People seek medical treatment to restore their health. It’s natural to feel a sense of betrayal from medical professionals who should help you but worsen your situation.
Doctors have limits, so it isn’t always their fault if they can’t cure what ails you; however, it’s devastating for patients when doctors exacerbate existing health issues or create new ones. You may wonder what constitutes medical malpractice and how to know if you have a legal claim. Let’s take a closer look at medical malpractice and why you might have grounds to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Florida’s medical malpractice laws focus on the process rather than the outcome of medical care. Whether a patient dies or suffers irreversible injuries doesn’t determine whether the medical professional is guilty of medical malpractice. The law considers whether the doctor took reasonable actions that other doctors would have taken under the same circumstances.
Florida’s laws protect medical professionals who act in their patient’s best interests and competently do their job. The laws also protect medical malpractice victims who receive substandard or inappropriate care. Victims must demonstrate that the medical professional is guilty of negligence to file a successful claim. Speaking to a medical malpractice attorney is the best way to determine if you have a legal claim.
Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional doesn’t adhere to professional standards.
Sometimes, it’s clear who was guilty of medical malpractice. For example, doctors can be liable for misdiagnosing a patient. However, there are times when multiple parties may share liability. Suppose you received the wrong diagnosis because a medical receptionist put the wrong test results in your folder, and the doctor didn’t notice. The medical receptionist and doctor may share liability.
Medical malpractice attorneys investigate incidents to identify the parties responsible for your suffering and hold them accountable.
Legal standards must be met to sue for medical malpractice successfully. First, the medical professional must be guilty of a breach of standard care. The law considers how most medical professionals in the same position would act under the same circumstances. When a medical professional doesn’t act that way, it can be grounds for medical malpractice.
Your legal team must also prove proximate causation by demonstrating that the breach of standard care caused a health issue, either by failing to diagnose or treat an existing issue or creating a new medical issue by engaging in inappropriate actions or failing to act.
Proving medical malpractice also involves demonstrating the medical professional caused significant harm. For example, a person who doesn’t receive treatment because they were misdiagnosed may die or have a limb amputated. A person who receives inappropriate treatment may receive medications they didn’t need that cause internal damage. Demonstrating significant harm establishes grounds for damages.
You may seek economic and non-economic damages through a medical malpractice lawsuit. You may also have grounds to seek punitive damages based on the factors in your case.
Economic damages provide compensation for costs related to your medical issues, including:
Non-economic damages acknowledge your suffering and provide compensation for various issues arising from your medical problems, such as the following:
Punitive damages apply to cases of gross negligence causing personal harm.
Florida’s statute of limitations for medical malpractice is 24 months. You must file a lawsuit within two years of the date the malpractice occurred to have your case heard.
Justifiable damages vary widely. A person who must pay for child care, someone to look after an elderly parent, and themselves may incur higher expenses than a person who only needs someone to care for them after suffering from medical malpractice. A person with a high salary may lose more income than a person with a modest salary. Your attorney can help ensure you consider everything you deserve compensation for when calculating damages.
Medical negligence can occur without causing a person harm. However, if the patient suffers because of medical negligence, it’s considered medical malpractice.
You can turn to local news coverage to learn which law firms handled high-profile medical malpractice cases in your area. You should also review websites and look for evidence the firm has won similar cases, or ask people you know to refer personal injury attorneys.
Medical malpractice attorneys such as Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys, charge contingency fees. Consequently, you only pay legal fees once you receive compensation. A predetermined percentage of your settlement goes to your attorney to cover your legal fees.
It’s natural to be scared and stressed after discovering you may be the victim of medical malpractice. It’s also understandable that resolving your medical issues is your priority. That’s why turning to a medical malpractice attorney for legal help is the best way to ensure you protect your legal rights and seek appropriate compensation. Our legal team will gather evidence, file the legal paperwork, and handle settlement negotiations with the at-fault party to get you the justice you deserve.
Saltzman, J. et al. (2023). N. H. doctor allegedly misread mammograms and ultrasounds of two dozen women later diagnosed with breast cancer.