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Ocala Medical Malpractice

Attorneys for Victims of Negligent Health Care Providers in Ocala

Ocala is a city in north central Florida. It was incorporated as a city in 1885, and is the seat of Marion County. Ocala is home to approximately sixty thousand people. Local residents may seek medical care at a variety of medical offices and facilities including AdventHealth Ocala, Ocala Regional Medical Center, and West Marion Community Hospital. When you decide to see a doctor for diagnosis or care, you don’t expect to come away harmed. We trust doctors to follow the accepted standards and practices of the medical community. At the Dean Firm, our experienced Ocala medical malpractice lawyers were born and raised in town, and provide vigorous representation to patients who have been injured by doctors and other health care providers.

What is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the country. However, not every medical error qualifies as medical malpractice. Medical malpractice involves a deviation from the professional standard of care such that a patient is injured. It can include failure to diagnose, failure to conduct a differential diagnosis, failure to treat, failure to obtain the proper tests, errors in interpreting imaging or other tests, surgical errors, or improper treatment.

As a plaintiff suing for medical malpractice, you’ll need to show: (1) you were owed a professional duty of care, (2) breach of the professional duty of care, (3) causation and (4) damages. A seasoned medical malpractice attorney in Ocala can evaluate whether the facts of your case may fulfill these elements. The professional standard of care is usually established through expert testimony with reference to the accepted standards and practices of the medical community. It can vary depending on the nature of the doctor’s practice, and whether he or she is a specialist or a general practitioner. For example, whether certain tests should have been conducted to diagnose breast cancer may hinge on whether the defendant doctor was an oncologist or a family care physician.

You must be able to allege and prove that but for the health care provider’s medical negligence, you wouldn’t have been harmed. Causation must also be established by an expert. This issue can be particularly tricky in cases related to diagnosing cancer or another serious illness. If the illness would have progressed resulting in death no matter what the defendant doctor did, the failure to diagnose it may not qualify as medical malpractice.

Statute of Limitations

You have a limited window of time or statute of limitations within which to sue for medical malpractice. This window in Florida is 2 years. The window opens when you learn or should have learned in the exercise of due diligence that a doctor’s acts may have been caused by medical negligence. However, you cannot bring a medical malpractice claim that arises four years after the acts you believe constitute medical negligence occurred, irrespective of whether you learned about them within that 4 years. However, the period is extended by two years if the defendant used fraud to conceal the medical negligence. Rules related to the statute of limitations can be complicated, so it’s wise to contact an Ocala medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible to figure out whether you have a viable claim, and so that you can meet pre-suit requirements.

Pre-suit Requirements

Before issuing notification of an intent to initiate a medical negligence lawsuit, a plaintiff is supposed to conduct an investigation to make sure there are reasonable grounds to think the named defendants were negligent in the care they gave and that the negligence resulted in the plaintiff’s injury or injuries. A plaintiff needs to corroborate the claim that there are reasonable grounds to initiate medical negligence litigation by submitting a verified opinion from a medical expert at the time the notice of intent to initiate litigation is mailed. The prospective defendant or its insurer is also supposed to conduct its own investigation to determine whether there is a reasonable basis to think the defendant health care provider was medically negligent such that injury was caused to the plaintiff.

Consult an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney in Ocala

Recovering damages after being harmed by medical malpractice in Ocala can be an arduous process. It is advisable to have skillful lawyers on your side. At the Dean Law Firm, we provide knowledgeable and experienced representation. Call (352) 387-8700 to set up a free consultation or contact us online.