Examples of Medical Malpractice
Operation On The Wrong Body Part
An example is operating on the left knee when surgery was necessary for your right knee. Another example is a spine surgeon operating on the wrong vertebral level.
Was A Foreign Object Left Inside Your Body After Surgery?
Over 3500 times each year, a patient is left with a surgical tool, device, or other foreign object left in their body. Overworked and burnt out Surgeons make this common mistake. The most common objects left in the body after surgery are:
Sponges – used to collect blood and to prevent such from pooling.
Scalpels – This is an actual blade utilized by Surgeons to make an incision in the skin.
Retractors – This is a surgical tool used to keep the incision open for the procedure.
Clamps – used by a Surgeon to pinch a blood vessel
There can be various contributing factors to a birth injury. However, the injury to the newborn could have been avoided had the physician exhibited reasonable care. Examples of negligence resulting in a birth injury lawsuit, including failing to monitor both the mother and baby via fetal monitoring can result in devastating birth injuries such as cerebral palsy, neurological injury, placental abruption, stillbirth, or fetal hemorrhage. Other acts of medical professional negligence resulting in birth injury are oxygen deprivation and a delayed C-section resulting in a very serious injury or death to the baby.
Malpractice By Anesthesiologist
When anesthesia is administered in a negligent manner, the physician can be on the hook for the resulting injuries. Common Anesthesiologist malpractice occurs when the physician administers the wrong dosage of anesthesia or the wrong medication. The anesthesiologist can also be liable for failing to manage the continued administration of antibiotics, other medications, and fluids.
Misdiagnosis and Delayed Diagnosis
This happens when a physician fails to properly interpret diagnostic studies or fails to order the proper study/test or ordered an improper test.
Failure to Recognize Vital Medical Symptoms – when a physician fails to make an appropriate diagnosis based on the clinical presentation of the patient. The failure to make a proper diagnosis in the face of readily identifiable medical symptoms that correlated with a disease or condition can constitute malpractice.
Failure to Observe and Review Patient’s Medical History
A disease that is easily recognizable could grow far worse if the physician does not know their medical history.
Emergency Room Errors
Errors in the ER could include misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, failure to administer the correct medications, misreading diagnostic tests and charts (i.e., X-ray, CT -scan, or MRI), and neglecting a post-operative infection or medical issue.
Errors made by the emergency room could be attributed to a physician, nurse, and other support staff.
Emergency rooms’ main jobs are to make sure patients do not die. They are not specialists or long-term care physicians. However, when they miss something critical, that if it has been treated right away would have made things very different, they can be held accountable.
Why are medical malpractice cases so strict?
The guidelines that must be met are in place to help prevent—or at least deter—false medical malpractice claims. Personal health and well-being can change suddenly and seemingly without cause; it is human nature to want answers and closure.
because of this, hospitals, medical professionals, and other figures in the healthcare industry often find themselves being wrongly accused. This has led most states to increase the difficulty of opening a tort case and lower the possible settlement from winning one.
Is a doctor or hospital always responsible for a patient’s injury?
A hospital, doctor, or other health care professional is not liable for all the harms a patient might suffer. They are only legally responsible for harm or injuries that resulted from their deviating from the quality of care that a competent doctor would normally provide in similar situations, and which resulted in harm or injury for the patient.
Expert Witnesses in Medical Malpractice Cases
Medical malpractice cases rely heavily on the testimony of an expert witness who is there to help prove the defendant’s case by giving their expert medical opinion on the situation. The witness (often a medical professional) must be educated, trained, or have more or equal experience than the at-fault party in the matter being argued to be able to give a reliable opinion.
Florida has certain guidelines for expert witnesses that are expected by the court to be met before the proceedings can move forward. Before the actual trial, the expert witness will give their testimony to the trial court judge without the jury present. The judge will then decide if their testimony is worthy of being presented to the jury. These experts often cost the malpractice lawyer in excess of $10,000 per day.
Before this initial presentation of testimony to the judge, the defense expert reviews the case. During this period, they look at all the facts pertaining to their area of expertise to prepare their opinion on the matter. If the med-mal case is credible, the medical expert will arrive at a differing opinion than the defendant’s expert, or at least raise doubt in the minds of jurors that the defendant’s actions could have caused the injuries or death.
Types of Expert Witnesses in a Medical Malpractice Case
Most reputable personal injury law firms who have tried a significant amount of medical malpractice cases already know medical experts that specialize in different fields, and who are themselves experienced in testifying to their knowledge in front of a court. It is one thing to understand your field well; it is another to present that information to a jury and judge while being cross-examined by a hostile defense attorney. As you might expect, the types of things that cause injury or death in a healthcare setting can vary widely. This means that there are many different types of expert witnesses that could be used in a medical malpractice case.
The most common type of expert medical witness is usually a specialist in a certain medical field. For example, if someone was injured during orthopedic surgery, an orthopedic specialist would be the obvious choice to testify about that information. A medical expert witness may also be a Medical Examiner who can testify to the cause of death or the factors that contributed to that victim’s death. They may also be scientists, experts in a related field, or general practitioners who can contribute to more general concepts like the standard of care.
