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What is Medical Negligence?
Every day, thousands of Americans put their lives in the hands of medical professionals around the country, trusting them to fulfill their duties and protect their wellbeing. However, there are countless instances of medical malpractice every year, which result in injuries, further complications, and even death due to the negligence or oversight of medical workers.
Medical malpractice can occur in every medical field and, as such, can result in a wide variety of injuries and negative effects that can cause a person’s already poor condition to worsen instead of improve. These injuries can occur during diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, and many other steps during medical care. Those injured or the families of those who have passed away due to medical professionals’ harmful actions can seek compensation for their injuries.
Negligence by physicians and medical staff can result in serious, and even deadly injuries.
When taking on doctors, big hospitals, and insurance companies, the truth isn’t enough. If you think you have an open-and-shut case of Florida medical malpractice, you’re probably wrong. It takes a lot more than your word because you’re up against doctors and hospitals who have reputations to protect and deep pockets to cover every angle of a case. The only way to win is to fight fire with fire.
Contact Farah & Farah today to speak with our Jacksonville medical malpractice attorneys. Our Jacksonville personal injury lawyers are not afraid to spend money on a case we believe in. We have the resources to take on the heavy-hitters in the medical industry.
Filing Medical Malpractice Claims in Florida
Dealing with medicine is not a black and white issue. It’s technical and complicated and it takes educated and proven professionals to present your side of a malpractice claim. We have an expert support staff of researchers and investigators. Plus, we seek and find the most knowledgeable experts in the field of medicine from nationally recognized teaching hospitals. We’re careful in our selection because we know it matters.
We’re here to help. If you or someone you love has been the victim of medical malpractice, it’s time to get to work. Contact Farah & Farah today – our attorneys will take on big hospitals, insurance companies, even physicians employed by the federal government under the Federal Torts Claim Act. Remember, doctors will fight tooth-and-nail to save their reputations. You need someone who’ll do the same for you.
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Medical Malpractice Caps – What You Should Know!
Over the past months, there has been a great deal of talk about a so-called "Insurance Crisis," that is driving up the cost of health care and doctor’s insurance premiums. Often medical malpractice lawyers are cited as the bad guys driving that train.
At Farah & Farah, we believe that the crisis is within two industries, the medical profession – that needs to do a better job policing itself, and the insurance industry that is gouging doctors by hiking insurance premiums and then blaming medical malpractice attorneys for the hikes in premiums thus creating the "crisis."
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Recently it has been reported by the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO), which is the non-partisan research arm of Congress, that after investigating claims of a "medical malpractice crisis," the GAO rejected the notion of any "crisis" declaring that "many of the reported physician actions and hospital-based service reductions were not substantiated and did not widely affect access to health care."
The bottom line is – doctors are not leaving the profession over medical malpractice and hospitals are not denying access to care. In other words, there is no "malpractice insurance crisis!"
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Farah & Farah – Jacksonville Medical Malpractice Attorneys Protecting Victims of Medical Errors
We want you to know that our Florida medical negligence lawyers have been active in the legislative battle in Florida and across the nation to protect a consumer’s right to maintain a medical malpractice claim when a person has been injured as a result of a medical mistake.
Over the last several years, the Florida Legislature has passed laws limiting a victim’s right in a medical malpractice action. Although we fought these measures in this legislature, and even though your rights as a consumer have been affected, we are still dedicated to pursuing your meritorious claim for medical malpractice. The legislation doesn’t address medical mistakes or limit what insurers can charge – but it does cap your ability to have your day in court and to hold a wrongdoer accountable.
Unfortunately, many law firms are turning down these types of cases because they may not be able to recover their cost in bringing the case to trial. However, the medical malpractice attorneys at Farah & Farah in Jacksonville, Florida are still dedicated to protecting the rights of the injured and will not back down in spite of these new caps on damages. Our firm will not give up fighting for injured patients and we will use all of the resources it takes to obtain justice for our clients.
We believe that trying to solve a problem that does not exist by taking away somebody’s rights is never going to work.
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All surgeries carry risks, but patients can also be harmed during surgery by the carelessness or incompetence of a surgeon or their operating staff. In these cases, a medical malpractice lawsuit can be filed on behalf of the victim if they sustained injury as a result of the mistake or negligence.
