Gainesville Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Everyone has bad days, but the result is usually catastrophic when a doctor, nurse, or hospital makes an error. According to research, medical mistakes are the third leading cause of death in America.

Under Florida Statutes, medical malpractice is defined as medical negligence. Medical malpractice can also include a doctor incorrectly performing surgery or a hospital failing to respond to a patient in distress.

In addition, Florida laws on medical malpractice cover a wide variety of medical negligence. Our Gainesville medical malpractice lawyer can help you hold a doctor or hospital liable for medical malpractice in Florida if the healthcare provider failed to provide reasonable care or treatment (by appointment only).

How Is Medical Malpractice Defined in Gainesville, FL?

Medical malpractice is a term used to describe medical negligence. For example, when a nurse, doctor, or other healthcare professional provides less than the prevailing standard of care, they will likely face a medical malpractice case.

However, not every medical error amounts to malpractice. This is because medical malpractice cases depend on establishing a deviation from the standard of care.

Is Medical Malpractice Common?

Medical malpractice is common and has been recorded to affect thousands of families in the United States yearly. According to CNBC, over 25,000 people die annually in the US from medical errors.

A mistake by a healthcare provider can have catastrophic consequences. However, our Gainesville medical malpractice lawyer can help you seek justice for losses sustained due to injuries (by appointment).

What Is the Medical Standard of Care in Gainesville?

Florida law defines a medical standard of care as the level of care, treatment, and skills recognized as appropriate and acceptable by reasonably competent healthcare providers. Most times, the standard of care depends on the circumstances.

These circumstances include the medical condition, geographic location, patient's age, and medical history. Doctors and other healthcare professionals developed this medical standard of care based on the level of competent care under the circumstances.

How to Prove Medical Malpractice

There are requirements to meet when proving medical malpractice. First, you need to show that the medical professional in your case acted negligently. The following elements must be demonstrated:

  • Duty of Care: Doctors and other healthcare providers owe a duty of care to patients. This means they must treat them following the prevailing standards of care.
  • Breach of Duty: The medical professional failed to meet the standard of care. If they could not accomplish the duty they owed to the patient, then they have breached their duty of care.
  • Causation: The breach of duty by the healthcare provider harmed the patient. It could be in the form of a misdiagnosis, injury, or even death in some cases.
  • Damages: The harm done to the patient because of the doctor's mistake. This could be loss of quality of life, pain and suffering, medical bills, etc.

An experienced malpractice attorney can help gather evidence to prove these elements. A medical malpractice lawyer with vast experience handling malpractice lawsuits understands how these elements factor into your claim, as these cases can be tricky to prove.

Common Types of Medical Malpractice Claims

Each medical malpractice lawsuit is unique. However, some medical malpractice claims are more common than others. Below are the most common forms of medical negligence.

Failure to Diagnose

Failure to diagnose is a common medical malpractice claim and cause for lawsuits. Here, a doctor fails to diagnose a patient properly. While patients wait for the proper diagnosis, their condition can spread and worsen. A misdiagnosis can result in a patient's death, and the victim's family can file a wrongful death suit.

Surgical Errors

Surgeons are trained to save lives, but they can sometimes act negligently or recklessly while performing surgery. These surgical errors could include leaving equipment inside a patient, cutting the wrong part of a patient's body, or negligently failing to monitor the patient's vital signs.

Birth Injuries

Doctors acting negligently when assisting with a child's birth can cause the mother and infant to suffer injuries. For example, during the birthing process, a doctor, delivery room attendant, or even a nurse can fail to monitor the baby's vitals.

Additionally, using incorrect medical tools can put the child and mother in danger. An example is fetal distress; when doctors don't respond to fetal distress in time, it can cut the baby's oxygen supply off.

The effect of this could be cerebral palsy and other neurological conditions. Birth injuries are usually devastating and sometimes require long-term and pricey medical care. Occasionally, infants suffering from birth injuries become entirely dependent on caregivers or suffer from developmental delays.

