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Medical Malpractice Attorneys

Florida Medical Malpractice Attorney

doctor covering face due to medical error medical malpracticeNothing is more important than your health, and the health of your loved ones. Because of this, most of us will seek out the best medical help available. Sadly, things won’t always work out that way. There are horror stories of doctors and nurses disregarding their duty, causing harm to their patients.

If this has happened to you, or someone you love, it’s normal to feel angry or violated. But you can get justice. You will be entitled to get compensated. Here are some of the ways that our Florida medical malpractice lawyers can help.

What is Medical Malpractice?

Let’s start by defining what qualifies as medical malpractice. This occurs when a medical professional fails to give patients the right standard of care. When you are visiting a doctor or nurse, there is an expectation that they have your best interests at heart. It’s expected that you will be treated the same as every other patient.

This is known as the standard of care. This states that all doctors will provide the same treatment for people with the same conditions. For example, if you are in Miami and get diagnosed with a disease, you should get the same treatment that you would receive in Fort Lauderdale.

How Common is Medical Malpractice in Florida?

Unfortunately, medical malpractice is more common than you might expect. Across the country, it is a leading death cause. According to research from John Hopkins University, it’s estimated that around two hundred and fifty thousand deaths each year are caused by medical malpractice. 

Even if your loved one doesn’t die, medical malpractice can still cause a lot of harm. It’s impossible to measure the mental distress that can come from getting an inadequate diagnosis or knowing that your loved one was needlessly suffering.

The fact that these issues are so widespread should be a concern for everyone living in Florida. But a legal action can help solve this problem. You’ll be able to force those responsible to think about why the negligence occurred. This will often lead to new procedures being developed, stopping it from happening to anyone else.

What Are Some Examples of Medical Malpractice in Florida?

There are numerous ways that medical malpractice can occur. Sometimes, the patient might be misdiagnosed. This can mean that they risk getting the wrong treatment. At other times, they might receive the wrong medication or get an incorrect dosage. Sometimes, there will be a long delay before the patient will be able to get appropriate treatment.

Sometimes, medical malpractice might occur during treatment. For example, you might get handled with too much force when giving birth. This can lead to unnecessary pain. There have also been cases of doctors leaving medical instruments inside the patient following the surgery.

It should be noted that medical malpractice doesn’t need to take place in a hospital. Sometimes, it can occur in the pharmacy. They might read your prescription incorrectly or give you the wrong drug. At other times, it can happen in a nursing home. Sometimes, the owners of these facilities will try to save money by hiring staff that aren’t adequately trained to look after the residents.  Or they might use devices, such as restraints, to deal with different patients.

Most of the time, these will cause mental distress and can lead to unnecessary suffering. But, sometimes, these mistakes can result in wrongful death. This is the saddest outcome, as family members have to confront the fact that their loved one’s death could have been prevented.  

How Can You Prove a Medical Malpractice Error?

If you have been the victim of medical malpractice in Florida, you have the right to get compensated for your damages. Before you can do this, there are a few things that your medical malpractice lawyers in Florida will need to establish.

Duty of Care

First, you will need to show that you were owed a duty of care from the health care professional. You will need to show that you were a patient or receiving some service from them. This is often one of the easiest elements for you to establish. For example, you’ll be able to use receipts to show that you paid the facility. 

Breach of Duty of Care

Next, you will need to show that they breached their duty of care. This is more challenging to prove. To do this, you will need to look at the treatment that you received. You will have to show that the medical professional deviated from the standard of care. It should be noted that this doesn’t have to be an intention breech. Even if they accidentally forget something, the medical professional will have deviated from the standard of care.

It should be noted that sometimes the treatment might not be successful. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the medical professional did anything wrong.

Often, the standard of care that you can expect to receive will depend on the health care provider that you attended. For example, your local doctor will have a more limited scope than a specialist. When preparing your case, our lawyers do a lot of research to make sure that they understand what the commonly accepted standard practice is in that scenario. This often means talking with a range of medical professionals in the same area, to see how they would react to the same situation.

