To collect damages for losses and injuries caused by medical malpractice, an injured party must show that the negligent actions of a doctor or hospital failed to meet the normal standard of care and that this negligence was directly responsible for harm to the patient.
While it may seem apparent to an injured patient and their family that healthcare practitioners made serious mistakes in their treatment or surgery, a Florida medical malpractice lawsuit is rarely that straightforward. That’s why an injured patient needs the advocacy of an experienced Florida medical malpractice lawyer to establish the negligence and causation that justifies a significant damages award.
The patient’s medical injury attorney will use all available facts and evidence to show a direct caregiver relationship between the injured patient and the doctor or medical facility that is alleged to have committed medical malpractice. The existence of that relationship establishes the doctor’s or facility’s unqualified obligation to provide care according to prevailing medical community standards.
In complex malpractice cases where medical standards are at issue, the patient’s attorney will often elicit testimony and affidavits from experts who have experience in the medical field or specialty that is at issue in the lawsuit. These experts will testify as to the normal, reasonable procedures that a typical doctor would follow in a given case and highlight the ways in which the defendant’s actions fell short of this established standard.
Hospitals and physicians maintain copious records of their care and treatment of patients. Florida medical malpractice attorneys use those records and testimony from both direct and expert witnesses to prove, for example, that:
If questions exist over appropriate diagnoses or treatments for an illness or injury, expert testimony will be necessary to determine whether a doctor or hospital provided appropriate care under the facts and circumstances of the case.
To recover medical malpractice compensation for a patient’s injuries, the patient must not only show that a physician or hospital committed a medical error, but also that the error was the direct and proximate cause of the patient’s losses. Causation may be an issue, for example, where a patient has been diagnosed with multiple health conditions and there is a question over whether a medical error or one of the patient’s other pre-existing conditions catalyzed the resulting injury or illness.
Florida also applies comparative negligence standards to medical malpractice cases. In practice, this means that a patient’s conduct will also be reviewed to determine if the patient partially caused the illness or injury associated with a medical error.
A patient may be partially at fault for his or her injury or illness if the patient:
Your lawyer will need to procure an affidavit from a medical expert to verify the validity of your claim before he or she files your lawsuit. Your lawsuit will be dismissed if it is not supported by an appropriate affidavit.
Further, you need to file your case within two years of when the medical malpractice error occurred, or when you first discovered that your injury was the result of malpractice.
The sooner you contact an attorney, the easier it will be to gather the evidence needed to build a strong case demonstrating that a physician’s or hospital’s carelessness was responsible for your injury or illness.
Kogan & DiSalvo offers free assessments of medical malpractice claims and have recovered millions of dollars in damages for patients whose lives have been affected by egregious medical errors.
Please reach out at your earliest opportunity to schedule a confidential and complimentary consultation.