What Constitutes Medical Malpractice in Florida?

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If you or someone you know is harmed by the negligence of a nurse, doctor, or medical personnel, it’s time to speak with an expert Florida medical malpractice lawyer. 

Medical malpractice is not something you can fight alone — the courts are stacked against you. You’ll need help and professional guidance. To better prepare you for your case, we’ve provided information regarding Florida medical malpractice claims below. 

What Is Malpractice? 

The legal definition of “malpractice” refers to the misconduct or breach of performance duty of professional services (i.e., medicine) that results in loss or injury. 

What Constitutes Medical Malpractice in Florida?

Laws vary from state to state, so it’s essential to understand the specifics of what constitutes medical malpractice in Florida. Having this understanding will help better prepare you for your case. 

Keep reading to learn what constitutes medical malpractice in Florida:

  1. Delayed Diagnosis or Misdiagnosis: If a doctor fails to diagnose a condition, the patient seeks treatment—the more time between correct diagnosis and treatment, the increased risk of affliction severity.
  2. Inaccurate Patient History: A thorough patient history often directs a doctor’s course of action. Failure to review or accurately record medical history jeopardizes the patient’s health.
  3. Insufficient Aftercare: Proper follow-up and aftercare are crucial to a patient’s recovery process. If poor aftercare results in poor health conditions, your provider may be held responsible.
  4. Surgical Errors: Errors during surgery covers a broad umbrella, including improper anesthesia administration or operating on an incorrect part of the body.
  5. Missing Lab Results: It counts as negligence when your medical caregiver misreads or misinterprets lab results, confuses them with another patient, or fails to report results altogether.
  6. Incorrect Medications: Prescribing the wrong medication, administering the wrong dose, or giving drugs with a known negative interaction is potentially detrimental to your health and is considered medical malpractice.
  7. Unneeded Surgical Care: If your doctor performs an unnecessary surgery that does not pertain to your conditions, they could be at fault for your injuries.

Elements Required to Prove A Florida Case

As discussed, filing a medical malpractice lawsuit is a complicated process and will require professional assistance from a Florida malpractice lawyer. One of the reasons it’s so tricky is the criteria you must meet to have a successful claim. Necessary criteria include: 

  • Damages: A claim requires significant harm to have come to your or your loved one at the hands of a medical professional. Your injury must have resulted in severe consequences, like missed time from work, exorbitant medical expenses, or prolonged suffering.
  • Breach of Standard Care: You must procure evidence your medical provider breached the standard of care you or your loved one should have received. To prove a breach, the Florida Medical Malpractice Act states you must find a medical expert within the same field as the doctor your claim is against. Your selected medical expert must provide an affidavit. If this is not done, your claim is thrown out.
  • Proximate Causation: You’ll be responsible for proving causation. Proximate cause means proving the doctor’s breach of standard care resulted in your injury. In other words, you must provide evidence your damage would not have occurred if not for your doctor’s misconduct.

 As you can see, a lot of legwork is necessary to win a Florida medical malpractice lawsuit. But as long as you find an attorney who understands what constitutes medical malpractice in Florida, you will improve your chances of winning your case.

What Damages Can You Seek for a Florida Medical Malpractice Claim? 

If the above criteria are met, you can pursue compensation for damages up to a certain amount. Florida’s law placed a cap on the amount one can obtain in a malpractice lawsuit, depending on what you pursue. 

Typically, there are two damages claimants can pursue: 

  • Economic: This refers to lost wages and medical bills resulting from your doctor’s negligence.
  • Non-economic: This claim includes intangible damages, like suffering, inconvenience, pain, etc. Florida has placed a $500,000 statutory limit on non-economic damages.

Your attorney can help estimate damages. The total recoverable value will depend on the specifics of your case, which your attorney will put together for you. They’ll also guide you on how much to pursue while still having a solid chance of winning your claim. 

Is There a Statute of Limitations for Florida Medical Malpractice? 

In addition to knowing what constitutes medical malpractice in Florida, you should be aware of the state’s statute of limitations.

Don’t delay in a consultation with a qualified attorney regarding your claim. You or your loved one has a statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against the associated party. When you fail to pursue damages in time, you miss out on potential compensation for the suffering you’ve endured. 

Florida law dictates a two-year statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims. This means you have a two-year time limit from when you reasonably determined your injury to file a lawsuit. 

You may consider this a long time, but the earlier you seek legal advice, the longer time your attorney has to build your case. Procuring necessary evidence and proving negligence takes time. If you allow time to pass, evidence can become lost, witness memories are less credible, and the defendant’s legal team can better prepare their defense against you. When you look at it this way, two years can quickly fly by. 

Don’t delay and contact an attorney as soon as you believe you were the victim of malpractice at the hands of a doctor, nurse, or other medical professionals. 

How Can You Determine Liability in Your Case? 

Assigning liability can prove difficult when pursuing a malpractice lawsuit against doctors, nurses, or other medical caregivers. 

For example, if you’re read incorrect lab results, how can you figure out who’s accountable? Is it the medical laboratory for mislabeling your results? Is it the nurse for providing your doctor with incorrect charts? Or is the doctor who sat and explained the false results to you and administered the wrong treatment? 

Examining these details on your own is tiring, and you’ve already been through enough. You certainly want to guarantee you’re going after the correct party for the best chance of winning your case in court. For this reason, it’s essential to enlist the help of a seasoned legal professional. 

A seasoned attorney can help determine not only what constitutes medical practice in Florida but also accountability. They’ll put your case together on your behalf and improve your chances of making it to court.

Contact Our Florida Medical Injury Attorneys to See How Our Firm Can Help You

If you or anyone you love fell victim to negligence at the hands of their medical caregiver, it’s time to reach out for help. Our team believes you should not have to suffer from the aftermath of the individual or individuals you trusted to care for your well-being. A medical professional’s error is not your fault, and you could be entitled to compensation for your suffering. 

Reach out to our experienced team of medical malpractice attorneys, so we can begin building your case and get you the help you deserve. We’re happy to sit down and discuss the best course of action during a confidential consultation session.   The clock is ticking on your case — don’t delay, act today. Our Florida medical injury lawyers are here to help. 

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A HISTORY OF

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Tommy Hastings and his team of personal injury attorneys have successfully tried and settled thousands of medical negligence lawsuits across Texas & Florida, resulting in the recovery of millions of dollars in compensation for their clients. These results have earned them the reputation of being one of the best medical malpractice plaintiff firms in the nation.