Miami Gardens Medical Malpractice Lawyer

The relationship between patients and their doctors is one of the most respected and trusted relationships for most people. Unfortunately, severe and sometimes fatal injuries can result from medical workers' mistakes or negligence. These cases are often caused by medical malpractice.

In Florida, victims of medical negligence have the right to seek redress for their injuries. Our Florida medical malpractice attorneys have extensive expertise representing clients in court, and we're ready to put that experience to work for you. Our firm has the capability to retain the services of experts, investigators, and specialists that may be required to establish your case.

Feeling helpless after suffering an injury from another party's carelessness or wrongdoing is normal. If you or a loved one is a victim of medical malpractice, call us at (561) 800-8000 to set up a free initial consultation to evaluate your case. 

Cases involving medical negligence in Florida are notoriously challenging. Read on to learn how our Miami Gardens medical malpractice lawyers can assist you (by appointment only).

Medical Malpractice in Florida

We trust medical practitioners, such as doctors and nurses, to provide their patients with the best treatment. Negligence on the part of a doctor or other healthcare providers might have severe consequences if something goes wrong. Medical negligence is often referred to as medical malpractice.

Recent studies suggest that approximately 250,000 Americans annually lose their lives due to medical mistakes and negligence. Medical malpractice is among the top causes of death in the United States and Florida. It is essential for patients to be aware of medical malpractice laws in their state and how those laws will affect their specific cases.

Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers' empathetic medical malpractice attorneys know that financial compensation in a medical malpractice lawsuit can't reverse or repair the damage. Still, it can assist the injured parties and allow their families to pay for expenses. If you believe you or a loved one sustained injuries due to medical malpractice, contact Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers for a free initial consultation.

What Is Medical Malpractice in Florida?

Medical professionals, including doctors, surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, and dentists, should offer care that matches industry standards and is customized to the individual patient's needs. Medical malpractice refers to treatment that falls below the established standard of care and injures the patient.

Adhering to the prevailing standard of care means providing care and treatment that is acceptable and appropriate by reasonably similar healthcare practitioners. This is generally what another trained medical professional would do in a similar situation.

Medical malpractice claims may be considered negligence committed by a healthcare provider whose treatment departs from the reasonable standard of care. The following elements must be met for a case to be considered:

  1. Doctor-patient relationship
  2. Breach of standard of care
  3. Negligence that caused an injury
  4. Damages resulted from the injury

Determining whether you have legal grounds for a claim can be difficult. Retain a Miami Gardens medical malpractice attorney to help you seek compensation.

How do Waivers Affect Medical Malpractice?

There is always a chance of something going wrong during any medical procedure. A patient about to have surgery or another medical procedure will usually be required to sign a series of waivers indicating that they are aware of and accept all potential risks associated with the procedure.

Medical practitioners are not protected from negligence claims by these waivers. The complexity of medical malpractice claims is increased by the existence of such waivers and other protections for healthcare practitioners. Therefore, anyone who has sustained injuries due to medical care should consult with a medical malpractice lawyer in Miami Gardens.

Under Florida law, you may be allowed to seek financial compensation if you were injured or suffered property damage due to a serious and preventable medical or surgical error. Insurance firms will fight tooth and nail to avoid paying compensation for medical malpractice claims. The simplest way to put out a fire is by working with attorneys experienced in medical malpractice claims. 

Call (561) 800-8000 to speak with a Florida medical malpractice attorney for free.

The Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Cases in Florida

Claimants may lose the right to bring legal action in a specific jurisdiction if they fail to do so within the statute of limitations deadlines. The statute of limitations in medical malpractice cases in Florida differs slightly from that in other personal injury cases.

Medical malpractice claims in Florida must be filed within two years. In most cases, this implies that the plaintiff has two years from the date they first realized or should have known there was a reasonable likelihood that their harm arose from medical negligence to file a claim.

Florida's statute of repose prevents some legal actions after a specific deadline. Therefore, a patient cannot file a malpractice suit against a doctor more than four years after the alleged negligence occurred unless there was deception, fraud, or concealment.