Proving Injuries From Medical Malpractice

Just showing that the doctor deviated from the standard of care isn’t enough. You’ll need to show that this breach is what caused your injuries. This is the most important part of your case and can be the most difficult.

Sometimes, the doctor will admit that they made a mistake when treating you. But they will claim the damage was a result of an underlying health condition. As a result, they weren’t responsible for your injuries. This means that they don’t need to pay any compensation.

To make sure that this doesn’t happen to you, you’ll need to make sure that you are turning to a skilled medical malpractice lawyer in Florida. We will investigate what happened and seek the opinions of independent medical professionals. By doing this, it will be possible to prove that your injuries wouldn’t have happened if the error hadn’t been made.

Who can Bring a Florida Medical Malpractice Case?

The person who was injured can file the case. However, sometimes, it won’t be possible for them to file. If they were left in a vegetative state or suffered a wrongful death, the family members will be able to bring the claim. Family members can also bring the claim if the person who was injured was under 25.

People Who can be Liable for Medical Malpractice

The most obvious group that can be held liable are hospitals and their staff. This includes doctors, surgeons, nurses, and attendants. But the list of people who can be held liable doesn’t end there. You will be able to bring a case against any licensed medical practitioner. This includes naturopaths, optometrists, and dentists.  Additionally, you can bring a claim against cosmetic surgeons. As we mentioned, sometimes you will be able to bring a medical malpractice suit against those who are working in a nursing home. If you are in doubt, we recommend talking to one of our Florida medical negligence lawyers. They will be able to tell you whether you have a case.

What Medical Malpractice Damages you can Claim in Florida?

If you can prove that the medical provider has committed medical malpractice, you will be entitled to claim for damages. This claim can be broken down into two components, economic and non-economic. Let’s look at what each of these entails.

Economic Damages

The first section of your claim is based on the tangible economic costs that you incurred. These include things like:

  • Medical bills. These include any expenses that you incurred to fix the injury caused by the medical malpractice. Sometimes, you will be left with a lifelong injury, which will require ongoing care. In this case, you can claim the expected costs of caring for this injury for the rest of your life. Your medical malpractice attorney will come to this valuation by consulting with doctors to get a better idea of treatment costs.
  • Lost wages. If you were unable to work as you were dealing with the injuries, you will be entitled to the money that you would have earned during that period.
  • Future wages. Sometimes, your injuries will be such that it would be impossible for you to return to your former employment. In this case, you might be able to claim the wages that you would have expected to earn.
  • Funeral costs. If you lost someone as a result of wrongful death, you will be able to claim for the expenses that are associated with arranging their funeral.

There are many ways that your Florida medical malpractice lawyers will be able to calculate this figure. For example, they will be able to rely on timesheets and typical weekly income information. They will also use receipts. Because of this, it’s important to keep a record of these important documents.

Non-Economic Damages

You will also be able to claim for non-economic damages. Some of these damages include:

  • Pain and suffering. One of the most common experiences of medical malpractice is mental distress and physical pain.
  • Disfigurement or disability. Sometimes, the medical malpractice injuries will leave you permanently disfigured or disabled. This can impact your life profoundly. You’ll be entitled to claim for the distress that this can cause.
  • Loss of consortium. If you lose a loved one, you will be able to claim for loss of consortium. This is based on the time that you would have enjoyed with them.

As you can imagine, it will be almost impossible for your Florida medical malpractice attorney to put a dollar value on this area. This is why choosing an experienced malpractice attorney Florida will be able to help you maximize your claim, so you can get the compensation that you deserve.

Can I Still Sue If I Signed a Waiver?

Before most surgeries, you will be asked to sign a waiver. This is a form that states that you understand the risks that are associated with the procedure. This is an important part of the process. It ensures that you understand what is about to happen. This lets you make an informed decision about your medical care.

But it doesn’t offer blanket protection for medical staff. They can still make errors. If they do, you will still be entitled to get compensation. However, it can make getting compensation more complicated. Your malpractice attorney in Florida will need to carefully examine the waiver to see what it covers.

