Frequently Asked Questions
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What is Medical Malpractice in Florida?
Medical providers in Florida are held to what is known as a “reasonable standard of care," meaning what any reasonably careful doctor, surgeon or health care provider would have done in treating a similar patient under similar circumstances. This level of care is sometimes referred to as a “minimum standard of care.” The reasonable or minimum standard of care is generally established by having a qualified expert review the patient’s medical records and give his or her opinion whether the reasonable or minimum level of care had been given to the patient.
How Does A Medical Malpractice Attorney Help Your Claim?
When an experienced medical malpractice lawyer is investigating a case, they will first request a copy of the patient’s complete medical records. The lawyer then looks for an expert (doctor, surgeon or other provider) who is willing to review the record and give an opinion as to whether the reasonable or minimum level of care had been provided to the patient. The expert would need to find the doctor, surgeon or provider was negligent in the care they gave. This is only the first step.
There must also be a finding that the doctor, surgeon or provider’s care resulted in injury to the patient. There must have been a connection between the medical mistake, or breach of the reasonable standard of care, and the injury or harmful result the patient is suffering. A malpractice case in Florida requires the injured person to have evidence of negligence and, what is often referred to as, causation resulting in the injury to the patient.
There is difference between medical negligence (malpractice) and a bad outcome or result from the medical treatment. Medical literature has documented that, even with perfectly performed treatment or surgery, a small number of patients may suffer a bad outcome. Having an unexpected, unfortunate or even tragic outcome does not necessarily mean it was caused by medical malpractice. In the medical-legal world, these unexpected results not caused by medical malpractice are known as “known complications” of the given treatment or procedure. The question is whether the patient’s injury was caused by a medical mistake or was an unfortunate, known complication.
Medical malpractice cases are possible based on care by many types of healthcare providers, including doctors, surgeons, nurses, physical therapists, anesthetists, pharmacists and many others. In evaluating whether a specific type of healthcare provider met the reasonable standard of care for their area of practice, lawyers will typically seek the opinion of an expert who is a similar provider or specialist.
To learn more please contact us online or call our office directly at 888.815.6398.
The surgeon was supposed to operate on my right foot, but instead, operated on my left foot and I had to have multiple surgeries to correct all of the subsequent issues. Can I file a Florida medical malpractice claim?
When a wrong site surgery at a hospital occurs, it usually happens because of medical negligence by the surgeon, medical staff or both. A personal injury lawyer will review your case and give you guidance in filing a Florida medical malpractice claim.
Medical Negligence in Wrong Site Surgery
Before surgery takes place, the surgeon and medical staff need to take certain precautions. There are 3 steps that may be overlooked that can often be the reason for your wrong site surgery at a hospital:
- Pre-verification – the surgeon and medical staff should go over the patient’s medical record to verify all aspects of the surgery taking place.
- Marking the surgery site – someone from the medical staff should correctly and accurately mark the surgery site so the surgeon and other medical assistants are aware of the area.
- Reassurance – the surgeon and medical staff should carefully review who they are working on, the correct surgery site they are working on, and the surgery procedure they will be conducting.
You should be able to file a Florida medical malpractice claim if your surgeon and medical staff failed to acknowledge the importance of going over these steps. A wrong site surgery at a hospital can leave medical malpractice liability on more than just the surgeon and his/her medical staff. You may also be able to collect compensation from the hospital. To pursue a full and fair amount of compensation from your Florida medical malpractice claim, an experienced lawyer can evaluate present and future financial, physical, and emotional costs.
If you believe you may have a Florida medical malpractice claim you need to speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney, in order to comply with Florida’s pre-suit investigation requirements, and the strict time limits involved. Contact us online or call our office directly at 888.815.6398 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case. Even if we are unable to take on your case, we always do our best to suggest other attorneys who can assist you.
It's important to keep in mind, in order to have a solid medical malpractice claim your doctor or surgeon must have been negligent in performing their services or diagnosis. Not every case will qualify as medical malpractice.