Pembroke Pines Medical Malpractice Lawyers
America occupies a prominent place in many verified medical malpractice statistics. Over 250,000 deaths occur every year in the U. S due to medical errors. Seeking medical care places you in a vulnerable position, but the medical personnel should take reasonable care to ensure you’re looked after.
If a doctor failed in their duty to you and, as a result, you've suffered because of a misjudgment or medical error, then you can seek compensation. You can stand up for yourself and possibly protect others by holding negligent medical personnel accountable.
In Florida, medical malpractice cases have a statute of limitations. This statute gives you two years following the finding of the medical malpractice that caused your injury to sue for compensation. Waiting to file a claim could negatively affect the viability of your claim. Frank Kominsky Injury Lawyers can assist you in suing a clinic, hospital, or medical provider.
Read on to find out more about medical malpractice.Understanding the Basics of Medical Malpractice in Florida
Just because a surgery or medical procedure failed to deliver a desirable outcome doesn't mean you can automatically sue for medical malpractice. According to Florida Statute 766.101, you only have a claim if the doctor is negligent. If your health condition or injuries resulted from the doctor's poor judgment or error, you might have cause for legal action.
Here are types of medical malpractice:Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis
You expect a thorough check-up and accurate diagnosis when you visit your doctor. The misdiagnosis can significantly affect your health when the doctor fails to properly diagnose your disease or illness. Although sometimes, doctors can medically justify a delayed diagnosis, it’s often the outcome of a diagnostic error that could form a basis of medical malpractice.Improperly Administered Anesthesia
You might file a malpractice claim if you received too little or too much anesthesia before surgery. Some common injuries caused by improperly administered anesthesia include brain damage, heart attack or stroke, and damage to the trachea.Undergoing the Wrong Procedure or Surgery
Not only don’t you receive the treatment you need in this case, but you can also suffer further pain and injuries. Examples include:
- Undergoing surgery or procedure meant for another patient
- Incorrect procedures
- Surgery on the wrong part of the body
If you or your loved one undergoes the wrong procedure, you may need corrective treatment besides your initial procedure.Failure to Remove Surgical Instruments
When doctors fail to remove surgical items from your body during surgery, you may require additional surgeries to remove these items. This significantly lengthens your recovery process, can cause unnecessary health issues and increases your medical bill.Incorrectly Administered Medication
Medication errors are common and can cause severe illness, long-term health complications, or even death. A professional involved in prescribing or administering medication can be liable for prescribing the wrong medication.Elements of a Medical Malpractice Claim
Doctors are humans, and all humans make mistakes. Unfortunately, even the slightest medical errors can have devastating outcomes, and medical practitioners have a duty of care to act reasonably to keep their patients safe from harm.
For instance, if you contract an infection because your doctor used unsanitized equipment during a procedure, then this doctor behaved negligently. A doctor involved in the surgery is expected to use sterilized equipment that has no potential to spread infection.
These are the three fundamental elements of medical malpractice claim:Duty of Care
Medical practitioners owe their patients a certain standard of care, which may vary depending on specific healthcare situations. The law expects them to act as a reasonable human in their role and their particular situations, which is a clear expectation for medical professionals.Breach of Duty
Another element of a medical malpractice claim is a breach of duty of care. According to Florida statute 766.102, you must prove that the medical practitioner responsible for the malpractice failed to meet the standard of care owed to you.
The breach of duty element is often the most challenging to prove, and you can benefit from the help of a medical malpractice attorney to investigate your case. Medical procedures come with inherent risks, and sometimes a practitioner's best efforts still result in an undesirable outcome. A medical malpractice lawyer will gather all your relevant documentation and testimony to help you prove that the doctor failed to meet their duty.Damages
Once you can prove that your doctor failed to meet the expected standard of care, the next task is to prove that this failure resulted in injuries or a deterioration of your health condition.
Sometimes, separating existing injuries from those resulting from medical negligence is challenging. A doctor could also argue that your present condition is an outcome of the procedure, and their actions had no impact. Finally, you must prove that the resulting injuries led to further medical expenses.Assigning Liability for Medical Malpractice
Liability describes the person responsible for your medical injuries. Sometimes, there may be more than one party at fault. When the anesthesiologist, clinic, surgeon, and/or nurse is at-fault, a joint and several liability legal concept comes into play.What’s the Joint and Several Liability Concept?
Joint liability- This describes when two or more defendants share liability for medical malpractice. An example of joint liability is when two doctors agree to perform a surgery in a certain way, which turns out to be the wrong approach, and the patient is injured.
The joint liability concept enables defendants who are found jointly liable for a medical injury accountable for the plaintiff's damages. The victim can't benefit twice from the same injury, but they can pursue over one defendant to seek adequate compensation.
