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.