Technically, yes you can represent yourself. Practically, no. You will almost certainly lose. Also, if you file a claim in court you will likely be dismissed if you fail to follow Florida's pre-suit requirements which include having an expert review the records and give an opinion that you have a basis for a medical malpractice case. If you don't do that and follow all the relevant procedures, a motion to dismiss would be filed against you if you filed a Complaint in Court and likely granted pending an opportunity to comply with the pre-suit procedures if there is time left in the statute of limitations. As for the attorneys, the reason you are being turned down is most likely because it would be a contingency fee case and the attorneys do not see substantial enough damages to justify their time and expense.
The process can be handled by yourself, but it is complicated and you likely will not find out what you want. Further, most physicians in Florida whom I have dealt with do not have insurance coverage. They are self insured for their portion of the statutory responsibility for malpractice. Lastly in order to properly start a malpractice claim, you need to have an affidavit supporting the claim per the Statute from another physician. This can be a costly venture. The reason that attorneys may be turning the case down is because the value does not justify the time nor the expenses that have to be laid out just to begin such a case.
The answers given are limited to the facts as given and presumed by the answer itself. Without seeing actual written documentation or having a conference to more fully explore the issues, this short answer has only limited application. Make sure to seek legal counsel and provide all documentation to get assistance in making informed legal choices. Bstein@dcfsz.com, 305 377 1505
it is not a prerequisite to making a claim that you have a lawyer. it is your claim and you can make it by yourself. with that said, it is very likely that you will be unsuccessful. the reason the lawyers won't take your case is that they know what works and doesn't and the costs involved. lawyers work on a % and if there was a potential recovery they would do it. you can make the claim but i believe all that will happen is that you will waste your time and energies. liability insurance carriers are not in the buisness of paying unless they have to. good luck.
There are at least three reasons lawyers aren't interested when they find out that no one died or is permanently disabled from the alleged malpractice. First, med-mal cases can easily cost $50,000 to $100,000 to pursue. These expenses are on top of the contingency fee. These costs relate to expert witness fees, depositions, and other litigation related costs. Second, most states have "damage caps", meaning your damages, even if you win, would be capped at a relatively low level - usually between $250,000 and $500,000, depending on the injury and what state you are in. If someone dies or suffers a catastrophic injury, these caps are often removed. Third, even "good" medical malpractice cases are difficult to win. You don't mention anything about the "item" that was to be removed, but the implication is that you don't have a catastrophic injury. So, to answer your question about representing yourself, you can, but you won't be given the time of day, and you will almost certainly lose. Contrary to the propaganda from the medical community, there are not a bunch of frivolous med-mal cases. Most lawyers turn down the vast majority of such cases, just as was done in your case. The only way you have any chance is if you have qualified physicians willing to testify that there was negligence and that the negligence caused you harm -- and as stated above, the harm needs to be significant. You also would need to file suit before the statute of limitation expires, which would be almost impossible for you to do correctly without a lawyer.
Sign up to receive a 3-part series of useful information and advice about personal injury law.