Most people don’t have a solid understanding of Florida’s medical malpractice laws, and most people don’t have to. It is the job of legislators, medical professionals, hospital administrators, medical professionals, and lawyers to appraise these complicated regulations. Then, one day, everything changes. You seek medical care, but the doctor misses a crucial diagnosis or makes a critical error during a procedure. A professional who is supposed to treat you fails to adhere to a high standard of care. If this is the case, you may have been a victim of medical malpractice. Suddenly, an understanding of medical malpractice laws becomes essential to you. With the struggle of your physical, emotional, and financial stress, you need guidance. A knowledgeable and caring medical malpractice lawyer will help you determine whether you have a case and handle the details of your lawsuit for you.
Do You Have a Medical Malpractice Case?
Since every situation is unique, we can’t say whether you have a medical malpractice case without more details. We recommend that you contact our law offices for a consultation so we can make an informed determination based on specifics surrounding your issue.
Egregious medical malpractice claims tend to hit the media: A doctor misses a cancer diagnosis, and the disease isn’t discovered until the patient is terminal. A patient goes to the hospital for surgery on the right leg, and the surgeon mistakenly operates on the left. However, most instances of medical malpractice are not as obvious.
The fundamental question you need to consider: Was your problem caused by a health care professional either providing medical care or services OR failing to provide medical care or services?
What’s Considered Medical Malpractice?
Several careless or negligent situations may be considered medical malpractice.
Surgical errors – Mistakes, incorrect levels of anesthesia, or harm caused during surgery.
Product liability – Medical equipment used for treatment causes physical injury. In these situations, the product owner may be liable.
Incorrect or delayed diagnosis – Diagnosing the wrong condition or taking too long to diagnose a condition, leading to incorrect treatment or no treatment at all.
Treatment omission – A health care professional fails to tell you about potentially effective treatment.
Lack of informed consent – Failure to share sufficient details on a treatment or procedure.
Any of these situations may leave you with life-altering injuries. If you think your issue falls under one of these categories, contact our medical malpractice attorneys for advice.
What Type of Damages Are Available in Medical Malpractice Cases?
If you have suffered an injury caused by medical malpractice, you can seek to recover economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are relatively easy to demonstrate and calculate. Think of amounts backed by some type of paperwork — lost income, the potential for future income, and medical bills.
Non-economic damages may be more difficult to tally, but they are no less valid. These damages fall under pain and suffering. The ambiguous compensation amount may be up to the court to decide, and things like the plaintiff’s age and continuing results of the injury may come into play.
Previously, Florida law put a cap of $500,000 on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases. However, the award could reach as high as $1 million for a death or a permanent vegetative condition. In 2017, the court decided this cap was unconstitutional. The law no longer limits non-economic damages, though the court may not award an absurd amount.
Who Can Be Liable for Medical Malpractice?
Under Florida medical malpractice law, you, as the plaintiff, can file for medical malpractice against doctors and nurses, as well as a variety of other medical professionals. You can also file a lawsuit against a hospital or other facility. These individuals and entities have a duty of care. If they fail to deliver this care effectively or meet appropriate standards, they may be liable for medical malpractice.
Comparative negligence is also a factor in Florida’s medical malpractice laws. For example, if your doctor recommended particular follow-up care or medications and you did not follow those instructions, you may be partially responsible for your situation. Your attorney will work to prove that the defendant acted negligently and that you did not contribute to your injuries.
What Is the Statute of Limitations?
Your attorney will work to protect your rights under Florida medical malpractice laws. If you are considering a lawsuit, you only have a certain amount of time to file your suit. In general, you have a two-year limit from the moment you recognize your injury or a four-year limit from the medical malpractice itself.
Don’t Waste Time. Contact DiBiaggio Law.
Florida’s medical malpractice laws are complicated, and a lawsuit will likely be time-consuming. If you’re already dealing with the emotional turmoil of your situation, the stress may seem overwhelming. A compassionate, knowledgeable medical malpractice attorney will help guide you through the process and help fight for your rights.
If you think you have a case for medical malpractice, contact our team at DiBiaggio Law. Call 561-473-9800. Deirdre DiBiaggio PA practices in Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe counties. We can protect your rights, answer your questions, and determine the best next step.
The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.
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