Expert Qualifications Required by Florida Law
Florida’s Medical Malpractice laws protect doctors. They really don’t do much for patients other than present a hurdle to getting into court. There are many hoops your Miami Medical Malpractice Lawyer has to jump through in order to even be able to file a lawsuit. It is not as simple as filing a lawsuit against another person. There are many steps to take and certain requirements that must be met with your claim before it can be considered for filing. That is why at Wolfson & Leon, our Medical Malpractice Lawyers keep abreast of the changes in Florida Statute and caselaw.
One of the very important requirements is that you investigate your claim and partake in the presuit informal discovery process. A presuit involves the collection and examination of evidence to determine the strength of your case or claim. Along with this process, it important to understand that your legal team will need to work with and cooperate with the opposing party. This means that during that presuit informal discovery, if the other side asks for something about the case, it is best practice to hand it over. If you do not, then the court can dismiss the case.
Another important principal is that, other than certain circumstances, you have to get a verified affidavit from a medical expert that the medical provider you want to sue deviated from the standard of care and that this caused you loss, injury or damage. The affidavit cannot be from just any doctor. Under Florida Statute 766.102(5), if the potential defendant is a specialist, the doctor who completes the affidavit must specialize in the same specialty as the potential defendant and have devoted professional time during the last 3 years to:
- The active clinical practice of that same specialty; or
- Instruction of students in an accredited health professional school or accredited residency or clinical research program in the same specialty; or
- A clinical research program that is affiliated with an accredited health professional school or accredited residency or clinical research program in the same specialty.
Now, if you want to sue another doctor and you do not get an affidavit, then you cannot get into Court unless an exception applies. And, if you do not comply with presuit informal discovery, then you will usually get dismissed from Court. If you do both, you really don’t stand much of a chance.
In Morris v. Orlando Muniz, MD, et al., 41 Fla L. Weekly D1010-D1011, May 6, 2016, the Plaintiff did not comply with Defendant’s presuit requests for information regarding the Plaintiff’s medical experts’ qualifications under Florida Statute 766.102(5). For that reason, the trial court dismissed the case. And, the 1st DCA upheld the decision and found that the record contained ample evidence that the Plaintiff failed to offer sufficient proof of her proffered expert’s statutory qualifications, and that Plaintiff’s lack of cooperation with their attempts merited dismissal.
The point of this page and several other articles and pages that we have written about medical malpractice is that your lawyer must know the medical malpractice statute and follow it. In doing so, you can rest assured that your attorney will perform the proper due diligence on your behalf. At Wolfson & Leon, our team of experienced Miami Medical Malpractice Lawyers investigate claims thoroughly to ensure that you and your case has the best representation as possible.
If you or a loved one was an unfortunate victim of medical practice, we urge you to call us today. We will review your claim with you and determine the best approach. If we accept representation, we will follow the presuit guidelines per Florida Statute so that you can get your day in Court. If you or a loved one are a victim of Medical Malpractice in Miami or anywhere else in Florida, give us a call at (305) 285-1115 for a free consultation today.