One of the things I hear frequently from people is kind of a misunderstanding of what exactly is a medical malpractice or medical negligence case. We hear the term interchangeably of negligence, malpractice or mistake. These are really the same thing. These types of cases have three major components:
- There was in fact a mistake made. This mistake was either made by a doctor, nurse, some other hospital staff, or any other number of medical providers that could make a medical mistake.
- The conduct of the medical professional failed to meet the minimum standard, the minimum level of care that they were required to provide. It could be in something they did or something they should have done but they didn’t.
- Because of the mistake which did not meet the minimum standard of care for that person, the patient suffered a specific harm. The result is harm was done to the patient.
How do you know when a medical mistake is made? Sometimes you’ll have people in the hospital or in the doctor’s office lean over and tell someone that they ought to see a lawyer. This is a pretty good indication. But normally it’s a little more subtle than this. The most frequent thing we see is someone has a totally unexpected outcome than what they were expected or told by the doctor of what would happen. Or, a serious complication or mistake is evident in terms to what happened to them. Or, ultimately the result they achieved was totally outside of what they expected.
If I could tell you one thing to keep in mind as you’re considering what to do, it would be this. Florida has a very short period of time to bring a medical malpractice claim. If that time runs out, your claim is over. If you suspect or you know someone who suspects that they have a medical malpractice claim, have them call a qualified medical malpractice lawyer at the earliest opportunity. I can’t tell you the number of times I get calls from people who have had serious complications on what sounded like to me to be a very serious malpractice claim, only to learn that the time to bring the claim has run out. Don’t wait.
If you’re someone who wants to research the questions and issues in your case, there’s plenty of materials on our website which we’ve put there to help you. If you need to call us and you want to talk about your issue right away, please contact us and we’d be happy to help.
Due to the nature of our small practice, we are unable to take every case, but we always strive to connect clients with the right attorney for them. We are happy to set up referrals to other attorneys who may be better suited to assist you.