Doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other health care professionals are duty bound to do no harm when dealing with patients. They are expected to provide an acceptable standard of care to all patients with whom they have contact. This doesn’t always happen. Thousands of Floridians are subject to medical malpractice each year. In fact, across the United States, medical malpractice is now the third-leading cause of death, exceeded only by heart disease and cancer. If you think you have been the victim of medical malpractice, contact a Weston medical malpractice attorney right away to discuss your rights to hold the responsible party accountable for your injury.
Medical mistakes lead to countless unnecessary injuries each year, often leaving the patient in worse shape than when they sought treatment to begin with. When a doctor, health care team, or hospital fails to properly treat a patient’s medical condition or causes or exacerbates an injury, the damages they cause is known as medical malpractice. Some ways that a doctor or other healthcare professional might injure a patient include:
- Failing to properly diagnose the patient
- Giving the patient the wrong course of treatment
- Subjecting the patient to unnecessary treatment
- Errors during surgery
- Delaying onset of necessary treatment by misinterpreting diagnostic results
Prevailing Professional Standard of Care
In Florida, the main element that determines the success or failure of a medical malpractice claim is proving that the medical professional in question failed to meet the prevailing professional standard of care when treating you. This essentially means that all facts considered, the professional’s actions fell below the standard of a competent professional in the same situation.
For this reason, it can be a difficult thing to prove that a medical professional or hospital is to blame for your injuries. The question becomes “Would a reasonably careful and similarly trained medical professional have made the same decisions under the same circumstances?” Often, attributing the injury to the right at-fault party requires extensive research and even the use of expert witnesses who can attest to the lack of standard care in the victim’s case. A seasoned medical malpractice attorney will understand the nuances of medical malpractice claims and be able to present your case in its best light, whether negotiating with the at-fault party’s insurance company or litigating your case in the Florida courts.
Statute of Limitations
In Florida, the law limits the amount of time that you have to file a medical malpractice claim. This short window of time is known as the statute of limitations, and it is normally four years from the date of the discovery of the injury caused by malpractice. After this date passes, you won’t be able to seek recourse for your damages.
If your surgeon, doctor or hospital made a medical error during your treatment, surgery or even aftercare treatment, then you may have grounds for a claim against them. Consult with the Law Office of Bradley S. Hartman and our Weston medical practice attorney to discuss your case and determine the best way forward for your claim.