malpractice cases, is that a lot of medical carriers have divested themselves of potentially collectible assets and making themselves judgment proof. As such, they carry absolute minimum levels of medical malpractice insurance. Unfortunately, those individuals that continue to commit medical malpractice are often not prosecutable, because they do not have the assets necessary to justify the cost of medical malpractice claims.