Florida Medical Malpractice
When you or a loved one are faced with a medical issue, you seek the assistance of an expert – a doctor or healthcare provider whose primary job is to get you better. Problems involving health are always difficult to deal with, especially when you’re stressed because of it or just not feeling your regular self.
We seek the advice of doctors and naturally trust them to do what’s right for us and our situation. But what happens when the doctor is wrong? What happens when there is malpractice? Malpractice is when a doctor is negligent, and as a result of his or her negligence, the patient is injured. As stated before, medical issues are stressful enough, and when you can’t rely on the expert care or advice of a professional healthcare provider, and it is that person who has caused your situation to worsen, the stress intensifies.
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the U.S.—only heart disease and cancer top it. The state of Florida has very strict laws regarding malpractice. Florida has specific standards of care and defines those standards:
The prevailing professional standard of care for a given health care provider shall be that level of care, skill, and treatment which, in light of all relevant surrounding circumstances, is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent similar health care providers. (766.102)
But how do you know for certain that you have a valid malpractice case? Well, first of all, each and every case is different. There’s no “one-size-fits-all” methodology for determining a malpractice case. Only an experienced lawyer can decide whether or not to pursue a legal claim. According to a recent CNN article about malpractice suits, “The attorney must establish that the physician violated or fell below the standard of care -- a term used to refer to the care anyone with a particular illness would receive based on commonly accepted practices -- and that the breach caused ongoing damages…During the discovery process, the legal team seeks the expertise of physicians, nurses and hospital staff willing to acknowledge something went terribly wrong and that the error negatively affected the patient's health.”
In order to pursue a solid malpractice case, you first must prove the following:
- There was a doctor-patient relationship
- The doctor was negligent
- The doctor’s negligence was the direct cause of the injury
- The injury is eligible for damages such as lost work, additional medical bills or health care services, etc.
However, experiencing a bad outcome after seeing a doctor doesn’t necessarily prove medical negligence. Additionally, if you recovered just fine after the incident, your case will be harder to prove. But if you do think you have a valid case, your first step should be to contact an experienced lawyer who can help you navigate the legal world of medical malpractice. An experienced attorney will be able to quickly assess your situation and let you know if you have a case worth pursuing. And when you do seek a lawyer, be certain that you retain any and all documents that you can, pertaining to your case. Documentation (good, solid evidence; proof) is a key part to a good medical malpractice lawsuit. Don’t be afraid to ask doctors and other health care providers for your medical records and other details such as prescriptions, release forms, etc.
The experienced attorneys at Friedman Rodman Frank & Estrada, P.A. can help you or a loved one with a medical malpractice case. Call our office today at 305-448-8585 or toll free at 877-448-8585 or contact us online to arrange a free and confidential consultation. Whether you speak English, Spanish or Creole, you will be able to communicate with all of our attorneys and staff.