Orlando Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Most healthcare professionals are well-trained and truly care about the health and well-being of their patients. However, sometimes things go wrong. Medical malpractice can result in serious injury or even death and, if proven, can result in monetary damages to the patient. While it can be unpleasant to consider a lengthy period of discovery and litigation (sometimes up to three years or more), we can make the process considerably more palatable if you have a legitimate medical malpractice case. Consult an Orlando medical malpractice lawyer at Haliczer Pettis & Schwamm, P.A. to see how we can help.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Healthcare providers, which include doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and others, are trained to perform at the highest standard of care. But sometimes, they fall short and do not meet the required standard of care. This may result from the following:
- Birth Injury
- Cancer Misdiagnosis
- Emergency Room Error
- Improper training and knowledge deficits
- Failure to diagnose
- An incorrect diagnosis
- Incorrectly interpreting test results
- Delayed diagnosis
- Surgical or anesthesia error
- Administering the wrong medication
- Refusing to treat the patient
In order to prevail in a medical malpractice case, you must prove the following:
- You or your loved one had a patient relationship with the provider being sued;
- The provider failed to meet the requisite standard of care — that is, the professional did not behave as a competent professional in your treatment;
- You or your loved one suffered an injury due to the negligent or substandard treatment; and
- The negligence resulted in injury to you or your loved one that is compensable.
It’s often difficult to identify which party was responsible for the negligence, but it is often one or more of the following parties:
- The attending physician
- A mid-level provider like a physician’s assistant or nurse practitioner
- A nurse
- A pharmacist
- An ultrasound technician
- The hospital or medical facility
Types of Malpractice
There are many types of medical malpractice. Below are just a few examples:
Surgical Malpractice – Surgical malpractice can include a variety of negligent acts on the part of a doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional before, during or after surgery. These acts can include unnecessary surgery, surgery on the wrong body part, a slip of a surgeon’s scalpel, administering the wrong blood type, failure to get informed consent, and many other negligent acts.
Obstetrical Malpractice – This includes a wide variety of negligence and subsequent injury to either the child or mother, including failure to perform genetic screening if warranted, failure to monitor the baby during delivery, failure to perform a medically necessary C-section, failure to properly administer labor-inducing medications, improperly using forceps, or failure to stop maternal bleeding.
Emergency Room Malpractice – Emergency rooms are stressful workplaces, and negligence often occurs in this setting. Common areas of emergency room malpractice include untrained staff, testing errors, unsterilized equipment, equipment failure, and improper/premature patient discharge situations.
Anesthesia Malpractice – The use of anesthesia is now routine, but errors nonetheless occur that result in compensable injuries to patients. These errors include administering too little anesthesia, administering too much anesthesia, failing to monitor patients, equipment malfunction, and toxic drug interactions.
Hospital Negligence – Large hospitals and medical centers tend to hundreds or thousands of patients at a time. Typically, they employ hundreds of workers. In most cases, the hospital is liable for the conduct of its employees. If a patient is injured by the negligence of a hospital employee, the hospital or medical center may be liable in a medical malpractice lawsuit. In addition, hospitals may be responsible if their negligent practices, such as poor recordkeeping or failure to enforce safety protocols, resulting in harm to a patient.
Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice
Each state has time limits known as statutes of limitation for the filing of lawsuits. Waiting too long to file a claim has serious consequences. In Florida, the statute of limitations is usually two years from the date the injury occurred. However, Florida’s so-called “Discovery Rule” suspends the statute of limitations until an injury is or should have been discovered. For example, if a doctor leaves a sponge or instrument inside a body cavity and you don’t discover it for 3 years, the statute of limitations starts at that point, not when the malpractice occurred. However, if there is evidence that proves you should have known about the object, your case could be dismissed.
Also note, however, that Florida has a strict statute of repose law, which prohibits a person from bringing a lawsuit against a doctor or hospital more than four years from the date of the incident unless there is evidence that the healthcare provider engaged in fraud or misrepresentation to conceal the malpractice.
Before you may sue for medical malpractice in Florida, you must provide a written Notice of Intent to Sue. The Notice of Intent to Sue must include an affidavit from an independent medical practitioner certifying that your claim has merit.
Compensation for Medical Malpractice
Because patients who suffer medical malpractice typically face lasting, sometimes permanent injuries and complications, the damages can be significant. In any given case, the damages will depend upon the losses suffered and their monetary value.
An Orlando medical malpractice lawyer at Haliczer Pettis & Schwamm, P.A. can calculate the damages in your case and pursue all of the compensation to which you are entitled, including:
- Medical bills for treatment of the condition or injury
- Future medical treatment, hospital bills, and attendant at home care
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity, if the injury or condition prevents you from working
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Out-of-pocket costs, including:
- Travel to doctors’ offices and other medical appointments
- Attendant and at-home medical care
- Home modifications, such as the installation of a stair lift or ramp
- Vehicle modifications, such as a lift, securements for a wheelchair or motorized scooter, or special steering devices
Contact An Experienced Orlando Medical Malpractice Lawyer at Haliczer, Pettis & Schwamm Today
Hiring a medical malpractice attorney for a medical and hospital negligence matter is absolutely essential. These are complex cases. An Orlando medical malpractice lawyer at Haliczer Pettis & Schwamm, P.A. will be well-versed in all aspects of hospital and physician malpractice. Through extensive investigation and the help of medical experts, our firm can help prove medical malpractice. We will do everything possible, including taking your case to trial, to obtain the best settlement or verdict for you.
Contact us for a free, confidential consultation about your medical malpractice case.