How Much Medical Malpractice Damages can you Claim for in Florida?

Now that we know the type of damages you can claim for, we can determine how much you will be able to claim for.

Economic Damages

There is no legal limit to the amount of economic damages that you will be entitled to claim.

Non-Economic Damages

This is where things get more complicated. The amount you can claim will depend on the type of medical malpractice injuries received and the person who is to blame.

In most cases, the amount that you can claim will be limited to $500,000 per practitioner. If the damage was caused by a non-practitioner you will be able to claim for $750,000 per person.

Sometimes, you will be dealing with a more serious case. You might have a loved one who died or was left in a permanently vegetive state. In this case, the cap will increase to $1 million. The cap is also set at $1 million if the patient suffered a catastrophic injury at the hands of a practitioner. If the catastrophic injury occurred at the hands of a non-practitioner the cap will increase to $1.5 million.

How are Medical Malpractice Cases Settled in Florida?

Most medical malpractice cases will be determined by a private settlement. This has benefits for all parties. The medical facility gets to avoid the bad publicity that can come through an extended court case. You will get to avoid the expenses that can come with preparing a legal case.

But if the settlement process isn’t going well a good Florida medical malpractice attorney will be prepared to take the matter to court. At The Injury Firm, we will be willing to fight on behalf of our clients, making sure that you are getting a good deal.

How long it will take to decide the outcome will depend on the nature of the case. It might also need to wait until a courtroom becomes available. Because of this, it can sometimes take years before these cases are decided. 

What to do After a Medical Malpractice Error Has Occurred?

After you have been involved in a medical malpractice case, it can feel like the world has been flipped on its head. But there are a few important things you can do. First, it’s important to start to gather evidence. Report the incident to the officials in the medical facility. If possible, take some pictures of the medical malpractice injuries you received.

It should be noted that, as the patient, you have the right to request your medical records. You might need to fill out a written record before they are provided. You aren’t required to tell them why you are making this request. This information can be very useful for your lawyers.

The next thing that you need to do is call your Florida medical malpractice lawyer. Because medical negligence cases are so complex, you’ll need to give plenty of time to start preparing the case. It also allows them to start investigating the incident.

Sometimes, after the accident, you will be contacted by lawyers representing the medical facility. They might offer you a settlement payment. While this can seem like a lot of money, it is often a lowball offer. If you take it, you won’t be able to pursue any future legal action. As a result, you should always talk it over with your lawyer before you decide how you are going to proceed.

It should also be noted that sometimes the medical facility insurers will call you. They will want to ask you a few questions about the type of injuries you received. Often, the purpose of this call is to get you to minimize the extent of the injuries. This can be used to limit your future claim. As a result, you should refer this call to your medical malpractice lawyer.

Statute of Limitations in Medical Malpractice Cases in Florida

Florida imposes a statute of limitation on cases of medical malpractice in Florida. You will only have two years to bring a case. This starts from the time that you knew or should have known, that the injury was caused by medical malpractice. This is another reason why it is so important that you see your lawyer as soon as possible.

Contact the Injury Firm Today

If you, or someone you know, has been impacted by medical malpractice, the incident can be devastating. But help is available. At The Injury Firm, our team of medical malpractice lawyers in Florida has extensive experience in this area. We fight for our clients, making sure that you get treated fairly. We will make sure that you get the compensation that you deserve. So, get in touch with our friendly team today, to find out how we can help.

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The information contained in this website is provided for informational purposes only.  This website may contain information about The Injury Firm's past results, testimonials about the firm or a lawyer within the firm, and statements regarding the quality of The Injury Firm's work product. This information has not been reviewed or approved by The Florida Bar. Please be advised that: 1) the facts and circumstances of your case may differ from the matters for which results and testimonials have been provided: 2) Not all results of cases handled by the firm or its lawyers are provided and not all clients have given testimonials; and 3) The results and testimonials provided are not necessarily representative of results obtained by the firm or by its lawyers or of the experience of all clients or others within the firm or its lawyers. Every case is different, and each client’s case must be evaluated and handled on its own merits.

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