Five Common Types Of Clearwater Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice is when a healthcare professional breaches their duty of care to a patient, resulting in injury or death. Fortunately, these cases are fairly rare, but when they do occur the consequences can be devastating
A variety of situations can lead to a medical malpractice claim. Situations ranging from a doctor leaving a sponge in a patient’s stomach during an operation to failing to tell a patient that a prescribed drug might cause heart failure. Common Pinellas County medical malpractice categories include:
- Misdiagnosis. Missed or delayed diagnoses are major causes of malpractice complaints. When a doctor misdiagnoses a condition or fails to diagnose a condition for some period of time, the patient could miss treatment opportunities that might have presented serious harm or death. Indeed, a misdiagnosis could lead to the prescription of treatments that are not appropriate for the patient, also potentially resulting in harm. The key to such a case is showing what the treating doctor did wrong and how a competent doctor should have gone about diagnosing the condition. If a reasonably skillful and competent doctor would not have made the same mistake under the same circumstances, then the treating doctor may be liable for malpractice.
- The five most commonly misdiagnosed diseases or conditions are infections, tumors or masses inside the body, heart attack, a blood clot in the lung and heart disease.
- Improper treatment: If a doctor treats the patient in a way that no other competent doctor would, the patient could have a medical malpractice claim. Similarly, it may also be malpractice if the doctor selects the appropriate treatment but administers it incompetently.
- Failure to warn a patient of known risks: Doctors have a duty to warn patients of known risks of a procedure or course of treatment. This is known as the duty of informed consent. If a patient, once properly informed of possible risks, would have elected not to go through with the procedure, the doctor may be liable for medical malpractice if the patient is injured by the procedure.
- Surgery Errors. Occasionally, a surgeon might make a mistake in the operating room. A surgeon might make negligent errors during the surgery itself, like puncturing an organ or blood vessel, operating on the wrong body part, or leaving surgical equipment inside the body. Alternatively, nursing staff could be negligent in postoperative care, resulting in giving the wrong medications, using improper procedures that could lead to infection, or failing to give the patient adequate instructions for their own postoperative recovery needs.
- Pregnancy and Labor. So much can go wrong during a pregnancy and delivery that, even in the twenty-first century, medical negligence affecting both the mother and/or child during pregnancy and childbirth is still a problem. Some of the leading types of medical malpractice during pregnancy and childbirth are due to the following medical problems:
- Excessive and unexplained vaginal bleeding
- Placental abnormalities (placenta previa or placental abruption)
- Mother’s gestational diabetes
- Excessively long labor that causes injury to the mother and the baby
- Hemorrhage of the mother during pregnancy or labor
- Surgical negligence during a C-section
- Negligence in administering anesthesia during labor or a Caesarian section
- Premature babies
- Shoulder dystocia or other nerve injury of the baby during labor
Florida Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice
All states set their own limits on how long a patient can wait to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. In the state of Florida, this statute of limitations is two years from when the patient knew or should have known that an injury occurred and that it was likely due to medical malpractice. Furthermore, there is an additional limitation on Florida medical malpractice claims. Specifically, this limit is known as the statute of repose, which states that unless there are extenuating circumstances, healthcare providers may not be sued for medical malpractice more than four years after the malpractice incident occurs. This means you must realize you have been the victim of medical malpractice within four years after the negligent medical incident occurred or else you will not be able to file a lawsuit.
The exceptions to the statute of repose include cases where fraud, concealment, or misrepresentation was perpetrated on behalf of the medical provider. In such cases, patients may still have an opportunity to file suit despite the expiration of the statute of repose. These exceptions are another reason that it is important to speak to an experienced Clearwater medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.
Contact a Clearwater Medical Malpractice Attorney
Medical malpractice lawsuits differ from other personal injury cases because they involve two intertwining areas of expertise: law and medicine. These cases are inherently complex and require the attention and skill of an attorney who is well-versed in both of these areas. The attorney you choose should:
- Have a firm understanding of medicine
- Be able to decipher medical documents
- Know which experts to consult
- Know which questions to ask
- Be able to anticipate the tactics of the other side
The medical malpractice attorneys at the Dolman Law Group zealously represent clients in the area of medical malpractice. If you have been injured as a result of the negligence of a medical professional or if someone you know was injured or even killed, contact our experienced medical malpractice attorneys. Please call our office at 727-451-6900 today.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 3375