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What is Medical Malpractice and How Do I Know If I Have a Case?

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When it comes to health care, there is a level of care, professionalism and trustworthiness that is expected from our doctors and nurses. And when there is an error in treatment, it can be especially concerning for all parties involved, including the patient and the patient’s loved ones.

For many of these patients (or families of patients) who are newly experiencing medical malpractice, it can be challenging to know when you have a case because there are many factors that must be present in order for it to be valid. Here’s a breakdown of what medical malpractice is and what it involves, so you can get an idea of whether or not you have a case.

 

What is medical malpractice?

Medical malpractice is a serious issue involving a medical error. It occurs when a professional or provider within the healthcare industry is negligent in some way to provide a patient with proper care. Although it’s true that medical professionals are not responsible for all injuries or damages a patient experiences, they are responsible for any injury or damages that was caused from failing to provide the level of care expected.  

 

What are the different types of error and malpractice?

There are several ways in which medical malpractice can occur. Here are some examples:

  • Not providing appropriate treatment
  • Choosing not to take a medical action when necessary
  • Providing alternative treatment that is harmful or deadly
  • Not notifying a patient of known risks of a procedure or method of treatment
  • Failing to remove instruments or materials from a patient’s body post-surgery
  • Prescribing the wrong medication or type of treatment
  • Performing surgery on the wrong part of the body
  • Failing to act on the results of tests performed
  • Neglecting to order necessary tests
  • Discharging a patient prematurely
  • Not properly diagnosing
  • Failing to follow up

 

What injuries/damages can result from medical malpractice?

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Injuries or damages may include:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Chronic pain
  • Mental anguish
  • Disability
  • Significant loss of income
  • Medical expenses

What must the patient be able to prove?

The patient must prove that the injury/damages would not have occurred without negligence by the medical professional. In order to prove this, the patient must be able to provide evidence for the following:

  • A physician-patient relationship was established between the two parties.
  • Negligence occurred on the physician’s behalf and a duty is owed by the physician or hospital.
  • The duty was breached because of the physician or hospital.
  • The physician’s or hospital’s negligence was the cause of the injury.
  • The injury caused significant damage.

 

What are the rules about medical malpractice in Florida?

  • Statute of Limitations in Florida – The Florida Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations is a deadline that requires the plaintiff (or, the victim) to file the lawsuit within a certain amount of time of discovering the malpractice. In Florida, the Statute of Limitations on a medical malpractice claim is two years from when the plaintiff knew or should have known that the malpractice occurred, although there are a few exceptions and ways to lengthen the statute of limitations. Contact us today to discuss in more detail.
  • Filing a Claim in Florida – The state of Florida requires that the plaintiff of a medical malpractice suit serves a notice of intent to sue on the physician or hospital before suing in court. This includes a required affidavit from a medical professional that supports the validity of the plaintiff’s medical malpractice claim.

 

What are the next steps I should take?

If you believe you or a loved one may have a valid claim, it’s important to have the best possible representation. At the Law Firm of Cohen & Cohen, our team has tons of experience in medical malpractice and can help guide you through your claim. 

  

 For a free consultation, contact us today:

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