It is more common than you might think for people to be unsure whether they are victims of medical malpractice. The only way you can win a medical malpractice lawsuit is by proving that a medical error was made or medical negligence occurred.
Unfortunately, it may not always be clear whether these mistakes occurred. With help from an experienced Florida medical malpractice lawyer at Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers, you can get the answers and legal support you are looking for.
Requirements for Proving Medical Negligence
If you are interested in pursuing a medical malpractice claim, you may not be sure whether you have grounds for a case. To win a medical malpractice lawsuit, you will need to show that there has been a breach in the medical duty of care. This refers to the standard of care that all healthcare providers must be held to as part of their responsibilities to their patients.
Failure to uphold the standard of care amounts to negligence, and could mean that you have the opportunity to be awarded full compensation for your damages. Read on to learn more about the requirements you need to meet in order to prove a breach in the duty of care.
Establish the Provider-Patient Relationship
First, your attorney will be responsible for showing that the healthcare provider in question had a relationship with you. This means that you went to see this healthcare provider for medical attention or care, and this healthcare provider agreed to treat you.
This could be your physician, a nurse, a surgeon, or any other healthcare provider in your case. There are often issues surrounding whether a healthcare provider had a provider-patient relationship, and whether the accused healthcare provider treated you directly or indirectly.
Show the Healthcare Provider Was Negligent
However, proving that the healthcare provider in your case was responsible for treating you or providing you with medical care is not enough to win your case. You also need to show that your healthcare provider was negligent in some way.
Anytime a healthcare provider makes a mistake or medical error that another healthcare provider of similar training, education, and experience would not have made, they may be held accountable for medical negligence.
Explain How the Healthcare Provider’s Negligence Caused Your Injury or Illness
Many healthcare providers hide behind the fact that a patient may have already been sick, injured, or ill. They will attempt to call into question whether anything the healthcare provider did, negligent or not, caused the injury or illness in question.
Unfortunately, the burden of proof will be on you to prove that, based on a preponderance of the evidence, the healthcare provider’s negligence was the likely cause of your injury or illness.
Prove that the Injury or Illness Led to the Damages You Endured
Finally, we will need to show that the injury or illness you sustained due to your healthcare provider’s medical negligence caused you to suffer economic or non-economic damages. Economic damages have a fixed monetary value, while non-economic damages do not.
However, both can have a dramatic impact on your life. Some different damages you could seek to recover in your Florida medical malpractice claim include:
- Medical bills
- Cost of ongoing medical care and healthcare expenses
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning capacity
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost quality of life
- Loss of companionship and love
- Loss of society and support
- Loss of advice and guidance
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Reputational damage
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Common Types of Medical Malpractice
Understanding the medical duty of care, and the ways that healthcare providers can breach it is one thing. But recognizing medical malpractice is another. There are endless ways that healthcare providers can make mistakes, errors, or be negligent.
With that being said, there are some types of medical malpractice that are seen more often than others. Some of these could include:
- Failure to treat
- Failure to provide follow-up care
- Anesthesia errors
- Prescribing the wrong medication
- Prescribing the wrong medication dosage
- Other pharmaceutical errors
- Defective medical devices
- Birth injuries
- Surgical errors
- Delayed diagnosis
These are only a few of the more common types of medical mistakes healthcare providers have been known to make. If you have suffered due to another type of medical negligence, be sure to contact our office to find out what legal options may be available to you.
Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Lawsuits in Florida
If you are considering a medical malpractice lawsuit against your healthcare provider, it is important that you act quickly. There is often confusion surrounding the statute of limitations for Florida medical malpractice claims.
Under Florida Statutes § 95.11(3)(a), the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is generally four years. However, the state also has an additional element to the statute, Florida Statutes § 95.11(4)(b), which states that the statute of limitations for medical malpractice lawsuits specifically is usually much shorter, at two years.
This could cut the amount of time you have to pursue your claim in half. If you previously thought you had four years to pursue your case, you need to take steps to speak with a dedicated medical malpractice attorney about how much longer you have to get your claim filed before the statute of limitations expires.
Getting your medical malpractice claim filed within the Florida civil court system before the statute of limitations expires is critical. If you miss this deadline, the judge will have no other choice but to grant the respondents’ petition to dismiss your case. This means you will have lost your opportunity to recover full and fair compensation through a civil medical malpractice claim.
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Get Help from a Florida Medical Malpractice Lawyer
The best way to find out whether you have the right to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit is by reaching out to a reputable Florida medical malpractice lawyer for help.
Schedule your free, no-obligation consultation with Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers today to find out what is next for your case. Give our office a call at (855) 529-0269 or fill out our online contact form to get started.
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