With the huge amount of money and time that people have to pay for the healthcare system across the United States, a certain standard of care is expected to be delivered by medical professionals. We would hope that the medical professionals we entrust to help us are skilled and capable of making us better.
However, this is not always the case. Medical professional doctors and nurses can make inexcusable errors and mistakes that can have a huge impact on a person’s life. If you or someone you know has experienced medical malpractice, it may be in your best interest to seek the legal help of a Tampa medical malpractice attorney.
You could be entitled to receive some compensation if you have a medical malpractice case in Florida. Reputable medical malpractice lawyers in Florida will be able to evaluate your medical negligence case and advise you in what legal options are available to you in compliance with Tampa and Florida Law.
The Law Place law firm in Tampa, FL. has over 75 years of combined experience in dealing with medical malpractice cases similar to yours. Our practice areas cover Tampa and the whole state of Florida.
Contact us today for a chance to talk to an experienced medical malpractice attorney in a free consultation. Call us at (941) 444-4444.
What Is Medical Malpractice in Tampa, FL?
Medical malpractice in Tampa can happen when a medical professional neglects their reasonable duty of care, and medical negligence occurs. Anyone in the healthcare and medical industry in Florida can commit medical malpractice.
Below are some examples of what could be classified as medical malpractice in Tampa, FL:
- During surgery, a doctor leaves a bandage inside the patient’s body.
- A person’s test results are read incorrectly and therefore misdiagnosed.
- A person is unreasonably refused pain medication.
- A medical provider fails to authorize tests in a quick manner, which slows down a person’s diagnosis.
- A person undergoes unnecessary surgery because of an incorrect diagnosis.
- A person is prescribed the wrong dosage of medicine by a medical provider.
- Treatment is unreasonably refused to a patient, necessary to their recovery.
- Equipment failed to be sterilized correctly.
- A person experiences a lack of follow-up appointments and visits.
Sometimes it can be hard to know exactly what went wrong when you suffer from medical malpractice. This is why it is important to seek the help of Tampa medical malpractice attorneys. A medical malpractice lawyer in Florida will be able to investigate your case and gather evidence to establish who exactly is at fault in your case.
Contact a personal injury lawyer at The Law Place in Tampa, FL, today for a free consultation if you have experienced medical malpractice in Florida.
The Process of Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Filing a medical malpractice lawsuit is a detailed process that involves several steps, each crucial to building a strong case. The process typically begins with the initial realization or suspicion that medical malpractice has occurred. Patients who believe they have been harmed due to a healthcare professional’s negligence should first seek a complete understanding of their medical condition and the potential link to the treatment they received.
The next critical step is consulting with a qualified attorney who has experience in handling medical malpractice cases. This legal professional will assess the merits of the case by reviewing medical records, the details of the treatment, and the outcomes. They often consult with medical experts to determine whether the standard of care was breached and whether this breach directly led to the patient’s harm.
Once the attorney establishes that there is a viable case, they will formally file a complaint against the healthcare providers or institutions involved. This document, filed in a court of law, outlines the specifics of the claim, including the nature of the alleged malpractice and the damages sought.
After filing the complaint, the discovery phase begins. During this phase, both sides gather detailed information from each other. The plaintiff’s attorney will collect evidence, take depositions of medical experts, healthcare providers, and other witnesses, and prepare for trial. This phase is essential as it uncovers the evidence that will be critical in proving the malpractice claim.
Negotiations for a settlement may occur at any point during the process. Many medical malpractice cases are settled out of court to avoid the costs and uncertainties of a trial. However, if a settlement cannot be reached, the case proceeds to trial where a judge or jury will hear the evidence and make a ruling.
Throughout the trial, each side presents its arguments, and the plaintiff’s attorney must demonstrate that malpractice occurred and directly caused harm to the patient. This involves a clear presentation of evidence, expert testimonies, and strong legal arguments.