Surgical injuries may result from: the use of defective or improper operating equipment, failure to take a thorough medical history from the patient prior to surgery, and even more alarming mistakes such as performing surgery on the wrong area of the body and forgetting to remove clamps or other surgical instruments before closing incisions. If you or a family member believes you were the victim of negligence before, during, or after a surgical procedure, please contact our medical malpractice attorneys in Jacksonville, Florida today.
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Hospital negligence can range from providing sub-par care to maintaining unclean or dangerous facilities. For example, a nurse or doctor may provide negligent care for a patient by failing to obtain a medical history, order appropriate tests, or deliver necessary care. Other hospital personnel might be negligent by failing to properly sanitize medical equipment or properly prevent people’s exposure to hazardous materials.
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Cancer is a serious disease that, when caught early, can often be successfully treated and/or controlled. For certain types of cancer, an early diagnosis can be life-saving, greatly improving the chances of survival. Conversely, delaying or misdiagnosing cancer can have devastating consequences, not only because it postpones necessary treatment, but because it can potentially allow the cancer to spread.
Misdiagnosis of cancer can result when a physician misreads a test, fails to order the tests needed to make a proper diagnosis, or labels a tumor or lump benign when it is in fact malignant. It is important for patients to be aware that both a misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis of cancer can constitute medical malpractice. If you are a victim of misdiagnosis of cancer in Florida, our Florida cancer misdiagnosis lawyers can offer you legal assistance. Contact our Jacksonville, Florida firm today to discuss your case.
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As a rule, physicians who prescribe medication should only do so after taking a thorough medical history from their patient. Unfortunately, this does not always occur. Medications may be improperly prescribed for a patient based on any of the following reasons: the medication may interact negatively with current medication the patient is taking; an existing medical condition (ex: heart failure) should preclude the patient from taking the medication; or the patient may have a known or unknown allergy to the medication.
Medication errors can cause severe health problems and even death – if you are the victim of a medication error, contact our medical malpractice attorneys in Jacksonville, Florida today.
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In May 2008, the Florida Legislature passed the Pharmacy Technician Act. It is a significant piece of legislation that should keep us all safer from the medication errors made by pharmacy technicians. Florida Governor Charlie Crist signed SB 1360 into law in July 2008.
Senate Bill 1360 brings some justice to the Hippely family.
Back in the summer of 2002, Beth Hippely of Lakeland, Florida was undergoing treatment for breast cancer. She was taking chemotherapy and the blood thinner, Warfarin, also known as Coumadin.
The pharmacy tech at Walgreens gave her a refill order at ten times the dose for Warfarin. After three weeks on the medication, Beth suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage. She went into a coma after suffering brain damage and then was put on life support.
Amazingly, she did not die. Eventually she regained enough function to live out her life in a nursing home. But because she could not take medication for cancer, her cancer returned, and she died in January 2007.
A lawsuit in Polk County on behalf of the family against Walgreens for negligence and wrongful death resulted in a $25.8 million award for damages.
The new Pharmacy Technician Act should help prevent these kinds of pharmaceutical errors by inexperienced and unsupervised technicians.
It requires pharmacy technicians to register with the Florida Board of Pharmacy and to work directly under the supervision of a pharmacist. The tech must be at least 17 years old and they are required to complete 20 hours of continuing education in pharmaceutical procedures prior to a biennial renewal of their registration.
It will be against Florida law for anyone who is not registered as a pharmacy technician to perform that job.
With medication errors commonplace, the Pharmacy Technician Act is long overdue to tighten up standards for pharmacy technicians working in Florida.
More than 40,000 pharmacy techs will have to register with the Florida Board of Pharmacy by 2010. By 2011, they will have to complete the board-approved training program with 1,500 hours working as a technician under a Florida licensed pharmacist or be certified by an accredited program.
Prescription errors take many forms. Not only can a tech or a pharmacist give you the wrong dosage of medication but errors are sometimes made when drugs have a similar name; when someone does not ask you about any allergies or whether you are taking other medications; or when you are given incorrect information on how and when to take a medication.
That’s what happened to Terry Paul Smith.
The 46-year old roofing contractor went to a Jacksonville Walgreens in the summer of 2001 to get a prescription filled for methadone for the pain in his legs and back after other painkillers left him drowsy. Filling his prescription was a 22-year-old part-time tech who had just failed a national certification exam that would have given her an extra 50-cents an hour.