Anesthesia Errors

All anesthesiologists have a crucial job. However, the results can be devastating when they fail to administer anesthesia properly during a medical procedure. In some cases, the anesthesiologists negligently deplete the patient's oxygen supply, which could result in brain injuries.

Suing Medical Professionals for Medical Malpractice in Gainesville

You can seek legal action if you suffer additional injuries from a negligent doctor. Nurses are also a part of the healthcare network as they care for patients in private homes, hospitals, and doctor's offices.

When a nurse is negligent in caring for Gainesville patients, you can file a claim against them. Some nurse errors to note include failing to prevent falls and infections.

A nurse who fails to communicate with doctors about a patient's condition and doesn't administer medication at the right time or the correct dosage is also guilty of medical malpractice. You can file a claim if a nurse fails to chart and document your condition over time.

You can choose to sue the hospital as they're responsible for their nurses' negligence and sometimes for the doctor's error. Hospitals usually make common mistakes that could result in a lawsuit, including lack of patient supervision or failure to perform the patient's daily living activity. This could result in infection, bedsores, and even weight loss.

When a hospital fails to communicate the patient's deteriorating condition to the doctor, you can sue them for malpractice. When bringing a negligence case against a Gainesville hospital, you can also file a vulnerable adult claim to seek attorney fees from the hospital. In addition, our Gainesville medical malpractice lawyer can review your case and discuss the chances of success (by appointment only).

How Hard Is It to Prove Medical Malpractice in Gainesville

Winning a Gainesville medical malpractice suit isn't always easy. As a result, there's a demand for skilled Gainesville medical malpractice lawyers with the experience and resources to strengthen victims' claims.

If your medical malpractice claim doesn't settle, it can proceed to court, where a jury determines liability. For this to happen, the jury has to answer Florida Standard Jury Instruction that revolves around negligence on the part of the physician, hospital, and other health providers.

Most times, proving a medical malpractice lawsuit requires expert witness support. However, finding expert witnesses can make a Gainesville medical malpractice claim expensive and time-consuming.

Additionally, most medical malpractice plaintiffs lose more than other personal injury victims. However, compensation in a medical malpractice lawsuit is higher than the average personal injury claim, and most cases settle before trial.

Is My Claim Subject to the Florida Medical Malpractice Statute?

Just because an injury occurred in the hospital doesn't make it a medical malpractice claim. For example, when a nurse mistakenly steps on a hospital patient or spills tea on a patient, it isn't always considered medical malpractice. To be regarded as a medical malpractice claim, a wrongful act needs to be directly related to the wrong implementation of medical services and the improper use of professional skills and judgment.

The injury has to directly result from receiving medical services from a healthcare provider. According to Florida law, the plaintiff has the burden of proving, through evidence, that the medical professional's actions breached the standard of care. Once a victim can prove this, their claim is subject to the Florida Medical Malpractice Statute.

How to Build a Gainesville Medical Malpractice Case

Florida has some of the most rigid tort reform laws regarding medical malpractice claims. Unfortunately, this makes pursuing a Gainesville medical malpractice claim even more difficult.

Our malpractice lawyers can handle the legal aspects of your case. However, there are some steps you can take to increase your chances when seeking compensation.

Below are some tips to help you build a solid medical malpractice claim.

  • Gather all medical records
  • Review the records and highlight the main pages where you believe the medical provider was negligent.
  • Seek medical treatment immediately from a healthcare provider not responsible for the malpractice injury.
  • Follow the doctor's treatment plan and avoid activities that could worsen the condition.
  • Write down every detail you can recollect about the medical professional's negligence.
  • Take the record to your Gainesville medical malpractice lawyer during a consultation.
  • If it's a wrongful death claim, try to obtain the death certificate showing the cause of death.
  • When an insurance agent contacts you, remain calm and polite but do not provide answers about your injuries or case; simply refer them to your lawyer.

Although obtaining medical records is beneficial, we understand this may not be possible. Therefore, our Gainesville medical malpractice lawyer can obtain them for you.

Florida's Statute of Limitations on Medical Malpractice Claim

Florida has a strict two-year Statute of Limitations period, which starts when medical malpractice occurs. Once the Statute of Limitations expires, you can no longer file a medical malpractice claim.

