- Investigate your claim to discover if medical malpractice has taken place
- Find the medical experts who can explain what happened and provide testimony and evidence to prove that your previous provider was negligent
- Help you find a different doctor who can help you recover from your injuries
- Work toward getting you the maximum amount possible from a medical malpractice claim
- Cover the costs of a potentially lengthy and expensive legal battle
Regardless of the circumstance you are in, our attorneys will treat you with the utmost dignity and respect. You won’t have any upfront costs and only pay if your case is won or settled.
Medical Malpractice in Jacksonville
In the State of Florida, the law says that if you are injured as a result of the negligence of a healthcare provider, you are entitled to recover damages. This refers to both intentional and unintentional negligence or care that fell below the industry standard.
Some of the scenarios that constitute medical malpractice in Florida include:
- Wrongful death during any medical procedure
- Incorrect medical treatment or failure to provide treatment
- Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose
- Harm or injury caused during surgery or other medical procedure
- Injury to a patient or infant during childbirth
- Pharmacy or medication errors – ether prescribing or dispensing
Any health care provider can be the subject of a lawsuit for medical malpractice in Jacksonville. This includes doctors, nurses, psychologists, hospitals, medical clinics, and medical groups.
Most health care providers have deep pockets and will have experienced defense attorneys at their disposal, so it’s crucial that you have a skilled, experienced Jacksonville medical malpractice team to present your case. To protect against claims made in bad faith, the State of Florida requires medical malpractice attorneys to present a certificate to show that a reasonable investigation was carried out. Without this certificate, your case may be dismissed and you won’t be able to recover any damages. We will dedicate the resources necessary to prove your case and make the people responsible for your injury accept that responsibility.
Compensation for medical malpractice claims
When you or a loved one have been injured or become ill due to the carelessness or negligence of a healthcare professional, you need to know how you will be compensated. Medical mistakes can become incredibly costly. It is not uncommon for a medical error to significantly prolong a person’s hospital stay, cause a re-hospitalization, or cause prolonged or lifelong medical problems. In many cases, a medical mistake will lead to the death of a patient.
Victims of medical malpractice can file civil lawsuits to recover both economic and non-economic damages. When we are talking about economic damages (also called special damages), we are discussing victims’ costs that are quantifiable. This can include:
- medical expense caused by the mistake
- lost income and wages of the person injured
- caregiver expenses
- cost of physical therapy or rehabilitation
In the event the medical error has caused the death of a loved one there are specific requirements as to who may pursue claims for damages as survivors. Those economic damages might include loss of support and household services, loss of net’ accumulations to the estate, funeral bills, medical bills.
There will be some economic damages that are a bit harder to calculate. This can include things like the cost of future medical bills arising from the medical error as well as the loss of future income if a victim cannot work.
When we discuss non-economic damages (also called general damages), we are talking about things that are more difficult to put a definite value on. Consider the following things:
- pain and suffering damages
- loss of quality of life damages
- compensation for psychological disorders
- loss of enjoyment of life
- loss of consortium
- nightmares and trouble sleeping
- chronic pain
Likewise, should a medical error caused the death of a loved one, any eligible survivors may seek non-economic damages for things such as loss of instruction and guidance of a parent, mental pain and suffering and other damages from losing the ongoing relationship with the loved one. Once again, it depends on the nature of that relationship and whether or not one qualifies as a survivor.
We also need to discuss punitive damages that could be available against the person or agency responsible for the medical error. Punitive damages could be awarded if the actions of the medical professional were reckless or grossly negligent. There are other guideposts as to what will qualify to permit punitive damages and from whom they might be awarded.
Under Florida statute, there use to be caps imposed on non-economic damages. However, as of June 2017, these caps no longer apply. The Florida Supreme court ruled that caps on medical malpractice damages were unconstitutional.
Statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims in Florida
Please understand that it is important to act as quickly as possible in all medical malpractice cases. The sooner you work to secure an attorney to help with your case, the quicker the work can begin on seeking the compensation you need.
Each case is different, and a variety of factors go into how long each medical malpractice claim takes. Because of this, you should contact our office as soon as you realize a medical mistake has been made. Your attorney will be aware of any deadlines in place pertaining to your case. If you have any questions about the statute of limitations for a Florida medical malpractice claim, call us today.
Who can be held responsible for medical malpractice injuries?
Think about how many medical professionals you or your family members see each year. This can include:
- Pharmacy technicians
- EMTs and paramedics
- In-home health aides
- Physician’s assistants
- Alternative medicine providers
- And more
Most people only think medical malpractice claims can be brought against a doctor or surgeon, but that is not true. Any medical provider that has a duty to provide a standard of care to you can be held responsible for malpractice.
There are certain elements that must be met in order for a medical malpractice case to be successful:
- The provider owed a duty of care to the patient
- The provider breached their duty of care by deviating from the standard
- The patient was injured
- The injuries were caused by the provider’s breach of duty
When discussing the standard of care, we are referring to the degree of care and skills the average medical professional would render a person in a situation similar to the one in which you were harmed. It is when the healthcare professional deviates from the standard of care that patients get hurt.
It is not just individuals that can be held responsible for medical malpractice. Hospitals, clinics, and other agencies that employ healthcare professionals could also be held responsible through vicarious liability. This refers to a party being held responsible for the mistake not due to their own negligence, but rather the negligence of the people they employ.
Hospitals and other agencies could also be directly responsible if:
- They fail to perform due diligence when hiring employees (employee’s education, training, background, etc.).
- They do not properly staff the facility and ensure enough people are on duty at all times to maintain adequate patient care.
- They fail to protect patients from harm due to premises liability issues.
- They neglect to keep adequate medical records.
- They fail to perform clinical tests.
- They fail to properly treat an uninsured in an emergency situation.
In some cases, there may be multiple negligent parties in a single malpractice lawsuit. This could include a surgeon and the hospital they work for, a doctor and nurse for failing to treat and diagnose a patient, and so on.
How common is medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice is much more common than most people realize. Johns Hopkins researchers shocked the medical community when they said that medical mistakes kill around 250,000 people each year in the United States. This makes medical errors the third leading cause of death in the country, behind only heart disease and cancer.
However, those numbers only account for fatalities. Millions of people are injured each year due to medical mistakes. These victims and their families are left dealing with the enormous consequences of the medical errors.
The fact of the matter is that most people in the US seek medical care for something each year. The overwhelming number of visits to medical providers is resolved without a provider making a mistake. However, these mistakes occur often. We should be able to expect quality medical care when we seek help from trained healthcare providers. If you or a loved one are injured due to a medical provider’s negligent or careless actions, it is vital that you secure assistance from a qualified medical malpractice attorney to help you navigate these claims.
Get Legal Assistance With Your Medical Malpractice Case
If you believe you’ve been injured as a result of medical malpractice, we are here to help. Our lawyers understand the challenges you face and want to help you get the justice that you deserve. Call us today to find for a free, no obligation consultation.