What does medical malpractice have to do with living in paradise? Ever since moving to Florida, I have been aware of the ever-present commercials and print ads for medical malpractice and personal injury attorneys. It’s always been a strange and ominous reminder that every day here is not perfect for everyone. Sometimes things go terribly wrong. The attorneys who are ready to win large settlements for the victims can be seen either as ambulance chasers or saviors. It’s not a pleasant subject, but I took a little time to learn more, mostly in hopes of being able to lower the chances that I’d ever have personal reasons to revisit the subject.
According to a 1991 article in the New England Journal of Medicine, only about 2% of patients who were injured by physician negligence ever seek compensation through a lawsuit. Studies at Harvard University estimate that medical mistakes result in up to 98,000 deaths a year, more than twice the number who die in auto accidents.
Not surprisingly, Florida is one of the top states in the nation in terms of number of claims paid for medical malpractice lawsuits. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation state health data Web site, Florida residents won 838 court cases for medical malpractice in the year 2010. The only states with more malpractice payments were California, Pennsylvania, and New York, with a whopping 1,373. The total amount paid to Florida residents for medical claims that year was $233,141,300. The average payment in these Florida cases was $278,212. Once again, New York State topped the list in terms of total amount paid through lawsuits for medical malpractice: $667,168,500 was the total, with the average payment at $485,920. Illinois’ average claim payment was the very highest, at $626,226.
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It may sound surprising, but legal proceedings are not out of the question between neighbors on Anna Maria Island. Maybe it’s precisely because we expect life to be perfect and peaceful here that we become irritated when somebody intrudes on our own personal concept of what paradise is supposed to be. So we may be more likely to get on the phone and call a lawyer to help us defend our idealized vision of the good life. If we lived in a city, we might be more likely to tolerate nuisance, because it would be more expected. Our dream is not being ruined.
Disputes arise over many of the symbols of the good life. One neighbor might be annoyed with another for putting in a swimming pool, creating added noise and activity just feet away from what used to be a serenely quiet back yard. There may be a discussion but it’s not likely that a discussion will prevent somebody who wants to put in a pool from doing so. Anyway, it’s their right as long as they follow local ordinances. Angry exchanges across the fence may follow. And the neighbor dismayed by the changes in the neighbor’s yard might go so far as to call a lawyer to see if there is any legal recourse.
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If you experience a personal injury and feel it was caused by someone else you may think you can sue for compensation.
Most personal injury lawsuits are related to claiming negligence on the part of the accused. You become the ‘plaintiff’ and it is your responsibility to prove your case. You have the burden of proof in order to bring a lawsuit against the accused.
The accused does not need to do anything so it is up to you and your personal injury lawyer to prove beyond a preponderance of evidence that your suit is worthy.
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If you are looking for a Florida personal injury lawyer, finding a competent one is a priority in resolving your personal injury claim.
What is it you should be looking for when you search for a personal injury lawyer?
You may already have a personal Florida lawyer. Check his specialties and the partners in his law firm. He may be able to recommend and refer you to an attorney who specializes in personal injury claims, if he doesn’t do it himself.
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