She typed up a prescription label with an “as needed” dosage instruction. Smith was supposed to take four 10-milligram tablets twice a day, according to doctor instructions. Within 36 hours he took 22 pills and Smith was found dead, curled up on the shower floor from methadone toxicity. His widow settled a lawsuit with Walgreens for an undisclosed sum.
Data from the Florida Board of Pharmacy shows there are about 600 complaints a year against pharmacies and just as many against individual pharmacists.
We all know that the big pharmacy chains have cut their costs to increase profitability. Keeping the cost of labor down is one way to keep profitable. Because a pharmacist makes an adult living wage, it makes sense to staff a pharmacy with as many technicians as you can to keep costs down and profits up.
But it’s about more than profits. Terry Paul Smith and Beth Hippely lost their lives because of preventable mistakes.
Even after the new requirements are phased in over the next few years, you should always read your prescription directions and make sure the dose and instructions reflect what you were told by your physician.
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Failure to Diagnose
To properly treat a patient, it is essential to first identify what is ailing them. Diagnosis is the cornerstone of effective medical treatment. Unfortunately, failure to diagnose occurs frequently and forms the basis of countless lawsuits handled by the medical malpractice attorneys at our Jacksonville personal injury firm. What tends to occur in these types of cases is that the initial failure to diagnosis prevents early intervention and effective treatment. By the time the diagnosis is made, it is often too late to treat the condition.
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When physicians or their support staff fail to provide a reasonable standard of care before, during, or just after the birth of a child, this action, or inaction, can form the basis of a medical malpractice lawsuit. Birth injury refers to any trauma sustained by an infant in the womb or during and after birth. Birth trauma may result in the following types of permanent or temporary conditions and impairments: cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, shoulder dystocia, fractures, and brain damage. Our Florida birth injury attorneys handle all types of birth injury lawsuits. To discuss your child’s case, contact our Jacksonville office.
In many cases, birth injury is the result of an interruption of the flow of oxygen to the brain. In these situations, the quick response of a physician can prevent serious injury. When a physician fails to react to an emergency situation during birth (including failing to order a cesarean section), or when the mother is not properly monitored prior to and during birth, that physician may be guilty of medical malpractice. If your child suffered a birth injury that you feel may have been caused by negligence, the medical malpractice lawyers at Farah & Farah in Jacksonville, Florida can help. Please contact Farah & Farah today for more information. Our firm is based in Jacksonville but we have offices throughout Northern Florida.
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Cerebral palsy, or CP, is a muscle control disorder that occurs when the part of the brain known as the cerebrum is damaged. Patients with cerebral palsy have difficulty controlling their movements and may have visual, auditory, and speech impairments as well as learning disabilities. Motor skills are limited and seizures can occur in some cases.
Cerebral palsy usually occurs around the time of birth and can be caused by medical malpractice. In some cases, a doctor may not recognize problems that can occur during labor or may fail to quickly and appropriately respond once a problem is identified. If the doctor’s negligent actions lead to a brain injury that causes cerebral palsy, our medical malpractice attorneys may be able to file suit. Cerebral palsy is a permanent condition often requiring long-term medical care, and our medical malpractice attorneys can help families throughout Florida receive the compensation they need and deserve to provide that care.
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Injuries inflicted by medical malpractice not only cause pain and suffering in victims, but can also lessen their chances for recovery from the condition they were seeking help for in the first place. Farah & Farah’s Florida medical malpractice lawyers are dedicated to helping people who have suffered due to the negligence and mistakes of medical professionals.
Farah & Farah can help victims of medical negligence and their families receive much needed compensation. Please contact our medical malpractice lawyers to learn more.
Recent Medical Malpractice Verdicts and Settlements
- $5 Million Settlement – Medical Malpractice/Traumatic Brain Injury
- $4.3 Million Award to Minor – Medical Negligence Resulting in Legal Blindness and Neurological Damage
View more Case Results here.
Note: All cases are based on their own facts, so results will vary. Results are before attorney’s fee, costs, and expenses. Most cases result in a lower recovery. It should not be assumed that your case will have as beneficial a result.
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Infographic: Medical Malpractice – What You Need to Know
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