Are You a Victim of Medical Malpractice?
Do you believe that you have been treated negligently by your healthcare provider? Have you or a loved one been injured or died as a result of poor medical treatment? Below we outline what medical malpractice is, and when someone is eligible for financial compensation due to physician negligence.
Establishing the Liability of a Negligent Health Care Provider
Simply put, medical malpractice occurs when an injury or death occurs because a medical professional or healthcare provider, through a negligent act or omission, provides care or treatment that falls below the acceptable standard of care. An individual can bring legal action—a medical malpractice lawsuit—against the physicians, surgeons, or hospitals who proffered this substandard medical care, so long as several key elements are present.First, as the plaintiff—that is, as the the person bringing the legal action against the negligent health care provider—you have to prove that he or she enlisted the defendant—the doctor, nurse, therapist, surgeon, clinic, lab, etc.—to perform medical services.
Next, a plaintiff also must present evidence demonstrating the health care provider’s negligence - the malpractice. Negligence doesn’t refer to the provider’s personality. They may have been cordial or even friendly, but that’s not what’s in question. Negligence means that the medical professional’s treatment did not rise to the appropriate standard of care for the particular medical condition. To demonstrate this, the plaintiff typically engages an expert witness - or “expert” for short -to testify about the accepted standard of care. In fact, it’s usually necessary to work with multiple experts from several different specialties, depending on the details of the particular case. These experts would discuss what a competent medical professional in the same specialty would have done for a patient in a similar situation.
In addition, a plaintiff must establish that the health care professional’s negligence was the direct cause of his or her injury. Again, this usually requires the testimony of an expert. In some situations, it may be necessary to distinguish the harm caused by the malpractice from an ongoing condition that began prior to the injury inflicted at the hands of the provider.
Finally, a plaintiff must be able to demonstrate the types of harm, injury, or damages that he or she suffered as a result of the healthcare provider’s medical negligence or malpractice.
According to the law, these damages must be reasonably quantifiable. Examples of harm include anoxic brain injury, amputation, and paralysis. There are many ways in which a medical professional’s negligence can cause injury to you or a loved one, all of which can be life altering and even fatal.
Does your case qualify?
Don’t try to answer this question for yourself. As an experienced medical malpractice law firm, the team at Hannon Legal Group can help you understand the strengths of your particular situation.
The various types of harm which a negligent doctor or healthcare provider can inflict on a patient are referred to as damages. Medical malpractice damages may range from:
- Hospital bills
- Lost wages
- lost earning capacity
- Pain, loss, and suffering
If you or a loved one has been harmed because of the medical negligence of a healthcare provider, you have a right to compensation both for economic and noneconomic damages.
Like most other states, Florida requires that a plaintiff bring a claim within a certain amount of time after the malpractice occurs. The substantive and procedural legal rules regarding medical malpractice lawsuits are vast and complex. That’s why it’s critical for you to seek the counsel of a knowledgeable and experienced law firm to handle your claim in a timely manner.
What Damages Can a Medical Malpractice Victim Be Compensated For?
Damages typically fall into the following six categories:
- Loss of consortium - Loss of affection, comfort, companionship, and sexual relations, are some of the marital benefits the spouse of a medical malpractice victim can be compensated for. These damages are referred to as loss of consortium. Loss of consortium damages are typically only awarded in cases where permanent or life-changing injuries have been suffered.
- Loss of earning capacity - Injuries caused by health care providers can alter a person’s ability to perform their job, either temporarily or permanently. When a person is no longer able to earn the same amount as they could prior to the malpractice injury, they may receive compensation for this loss of earning capacity.
- Lost wages - If you have to miss work in order to recover from a medical malpractice injury, you may be able to collect compensation for lost wages from the party or parties whose negligent actions caused your injuries.
- Medical expenses - A medical malpractice victim who has incurred medical expenses including the cost of doctor visits, hospital stays, occupational therapy, physical therapy, prescription drugs, assistive devices or other like expenses can be compensated for them. If the injury caused was severe or even permanent, the victim may also be awarded compensation for medical expenses that may be incurred into the future.
- Pain and suffering - Pain and suffering are very real results of medical malpractice. Victims can receive compensation for the pain they’ve experienced. This includes compensation for emotional distress, such as fear, frustration, depression, anxiety and other kinds of mental suffering.
- Other kinds of damages - This list is not comprehensive. Other damages may apply, including compensation for disability, for disfigurement, loss of companionship, loss of life’s enjoyment, and loss of parental support, among other things.
Medical Malpractice Can Take Many Forms
The ways in which doctors and physicians can provide substandard care are vast. Perhaps that’s why each year, according to the group, Patient Safety America, approximately 440,000 Americans who go into a hospital experience a preventable event that ultimately becomes a factor in their death. Hannon Legal Group is experienced at bringing legal action and holding negligent medical professionals accountable for the following kinds of medical malpractice:
- Anesthesia errors/anesthesia malpractice
- Blood transfusion errors
- Failure to diagnose aneurysms
- Failure to diagnose or a delay in diagnosing cancer
- Failure to diagnose heart attacks and strokes
- Failure to diagnose a medical condition or a delay in diagnosing a medical condition
- Failing to listen to the patient
- Failing to properly monitor the patient post-operatively
- Kidney dialysis errors/dialysis malpractice
- Medication errors/medication malpractice/overdose
- Pharmacy negligence
- Nursing negligence/nurse malpractice
- Obstetrical/OBGYN malpractice/birth injury
- Orthopedist malpractice
- Radiologist error/radiologist malpractice
- Retained medical instrument or device errors/leaving foreign objects in patients
- Surgical errors/surgeon malpractice
These represent common categories of medical malpractice but the list is by no means comprehensive. If you or a loved one experience a situation where a physician, nurse, surgeon, or other medical professional failed to provide the standard of good medical care and as a result, you were seriously injured, that’s medical malpractice.
Discuss Your Claim with a Lawyer
Bringing a lawsuit against a healthcare provider can be critical in order to provide the necessary support for any patient who suffers further health setbacks as a result of a physician’s negligence in Florida. The medical malpractice and wrongful death attorneys at the Hannon Legal Group will work with you to assess your situation and develop any legal claim that you may have.
We serve hurting people throughout the state of Florida, including Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Orlando, Tallahassee, and cities throughout Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties. Contact us online or call us to schedule a free consultation.