Time limits on medical malpractice cases were created to benefit all parties involved by keeping insurance costs low for doctors, encouraging settlement of claims for plaintiffs, and preventing insurance fraud.

How Long do Medical Malpractice Cases in Florida Take

Malpractice lawsuits in Florida often drag on for years. However, there are a lot of variables that can affect how long it takes to negotiate or settle a medical negligence case, including:

  • The type and severity of the injuries
  • Availability of the court
  • The time needed to find medical expert witnesses
  • The willingness of the insurer to negotiate
  • Discoveries that come up later in the case

Insuring businesses will fight back hard against medical malpractice suits since the accusations made are usually severe, and the resulting settlements are substantial amounts. This often complicates the case and prevents speedy resolution.

Proving Medical Negligence in Florida

Lawyers usually use expert witness testimonies to prove and win medical malpractice cases in Florida. Qualified medical experts can help establish the standards of good practice. If the medical practitioner does not satisfy professional standards of care, you'll need testimony from a licensed doctor who is or was in practice at the relevant time and is familiar with those standards.

The medical expert's testimony must establish that the injuries wouldn't have occurred if the healthcare provider had met the appropriate standard of care and that the medical professional who provided the service should have reasonably predicted this type of consequence.

After the plaintiff has presented their evidence, the defense might ask for a directed verdict if they believe there is insufficient expert testimony of legal cause. The testimonies of the plaintiff, family, and friends can help prove some damages, such as physical and emotional pain. A knowledgeable Florida medical malpractice attorney helps build a solid case to increase the chances of a successful claim.

Common Medical Malpractice in the Sunshine State

Medical malpractice covers various negligence issues at healthcare facilities:

  • Errors during surgery
  • Anesthesia errors
  • Negligence during an emergency treatment
  • Diagnostic errors or delays
  • Negligence during pregnancy, labor, or delivery and subsequent injuries
  • Failure to diagnose cancer
  • Prescription drug errors
  • Misinterpreted or disregarded Laboratory findings
  • Failure to provide a patient's basic need
  • Neglecting to take or correctly record a patient's medical history
Can You File a Claim for Medical Malpractice Because of Misdiagnosis?

Misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis are among the top causes of medical malpractice litigation. A doctor's mistake in diagnosis can adversely affect a patient's health when it leads to wrong therapy, delayed treatment, or no treatment.

However, when a medical practitioner makes a mistake in diagnosis, it may not be enough to file a medical malpractice complaint. Misdiagnosis is possible even if tests are appropriately performed or analyzed by a trained medical professional. There is probably no ground for a malpractice lawsuit if the misdiagnosis and subsequent treatment do not result in any injury, loss, or damage.

What if You Don't Get the Desired Outcome?

Whether you can file a medical malpractice claim, in this case, depends on the root cause of the unexpected result. Unwanted effects from medical operations or treatments are not always the result of negligence. Physicians must have the training and experience to treat a patient, but they have no legal need to provide any guarantee for their work.

It might not be malpractice if the doctor did everything by the book but failed to get the desired result. Medical malpractice claims are also not warranted if there is a possibility of an error but no injury results from the error. It could be considered malpractice if the doctor diverged from the accepted standard of care and the patient suffered.

In most cases, patients consent to undergoing medical procedures after being fully briefed on their potential benefits and dangers. The patient needs to know the treatment's goals, possible outcomes, and associated hazards. The doctor will not only explain the planned treatment but will also go over the patient's various options.

Before a doctor can treat a patient for an illness or condition, the patient has the right to make an informed and free decision about that treatment. However, even if a patient signs a consent document, the doctor is still responsible for providing the expected level of care and can be held liable for any injury that results from a failure to do so.

Who Can Sue for Medical Malpractice in Florida?

Local state laws allow patients who suffered injuries because of medical negligence to file a lawsuit in Florida. The patient's spouse, children, or parents may also file a claim if the patient suffers severe, permanent, and disabling injuries. Parents can only sue for medical malpractice on behalf of their children if the child is under 25 years.

The Florida Wrongful Death Statute allows a surviving family member to file a lawsuit on behalf of a minor who has died due to medical malpractice.

Who can be Held Liable for Medical Malpractice in Florida?

