Were you recently injured in a medical malpractice accident in Florida? Our experienced Florida medical malpractice lawyers at Shiner Law Group are ready to help fight for your legal rights and get the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (855) 462-6878 to speak with an attorney for a 100% free consultation.
You may be entitled to seek compensation for medical bills, loss of income, pain, and suffering, and more. Contact our Florida law offices to discuss the legal options that might be available to you following your medical malpractice accident. The next steps are very important. Let Shiner Law Group help you with your medical malpractice case today.
Table of Contents
Were You Injured In A Medical Malpractice in Florida?
In the United States, one of the top three leading causes of death is medical malpractice with Flordia being among the top five states where patients file and receive a payout. There are over 250,000 deaths in the country that can be attributed to medical malpractice, resulting in impacts for the patient as well as their family members and others who surround them.
Patients who are victims of medical malpractice could live with physical ailments for months, years, or for the rest of their life. They could also experience significant disruptions with their finances and psychological trauma that results in not being able to work or not being able to communicate as effectively with their loved ones. Patients can seek the assistance of a Florida medical malpractice lawyer who can file a claim against the responsible party and fight to get the patient the settlement that they deserve.
Medical Malpractice Details
When a medical professional, such as a nurse or a doctor, performs an action that causes an injury to a patient or that results in the death of a patient, then it’s considered medical malpractice. This is also considered medical negligence. Medical professionals can also commit medical malpractice if they don’t perform an action that’s needed for the patient.
There are several places where malpractice can take place. The most common is in a hospital or emergency room, especially if workers don’t administer the proper care that’s needed in order to save a patient’s life. Other locations include surgical outpatient centers, urgent care offices, and primary care offices. Negligence is one of the primary components that need to be present when a Florida medical malpractice attorney files a claim for a patient. In a medical setting, negligence is the breach of care provided by a medical professional.
Professionals in medical settings are to see that others who are working with them abide by the standards of patient care, which are often quite strict. They are also to ensure that a patient’s wellbeing is a priority and that patients are not harmed. If this type of care is not provided, then it’s often considered breached and labeled as medical malpractice. This can result in an issue with the liability of the medical facility, resulting in a claim being filed by an attorney against the practice and the professional if the act can be connected to the patient’s injury or death.
Medical Malpractice Liability
When looking at the liability of medical malpractice, it often depends on the type of incident that occurred and who was involved in the act. The setting is also taken into consideration. The most common people who are held liable in medical malpractice claims are doctors, nurses, and surgeons. However, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, and manufacturers can also be held liable if there is enough evidence supporting the claim that the actions that were completed by these professionals resulted in the patient’s injury or death.
Examples of Medical Malpractice in Florida
A detail to keep in mind about medical malpractice is that it can happen to anyone in any medical setting. Patients of any age can be victims of malpractice as well. A misdiagnosis or a delayed diagnosis are common types of malpractice, especially if it results in the patient not getting the proper treatment in time before a significant injury or death occurs.
Surgical errors, such as operating on the wrong area of the body or leaving instruments inside the body during surgery, are common examples as well. Professionals who lack training can be held liable for negligence. An example of malpractice that occurs in a pharmacy is dispensing the wrong kind of medication or the wrong dose. Test results that aren’t read correctly, anesthesia errors, injuries that occur during birth, sanitation issues, and procedures that aren’t performed correctly are all common examples of medical malpractice.
When a Florida medical malpractice attorney reviews the evidence that a patient submits, they will look at the type of act that was performed in order to make sure all of the correct details are listed in the claim.
The most common type of professional who is held liable for malpractice is a surgeon. Those who practice neurosurgery, cardiovascular surgery, and general operations are among the most common surgeons who are held liable. The reason behind this is that surgeons are often responsible for detailed tasks when they work with patients. They often work long hours, which can sometimes interfere with the care that they provide if they are too tired before a case begins. They could make miscalculations at a moment’s notice, which can result in serious injuries that are permanent or that can lead to the death of the patient.
Anesthetic errors and surgical equipment that isn’t sanitized correctly are at the top of the list of ways surgeons can be held liable for malpractice. Damaging an organ, not paying attention to vital signs, not paying attention to medical issues during surgery, using equipment that’s defective, or not letting patients know about what they should do before surgery are all ways that medical malpractice can occur among surgeons.
Hospitals and Emergency Rooms
There are usually millions of people who visit hospitals and emergency rooms in Florida each year, making this a common facility for malpractice to occur. Factors that often lead to malpractice in a hospital include overcrowding, funding for the facility that results in a lack of professionals who can provide care or a lack of supplies and equipment, and poor sanitation.