Types of Medical Malpractice Damages
Depending on the damage incurred, you may be entitled to a certain amount of compensation. However, this compensation is limited (usually termed capped) to a certain amount which varies from state to state. There are a few different types of damages you can seek via your medical malpractice lawyer, due to medical malpractice. (For more details on the subject, see in-depth Medical Malpractice damages).
- General Damages: These damages can range from life-altering pain and suffering to future lost earnings due to potential inability to work caused by the injury. For example, if a person was being drafted to the NFL and, as a result of medical malpractice, lost a limb, the potential earnings from the NFL may be sought as general damages. It also covers general loss of enjoyment of life (known as hedonic damages). These damages are usually asked for and determined by the expert witnesses that testify.
- Special Damages: These are specific, calculable expenses like medical bills, lost wages from missed work, calculable future lost earnings from missing work, modifications to the home, and other specifc costs. These damages can be proved by paperwork, receipts, or anything of the like and often require little to no testifying.
- Punitive Damages: The damages are separate from general and special damages and seek specifically to punish the doctor or healthcare provider for their actions. They are rare in medical malpractice, but it does happen. Punitive damages are usually reserved for the most extreme of cases in which a provider’s actions were intentionally harmful and obviously deplorable.
Regardless of the damages caused, Florida has a limit of $500,000 in compensation for medical malpractice suits against a healthcare provider and a surprising $750,000 against non-medical practitioners. (For more information on Florida medical malpractice laws, see §766 of the Florida Statutes).
Florida Statutes of Limitations on Med Mal Cases
A “statute of limitations” is a state-imposed deadline on how long the injured party has to file a lawsuit against the healthcare provider. Florida’s statute of limitations on medical malpractice cases can be found at Florida Statute § 95.11.
In Florida, the injured person, or their family, must begin filing the medical malpractice lawsuit within two years of discovering their injury. However, a victim has four years in total from when the malpractice occurred. These restrictions are in place to deal with situations where a person didn’t know they were injured until much later. The time restriction is also meant to protect healthcare providers so they cannot be sued for a surgery they performed 10 years ago, during which time many other circumstances could have contributed.
Florida does have one exception to this rule, which comes into play if the healthcare provider, surgeon, or doctor intentionally hid their medical malpractice from you. In this situation, the statute of limitations is two years from when the injury was discovered or seven years from when the medical error occurred. This is why it is so vital to review local medical malpractice attorneys in your area.
The statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases does not apply to cases involving minors, as long as they were under 18 at the time of the error or incident.
Pre-Suit Requirements on Statute of Limitations
In Florida, a person injured by a medical professional is required to notify the health care provider of their intention to sue. This notification must include an expert witness’s sworn statement on the merits of their med mal claim.
Additional Considerations For Medical Negligence Cases
Medical malpractice does not just require legal expertise, but medical expertise as well. The combination of these two complicated areas adds to the complication of medical malpractice claims. Further, medical malpractice lawyers are well aware that well over 50% of med-mal jury trials end in a defense verdict. It is more difficult than ever to find an experienced medical malpractice lawyer based on the costs related to taking a malpractice lawsuit all the way through trial. A typical medical malpractice claim that goes all the way through trial will cost the plaintiff lawyer well over $125,000.00 on average to retain expert witnesses, obtain medical studies by said retained witnesses, and the cost of trial exhibits and demonstrative aids used.
For this reason, it’s important to speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney about your case before proceeding with what can be an expensive process. Approaching such a complicated area of both law and medicine alone could wind up wasting valuable resources, like time and money.
Finding The Best Medical Negligence Lawyers
Keep in mind that not all medical injury lawyers and law firms are of the same quality. Before selecting an attorney or a firm to represent your interests as a victim of medical malpractice, it is essential you research the reputation of your firm in the community and its overall quality of practice. A majority of our clients are referred to us by other law firms throughout the State of Florida. In fact, our colleagues often refer, Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers (hereinafter “Sibley Dolman Gipe,” their biggest and most complicated cases. We believe this speaks volumes about the quality of work provided at Sibley Dolman Gipe. Our goal is to provide the financial resources, experience, and tenacity of a large firm, yet offer the hands-on and personal touch found at a small firm.
At Sibley Dolman Gipe, we have garnered a reputation for aggressive litigation. We have consistently taken cases to trial. Insurance carriers know that there is a bite behind the bark at our law firm. Our Medical Malpractice Lawyers, believe there is no substitute for direct attorney-client communications and make every effort to remain accessible to our clients. All clients receive the personal cell phone number of their handling attorney. Additionally, we have the financial resources to take on the largest insurance carriers and healthcare institutions; while being able to retain the best experts to illustrate the damages our client has sustained.
