The American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys defines medical malpractice  as occurring when a hospital, doctor or other health care professional, through a negligent act or omission, causes an injury to a patient. The negligence might be the result of errors in diagnosis, treatment, aftercare or health management. In the state of Florida, Title XLV, Chapter 766.102 of the statute provides:
“In any action for recovery of damages based on the death or personal injury of any person in which it is alleged that such death or injury resulted from the negligence of a health care provider”
Any person who assumes any part of the responsibility for a patient’s medical and/or psychological well-being can be found guilty of medical malpractice. This includes nurses, pharmacists, psychologists, and specialists. To be considered medical malpractice under the law, the claim usually has the following characteristics:
- A doctor-patient relationship existed. You must show that you had a physician-patient relationship which usually means that you hired the doctor and the doctor agreed to be hired. Questions of whether or not the relationship exists most frequently arise where a consulting physician did not treat you directly.
- A violation of the standard of care – There are standards that are recognized by the medical profession as being acceptable medical treatment by reasonably prudent health care professionals under like or similar circumstances. This is known as the standard of care. A patient has the right to expect that health care professionals will deliver care that is consistent with these standards.
- The injury was caused by the negligence – Just because a patient is unhappy with their treatment or results does not mean the doctor is liable for medical malpractice. The patient must also prove that he or she sustained an injury that would not have occurred in the absence of negligence. Because many malpractice cases involve patients that were already sick or injured, there is often a question of whether what the doctor did, negligent or not, actually caused the harm. The patient must prove that the negligence caused the injury. If there is an injury without negligence or negligence that did not cause an injury, there is likely no claim.
- The injury resulted in significant damages – Medical malpractice lawsuits can be extremely expensive to litigate, frequently requiring the testimony of numerous medical experts and countless hours of deposition testimony. The patient must show that significant damages resulted from an injury received due to the medical negligence. To pursue a medical malpractice claim, the patient must show that the injury resulted in disability, loss of income, unusual pain, suffering and hardship, or significant past and future medical bills.
Examples of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice can take many forms including the following:
- Failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis: Misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis account for a large percentage of medical malpractice complaints. When a doctor misdiagnoses a condition (or fails to diagnose a serious disease for some time), the patient might miss treatment opportunities that could have prevented serious harm or even death.
- Improper medication including incorrect dosage: Medication errors can occur many ways, from the initial prescription to the administration of the drug.
- Errors in anesthesia: Anesthesia mistakes can be more dangerous than surgery mistakes. Even a small error by the anesthesiologist can result in permanent injury, brain damage, or even death.
St. Petersburg Medical Malpractice Attorneys
When an individual is a victim of medical malpractice, it is important to speak to a St. Petersburg medical malpractice lawyer. These victims may be able to recover significant compensation for their injuries and damages such as lost employment or future wages. A medical malpractice case can be very complicated with strict deadlines involving both legal and medical issues under Florida law making it necessary to retain an experienced attorney with a track record of success in this area. The attorneys at the Dolman Law Group are skilled malpractice attorneys and they are ready to review and evaluate your case to determine what compensation you may be entitled to receive. Contact Dolman Law Group today at 727-222-6922 to schedule your free legal case evaluation and consultation.
Dolman Law Group
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712