Medical Malpractice Lawyers Serving Miami
Visiting the hospital or a doctor’s office following an illness is a wise decision, but it may also pose some risks. Besides the possibility that your condition may be incurable, some medical personnel can cause you more harm carelessly. Fortunately, Maimi's medical negligence laws allow victims of medical errors and negligence to seek compensation. If you think you have a valid case, you may want to speak with our medical malpractice lawyers who serve Miami.
Upon initial consultation with our attorneys, we'll assess your case to determine your eligibility for compensation. If your case doesn't give rise to a legitimate claim, we'll let you in on our findings.
However, if we discover that you have a valid claim, we can file a claim or lawsuit on your behalf and do everything we can to help.
The truth is that medical negligence cases can be complicated and overwhelming. However, our lawyers are trained to take over your burden and make it stress-free for you. At Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers, our medical negligence attorneys are passionate about helping victims seek justice. Contact us if a doctor caused you or a loved one's injuries as soon as possible.What Is Medical Malpractice?
It's important to note that medical professionals remain human and are prone to errors like everyone else. As such, not every medical mistake will necessitate a medical negligence claim.
Distinguishing medical errors from medical malpractice is whether the mistake violated the established standard of care. If any reasonable health care professional would have taken the same steps your doctor did, it may likely be a mere medical error. However, such mistakes will become medical negligence/malpractice if they act below medical professionals' required standard of care.
Many situations can result in a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit. Common examples include:Birth Injuries
The birth of a child is typically a joyful moment for parents. Unfortunately, however, many things can happen to dampen your happiness. For example, the child may develop a congenital disability or sustain injuries.
Congenital disabilities are health conditions that a baby develops in the womb. According to the CDC, 1 in 33 babies born in the USA yearly will have a congenital disability. Unfortunately, they're also the leading cause of infant deaths. On the other hand, birth injuries happen during the birthing process.
While some congenital disabilities and injuries can be due to inevitable complications, others result from carelessness. Examples of medical negligence resulting in birth injuries include incorrect delivery methods, failure to authorize a C-section, etc. On the other hand, congenital disabilities may result from improper prenatal examination and investigations.
The following are the most common causes of congenital disabilities and birth injuries due to medical malpractice:
- Congenital heart disease
- Erb's palsy
- Extreme jaundice
- Fetal distress
- Cerebral palsy
- Brachial palsy
- Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)
Medical diagnostic errors affect 12 million people annually, and about 80,000 die from the complications. If you have a medical negligence case, there's a high chance it's due to a wrong diagnosis.
Misdiagnosis happens when a doctor incorrectly attributes your symptoms to a health condition. It's a dangerous mistake as it neglects the real problem while giving you unnecessary treatment that may cause harm.
Errors with a medical diagnosis can also include delayed diagnosis and failure to diagnose. Delayed diagnosis happens when a medical doctor diagnoses a patient’s condition too late. This gives you less chance to fight the disease than you deserve. Note that delayed diagnosis doesn't apply to cases where the patient failed to visit the hospital in time.
In failure to diagnose, the doctor couldn't recognize the symptoms or complications that are consistent with the patient’s condition. As such, they may deem the person medically fit when they have an ailment that requires urgent attention. Many times, this happens when the physician is in a hurry.Premature Discharge
Sometimes, a doctor may have done an excellent job diagnosing a condition on time. They may have also given the patient the proper treatment or medications. However, they may decide to discharge them too early, causing complications. In such cases, they may be liable for medical negligence despite their prior good work.
The medical standard of care dictates that doctors shouldn't discharge patients too early. What amounts to an early discharge depends on the details of your case. However, it means you were not medically stable enough to receive at-home care or return to normal activities.
Often, a doctor can risk a patient's life by discharging them too early because of overcrowding. In addition, they may want to profit by letting go of current patients to welcome new ones. However, these are invalid reasons for discharging you too early, and you can file for compensation if you sustained injuries.Surgical Errors
Some of the most tragic medical negligence cases occur due to surgical errors. Surgical errors refer to mistakes that happen during surgery that doctors could have prevented. One of the primary reasons for this is incompetence or inexperience. This means that a doctor hadn't obtained the right skills or wasn't qualified enough to perform the surgery.
Other causes of surgical errors include inadequate pre-surgery planning, incorrect surgical processes, insufficient staffing, poor communication, and fatigue. Surprisingly, some surgeons make medical errors because they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In any of these cases, you will likely have a valid medical malpractice claim if a preventable surgical error injured you.
The following are typical examples of surgical errors:
- Unnecessary surgery
- Cutting the wrong organ or body part
- Leaving foreign objects in the patient's body
- Anesthesia errors
- Postoperative neglect
- Surgical procedures on the wrong patient
- Nerve injuries, etc
Correctly diagnosing a medical condition is only one of the essential steps to recovery. More than just diagnosis, a medical doctor must prescribe the correct medication for an illness. According to the United States Food and Drugs Administration, medication errors can result in life-threatening conditions, disability, congenital disabilities, hospitalization, and death. These severe consequences justify a negligence claim or lawsuit against the erring professionals.
