Who Can be Liable for Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice is defined very broadly in the State of Florida. Medical malpractice – or medical negligence – may be committed by many different types of healthcare providers, including doctors, nurses, nursing assistants, administrators, and other health providers who care for patients on a daily basis. Medical malpractice also encompasses many different types of errors, including medication errors, surgical errors, and treatment errors.
If you have sustained injuries and damages as a result of medical malpractice or medical negligence, you may be entitled to monetary recovery under Florida law. A knowledgeable and skilled New Port Richey medical malpractice lawyer will have the legal and medical expertise to assist you with your case and safeguard your legal rights.
The attorneys at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA will work hard to negotiate a favorable settlement on your behalf. If the insurance company is not willing to put a favorable settlement offer on the table, our experienced lawyers welcome the opportunity to litigate your case – or take it to trial, if necessary.
Negligent Health Care Providers
When health care providers are negligent or make serious medical mistakes, they must be held legally accountable for their actions or inactions. Medical negligence or medical malpractice can occur at any medical facility at the hands of any healthcare provider. Health care providers who commit malpractice typically include one or more of the following:
- Nursing assistants
- Physical therapists
- Nurse practitioners
- Nursing home administrators
Medical Malpractice Committed by Doctors in the Surgical Context
Every surgery, regardless of the type, has certain risks associated with it – many of which are described in the waiver which every patient signs prior to a medical or surgical procedure. Although surgeons take many precautions to avoid medical mishaps during surgical procedures, mistakes still sometimes happen, and serious injuries can result.
Negligently performed surgical procedures at the hands of a doctor or specialist are usually the result of inexperience – or in some cases, from surgeon fatigue. In the surgical context, negligence may include leaving a sponge or towel inside of a patient prior to completing the procedure. Other common examples of medical malpractice committed by doctors or specialists in the surgical context include the following:
- Failing to inform patients of potential medical and surgical risks
- Performing unnecessary surgeries
- Performing a surgery on the wrong body part
- Performing an unnecessary procedure to which the patient did not consent
- Discharging a patient prematurely and without allowing time for hospital staff to observe the patient (including the patient's vitals) before leaving the hospital or emergency room
Medical Malpractice Committed by Doctors in the Non-surgical Context
Common medical errors committed by physicians in the non-surgical context include the following:
- Misdiagnosing or failing to diagnose serious symptoms of injuries or illnesses
- Diagnosing a medical condition too late
- Prescribing the wrong medication or incorrect dosage for a patient (or writing illegibly, causing the pharmacist to misread the prescription)
Medical Errors Committed by Nurses and Nursing Assistants
In addition to physicians and specialists, nurses, nurse practitioners, and nursing assistants may also commit acts of medical malpractice or medical negligence. Hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities utilize nurses and nursing assistants to care for residents and patients on a daily basis. Some of the most common medical errors committed by nurses and nursing assistants include the following:
- Neglecting patients by failing to sterilize or maintain personal use items or equipment, resulting in infection or other types of serious injury
- Poor communication between nurses and physicians, resulting in surgical errors or botched surgical procedures
- Errors in dispensing or administering medication to a patient
- Failing to adequately supervise or treat patients
- Failing to call a doctor when the situation warrants
- Failing to report a serious patient complaint or finding to the doctor on duty
- Ignoring signs or symptoms of injury, stroke, or heart attack
- Mishandling a patient
- Mistreating a patient, such as by physically abusing the patient
- Failing to provide proper patient care and treatment under the circumstances
- Failing to adequately and appropriately respond to a patient's unique needs
Proving Medical Negligence
Healthcare providers must be held accountable for the medical decisions they make, and they must abide by certain standards of medical care. A healthcare provider – whether that be a doctor, nurse, or nursing assistant – is generally held to the standard of care of a reasonably prudent health care provider acting under the same or similar circumstances. When a health care provider breaches this standard of care and serious injuries and damages result, the health care provider may be deemed negligent and can be held liable for those injuries and damages.If the health care provider is also an employee of a hospital, nursing home, or another medical facility, the facility itself may face potential liability under Florida agency law. Pursuant to Florida agency law, medical facilities may be held legally accountable for the negligent acts of their employees when those employees are acting within the scope of their employment.
An injured patient may also have a cause of action against the medical facility for negligent hiring, negligent supervision, and/or negligent retention of the health care provider charged with committing the malpractice or negligence. This is especially true if the medical employee is a ‘repeat offender.'
An injured patient must establish – usually through expert medical testimony from another surgeon or physician – that the malpractice occurred. Potential damages that are available to medical malpractice plaintiffs may include compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, and permanency.
Contact a New Port Richey Medical Malpractice Attorney Today to Discuss Your Case
Medical malpractice cases require a complex skill set of medical knowledge and legal expertise. If you have sustained injuries at the hands of a medical provider, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. However, it is essential that you have competent, experienced legal representation on your side throughout your case.
To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a New Port Richey medical malpractice lawyer at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, please call us today or contact us online.Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA 5435 Main Street New Port Richey, FL 34652 (727) 477-9660