Unfortunately, medical errors are a frequent occurrence, with consequences that can range from temporary discomfort to permanent injuries or death for patients. And while not all medical errors occur intentionally or because of negligence, you have a right to pursue a case if you or a loved one has suffered due to a medical provider who has failed to provide treatment within the standard of care.
It is important to remember that medical malpractice can occur in any setting. From hospitals to outpatient clinics, medical providers in Florida are required to follow certain standards to ensure that each patient receives proper treatment and is informed of potential risks. However, due to the complexity of medical care and potential malpractice incidents, it’s crucial to establish a solid malpractice claim and prove that your injuries are a direct result of your medical provider’s actions. This complexity means that a significant amount of time must be invested in every case to ensure a claim is feasible. With a two-year statute of limitations in the state of Florida, the earlier you speak with an attorney and start the process, the better off you will be.
Common Examples of Medical Malpractice
Delayed or Misdiagnosis
The first and most pivotal step of addressing a health concern with a patient is proper diagnosis of their condition. A delay in diagnosis could setback potentially life-altering or lifesaving treatment, and in some cases, a delay of just a few hours may mean the difference between temporary and permanent injuries for the patient. When a provider misses the mark entirely and provides a misdiagnosis, the consequences can be dire. The patient will not only lose valuable time in treating the true condition, but they may be needlessly exposed to treatment methods or medications that can cause grave injury or death.
When prescribing a medication to a patient, clear communication with the patient is essential in ensuring safe and proper administration of the drug. Malpractice can occur if a patient is not provided with proper instructions on dosing frequently of the medication. Errors can also occur if a provider has prescribed a drug with known contraindications to other medications the patient is currently taking. It is important that medical providers obtain the full scope of a patient’s active prescriptions and that they act accordingly with drug safety protocol.
“Having been a patient advocate, it was only natural that I became a plaintiff medical malpractice attorney. Having been a nurse in the past, I understand the patient and their pain, suffering—whether you lose a loved one or are injured…and my nursing side lets me be empathetic to my clients while we go through the hard process of litigation.” –Nancy La Vista, Partner
Labor and childbirth can be fraught with potential complications, and any practitioner that takes action outside of the safest standard of care during this process can cause lifelong consequences or death for the infant and the mother. A medical provider is also responsible for diagnosing birth defects, and failure to do so could result in circumstances that leave them liable.
Surgical errors can come in many forms, and negligence during an operation can lead to an array of complications for a patient. Surgeons who perform a procedure on the wrong body part or organ, administer inaccurate doses of anesthesia, fail to follow protocol while performing the procedure, or perform surgery on the wrong patient are clear cases of medical malpractice. Complications can also arise weeks or months after a procedure when it is discovered that an instrument or device was left behind in the patient’s body. Malpractice can also occur as a result of infection due to unsanitary or unsafe conditions in the hospital or medical office, or inadequate post-surgical care. If a medical provider has not taken steps to ensure the patient is safe during and post-surgery, they may be held partially or fully responsible.
Failure to Inform
One of the most fundamental aspects of preparing a patient for any type of medical treatment is “informed consent”. Informed consent means the provider has disclosed all potential risks and side effects of the selected course of treatment. It is the provider’s duty to make sure the patient is aware of what to expect AND has granted permission for the treatment to proceed. If a provider does not disclose all pertinent information or provides treatment that the patient has not consented to and the patient suffers injuries as a result, this is a form of malpractice.
Negligence and subpar medical practices are often unintentional, and are typically a result of oversight. However, if you are injured or have lost a loved one due to the suspected actions of a medical professional, an experienced attorney can help protect your interests.
Have You Been Injured Due to Medical Malpractice?
Our medical malpractice attorneys at Clark, Fountain, La Vista, Prather, Littky-Rubin & Whitman have over 200 years of collective legal experience. Together, we have recovered more than one billion dollars for past clients, and we want to help you, too.
We are confident in our ability to stand up against any medical facility and other formidable opponents, and we look forward to helping you through this difficult time.
Contact Clark, Fountain, La Vista, Prather, Littky-Rubin & Whitman today to get started.