When Do You Need Malpractice Lawyers?

Although we do not take medical malpractice cases, Kramer Law is often asked whether a client has a valid malpractice case. A bad outcome from a surgery does not prove negligence has occurred. Malpractice lawyers are selective about the cases they take on, and should always be the source of consultation on this type of case.

According to the Diederich Healthcare 2013 medical malpractice statistics, Florida ranks fifth in the nation for payouts due to medical negligence. When a surgical accident involving medical negligence causes serious injury, the patient and their family should not be responsible for the damages. A victim of a surgical accident may have the right to seek compensation for the pain and suffering he or she endures.

Speak with an experienced Florida attorney at our firm today.
Call 855-Kramer-Now (855-572-6376)

Is there a Statute of Limitations for Malpractice?

In Florida, the standard statute of limitations for medical malpractice is two years from when a patient became aware that injury had occurred, with a four-year “statute of repose.” The statute of repose sets forth that the injured person may not file a claim of medical negligence against a physician or other health professional more than four years after the alleged act of medical malpractice occurred.

Standard of Care

The State of Florida law holds doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals to a minimum “standard of care” for every medical interaction they have with patients. Yet healthcare professionals often take on extremely heavy caseloads. This creates an environment in which mistakes in charting, diagnoses, prescriptions, and surgical procedures can more readily occur.

Forms of Medical Malpractice

Patients take risks every day when they submit to the advice of a medical official or undergo a surgical procedure.

Incorrect preparation, inappropriate anesthesia, inaccurate incision placement, and wrong-site surgeries are just a few possible surgical accidents reported every year. While they range from minor to deadly, these accidents call into question the professional competence of the entire surgical unit as well as the merit of the procedure itself.

Unfortunately, patients die or are injured even if one member of the surgical team is negligent. This leaves families burdened with the task of proving the doctor, medical staff, or hospital broke the standard of care the law requires.

Error in procedure: The standard of care is specific in what happens before, during, and after a procedure such as surgery or tests. A surgeon or other doctor must fully adhere to any reasonable actions necessary before, during, or following the surgery. If not, that medical practitioner is subject to liability.

Failure to treat: A doctor or medical professional may forget, refuse, or even ignore rules and orders specifically for a patient. It does not matter if the order is in a patient’s chart, if the standard of care is written explicitly in the organization’s policies, or if the order is something unwritten that the professional should have learned while in school or training. If the standard of care is not met and a patient is not receiving the treatment deserved, an attorney may file a lawsuit on the client’s behalf for failure to treat.

Misdiagnosis: This form of medical malpractice embodies the terms of “differential diagnosis” (when a doctor evaluates every possible conclusion for the patient’s symptoms) and “safest alternative” (when a doctor considers the best actions based on all possibilities). The doctor owes it to his or her patients to use knowledge and experience to reach the best possible conclusion for treatment. Medicine is a science, but there are common sense evaluations a judge or jury uses to determine if misdiagnosis is an element of a malpractice claim.

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