Here’s A Common Issue When A Doctor Is Negligent

Doctors may have the best of intentions, but sometime a doctor will make a mistake or be careless and harm results. In Florida, there are strict time limits for filing a lawsuit against a doctor. That means a patient must file a claim within a short time after the doctor’s actions, or lose any right to be compensated for the injury. Here is a problem: sometimes, when a doctor does something wrong, the patient wants the same doctor to continue treating him or her in hopes of making everything better. The thought is that the doctor knows the patient and the problem better than anyone else, and has more of an incentive than anyone else to fix the situation. This puts the patient in a bind – no one wants to be treated by a doctor at the same time they are suing the doctor. In order to beat the time limit and ensure a right to compensation if the problem can’t be fixed, some patients will stay with the same doctor that they are suing. So some courts have made an exception to the time limits in cases like these. For instance, a boy named William Parr was born with a lump in his leg that was diagnosed as a tumor when he was eight years old. Doctors as Massachusetts General Hospital performed a procedure to remove it. A complication occurred during the procedure that resulted in a burn, which caused significant pain, refused to heal, and became infected. The medical team tried for some time to fix the problem, but eventually the boy’s leg had to be amputated. The Massachusetts time limit is three years. In this case, the family sued within three years of the amputation, but more than three years after the original procedure that caused the problem. That was okay because the Massachusetts Appeals Court decided that the three year period didn’t start to run as long as the same medical team continued to provide treatment. That’s good news for the family, but you should be aware that time limits for medical negligence cases are often very tricky. If you even suspect that you may be a victim of a medical mistake, it is best to consult a lawyer right away, because waiting even a little too long can result in completely forfeiting your right to be compensated.


About John Fagan

John is a Jacksonville native who grew up on the First Coast. He graduated from Bishop Kenny High School in 1975 and went to college at Florida State University where he completed a 4-year program in 3 years. John graduated from the Florida State University College of Business in 1978 and went straight into Florida State University College of Law. While in law school, John earned a position on the prestigious Law Review Board serving as its Business Editor. As a law student, John studied in the Oxford program. He also interned with the Florida Legislature working in the Florida House of Representatives Criminal Justice Committee. John was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1981. John began his legal career as a law school intern in the State Attorney's Office in Jacksonville in 1981. After his internship, legendary State Attorney Ed Austin hired John as a full-time Assistant State Attorney for the Fourth Judicial Circuit (Clay, Duval, and Nassau Counties). As a prosecutor, John tried jury and non-jury trial on charges ranging from DUI to Murder. In 1983, John moved from the State Attorney's Office to begin his career in private practice. He has practiced law for 30 years on the First Coast. For the last 20 years, John and his family have made Clay County their home. John limits his practice to personal injury and disability cases. While there are many fine attorneys in Clay County, John is one of only a few Clay County attorneys who limit their practice to personal injury and disability cases. John takes pride in helping clients resolve injury claims in ways that avoid the stress, uncertainty, and the expense of unnecessary litigation. Professional Activities John is the past President of the Clay County Bar Association and has served on the Board of the Clay County Bar Association from 2009-2013. He is an active member of the Florida Bar, and the Federal Bar of the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida. He is also a member of the American Association of Justice, the Florida Association of Justice, the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives, and the National Organization of Veterans' Advocates. Service to the Community John is involved in the Clay County Community serving as a member and Director of the Rotary Club of Orange Park, of the Clay County Bar Association, and the Putnam County Bar Association.
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