We all depend on our doctors to take the best possible care of us. Sometimes, however, something goes wrong and there are serious medical consequences. If you or a loved one has been injured or there has been a death resulting from medical malpractice, you may be entitled to compensation. Because of the rules in Florida, you need to act quickly to preserve the right to sue, and the medical records.
Doctors are required to provide adequate treatment to their patients and act in accordance with certain medical standards. If those standards are not met, then they can be responsible for the consequences. Similarly, hospitals are held to certain standards of care, cleanliness and practices. If these standards are not met, and the patient suffers harm or dies, then medical care facilities can be held liable.
We have heard the stories about sponges or instruments being left in a person after surgery, or a surgeon puncturing or nicking an organ, or an infection which takes the life of someone who should have recovered. These are the most obvious instances of medical malpractice, but there are other circumstances which may give rise to this type of claim.
A misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis means that the patient missed the opportunity to treat an otherwise treatable disease or condition. If it can be shown that the misdiagnosis caused additional injury or harm beyond the original condition, then you may have a claim for compensation.
Childbirth injuries are a common basis for a malpractice suit. There may be liability on the part of the doctor for negligent prenatal care, such as failing to diagnose common pregnancy issues such as preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, birth defects, incompatible Rh factors or ectopic pregnancies. There are also issues that arise during delivery, such as incompetent use of forceps or clamps, or failure to appropriately respond to fetal distress or perform a C-section when one should have been performed. These types of cases are sometimes referred to as “wrongful birth” cases, but they are essentially a medical malpractice case.
Medication errors are another common mistake that is made, either in the dosage that is taken or the manner in which the drug is administered. Failure to warn a patient of know risks of a treatment or procedure can also be medical malpractice. This includes the risk of anesthesia and the risk of infection after a procedure – if you have had surgery lately, you know the doctors have you sign separate consent forms for anesthesia.
There is a great deal more to proving medical malpractice claims than discussed here. There are very specific statutes of limitation on how long you have to file a claim, and these vary from case to case. Most importantly, there is a lengthy investigative process the attorney must conduct prior to filing suit, and they must give notice to the intended parties.
You must remember, however, that just because an error was made, or the outcome was not what was hoped for, that malpractice has necessarily occurred. There are very specific parameters for what does and does not constitute medical malpractice.
If you think you have a valid claim for medical malpractice, you need to consult with an attorney experienced in such matters as soon as possible! The attorneys at Brill & Rinaldi, The Law Firm will be able to carefully evaluate your case and guide you appropriately. Our free initial consultation can help determine whether or not you should pursue a medical malpractice claim.