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How much does correspondence matter in medical malpractice cases?

Tampa, FL |

Most doctors are too busy to answer questions from patients. If medical injury occurred and prior to that injury, the doctor's inbox/voicemail was overflowing with concerns from the paitent about his/her condition, could this be used as evidence against the doctor for negligence? Would this increase the chance of punitive damages? The reason I ask is because the current health care climate is such that such a situation-ignoring the patient, is completely typical, so I don't know if it would be not meeting standard of care when standard of care has become ignoring the patient.

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Attorney answers 4


This could be evidence of a business practice which supports your theory of negligence.
It doesn't necessarily affect the standard of care, but it may be probative as to the physicians policies and procedures and us such reflective of the departure of the standard of care.
Juries certainly don't like this type of thing.


I agree with Mr. Limberopoulos. If you have an attorney currently representing you, then you should bring up your concerns with your current attorney. If you are currently not represented by an attorney in your medical malpractice case, then I would strongly recommend that you consult with a medical malpractice attorney to represent you.


I was about to answer the question, but I see that I was beat to the proverbial punch by my astute colleagues. I agree with both lawyers Mr. Limberopoulos and Mr. Corwin. Both are qualified and thorough attorneys.


Punitive damages are not recoverable in this kind of case in Florida. To collect punitive damages in a negligence case in Florida you need to show an intentional tort or something very close to that, like drunken-driving.

Not returning patient calls is probably below the standard of care. Proving the not returned calls may be another matter. Additionally, proving that the not returned calls actually caused injury to you is another matter. Being rude is certainly not actionable.

This is a summary based on incomplete facts. You should not rely on it as legal advise. No attorney-client relationship is intended to be formed. You may call me 772-562-4570; email me, or visit my website

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