Fortunately, medical malpractice cases are different from personal injury claims. In some situations, the two-year limit doesn't mean you lose the right to sue for damages.

Sometimes, patients do not realize why they're not feeling better. They're usually unsure if their condition is merely not responding to treatment or if the doctor did something wrong.

Due to this, Florida has a discovery rule that patients can utilize to seek compensation after the two-year limit passes. Victims can file a lawsuit within two years after discovering the medical error or should have discovered the mistake. However, there's a firm limit on filing a medical malpractice lawsuit four years after the medical error occurred.

According to Florida Statutes, victims must first serve the healthcare provider with a notice of intent to sue before filing a case with the court. The notice must include a sworn statement from a medical professional stating that you have a valid malpractice claim. Once you serve the notice, it triggers a 90-day settlement process during which the Statute of Limitations is paused.

If you cannot reach a favorable agreement with the healthcare provider within this notice period, you can take legal action. Our attorneys can help you find an expert medical professional to testify and write the sworn statement during the 90-day settlement period when merited.

Delay usually has consequences when in medical malpractice claims. This is why it's best to take action immediately if you are suspicious of medical negligence.

How a Gainesville Medical Malpractice Lawyer Can Help You

You have the right to quality care at a hospital or clinic when you are sick. However, when doctors make mistakes, the patients suffer the consequences. In some cases, medical negligence changes the lives of victims forever.

Although Florida law makes it difficult for injured patients to receive compensation, we have vast experience representing medical malpractice victims. We go the extra mile to prove negligence and also protect your rights in court.

When you hire the medical malpractice lawyers at Frank Kominky Injury Lawyers, we will:

  • Carefully review all medical records to identify the medical professional's mistake or omission
  • Locate all parties responsible for your pain and suffering
  • Work with expert witnesses that can testify about the proper actions healthcare professionals should have taken in similar situations
  • Effectively handle all paperwork involved in your medical malpractice lawsuit
  • Negotiate with the defendant's insurance company so that you don't settle for less than you deserve

It's important to note that the insurance company is not on your side. Therefore, they will fight back when you make a claim for compensation and try to offer less than you deserve. We have experience negotiating with insurance carriers and will counter unfair offers.

Types of Damages I Can Recover in a Medical Malpractice Claim

As mentioned, medical error changes the life of a patient drastically. Victims might require additional healthcare and might also be unable to work. These costs could easily drain savings and max out insurance limits. Therefore, medical malpractice victims are entitled to seek compensation for their economic and non-economic losses.

As a medical negligence claimant, you can seek compensation for:

  • Lost wages
  • Present and future medical bills
  • Cost of home improvements and household running expenses
  • Loss of future earning potential
  • Long-term care
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Disfigurement and scarring
  • Loss of independence
  • Emotional distress
  • Wrongful death damages
  • Diminished quality of life

Suppose your loved one died from a medical error. In that case, our Gainesville medical malpractice attorneys will include the funeral and burial expenses, loss of consortium, and loss of companionship.

How Do I Pay a Medical Malpractice Lawyer?

Gainesville medical negligence lawyers usually work on a contingency fee basis. Therefore, you do not have to pay lawyer fees unless you win your case. The amount paid is a percentage of the settlement sum, usually between 33% to 40%.

However, depending on whether you settled the case on time, you can negotiate for a lower fee. Ensure the agreed percentage is stated clearly in the contingency fee agreement. Note that you are responsible for the administrative and expert witness costs.

Contact a Skilled Gainesville Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today

Medical malpractice is one of the most challenging cases to win alone. If you or a loved one suffered harm from a medical professional's error, our legal team can help you.

We understand how saddening it is to go to the hospital for help and return worse than you were. Therefore, we thoroughly examine your case's facts and help you throughout the entire legal process.

When you contact Frank Kominsky Injury Lawyers, we determine where things went wrong and who's responsible for your injuries and pain. We possess the legal knowledge to help you seek fair compensation for your injuries.

You can contact our law firm today at (561) 800-8000 to discuss your case. We offer free initial consultations.

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