Have You Been Affected by Medical Malpractice in Florida?
Like everyone, doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers do make mistakes. Their mistakes, however, carry with them the possibility of serious injuries or even death to their patients. Clients come to us asking whether medical malpractice played a role in injuries they sustained or the death of a loved one in the hospital. Below are some of the most commonly asked questions we received from clients who have been the victim of potential medical malpractice claims.
How Do I Know if I Have Been the Victim of Medical Malpractice?
Determining whether you or a loved one has been a victim of medical negligence is very difficult. Sometimes a surgeon may amputate your left hand instead of your right, which would be a clear case of medical malpractice, but unfortunately few cases are so clear-cut. Therefore, we always hire medical expert witnesses to assist us in evaluating every case and in determining whether you have been the victim of medical malpractice. However, we encourage you to contact us if you have been the victim of an adverse medical outcome or suffered injuries as a result of medical treatment you have received. We can help determine whether you were the victim of medical malpractice and, if so, assist you in recovering for your injuries.
What is the definition of medical malpractice in Florida?
In Florida, in order to demonstrate that a particular healthcare provider has committed medical malpractice, a patient must demonstrate that the healthcare provider’s action failed to meet the appropriate standard of care. This is a legal term which means that the patient must show that the healthcare provider failed to live up to the professional standards of a healthcare provider in the same or a similar specialty in the local community in the healthcare provider’s treatment of the patient. As an example, this would mean that a patient claiming an infectious disease physician failed to treat a staph infection would be required to show that a reasonable infectious diseases physician in the same or similar circumstances would have adequately treated the infection.
What are the elements of a medical malpractice claim in Florida?
A medical malpractice claim in Florida requires proving four elements: duty, breach, causation and damages. A patient must therefore prove that a healthcare provider owed the patient a duty, which the healthcare provider breached, which caused the patient damages. Under Florida law, every physician owes his or her patients a duty to provide the patient with reasonable care and treatment. Causation requires showing the healthcare provider’s actions or inactions caused injury to the plaintiff. Damages essentially mean that the patient suffered harm as a result of the healthcare provider’s actions.
Are there time limits for bringing medical malpractice claims in Florida?
Like virtually every other type of lawsuit, Florida has strict time limits for bringing lawsuits for medical malpractice. Claims for medical negligence in Florida must be brought within two years of the medical malpractice if the patient immediately knows of the medical malpractice or within two years of discovery of the malpractice, whichever is later.
What damages can I recover in a medical malpractice case?
The damages available in a medical malpractice case in Florida include pain and suffering as well any economic damages the patient may have suffered as a result of the malpractice including bills for past medical treatment the patient may have had to seek as a result of the medical malpractice as well as damages for any future medical expenses which may be necessitated as a result of the malpractice.
Can my spouse or children recover for any losses my injuries caused by a healthcare provider’s medical malpractice have caused them?
Your spouse can recover for any lost support and services and loss of consortium he or she has suffered as a result of your injuries suffered as a result of a physician or other healthcare provider’s medical malpractice. Your children and/or dependents would also be entitled to recover for any lost support and services they may have suffered as a result of your injuries suffered as a result of medical malpractice in Florida.
If you or a loved one have been injured by medical negligence committed by a physician or other healthcare provider, contact us today to discuss your legal options and for a free evaluation of your case.
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