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While there are certain rules of court and procedures that affect the filing of a medical malpractice claim, in Florida, these are essentially negligence claims. Negligence is the failure of a person to exercise the proper duty of care thereby injuring someone else.

Section 766.102 of Florida Statutes describes what a doctor’s duty of care is. A doctor must do what a reasonably prudent doctor, nurse, dentist, etc… would do under the circumstances. Also, a doctor’s action must represent a breach of the prevailing professional standard of care for a health care provider.

What all of this means is that if a doctor or other health care provider, in the course of their treatment does something that injures you they may be liable. This injury must be the result of an action by the doctor that is not consistent with what the rest of the health care community would have done. This means that the doctor must have acted differently than another doctor in his shoes would have acted. For example, if after surgery the reasonably prudent doctor would have counted all of the sponges to make sure all were accounted for, yet your doctor does not and one ends up being sewn up inside of you, this may be malpractice. That doctor would have failed to exercise the duty of care that a reasonable doctor in their shoes would have.

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