Everyone makes mistakes. Most mistakes by professionals do not harm or injure their clients. However, when doctors make mistakes, the chance of harming their patients is high. Doctors and other medical professionals are therefore held to a higher standard of care and their mistakes can constitute medical malpractice. If you believe you have a valid malpractice case, the experienced lawyers at Largey Law in Clermont, Inverness and Tavares can help analyze your case.
How Common are Medical Malpractice Cases?
In recent years, a staggering number of alleged medical errors have resulted in damages awards in Florida. In total, 12,336 malpractice awards were reported for the years 2015 through 2017, according to the National Practitioner Data Bank. The statistics break out malpractice alleged against these selected types of Florida practitioners:
Medical Malpractice Cases Reported 2015 2016 2017
Total Cases 3,481 4,416 4,439
Physician 1,027 1,101 1,280
Registered Nurse 598 833 549
Nursing Para-professional 681 677 567
Therapist or Counselor 184 428 971
Studies indicate there may be 10 times more cases of doctor or hospital error than people realize.
How Could Legal Representation Help with Medical Negligence?
Doctors and hospitals make errors, of course, but not all their mistakes rise to the level of medical malpractice. A legitimate case includes these essential elements:
- Duty — There must be a professional relationship between the medical provider and the patient. If you overhear a doctor at a party giving medical advice and you take that advice, the doctor is not liable for any injuries you suffer as a result.
- Breach of duty — You and your personal injury lawyer must prove that the medical provider did not treat you according to the same standard of care that another reasonable provider would have under the same circumstances.
- Damages — The breach of duty must have done you harm that you would not otherwise have suffered. For example, if a reasonable treatment for an illness fails to work, the doctor or hospital is not guilty of negligence or malpractice.
Largey Law Firm attorneys understand the nuances of Florida’s medical malpractice law and we put that knowledge to work on behalf of victims and their families.
Complying With the State’s Statute of Limitations
If you have been injured by a medical mistake and are contemplating a damages lawsuit, there are important deadlines to be observed:
- You must file your lawsuit within two years of when the injury occurred, is discovered or reasonably should have been discovered.
- The lawsuit must be filed within four years of when the alleged malpractice occurred, regardless of when the injury is discovered.
- A case involving a minor victim is not subject to the two-year statute of limitations but must be filed before the child turns 8 years old.
To preserve your right to sue, you need to seek experienced legal counsel as soon as possible after learning you or a family member may have suffered an injury from medical malpractice.
Typical Compensation in Medical Malpractice Cases
Our lawyers fight to obtain full compensation for losses that result from medical malpractice. A successful verdict or settlement can award two types of damages:
- Economic damages — This is reimbursement for actual expenses incurred as a result of the injury, such as medical bills and lost wages.
- Noneconomic damages — This is reimbursement for losses that are not out-of-pocket costs, such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of companionship and disfigurement.
In 2017, Florida eliminated its cap on noneconomic damages. This is significant, because pain and suffering that is proved by expert medical testimony can now be the basis of multimillion-dollar jury verdicts or settlements.
Contact a Mount Dora Medical Malpractice Attorney about Seeking Justice
Many people think you can sue only doctors for medical malpractice. In fact, hospitals, nurses, EMTs and nursing home professionals can all be required to defend their actions and decisions in a medical malpractice suit. Manufacturers of defective medical devices may also share liability. Thankfully, a Mount Dora medical malpractice lawyer can help determine the negligent parties in your case.
Start your search for a malpractice attorney as soon as possible. Medical malpractice is a serious matter that can lead to long-term pain, suffering and even death. If you or someone you love has been injured by a medical professional, reach out to us today to learn more about your options. Se habla Español.