One of the principal tenets of medicine is “First, do no harm.” Yet incompetent and careless doctors continue to injure patients every day. According to the Civil Justice Resource Group, between 65,000 and 200,000 deaths are caused by medical accidents each year. These numbers represent almost 1% of all hospital patients who, unfortunately, are the victims of medical malpractice.
If you have been injured by a doctor, you might have a legal claim to recover financial compensation. These cases can be difficult and complex, and you should have an experienced medical malpractice lawyer in your corner from the start. At Sibley Dolman, we have represented numerous patients who have been injured by medical professionals, and we are here to help you.
Medical Malpractice Defined
Medical malpractice is a form of professional negligence. Doctors owe patients a duty to exercise reasonable care when treating patients. Florida statute 766.102 identifies the precise contours of this duty—to use the skill and care that would be acceptable to reasonably prudent health care providers in light of the circumstances.
If your doctor is a specialist, then he or she must use that degree of care reasonable for specialists under the circumstances. For example, a brain surgeon must use the skill of other brain surgeons, not just the skill of a regular doctor.
One key to determining whether your doctor satisfied the professional standard of care is what he or she knew at the time of treatment. For example, if you did not notify your doctor of all your symptoms accurately, your doctor might miss a diagnosis.
Examples of Medical Malpractice
A doctor or other medical professional can fall below the standard of care in several ways. At Sibley Dolman, we see many types of medical malpractice, including:
- Failure to diagnose. Your doctor might have failed to diagnose an illness or injury, or they might have made a wrong diagnosis.
- Surgical mistakes. Many things can go wrong during surgery. For example, the surgeon might have carelessly injured you or left implements inside an incision.
- Anesthesia errors. A mistake in administering anesthesia during surgery can cause brain injuries or even death. Anesthesiologists can make errors by failing to properly look into a patient’s medical history or by neglecting to monitor the patient’s vital signs during surgery.
- Birth errors. Either mother or child (or both) can suffer an injury during birth. Many different things can go wrong, including nerve injuries to the baby, surgical errors during a C-section, or infections after surgery.
- Medication mistakes. The doctor might prescribe the wrong medication or prescribe the wrong amount.
- Failure to inform a patient of the risks of a procedure. You cannot give informed consent if you do not understand all the potential risks.
- Abandonment. Doctors cannot simply stop communicating or treating patients.
Whether a doctor or other medical care provider committed malpractice will depend on the circumstances. If you believe your doctor committed medical malpractice, meet with a lawyer right away to review your situation.
Building a Medical Malpractice Case
Medical malpractice cases can be tricky and require extensive preparation. For example, a jury is unlikely to understand whether a doctor or other medical professional followed the appropriate standard of care without expert assistance. This information is outside their realm of knowledge, so they will need to rely on someone authoritative to tell them how other reasonably prudent doctors would have acted. To build your case, you might need an expert witness to testify as a result.
Also, medical issues can be exceedingly complex. Jurors may not readily grasp whether a certain course of treatment contributed to your injuries or not. Because you must prove causation in your lawsuit, you might need an expert witness to testify as to causation as well.
Quality expert witnesses are hard to find, particularly for injured victims focused on their recovery. At Sibley Dolman, we have worked with dozens of experts over the years who are skilled at explaining medical concepts to judge and juries. Your lawyer should be able to locate and retain an expert in the appropriate field to assist in building your case.
Furthermore, doctors and hospitals do not like to hand over medical records or admit to errors. Building your medical malpractice case can sometimes feel like a fishing expedition—only blind. To make sure you have adequate evidence, you must understand what evidence is available and the legal methods to obtain it. Evidence necessary to establish your case may include:
- Testimony from other medical staff about what happened. You can take this testimony in a deposition, where a witness answers questions under oath.
- Information about your doctor’s medical experience, including educational records or performance reviews. You might need to issue a request for production of documents or issue a subpoena.
- Expert analysis about what caused your injury.
At Sibley Dolman, we know how to build a medical malpractice case the right way from the start, saving our clients time and money.
Seeking Compensation for Your Injuries
Florida has thrown roadblocks in front of injured patients seeking financial compensation from doctors and other medical professionals. Before you can bring a lawsuit, you must satisfy many complicated requirements. Failure to follow any of these can result in your case being dismissed.
For example, before filing a lawsuit, you must:
- Have your attorney perform an initial investigation and gather medical records.
- Send your medical records to a medical expert for review.
- Obtain an affidavit from the medical expert confirming that there are reasonable grounds for pursuing a medical malpractice case.
- Send a Notice of Intent to Initiate Litigation for Medical Negligence to each defendant and possibly to state agencies.
- Exchange written questions and produce documents during a 90-day pre-suit discovery period.
If you fail to follow any of these requirements, you might be unable to file a lawsuit. This means no compensation for medical bills, lost wages, or pain and suffering.
Contact a Doral Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If a negligent doctor has injured you, you need to focus on your physical recovery. Legal help is available. At Sibley Dolman, we represent clients struggling to recover from incompetent medical care. Whether you are suing a doctor, dentist, anesthesiologist, nurse, or medical technician, we can help assist you recover just compensation for your injuries while you focus on getting better and moving forward with your life. To schedule your free, no-strings consultation, call 305-930-7688 or send an online message.
8400 NW 36th St Suite 450
Doral, FL 33166
What Our Clients Have to Say:
“My experience with this law firm has been extremely pleasant. After being involved in an accident where I was injured, I was able to seek treatment from the best doctors in the area. I was lucky to have a team that assisted in scheduling my appointments that worked around both my full time work schedule and my demanding grad school schedule. Even with a move out of state to New York, I was able to remain with this law firm and continue treatment in south Florida while remaining under the care of the doctors that I felt most comfortable with. Even though I suffered injuries and experienced difficulties in that aspect, the team here was able to make sure that I was able to continue work and stay on track with grad school all while I moved to a new state.”
Rating: 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
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