When we seek the expertise of a medical professional, we trust they’ll provide the best level of care.
Unfortunately, there are instances when medical errors and/or negligence occur, and the patient pays the price with injury and, in the worst-case scenario – death.
Legally speaking, these incidents fall under the umbrella of medical malpractice.
And according to the American Medical Association (AMA), 34% of American physicians have been sued over allegations of medical malpractice.
In this blog, we cover the basics, the key components of a medical malpractice case, and the medical malpractice laws in Florida.
Medical Malpractice: The Basics
According to the National Library of Medicine, “medical malpractice is defined as any act or omission by a physician during treatment of a patient that deviates from accepted norms of practice in the medical community and causes an injury to the patient.”
It’s important to note that not every single negative medical outcome is considered medical malpractice.
There must be a clear deviation from the standard of care in the medical field.
Four components of a medical malpractice case
To build a legitimate medical malpractice case, you need to prove four key components which include:
- Duty of care
- Breach of the duty of care
- Injury as a result of the breach
- Resulting damages
Duty of Care
First, you have to establish there was a doctor-patient relationship.
This shows the healthcare professional had a duty of care and to act in your best interest.
Breach of the duty of care
Next, you must prove the healthcare provider failed to maintain the standard of care, and as a result, you or your loved one suffered.
This is perhaps the most difficult, but not impossible, component to prove.
Examples of breach of duty include but aren’t limited to:
– Misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis
– Leaving tools inside the body after surgery
– Failure to follow up on a significant health concern
Injury as a result of the breach
All medical malpractice cases require an injury to the victim.
And, there must be a direct link between the healthcare professional’s breach of duty and the victim’s injury.
In short, there has to be sufficient evidence to build a case.
For example, you might not be able to seek compensation for a pre-existing condition or conditions unrelated to the source of the malpractice.
The injuries/illnesses must directly correlate to the physician’s negligence to fight for compensation.
If you have to seek additional treatment to address new issues as a result of your medical malpractice, your medical bills could potentially be the largest part of your claim.
In addition to your medical expenses, you could also seek other forms of compensation, such as lost wages.
Medical malpractice laws in Florida
Florida medical malpractice laws state that the claimant has two years from the time of the cause of action to file a suit.
Do you have a medical malpractice case?
As an experienced medical malpractice lawyer in Tampa, FL, we’ll help you get the compensation you deserve.
If you have questions or believe you have a case, contact us today.