One common misconception is that only medical professionals can be held accountable for their negligence. In reality, malpractice suits can be filed against any licensed medical practitioner. They include

  • Doctors
  • Surgeons
  • Nurses
  • Assistants
  • Hospitals and hospital staff
  • Surgery centers
  • Anesthesiologists
  • Dentists
  • Obstetric clinic
  • Chiropractors

Nursing home negligence cases can also constitute medical malpractice.

Florida Medical Malpractice Laws

An individual might file a medical malpractice suit under Chapter 766 of the Florida Statutes if they were injured because of negligent medical care provided in Florida or by a Florida-based liable party. One must show that the healthcare provider's substandard treatment directly resulted in injury to receive compensation for that injury.

Negligence is defined as the failure to use ordinary care in legal contexts. Proving that a doctor made a mistake is insufficient. Professional medical negligence is when a doctor or nurse knowingly deviates from the standard of care.

Before filing a claim, the injured party must give notice of their intention to sue the treating physician or hospital. A written affidavit from a medical specialist attesting to the existence of a legitimate medical malpractice claim must accompany this notification. Once the provider has been served, a 90-day settlement process commences, temporarily halting the time limits for filing a claim.

Within the 90-day time frame, the defendant's insurer must respond with an admission of liability, settlement offer, or denial of the malpractice claim. If the defendant accepts responsibility, the plaintiff has 50 days to indicate whether or not they will accept the settlement proposal.

Suppose the healthcare provider does not want to settle during the 90-day period. In that case, the injured party has 60 days from the date of the healthcare provider's refusal to settle or the remainder of the time limit to file a claim in court or request an investigation period during which a medical expert can assess the case.

Investigations into allegations of medical malpractice are often labor-intensive and time-consuming. Both parties may submit evidence through written materials and oral testimony. The case will likely go to trial if the two sides cannot agree. After hearing the evidence and arguments, the jury will reach a decision.

Damages in Florida Medical Malpractice Cases

Compensation for injuries suffered as a direct result of medical malpractice is known as damages. Negligent medical care can cause a wide range of injuries. Medical malpractice usually results in monetary losses from things like hospital bills or lost wages and non-economic losses like emotional distress.

Damages awarded by a court as compensatory are meant to help the victim return to the same mental and financial place they were in before the incident that resulted in the injury. Compensatory damages awarded may include:

  • All medical costs, past, current, and future
  • Medical equipment costs
  • Home healthcare costs
  • Lost wages
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Loss of consortium
  • Pain and suffering

When someone dies because of the recklessness, negligence, omissions, or wrongdoings of another person, even a medical professional, that death is considered wrongful. However, only certain family members can bring a case for wrongful death when medical malpractice results in death.

Although punitive damages are intended to deter others from acting similarly recklessly or maliciously in the future, punitive damages are rarely granted by the court in medical malpractice cases.

Steps to Take if Injured in a Medical Practice Case

The possibility of medical negligence is terrifying and upsetting for victims and their loved ones. Preserve your legal rights by following the following steps:

  • Seek clarification from the medical practitioners. Though many patients feel uncomfortable asking doctor’s questions, it is your right to do so. There may be times when you need to be firm and persistent.
  • Document all relevant information. Write down the names of doctors and other medical staff, as well as times, dates, and courses of treatment, which are all quickly forgotten. There is great potential in what seems like a trivial detail at the time.
  • Keep all medical records. A copy of your health records belongs to you. Requesting your entire medical history from clinics and hospitals may be necessary. You may need to submit a written request, but that shouldn't deter you. You can request duplicates without explaining.
  • Talk to a medical malpractice lawyer near you. Medical negligence can be a tricky and complex topic. Even if you don't think your situation qualifies as malpractice, a lawyer can help you figure out what to do next. Do not settle a case or sign any documents until you have talked to an attorney familiar with the law and any deadlines that may apply to your lawsuit.

Please contact our Miami, Gardens, Florida legal team to discuss your legal options in case of a medical error. Our Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers team has extensive experience holding medical practitioners accountable for their actions.

Reach us at (561) 800-8000 or our online platform to schedule a free consultation with a Florida medical negligence attorney.

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