Medical Malpractice Lawyers Near Me
Sibley Dolman Gipe maintains offices on both coasts of Florida. In fact, we have offices in Tampa, North Miami Beach, St. Petersburg, Fort Lauderdale, Clearwater, Orlando, Boca Raton, Bradenton, Aventura, Doral and New Port Richey. Our injury attorneys and med mal lawyers, routinely litigate cases throughout the State of Florida. We presently handle lawsuits in Hillsborough, Dade, Broward, Pinellas, Palm Beach, Pasco, Manatee, Polk, Sarasota, Martin, Orange, Lee and Collier Counties. Thus if you enter a Google search for “medical neglect attorneys near me,” or “attorneys near me for medical negligence,” there is a good chance our firm shows up. We offer a free case evaluation for all injury victims. Sibley Dolman Gipe is your local medical malpractice law firm.
Why Choose Sibley Dolman Gipe As Your Medical Malpractice Law Firm
Medical malpractice is almost never intentional. Sometimes, healthcare professionals make personal decisions when trying to solve an issue. For example, a patient may show signs of deep nerve damage and high pain tolerance, so a chiropractor applies more force than usual, causing damage to a patient’s spinal cord and permanent paralysis. While this case is an extreme example meant for illustrative purposes, it’s not out of the realm of possibilities. The worst part is, that chiropractors, even though they had no intention of harming the patient, may end up facing no consequences, charges, limitations, or punishment. It’s usually a double-edged sword, so to speak. Yes, accidents happen. And perhaps some sympathy for this chiropractor—who never meant to cause such life-changing and possibly life-ending harm—should be expressed. But, NEVER should a patient who has received such damages be ignored because of it.
Here at Sibley Dolman Gipe, we fight to make things right. It’s absolutely unacceptable for a patient to be a victim of real, clear-cut medical malpractice. The last thing people expect is to be injured or made sick while in a hospital to get healthy. If you believe you may have a medical malpractice case, we can help. There may only be a short window of opportunity for you to pursue your case, so don’t wait any longer. Our experienced medical malpractice attorneys are ready to fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
We have represented medical malpractice victims who have suffered the following injuries as a result of negligence by a physician or medical provider:
- Birth trauma or negligence during delivery resulting in cerebral palsy.
- Brachial plexus injury caused by errors made during the birth delivery process.
- Broken bones and permanent nerve damage caused by a surgeon’s negligence.
- Post-operative infections or surgical site infections as a result of negligence by either a Surgeon, surgical staff under the surgeon’s supervision, or a healthcare provider.
If you are wondering whether you need a personal injury attorney to help you with your case, checkout our article, “When Do You Need to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?” where we get the opinion of attorneys from around the country.
About Sibley Dolman Gipe
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, P.A. (formerly Dolman Law Group) was founded in 2009 by Attorney Matthew Dolman—president of the firm. The attorneys at Sibley Dolman Gipe have a combined 110 plus years of experience handling personal injury and Florida medical malpractice claims. Our team has successfully handled lawsuits against such corporate giants as Publix, Bloomin Brands, Walt Disney World, Walmart, Winn Dixie, Target, Geico, State Farm, Progressive, Allstate, and practically every other large national insurance carrier.
Matt has been selected as a Florida Super Lawyer Rising Star in 2013–2017, a prestigious title given by Super Lawyers rating service to outstanding candidates under 40. He has since been selected as a Florida Superlawyer twice in the past three years. He has been voted by his colleagues as Florida Legal Elite in Florida Trends Magazine on three occasions. Matt was also selected as a “National Top 100 Trial Lawyer” and as a “Top 40 Under 40” by NTL (National Trial Lawyers Organization). He also scores a perfect 10.0 rating on Avvo.com, a respected online legal directory. He is also a life member of the Million and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for his largest claim settlements in excess of $1 Million and $2 Million respectively.
Stanley Gipe is a Florida Bar Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer who has first-chaired many jury trials. Further, Stan has served as lead counsel on numerous serious and often catastrophic injury lawsuits filed in the following counties; Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco, Hernando, Polk, Sarasota, and Manatee Counties. Matt and Stan combined have handled over 10,000 personal injury-related claims and over 2000 lawsuits.
Our law firm focuses on catastrophic injury law along with spine, extremity, and brain injury cases. We represent a wide variety of injury victims, including those who have been a victim of medical malpractice, car or motorcycle accidents, wrongful death, traumatic brain injury, slip and fall accidents, distracted or drunk driving, lawsuits on behalf of those who have been diagnosed with cancer as a result of AFFF firefighting foam, and the filing of a Zantac lawsuit along with many more types of injury claims.
At Sibley Dolman Gipe, we’re on your side. Being home to experienced, successful, and professional attorneys makes Sibley Dolman Gipe a wise choice. We also provide an important gateway for success by providing our clients with the personal cell phone number of the attorney dealing with their case, enabling real relationships and connections. We’ve been ‘in it to win it’ since 2009 and we hope you are as well. Our medical malpractice lawyers have the experience, financial resources, and resolve to handle the biggest and most challenging cases.
Here’s what Chris from Clearwater said about us on Google:
“The team at Dolman is outstanding. Extremely professional and prompt to your needs. When going through a difficult time in life it’s nice to have people who care about the things you have no idea about. Highly recommend this group. ”
Rating: 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
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Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756
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