Medical Malpractice

Medical Malpractice

Any time a patient visits a doctor, even if it is just for a regular checkup, they are placing their life in someone else’s hands. Doctors have a legal duty to provide a certain standard of care to each and every patient they see. When they do not meet that duty, the stakes are very high and patients can suffer serious consequences.

Sadly, it is true that doctors cannot cure every disease, and that not all complications are preventable. Still, no one should leave a healthcare facility suffering from a worse condition than when they entered. Medical malpractice though, still occurs far more often than it should and it hurts hundreds of thousands of patients every year.

What is Medical Malpractice?

Medical Malpractice refers to the negligence of a healthcare worker. These can include surgeons, doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, specialists, pharmacists, and any other healthcare provider. When these individuals are negligent and cause harm to a patient, it is considered medical malpractice in Florida. There are many different types of negligence that regularly appear in medical malpractice claims, including medical errors, surgical errors, delayed or missed diagnoses, and other acts of negligence that cause patients to become injured further or that cause a condition to become worse.

Common Types of Medical Malpractice

Unfortunately, there are many different errors healthcare workers can make which end up hurting patients and result in additional surgeries, longer treatments, and in the worst of cases, wrongful death. Any time a healthcare worker’s negligence results in any of these losses, victims can file a medical malpractice claim. However, there are some types of medical malpractice claims that are more common than others, including:

  • Birth injuries: A child’s birth should be a time of excitement for a family but when a healthcare professional’s negligence causes an infant injury, it is extremely difficult. Certain complications may arise during labor and delivery that do not constitute medical malpractice, but a doctor’s negligence is never acceptable. Common birth injuries include a failure to monitor the infant or the mother, failure to monitor the mother’s health during pregnancy, and failure to check for certain pregnancy conditions, such as preeclampsia or diabetes.
  • Anesthesia errors: Patients are at risk any time they need to have a surgery that requires anesthesia. Mistakes can easily lead to injury or death.
  • Diagnosis mistakes: When a patient’s condition is not diagnosed as soon as possible, there is the chance that it will only become worse. Conditions that are misdiagnosed can also cause great harm because the patient’s condition will become worse, and because they may receive treatment that exacerbates the condition.
  • Surgical mistakes: The most common of these include amputating the wrong body part and leaving foreign objects in the body cavity.
  • Medication mistakes: Errors can arise at every stage of administering medication. For example, a doctor might prescribe the wrong drug, a pharmacist might prepare the wrong medication, or a nurse might administer the wrong dosage. Depending on the circumstances, some medication errors can cause life-threatening complications.

Do I Have Grounds for a Medical Malpractice Claim?

If a procedure does not go as planned, that does not necessarily mean the patient can automatically sue the physician or facility for any damages that result. Like other kinds of personal injury claims, the basis of any valid medical malpractice case is negligence.

In order to recover compensation, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant breached the duty of care. If the suit is against a surgeon, for example, the patient must prove that he or she deviated from the generally accepted standard of care and that any reasonable surgeon in the same position would not have acted in the same manner as the defendant, and this difference in behavior would have resulted in a different outcome.

Proving My Medical Malpractice Claim

To file a medical malpractice lawsuit, your injury, or the death of your loved one, must have been due to the negligence of a medical professional. To win this type of case, you must be able to prove that:

  • A patient/doctor relationship existed: In order to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, you must be able to prove that you had a patient-doctor relationship with the physician. Doctors can only be sued if they were hired by the patient to provide medical care.
  • The doctor behaved in a negligent manner: To sue for medical negligence, you must be able to show that your doctor’s actions or omissions caused harm that a competent doctor could have prevented. This will require a medical expert to testify to how doctors should behave in similar situations, and how your physician’s actions deviated from that standard.
  • The patient's injuries were caused by the doctor's negligence: You must be able to prove that you sustained injuries that were directly caused by the doctor’s negligence. For example, if your doctor demonstrated medical negligence, but you didn’t sustain any injuries, you do not have a medical malpractice suit. However, if your doctor’s negligence resulted in injury, caused mental and physical pain, led to lost earning capacity and wages, exacerbated your existing condition and/or contributed to additional medical bills, you may have a case of medical malpractice. Proving this portion of your case will require the testimony of a medical expert.

Who Can Be Held Responsible in a Medical Malpractice Claim

It is important to determine who is liable for your injuries so you know which party to seek compensation from. Potential liable parties in medical malpractice claims include:

  • Nursing home facilities
  • Urgent care facilities
  • Hospitals
  • Emergency rooms
  • Doctors: psychiatrists, dentists, primary care doctors, obstetricians, oncologists, anesthesiologists, surgeons, and emergency room doctors

Schedule Your Free Consultation

If you or a loved one has suffered from from medical malpractice, call us at (904) 714-8500, e-mail us at, or submit the easy online form to request your free legal consultation today.

The initial medical malpractice consultation is free of charge, and if we agree to handle your malpractice case, we will work on a contingency fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary recovery of funds. A lawsuit must be filed before an applicable expiration date, known as a statute of limitations, so please call right away to ensure that you do not waive your right to possible compensation.