FLORIDA MEDICAL MALPRACTICE ATTORNEYS
We rely on doctors, nurses, surgeons, and specialists to maintain and protect our health. As patients, we trust that these people are qualified by years of schooling and medical training, and that they will act appropriately and competently while performing their medical duties. Unfortunately, this is not always the reality of the situation. Doctors and other healthcare professionals routinely make devastating errors which result in serious injuries, avoidable illnesses, and in extreme cases, wrongful death.
If you were injured by a negligent or careless doctor, or if a loved one passed away after receiving substandard medical care, your family deserves a closer investigation into the matter. The Florida medical malpractice attorneys of Di Pietro Partners have on staff a physician to review medical malpractice and wrongful death matters. To start exploring your legal options in a free and confidential case evaluation, call our law offices right away at (800) 712-8462.
What is Medical Malpractice? Do I Have a Case?
Needless to say, it’s important for claimants to understand how medical malpractice is defined from a legal standpoint.
Malpractice does not mean having pain or a negative outcome following a procedure which was performed appropriately in accordance with all normal industry standards. While having a bad outcome can be an immensely upsetting and frustrating experience, it cannot legally be considered malpractice if the doctor (or other healthcare professional) did not actually make any errors or mistakes.
In order for an incident to be successfully deemed true malpractice, there are several elements which must be in place:
- There must be a formal patient-doctor relationship established between the plaintiff and the defendant. This creates a formal “duty of care” from the doctor to the patient. (Note that taking casual advice does not constitute a formal patient-doctor relationship.)
- The doctor must breach his or her duty of care to the patient by acting negligently. In a legal context, negligence means that the party at fault failed to live up to the normal standard of care that a reasonable person would expect under the same set of circumstances. In other words, if one doctor makes an avoidable error which any other reasonable doctor would have noticed and corrected – such as failing to sterilize tools, or to ask the patient about other medications they were taking – the doctor who made the error may be considered negligent.
- The doctor’s negligence must have caused an injury to the plaintiff.
- The plaintiff’s injury, caused by the negligent doctor, must have led to damages.
Depending on the specific details involved in a claim, a plaintiff may be able to recover compensation for damages such as hospital bills, lost income, and physical pain and suffering.
What Are Some Common Examples of Doctor Negligence and Malpractice?
Malpractice can manifest in many different ways, depending on factors like the patient’s health and the type of doctor or procedure involved. The following is a non-exhaustive list of some relatively common forms of medical and hospital negligence:
- Failure to monitor a patient’s oxygen levels while he or she is sedated. If a sedated patient is not closely monitored by a qualified anesthetist or anesthesiologist and an error occurs, he or she can aspirate vomit and can suffer brain damage, coma, and death.
- Failure to notice and diagnose, or misdiagnosing an apparent early-stage disease.
- Failure to count all tools used during a surgical procedure. When items are forgotten and are left behind inside of patients’ bodies, it is referred to as surgical object retention or a surgical error. Whether a forgotten object is a soft pad of gauze or a sharp pair of scissors, the end result can be blockage, organ damage, internal bleeding, or death.
- Practicing in a field for which the doctor is not actually licensed or qualified.
- Improperly sterilizing tools and equipment, including failure to wash hands and take other hygienic measures prior to an operation or examination.
- Incorrectly filling out a prescription, or making a medication error that results in death or injury to the patient.
- Failing to obtain a patient’s medical history and information regarding food, drug, and alcohol use. This can lead to deadly drug interactions and avoidable complications which should have been foreseen.
- Permitting unnecessary and dangerous delays in treatment, such as waiting too long to address a known infection or illness.
- In pregnancy-related cases, causing a birth injury to the baby and/or mother, such as accidentally cutting the baby with a surgical tool during a C-Section delivery.
- Physically or sexually assaulting a patient, or otherwise engaging in sexual contact, abuse, or harassment.
If any of these issues have affected you or a loved one, you should contact our medical malpractice attorneys immediately as you may be able to receive financial compensation for your suffering and your losses.
MEDICAL DEVICE INJURY
If your injury was caused by a surgically implanted medical device such as a metal hip replacement or IVC filter, you may be entitled to compensation from the device manufacturer. Certain devices have been shown to carry an unnecessary high risk of injury in patients. As a result, manufacturers of these products are facing mass litigation by affected individuals.
Di Pietro Partners, LLP is pursuing cases against certain manufacturers of defective medical products. You can read more about the individual products and manufacturers our Law Firm is pursuing cases against within the link below.
It’s important to note, if you were injured by one of these products anywhere in the United States, we may be able to take your case and ensure you receive compensation.
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
In Florida, there is a statute of limitations on malpractice cases. According to the medical malpractice statute in The Florida Legislature: (2018)
“An action for medical malpractice shall be commenced within 2 years from the time the incident giving rise to the action occurred or within 2 years from the time the incident is discovered, or should have been discovered with the exercise of due diligence; however, in no event shall the action be commenced later than 4 years from the date of the incident or occurrence out of which the cause of action accrued, except that this 4-year period shall not bar an action brought on behalf of a minor on or before the child’s eighth birthday…” (Section 95.11 7b)
In other words, in many cases, there is a 2-4 year statute of limitations on malpractice claims in Florida with several exceptions (i.e. a minor child was involved). Furthermore, cases involving fraud, intentional misrepresentation, or concealment carry a 7 year maximum limit on filing a claim. As a result, it’s imperative to have your case reviewed by our legal and medical professionals as soon as possible.
SPEAK WITH OUR MEDICAL MALPRACTICE ATTORNEYS
To arrange a free and private legal consultation, call the Florida medical malpractice attorneys of Di Pietro Partners at (800) 712-8462 today.