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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Attorney
Category: Personal Injury Law
Satisfied Customers: 7348
Experience:  Attorney with significant personal injury experience
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I had an arthroscopic knee surgery for a torn meniscus on March

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I had an arthroscopic knee surgery for a torn meniscus on March 1, 2013. I have endured a tremendous amount of pain since the surgery, along with horrible scaring. I have contacted the surgery center telling them my story of pain, lost wages and numerous unnecessary medical bills. They have responded stating they wish to make things right. We requested $50k for all lost wages, medical bills and pain and suffering. Their attorney has sent an email asking me to see one of their doctors, needless to say, I declined due to lack of trust with their alliance. Their attorney stated in his email ‘At the outset I want to make it clear that neither of my clients are waiving their right to require compliance with Chapter 766 Florida Statutes pertaining to presuit investigation of claims as a prerequisite to filing a formal claim against my clients. If our efforts to resolve the claim on an informal basis are unsuccessful then any further action against them must be in strict compliance with Chapter 766.’ I am preparing to reply back to the attorney with pictures of my post-op knee and typical post-op knees. The surgeon stated prior to surgery that I would have surgery on Friday and be back to work on Monday. I am a personal trainer, so getting back on my feet quickly was important, knowing it would take a substantial amount of time to get all the way back. I was off for seven weeks due to the horrific soars that formed on my knee. I followed the surgeon’s direction 100%, trusting it was the best thing for me and would be the fastest road to recovery. It turns out that may not have been the best thing to do. I need your opinion on my brief story. Trust me, there is so much more, but not sure how much time and documents I can deliver to you on this service. I would be happy to pass along more information it possible to better tell my story.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Personal Injury Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Good afternoon and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question. I am so sorry to hear about your difficulties recovering from this knee surgery and completely understand your concerns.

If you would be so kind, can you clarify the specific question or questions you have about this situation?

I very much look forward to helping you on this matter.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


I guess we are really trying to find out if we have a shot at recovering money for the lost wages and pain and suffering. Do we need an attorney involved? Is the FL 766 something we need to be concerned from our end, it seems to us it is just them stating they are not admitting to medical malpractice. Is there a law or statue the we have that protects us in our situation. Hopefully that helps.

Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Kim,

Thank you so much for your clarification.

With regard to whether you need to get an attorney involved, the realistic answer is "absolutely." Medical malpractice cases are extraordinarily complex, and attempting to handle one on your own without specific knowledge in this area would be akin to attempting to land a 747 airplane during a lightening storm with no flight training.

Perhaps that's an over-dramatic analogy, but there are truly so many angles to consider, so much procedural and substantive law of which you must be aware, and so much strategy which can really only be obtained through years of malpractice litigation experience.

The good news is that there are attorneys who specialize in these precise cases and they accept new clients pursuant to what's called a contingency fee agreement. If you don't know, a contingency fee arrangement is one in which the attorney receives a portion of the client's settlement or award as his payment, typically 1/3 of the total amount. If there is no recovery, the attorney does not get paid. The client never pays until the settlement or award is obtained (except perhaps to cover the filing costs for his claim). So, competent legal representation should not be out of your reach.

As far as FL 766 et seq. are concerned, that is something you (or your attorney if you retain one) should very much be concerned with. FL 766 et seq. set forth the procedural requirements for initiating a medical malpractice claim in the state of Flordia, and the requirements are extremely rigid. For one, the claimant must deliver a notice of intent to sue, which includes signed authorization by the claimant in specific form thereby giving the prospective defendant access to the claimant's prior medical history. (FL Statute(NNN) NNN-NNNN.

Pursuant to Florida law, a claimant must also corroborate reasonable grounds exist to initiate medical negligence litigation by obtaining an affidavit created by an expert of the same specialty as the potential defendant (Section 766.102(12).) Essentially, FL law requires that you obtain the opinion of another medical professional that negligence has occurred before you are even given the right to be able to sue in civil court.

Locating a competent expert and satisfying these other preliminary requirements for taking legal action is something that a competent medical malpractice attorney can absolutely assist you in doing, and as noted, since representation will typically be on a contingency fee basis, there is no up front charge for these legal services.

As to whether malpractice actually occurred in your instance, that is something only another doctor is in a position to say, and will require a thorough review of your medical records. As attorneys, we can build cases based on the opinions of medical professionals who are willing to testify that the relevant standard of medical care was breached, but since we do not possess the years of experience and knowledge of doctors in this field, we simply are in no position to be stating medical opinions.

The above noted, where there is smoke there is often fire, and if your recovery has taken far longer than expected and left horrible scars while you did everything you could to properly heal, something very likely went wrong that constitutes malpractice.

Accordingly, your best next step here is to retain a local malpractice attorney who will assist you in locating an expert witness and in complying with the procedural requirements for bringing a claim. For that purpose, I am a big fan of http://www.avvo.com, which permits you to search for attorneys based on practice area and location and provides attorney ratings.

Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes to you and thank you so much for coming to Just Answer.
Patrick, Esq., Attorney
Satisfied Customers: 7348
Experience: Attorney with significant personal injury experience
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