Q: Would filing a complaint with "Florida Health" be a useful/safe way of obtaining the security footage of my visit?
I am going after a hospital for 2 civil rights violations and medical malpractice. I also wish to pursue criminal charges for abuse/neglect of a mentally disabled person.
I thought about trying to settle out of court... but I'm not a lawyer. (Nor can I afford to pay up front.)
I'm also paranoid that if I tell them I plan to sue... they may "accidentally" lose, misplace, or damage the video footage.
If you were a normal citizen. Would you file the complaint with Florida Health before finding a lawyer?
Do you think that complaint would help me obtain a copy of the security footage?
(I do also have a highly credible non-relative witness who's willing to back me. A mayor from VT who is my seasonal neighbor followed the ambulance to give me a ride home. She's also 35 years older then me and certified to work with children who also have my disability.)
I just don't know where to start because they screwed up in multiple ways
Immediately seek a free consultation with a medical malpractice attorney in your area. If you have facts that support a potential claim, a law firm may be willing to sign you to a contingency fee retainer agreement with no up-front fees or costs payment needed. If a firm were to take your case, they would handle the issue of obtaining the video or requesting evidence preservation.
If that does not happen for you right away, it may be best for you to send the hospital a letter with proof of delivery (such as via certified mail, priority mail, or courier) stating that you intend to assert legal claims in the future regarding an incident that occurred on the particular date at the particular location and that you demand preservation of all video recording, audio recordings, charts and other records regarding the incident. That will NOT get you the video, but it will impose a preservation obligation on them that, if disregarded, could be a problem for their side down the road. It is highly unlikely that a complaint to an administrative agency will result in production of the video to you.
Regarding your "civil rights violations", you may or may not be using the correct legal terminology. Generally, that phrase applies to violations of constitutional or statutory rights by government entities (or those contracting with the government) and to violations of particular laws that protect persons from particular types of discrimination and retaliation. You might have something like that, but many lay people incorrectly use that phrase to refer to any type of wrongful conduct that the victim may sue over. Give your facts to an attorney, who will advise you as to the potential claim categories that you have,
Terrence H Thorgaard agrees with this answer
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