Over 71,000 physicians practice medicine in the state of Florida, including in Tampa. Each year, over 7,000 doctors pay a medical malpractice claim of some type. Other types of healthcare providers also face malpractice claims, including hospitals and other types of medical clinics.
The consequences of a medical malpractice can be devastating for a patient. A person who thinks he or she is the victim of medical negligence likely has many questions about how to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit. Here are few things you’ll need to know about medical malpractice in Tampa, FL.
There are many misconceptions when it comes to medical malpractice. The presumption of many Florida residents is that if the final result of a medical treatment or procedure is not favorable, a doctor or another healthcare provider has made a mistake, done something wrong. In fact, guaranteeing a positive outcome for any kind of medical treatment or procedure, even one considered minor, is impossible.
The question is not whether something went badly in a medical treatment or procedure, but rather did the doctor exercise a reasonable duty of care in the treatment of a patient. The duty of care can be summed up as a consideration of whether a doctor provided appropriate care under the circumstances. An examination is made of what an appropriately trained doctor reasonably would have done under the circumstances.
Only if there was a deviation from the duty can a person lay the foundation for making a malpractice claim against a doctor, or other healthcare providers. In addition, the breach of the duty of care owed to a patient must be what legally is called the proximate cause of the injuries sustained by that individual.
Proximate cause is a term used by lawyers to establish a legal connection between the breach of a doctor’s duty of care and an injury sustained by a patient. The injury a person complains of cannot have been caused by something else, even if a demonstration can be made that a doctor deviated from an established standard of care.
A person contemplating a medical malpractice case likely has a number of questions about what actually constitutes medical malpractice in a real-world sense.
Surgical errors come in many different forms. A surprising number of surgical error cases involve a surgeon performing an incorrect procedure. Although something of a cliché, operating on the wrong or leg illustrates a surgical error involving an incorrect procedure.
Another example of a surgical error case that also occurs with surprising frequency is leaving medical instruments in a patient’s body at the conclusion of a surgery. Yet again, a long-used cliché about a sponge left behind by a surgeon actually does illustrate the point of what can happen in regard to certain types of surgical error cases.
A common type of medical malpractice case involves a doctor misdiagnosing a patient. In that situation, a doctor is negligent in failing to properly diagnosis the disease, condition, or ailment afflicting a patient. Under the circumstances prevailing at the time the doctor in question made an incorrect diagnosis, a physician using reasonable care would have diagnosed correctly.
A delayed diagnosis represents a related type of medical malpractice. In this scenario, a doctor eventually arrives at a proper diagnosis of a patient. Nonetheless, a proper diagnosis of not, the doctor does not make it until an inordinate amount of time lapsed. Such a delay in making a proper diagnosis typically results in an unnecessary aggravation of a patient’s condition.
Medical advisements are crucial when it comes to a patient giving truly informed consent to a medical procedure or treatment, including surgery. Unfortunately, time and again, health care professionals undertake the patient advisement process in a manner that oftentimes can be considered pro forma at best.
A patient has a right to have clear and readily understandable information about a proposed medical procedure or treatment before providing his or her consent. This includes an appropriately detailed explanation of the risks associated with a procedure or treatment.
If an appropriate advisement is not provided to a patient, and the patient suffers a side effect from the procedure or treatment, he or she may be able to make a malpractice claim if he or she was not properly advised of the risk.
In addition to understanding different types of medical malpractice cases, a person likely has other questions relating to Florida medical malpractice.
The statute of limitations is a strict Florida law. The statute of limitations sets a deadline by which a person must file a medical malpractice case. A medical malpractice lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date the injury or incident is discovered, or reasonably should have been discovered. Missing the deadline precludes a person from filing a Florida medical malpractice lawsuit.
For more information see the 2016 Florida Statutes for Medical Malpractice and Related Matters.
In a word, yes. Insurance companies do everything in their power to reduce the amount of money paid in medical malpractice cases. In the end, they make money by reducing the amount paid to injured Floridians. Experienced medical malpractice lawyers in Tampa understand how to take on an insurance company to obtain the compensation an injured person needs.
Experience matters when it comes to choosing Tampa medical malpractice lawyers. Jack Bernstein has over 30 yeas of experience in representing clients injured due to the negligence of doctors and other healthcare providers. In addition, he has represented Florida families who have lost loved ones due to the negligence of doctors and other involved in the healthcare industry.
In addition to a wealth of experience, Jack Bernstein is known for his compassionate representation of clients, individuals who oftentimes truly are at the lowest points in their lives. He doesn’t shuttle of his clients to others and is always the primary connection during all phases of a medical malpractice case. He understands how important it is to bring a medical wrongdoer to justice.
Jack Bernstein does not charge a fee for an initial consultation with a person injured because of the negligence of a doctor or other type of healthcare provider. During an initial consultation, he provides a preliminary evaluation of a case and addresses any questions a person might have about the medical malpractice claim settlement and lawsuit processes. At the Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys law firm, no fee is charged a client unless and until a settlement or judgment is obtained.