Several Liability- This describes a liability that’s separate and different from another party’s liability. Here, if multiple parties are severely at fault, the plaintiff is allowed to bring a separate lawsuit against one party without involving the other potentially liable parties. For example, a doctor could negligently injure you during a procedure, and a different doctor could negligently injure you later on the same day.
Joint and several liability, therefore, combine the above two concepts. It defines the liability assigned to some jointly liable defendants or among all the jointly liable parties.
However, it's important to mention that joint and several liability only apply in a situation when one or more defendants defaults, has no money, is underinsured, or uninsured. If the defendants show up, have enough resources to defend the case, and settle any arising negotiations, then the plaintiff will have no reason to pursue more from other defendants.Potential Damages
If you succeed in a medical malpractice lawsuit, you may recover compensation for economic and non-economic loss. In the sad event that you lose your loved one because of medical malpractice, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover damages.
Like many other states, Florida has imposed a damages cap on this kind of lawsuit, which limits the total amount you can be awarded.Economic and Non-Economic Damages
Also known as special damages, economic damages can reimburse you for financial expenses related to medical malpractice. This award covers medical expenses resulting from malpractice.
Economic damages also include lost income if your injuries caused you to miss time at work. You may also recover damages for future medical costs with a competent legal team. You will need your medical bills properly documented to recover compensation. Your lawyer can organize expert testimony to justify this claim for future medical expenses.
Also known as general damages, non-economic damages can be challenging to quantify in monetary terms. This award should cover the physical and psychological suffering you endured and consider your reduced quality of life.
If the medical malpractice caused a permanent disability, you might seek compensation for your future loss of earning capacity. For a successful non-economic damages claim, you will need more than documentation. Witness testimony from friends, family members, and medical experts can help a jury or judge understand the impact of the injury on your life.Punitive Damages
Though uncommon, punitive damages may be awarded in some situations. While economic and non-economic damages aim to compensate you for your costs and losses, the aim of punitive damages is to send a solid message to medical professionals in similar situations.
This award punishes medical professionals, especially when their behavior is close to criminal. You may obtain this award if you can prove recklessness, intent, or any other state beyond negligence.Wrongful Death Damages
Lawsuits based on the death of a loved one can lead to two types of damages based on the case. First, a wrongful death lawsuit should compensate the victim’s family members for funeral costs and future financial losses depending on the victim's contribution to their family. However, only specific family members can receive these damages, as stipulated by the Florida wrongful death statute.
The second type of this lawsuit is known as survival action. The award in this lawsuit should compensate the victim's heirs for the medical injury and death expenses. They include different damages that the victim was legally entitled to in a personal injury claim had they lived. You may recover compensation for your loved one's medical costs before their demise, besides any other psychological pain they suffered.Damages Caps
According to section 766.118 Florida statutes, certain caps are imposed on non-economic damages that you could recover. This statute stipulates different caps on non-economic damages based on the circumstances and the type of health care service provider involved, for example, physician, emergency department, or hospital.
However, the Florida courts have since declared this statute unconstitutional. In 2014, the courts lifted the limit on the total amount of non-economic damages you can recover in a wrongful death claim.5 Top Reasons to Hire a Pembroke Pines Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Medical malpractice lawsuits can be complex and often take unexpectedly long to conclude. This process can intimidate you as a victim of medical malpractice. A Pembroke Pines medical malpractice lawyer can guide you through the process and explain every step of the lawsuit.
- Dealing with Insurers- One of the most challenging aspects of filing a medical malpractice lawsuit is corresponding with insurance firms. You may not know what to say when communicating with a representative or if you’re obligated to speak to insurance companies. A medical malpractice lawyer can guide you on how to deal with insurers.
- Establishing Value Claim- With a frame of guidance, you might go into the legal process with expectations that aren’t realistic. An experienced medical malpractice lawyer has been through this legal process several times, and they know how to estimate what a fair settlement would be for your unique case.
- Negotiating Skills- Besides estimating the worth of your claim, a seasoned malpractice lawyer is also experienced in negotiating and can develop a robust strategy to prove why compensation is merited.
- Expediting the Process- A skilled lawyer understands that time is often of the essence. A lawyer makes it a priority for your documents to be filed on time.
- Having a Strong Support System- Your lawyer is your ally. They will give you the support you need throughout your case and is a consistent pillar of support.
Frankl Kominsky injury lawyers are committed to supporting you throughout your medical malpractice claim and helping you seek the compensation that you may rightfully deserve. Our firm has years of experience in medical malpractice lawsuits.
Contact us today at (561) 800-8000 to schedule your free initial consultation.