Besides prescribing errors, medication errors can also happen when a pharmacist miscalculates a dosage. Other cases of medication errors include dispensing mistakes, improper education, product labeling errors, etc. Apart from doctors, nurses, and pharmacists, pharmaceutical companies may also be liable for injuries.Who Is Eligible for a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
Not every circumstance will result in a valid medical negligence case. To be eligible for compensation, you must provide enough evidence to establish these conditions:A Patient/Doctor Relationship
One of the elements that must be proven is that the defendant owed the victim a duty of care. This means that the party was legally responsible for protecting you from harm. Miami's medical negligence laws impose such a duty on medical professionals as they attend to their patients. You can establish this owed duty by proving that you hired the medical services of the defendant.Negligent Behavior
After establishing a doctor/patient relationship, the victim must prove negligence on the doctor's part. This means you must show that the defendant acted carelessly in providing you with medical care. Generally, this means that they performed below the standard of care medical practitioners must uphold, or they intentionally injured you.Injuries
Injuries are the basis of any personal injury claim, and medical negligence cases are no exception. As such, to seek compensation for medical negligence, the victim must show that they sustained injuries or significant harm. While medical errors can cause discomfort or inconvenience, you'll have no case if you can't prove substantial injuries.Causation
Finally, to prove a medical negligence case, the victim must establish that their injuries resulted from the doctor's carelessness. If the defendants can prove that something else was responsible for your injuries, you may lose your right to compensation.What Damages Can I Recover in a Miami Medical Malpractice Case?
Successful medical negligence claims or lawsuits can allow plaintiffs to recover for:Medical Expenses
Medical negligence may cause a victim to spend more on treatment than planned. This may be through hospital stays, medications, surgery, and doctor visits. You may also incur expenses through occupational and physical therapy, assistive devices, etc. The court will consider these costs when awarding damages.Lost Wages/Earning Capacity
Another way a doctor's negligence can cause a victim financial difficulties is through lost wages. This happens when you suffer debilitating injuries that prevent you from earning a living. If you win your case, the defendant may be responsible for what you would have earned if you could work. Your damages may also include lost future earnings.Non-Economic Damages
Not all damages result from financial losses. Sometimes, a medical mistake can cause mental, psychological, and emotional injuries that no one can quantify. The court may award non-economic damages to cover these types of losses.
Examples of non-economic compensation include loss of consortium, pain and suffering, and disfigurement. Loss of companionship, loss of parental support, and loss of enjoyment of life are also examples of damages in this category.Punitive Damages
Sometimes, the court may decide to award punitive damages to serve as a deterrent to other medical professionals. Often, this happens in cases when, for example, the defendant purposely inflicted harm.Should I Hire a Miami Medical Malpractice Attorney?
Hiring quality legal representation is highly recommended if you wish to seek legal action. Here's what our attorneys will do for you:Assess Your Claims
You may not know what fair compensation looks like for your case. After checking that you have a valid claim, our attorneys can estimate a value for your case. This will help you decide whether your case is worth pursuing. It will also help you avoid disappointments in the long run.Negotiate With Insurance Companies
Dealing with insurance companies is one task you shouldn’t want to handle alone. Insurance companies are known for frustrating claimants with unnecessary denials, delays, and lowball settlements. When you have our attorneys representing you, they'll handle your case by negotiating on your behalf. Our experienced medical negligence attorneys also know how to answer insurance adjusters’ questions.Provide Evidence and Carry Out Investigations
You must provide ample evidence to substantiate your claims to prove the elements of medical malpractice. This evidence includes medical records, receipts, personal journals, etc. You will also likely require expert testimony to satisfactorily discharge your burden of proof.
Unfortunately, you may not have all the evidence and facts you need at your disposal. Our attorneys will conduct investigations to find proof that can help your case. We also know how to present evidence to make a compelling case.Prepare Paperwork and Beat Deadlines
There's a timeframe within which claimants must file their medical negligence claims and lawsuits. Failure to file documents within such periods may deprive you of your rights to compensation. An experienced attorney understands the urgency of your case. We'll prepare the necessary documents and file them within the appropriate timeframe.Represent You in Court
Our legal team will represent your best interests if your case goes to court. Our years of experience have given us the skills needed to litigate if your case needs to be taken that far.What to Watch Out for When Hiring a Medical Negligence Lawyer
We recommend consulting an attorney to improve your chances of a successful outcome. However, you should always make sure to hire quality legal representation.
Looking out for these characteristics will help you choose the most qualified attorneys for representation:Experience and Specialty
Even the most straightforward medical negligence cases can quickly become complicated. It takes an experienced attorney to navigate such legal complexities. You should ensure that your preferred lawyer has gained enough experience in legal practice.
You should take the time to find the right attorney. Medical malpractice is different from auto crashes, workers' compensation, etc. Only stick with attorneys specializing in medical negligence cases such as your own.Proven Track Record
Accessing the outcome of the cases your attorney has handled will give you insight into their capabilities. While academic qualifications remain important, what truly matters is how they leverage their experience and knowledge to solve legal problems.
Examining your lawyer's track record will give you an idea of how satisfied you'll be with their services. In addition, you can check the testimonials of past clients to confirm your findings about their records.Excellent Communication Skills
Effective communication is a vital part of any legal case. However, more than ensuring that you understand your case's specifics, your attorney must attend to your concerns promptly.
If their communication is ineffective, it can frustrate you as your case progresses, so before hiring a lawyer, study their communication patterns and confirm their accessibility first.Affordability
One of the questions you must ask before hiring a lawyer is, "Can I afford their services?" You don't have to break the bank to afford the best legal services; the best lawyers understand this.
Our medical malpractice lawyers have your best interest at heart and will agree to a contingency fee arrangement. This means you would only pay our fees if you win your case.Empathy
One of the roles of a compassionate attorney is to provide the moral support you need to navigate these difficult times. To effectively discharge this duty, they must be compassionate, kind, and friendly. Never mistake hiring a lawyer who cares more about making a profit than your emotional health.Discuss Your Negligence Claim with an Attorney
If you have been harmed because of someone else’s carelessness, there is no substitute for having dedicated legal representation on your side. At Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers, we are committed to helping injured victims. Our firm has over 40 years of combined experience handling accident and injury cases, and we know what it takes to try and prove a negligence claim. You can expect the utmost respect and professionalism from our licensed attorneys and legal staff.