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Medical Malpractice Reform: The Road Ahead

If you are injured through the negligence of a doctor or other health care practitioner or facility, your concerns include whether you will receive fair compensation to pay for medical expenses and other damages. That just became more difficult in the state of Florida.

In May, the Florida legislature passed Senate Bill 1792, a measure concerning actions for medical negligence. The new legislation is widely considered a victory for health care providers who are sued for medical malpractice and the insurers who pay compensation for their mistakes.

Some significant points about the changing face of medical malpractice lawsuits in Florida include:

  • Defense counsel for doctors named in malpractice suits will now be able to interview a doctor who treats you. This means confidentiality between you and your treating physician can be violated during the process of your legal action.

  • Expert witnesses called to testify on your behalf must now practice in the same field of medicine as the doctor or physicians called as defendants in the case. This narrowing of the field of expert testimony tightens resources available to you if you are injured.

Intended to reduce the number of malpractice lawsuits brought in the state of Florida, this measure invades the privacy previously accorded to you and your doctor and limits experts who can testify on your behalf.

Legal challenges surely await this legislation. In the meantime, if you are currently engaged in a legal action for medical negligence, or are anticipating bringing an action, talk to your attorney about how these changes will affect your case.

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