Experienced FL Medical Malpractice Attorneys Serving Victims in Boca Raton, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and all of Florida
Everyone has bad days. But when a doctor, nurse or hospital makes an error, the result can be catastrophic injury. Medical mistakes now are the third leading cause of death in America, behind only heart disease and cancer. A shocking 10% of all deaths in America are attributable to medical malpractice.
Florida medical malpractice is defined by Chapter 766 of the Florida Statutes as “medical negligence.” A doctor or hospital is liable for medical malpractice in Florida if the healthcare provider failed to provide reasonable care, skill or treatment of the patient. This can include a doctor incorrectly performing a surgery, a hospital nurse failing to respond to a patient in distress, a physician misdiagnosing a disease, or a radiologist misreading a film. Florida’s laws on medical malpractice cover a wide variety of medical negligence, because of these broad statutory definitions.
- Q. How do I know if the doctor committed malpractice?
- A. Florida medical malpractice laws require expert support in order to bring a claim. This means you must find a healthcare provider like the one who was allegedly negligent, and have that healthcare provider sign an affidavit of merit, certifying a reasonable basis to bring a claim for malpractice. Our Florida medical malpractice law firm will have your medical reviewed by an expert to obtain this required support.
- Q. I cannot afford to pay for lawyers and experts. How much do you charge?
- A. Our medical negligence lawyers work exclusively on a contingency fee basis, meaning we do not collect a dime from you unless we obtain a settlement of judgment in your favor. We also pay all the upfront costs, like having an expert review performed. If and when you make a financial recovery, then we take attorney’s fees and costs out of the gross recovery.
- Q. What percentage do you charge for attorney’s fees?
- A. 33.3% to 40%, depending on when the case settles.
- Q. What is a Florida medical malpractice case worth?
- A. Our malpractice attorneys have settled medical liability claims in the millions of dollars and obtained Florida medical malpractice jury verdicts in excess of $30 million. We have also turned down thousands of medical malpractice claims. Each case is different. If you are interested in learning more about your potential Florida medical malpractice claim’s potential value, call us now at 1-844-253-8919 for a free case evaluation.
If you were wrongfully injured by a doctor’s negligence in Florida, you will need the help of an experienced Florida medical malpractice law firm. Our Florida medical malpractice lawyers focus on medical liability claims and have successfully recovered millions on behalf of our clients who were victims of a doctor’s negligent actions.
How Do I Know if its FL Doctor Medical Malpractice?
Below are some of the more common doctor errors which result in Florida medical malpractice lawsuits:
- Prescription errors;
- Medication dosage mistakes,
- Medication mixups,
- Failing to diagnose a disease or condition;
- Delayed diagnosis of cancer,
- Misdiagnosis of stroke,
- Misdiagnosis of pulmonary embolism,
- Misreading diagnostic tests,
- Misdiagnosing a disease or condition;
- Surgical errors;
- Puncturing organs,
- Wrong surgical site operating room errors,
- Retained surgical instruments, like leaving sponges, towels and tools inside the patient,
- Anesthesia errors;
- Failing to recognize a patient’s risk for anesthesia,
- Overdosing anesthesia,
- Improper intubation during anesthesia
In Florida, hospitals are usually responsible for their nurses’ negligence. Hospitals may also be liable for their doctor’s malpractice, even if the doctor was not technically an employee of the hospital.
How Do I Know if the FL Hospital was Negligent?
Below are some of the more common hospital errors which result in Florida medical malpractice lawsuits:
- Failing to supervise the patient;
- Wandering and elopement of the patient,
- Failing to perform the patient’s activities of daily living;
- Bedsores and skin breakdown,
- Weight loss,
- Doctor malpractice, imputed to the hospital
- Failing to communicate to the doctor the patient’s deteriorating condition.
When bringing a hospital negligence case in Florida, you may also bring a concurrent Chapter 415 vulnerable adult claim and seek attorneys fees from the hospital.
Nurses are a vital component of the healthcare network in Florida. Nurses provide care for patients in hospitals, doctor’s offices and in private homes. When a registered nurse is negligent in the care and treatment of a patient in Florida, the claim is subject to Florida Statute Section 766.
How Do I Know if my Nurse was Negligent?
Frequently encountered nurse errors include:
- Failing to prevent infections;
- Failing to prevent falls;
- Failing to communicate with doctors;
- Failing to administer medication at the right time and at the right dosage;
- Failing to chart and document the patient’s condition over time.
Winning your Florida medical malpractice lawsuit is not an easy task. It requires top notch Florida medical malpractice attorneys, a law firm capable of spending the thousands of dollars required to win a medical liability claim, and the right team of expert witnesses.
