One of the most serious types of personal injury cases is a medical malpractice case. Doctors are supposed to take care of us. We expect that they have the education and knowledge to treat their patients properly. We shouldn’t have to worry about our doctor making a mistake and making us worse than when we went in their office.
Medical malpractice cases typically involve pretty serious injuries. If a doctor makes a minor mistake and nobody is hurt, they won’t be sued. So, if they are sued for medical malpractice, that means something went wrong. This means these cases involve significant damages.
Watching a loved one suffer is a terrible thing. When you know their suffering was caused by a medical professional, it adds insult to injury. When we’re hurt, we go to a doctor. We don’t go to a doctor in order to get hurt.
Medical malpractice is when any healthcare professional is negligent. Proving negligence is not always easy. That's why it’s a good idea to hire an experienced medical malpractice lawyer to handle your claim.
How Do You Prove Negligence?
Negligence is the basis for almost all personal injury cases. It simply means that someone didn’t behave the way they should and you were hurt as a result. Your Crestview personal injury lawyer needs to prove five (5) things in a typical negligence case:
• The defendant owed you a duty of care
• They breached this duty
• Their actions caused the accident
• The accident and your injuries were foreseeable
• You actually suffered damages
In a medical malpractice case, it isn’t hard to prove that the doctor owes you a duty of care. The Hippocratic oath states that a doctor owes their patients this duty of care. The law is no different. Doctors must use their skill and training to treat every patient properly. Their patient’s well-being must be their top priority.
Proving that you were injured also shouldn’t be that hard. In most medical malpractice cases, the injuries result either immediately after a procedure or surgery. In other cases, the only reason the plaintiff knows they’ve been hurt is because another doctor points it out to them.
The hardest part about proving medical malpractice is showing that the doctor breached their duty of care. Examples of this could include:
- They weren’t trained properly
- They lied about their education
- They were drunk or high at the time of your procedure
- They didn’t discover an illness or condition that any reasonable doctor would’ve uncovered
If you believe you are the victim of medical malpractice, you need to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in Crestview, Florida.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Most people have a general idea of what medical malpractice is. It’s when a doctor or other medical professional doesn’t exercise reasonable care when treating a patient. Sometimes malpractice occurs because a doctor fails to treat a patient – period. Misdiagnosis cases are common examples of this.
The standard of care doctors need to maintain are pretty simple. All doctors are expected to have the training and knowledge to take proper care of their patients. This goes beyond simple physical procedures. It includes respecting a patient’s privacy and having their best interests at heart.
For example, if a patient goes to their doctor and describes a litany of complaints, the doctor needs to investigate to see what may be wrong. If all of the symptoms would lead any reasonable doctor to conclude that a patient has a certain condition, the doctor should catch the diagnosis. If they fail to do so, they could be liable for malpractice.
Crestview Medical Malpractice Lawyers Understand Florida Law
Every state has their own rules when it comes to personal injury and medical malpractice. You only have a certain period of time to file your malpractice claim. In Florida, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice is two years. Unlike a car accident where you know when the two years starts, with medical malpractice, it’s a little trickier.
Your two years start on the day you discover your injury. If you should have discovered the injury earlier than you did, your time period may start sooner. You are expected to act like any other reasonable patient. If you ignore symptoms or don’t follow your doctor’s orders, you may jeopardize your claim.
You want to rely on an experienced medical malpractice lawyer in Crestview to prove your case. They can hire experts and do the case research to show when you actually learned that you had been injured.
Types of Malpractice Cases Personal Injury Attorneys in Florida Handle
While there is no limit to the types of medical malpractice cases, there are some that are more common than others. Crestview injury attorneys have seen more than their fair share of these cases. They have the necessary experience to handle any of the following:
- Misdiagnosis – A doctor sends a patient home with a prescription for bronchitis medicine and fails to do additional tests. It turns out a few months later the patient has lung cancer and the doctor failed to catch this.
- Surgical errors – A common case involves doctors who leave surgical sponges inside the body by accident.
- Failure to treat – If a doctor is aware that a patient has a condition and just tells him there’s no need to treat it. This is different from a misdiagnosis. Here, the doctor is aware something is wrong, he just chooses not to treat it.
- Birth injuries – In this type of claim, the baby may suffer oxygen deprivation due to a doctor’s negligence and end up with cerebral palsy.
- Prescription drug errors – Often times a doctor prescribes a medication to a patient not realizing that it has a dangerous interaction with another medication the patient is taking.
Experienced medical malpractice attorneys know how to handle all of these types of cases.
All Healthcare Professional Must Carry Malpractice Insurance
All doctors, nurses and hospitals have to carry malpractice insurance. The reason for this is simple. In a car accident, all car drivers must carry auto insurance. The same is true in the medical field. We expect doctors to make mistakes from time to time. As long as they have the necessary coverage to take care of their patients’ injuries, that is all that can be expected.
When you file suit, you can demand the following types of damages:
- Medical bills
- Future medical bills
- Lost wages and lost future income
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability
- Wrongful death damages
Up until June of 2017, Florida used to limit pain and suffering to $500,000. They increased this to $1 million if the plaintiff died or was left in a permanent vegetative state. However, in 2017, the courts ruled that this was unconstitutional. So now, Florida has no limit on pain and suffering.
You should contact a personal injury lawyer in Crestview to review your case right away. If a doctor hurt you, you’re entitled to damages. You want someone by your side who isn’t intimidated by the insurance adjuster.
Your personal injury lawyer has years dealing with these types of cases. They know how to negotiate with the insurance companies. They also know how to navigate the court system. The insurance company will have a team of lawyers working for them and you should too. There’s too much at stake to handle it by yourself.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney in Crestview Today
If you or a loved one have been injured in a medical malpractice case, contact a personal injury lawyer in Crestview, Florida today. While there is no law that says you need an attorney to handle your case, it’s a good idea.
If you try to handle your case yourself, the insurance company will try to take advantage of you. They may deny your claim all together. Or, they’ll offer you a lowball offer and hope you accept it. They’ll also ask you to sign a release in order to receive your settlement proceeds. Always have an attorney review any release that you’re asked to sign. Once you sign it, there’s no going back.
Don’t wait too long to do this. You only have two (2) years to do this. If you miss your window of opportunity, not only will your claim be dismissed, but you’ll be barred from ever filing it. Usually, the defendant will file a motion asking your case to be dismissed. If this happens, there’s nothing your personal injury lawyer can really do to protect you.
Contact a personal injury lawyer in Florida today to schedule your initial consultation. It is absolutely free and gives you a chance to ask any questions you may have. You pay nothing until you win your case.