Surgical and medication errors are common ways malpractice can occur along with misdiagnosing a condition or not diagnosing one in the first place. Complications associated with childbirth, not giving the right medications, and malfunctioning equipment are other ways that professionals can be held liable in hospitals.
Since professionals in an emergency room often work at a fast pace, mistakes can happen. This is also a place where stress levels can get high, resulting in misdiagnosing a condition or not providing the proper care for patients. This can all result in injuries or death. Doctors and nurses are usually in a rush to get patients treated, making it easier for them not to give the correct medication or to use equipment that might not have been properly cleaned. They could also misread X-rays and other tests that are performed in the emergency room before patients are discharged or sent to another area of the hospital.
Even though professionals in an emergency room work in an environment that’s of a faster pace and where more patients sometimes come in at one time to seek treatment, it doesn’t dismiss professionals from being held to the same standards as others in order to provide the proper care for patients. Due to the emergent nature of illnesses and injuries in the emergency room, any kind of negligence can result in dire consequences or even death.
There are many people, especially those who are elderly, who use various types of medical devices each day or at least while they are in the recovery process after an illness, injury, or surgery. Devices are used to diagnose patients and to treat them as well. Ways that medical devices can be at the center of a malpractice claim include errors with manufacturing, warnings not being clear or on the device at all, and errors with the overall design. Devices can malfunction and not be the fault of the person using them. However, these malfunctions can also lead to serious injuries or the death of a patient using them.
Medical Malpractice Laws
Professionals who work in the medical field in Florida are to uphold the standards that are set forth in the nation while they are working with patients. The Florida Department of Health can investigate if there is a claim of medical malpractice to determine what happened and who could have been at fault. The agency is authorized to administer any kind of disciplinary action that could be needed if those who are involved are found guilty of the actions that they committed. There is a three-strikes law that influences most of the malpractice issues that occur as well as a statute of limitations that attorneys need to look at when filing a malpractice claim for patients.
The three-strikes law began in 2005. If a medical professional in the state of Florida is found guilty after being charged with medical malpractice at least three times within five years, then the professional is to submit their license to the state and can no longer practice.
Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice in Florida
There is a certain length of time that patients have to file a malpractice claim, which is considered the Florida statute of limitations. Sometimes, injuries can’t be detected right away. At other times, the results can be seen within a few days. Patients in Florida have two years to file a claim if they believe that they have been a victim of medical malpractice. This timeframe begins on the date that the patient knows the surgery, procedure, or other treatment was completed. If a patient dies due to malpractice, family members have two years from the time the medical issue occurred to file a claim.
A claim can be filed by a patient against a healthcare provider up to four years after the incident occurs as this is part of the statute of repose in the state. Birth injuries and instances of fraud are exceptions to the statute of limitations.
Filing a Claim For Medical Malpractice in Florida
Before meeting with an attorney, there are a few things that patients should have on hand or discuss with the attorney while in the office. A violation of the standard of care provided by a medical professional must be proven. There should also be evidence that the malpractice act resulted in the patient’s injury or death and that the injury or death wouldn’t have occurred if they would have seen a different professional or gone to a different facility.
Another factor that must be shown is the patients experienced a disruption of some kind due to the medical malpractice action that occurred, such as losing a job, physical health impacts, issues that develop with the mental state of the patient, or alterations in how the patient is able to live their life.
Filing A Medical Malpractice Claims
When patients are involved in an act of medical malpractice, it can result in disabilities that are permanent or death. Patients or their family members can receive compensation or damages after filing a malpractice claim. Most of the time, they receive compensation in some monetary form. This can include covering medical bills or covering time lost at work. Damages can also be awarded for psychological issues, such as trauma or anguish. An award by the court can be punitive or compensatory. After a professional is convicted, they could lose their license or lose memberships in medical societies in the state. The amount of the award is often determined by the type of injury and how it impacts the patient’s life as well as the number of medical bills and treatments.
Common damages that can be awarded include medical expenses, accommodations for housing, loss of enjoyment for life, disfigurement, and lost wages. There was once a cap of $500,000 for damages associated with medical providers and $750,000 for those who don’t practice. The Supreme Court in the state ruled that the amounts were unconstitutional in 2017, which means that patients can recover the full cost of medical payments and treatments as well as higher amounts for pain and suffering and mental anguish.
Hiring A Florida Medical Malpractie Lawyer
If you plan to file a medical malpractice claim, you aren’t required to hire an attorney. However, it’s beneficial to have an attorney file the claim as they understand the laws in Florida and are able to communicate with the other party in order to work out the best settlement if the case isn’t settled by the court. They can perform an investigation, determine a proper value for your malpractice claim, and fight to get you the highest settlement possible that’s fair for both parties.
Contact Shiner Law Group if you’re the victim of medical malpractice so that we can review your claim and fight on your behalf.