If your medical malpractice lawsuit does not settle, it will go before a jury. To determine if a healthcare provider is negligent, the jury will be asked to answer Florida standard jury instruction #402.4:
402.4 MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE
- Negligence (physician, hospital or other health provider):
Negligence is the failure to use reasonable care. Reasonable care on the part of a [physician] [hospital] [health care provider] is that level of care, skill and treatment which, in light of all relevant surrounding circumstances, is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by similar and reasonably careful [physicians] [hospitals] [health care providers]. Negligence on the part of a [physician] [hospital] [health care provider] is doing something that a reasonably careful [physician] [hospital] [health care provider] would not do under like circumstances or failing to do something that a reasonably careful [physician] [hospital] [health care provider] would do under like circumstances.
[If you find that (describe treatment or procedure) involved in this case was carried out in accordance with the prevailing professional standard of care recognized as acceptable and appropriate by similar and reasonably careful [physicians] [hospitals] [health care providers], then, in order to prevail, (claimant) must show by the greater weight of the evidence that his or her injury was not within the necessary or reasonably foreseeable results of the treatment or procedure.]
Proving your medical malpractice case to a jury will require extensive expert witness support. This makes Florida medical malpractice lawsuits expensive and time consuming for the law firm. Statistically, medical malpractice plaintiffs lose more trials than personal injury plaintiffs, but Florida medical malpractice plaintiff verdicts average a higher dollar amount than the average Florida personal injury case. Additionally, the overwhelming majority of medical malpractice cases in Florida settle before trial.
Just because an injury occurs in a hospital or at a doctor’s office does not automatically make it a medical malpractice claim. For example, a nurse spilling hot tea on a hospital patient was not considered medical malpractice by a Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal. The Court held that not every wrongful act by a medical provider is medical malpractice. See Stackhouse v. Emerson, 611 So.2d 1365 (Fla. 5th DCA 1993). To be a malpractice claim, a wrongful act must be directly related to the improper application of medical services and the use of professional judgment or skill. Lynn v. Mount Sinai Med. Ctr., Inc., 692 So.2d 1002, 1003 (Fla. 3d DCA 1997). The injury must be a direct result of receiving medical care or treatment by the healthcare provider. Goldman v. Halifax Med. Ctr., Inc., 662 So.2d 367, 371 (Fla. 5th DCA 1995)Specifically, to determine if the claim sounds in medical malpractice, “we look to whether the plaintiff must rely upon the medical negligence standard of care set forth in section 766.102(1).” Integrated Health Care Services, Inc. v. Lang-Redway, 840 So.2d 974, 980 (Fla. 2002). So what is the medical negligence standard of care?
Standard of Care in a Florida Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Florida Statute Sect. 766.102 defines the standard of care in a Florida medical malpractice lawsuit as follows:
(1) In any action for recovery of damages based on the death or personal injury of any person in which it is alleged that such death or injury resulted from the negligence of a health care provide … the claimant shall have the burden of proving by the greater weight of evidence that the alleged actions of the health care provider represented a breach of the prevailing professional standard of care for that health care provider. 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.
This standard of care applies during treatment or medical care or services. Thus, “[t]he key inquiry under the statute is whether the action ‘aris[es] out of any medical, dental, or surgical diagnosis, treatment, or care.”’ J.B. v. Sacred Heart Hospital of Pensacola, supra, 653 So.2d at 947.
Making Your Florida Medical Malpractice Case
Florida has enacted some of the nation’s toughest tort reform laws on medical liability litigation. This makes pursuing your Florida med mal claim even harder. Here are some tips to help find the right Florida medical malpractice attorney to accept your case:
- Gather all your medical records.
- Go through the records yourself. Highlight the key pages where you believe the medical provider was negligent.
- Bring these records to the med mal attorney consultation.
- If your case involves wrongful death, try to obtain the death certificate showing the cause of death.
While we would like for you to gather the above information, we understand this may not be possible. If you cannot get these records, our law firm can obtain them for you.
Florida’s Statute of Limitations on Bringing Your Med Mal Claim
Florida has a strict two year statute of limitations period which starts the day you knew, or should have know, about the potential for medical malpractice. Florida courts have interpreted this statute of limitations period harshly. If the statute of limitations period lapses before your lawyer begins the pre-suit process, your case will be barred from being brought.
With Florida medical malpractice litigation, delay is not your friend. Take action now if you suspect you or a loved one was wrongfully injured by a healthcare provider, hospital or doctor.
Questions about Your Florida Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
Obtain your free FL medical malpractice case evaluation now by calling 1-844-253-8919. Our compassionate and experienced lawyers are here to help answer your questions. Contact us today!