Finally, if the court finds in favor of the plaintiff, the judgment will include the compensation awarded for damages suffered due to the malpractice. These damages can include medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Damages in a Tampa Medical Malpractice Claim
Understanding the scope and types of damages in a Tampa medical malpractice claim is crucial for victims seeking compensation. These damages are intended to cover the losses and suffering caused by medical negligence. Here’s a detailed overview:
Economic damages in a medical malpractice claim are quantifiable financial losses that the victim has incurred or will incur due to the malpractice.
- Medical Expenses: This includes costs for hospital stays, surgeries, medications, medical equipment, and any ongoing treatment or rehabilitation required due to the malpractice. Future medical expenses are also considered, especially in cases of long-term care or permanent disability.
- Lost Wages and Earning Capacity: Victims often miss work due to their injuries, leading to lost wages. If the malpractice results in a disability that impacts the victim’s ability to work in the future, lost earning capacity is also compensated. This calculation considers the victim’s age, occupation, skills, and the severity of the disability.
- Other Financial Losses: Any other out-of-pocket expenses related to the injury, such as travel costs for medical appointments or home modification costs, are included.
Non-economic damages compensate for the intangible losses that a victim experiences, which are not easily quantifiable.
- Pain and Suffering: This covers the physical pain and emotional distress caused by the injury. It includes compensation for the immediate pain and long-term suffering, including chronic pain, mental anguish, anxiety, and depression.
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life: If the medical negligence leads to a loss in the quality of life, such as an inability to engage in hobbies, sports, or other activities enjoyed previously, victims are compensated for these losses.
- Loss of Consortium: In cases where the victim’s relationships with their spouse or family are negatively impacted, compensation can be sought. This considers the loss of companionship, affection, and support suffered by the family.
While less common, punitive damages can be awarded in some medical malpractice cases in Tampa. These are awarded in cases where the healthcare provider’s conduct was particularly egregious or showed a reckless disregard for the patient’s safety. The aim here is not just to compensate the victim but to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar conduct in the future.
Calculating damages in a medical malpractice claim can be complex. It often involves experts who can testify about the extent of the victim’s injuries, the required future medical care, and the overall impact on the victim’s life and financial status.
What Should I Do If I Suspect Medical Malpractice in Tampa, FL?
Medical malpractice can cause an immense amount of harm. It can cause life-changing injuries and sometimes even death. The frustrating truth is that most of the time, these injuries and deaths could have been avoided if it wasn’t for the negligence of medical professionals.
If you suspect medical malpractice, the first thing you should do is speak to a medical malpractice lawyer. You should also try and save as many records as you can, which relate to your case and document all of your treatment dates. Furthermore, try and make a note of which doctors treated you, the treatment uses, and what you suspect the medical malpractice to be. This will all help a medical malpractice lawyer to build your case.
It is of utmost importance that if you or someone you know suspects medical malpractice in Tampa, FL. that you seek the help of medical malpractice lawyers immediately. This is because Florida Statute 95.11(4)(b) outlines the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims. It generally means that a person will have two years to file a suit of medical malpractice after they have discovered the malpractice or from the start of their medical treatment.
We understand that it can be a confusing and difficult period for anyone suspecting medical malpractice, and that is why we advise you to seek the help of medical malpractice lawyers. A medical malpractice lawyer in Tampa, FL, will be able to guide you through the legal process and tell you everything you will need to know concerning your legal case.
Contact The Law Place today for a free consultation with a medical malpractice lawyer in Tampa. You can call us today at (941) 444-4444.
Common Types of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional deviates from the standards of their profession, causing harm to a patient. Understanding the common types of medical malpractice can help patients identify potential negligence. Here are some notable examples:
Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis
Misdiagnosis is when a healthcare provider incorrectly diagnoses a patient’s condition or fails to diagnose a serious disease for some time. Misdiagnosis can lead to incorrect treatment, delayed treatment, or no treatment at all, often causing the patient’s condition to worsen.
Delayed Diagnosis is similar to misdiagnosis, a delayed diagnosis occurs when a healthcare provider fails to identify a patient’s condition in a timely manner, potentially leading to harm due to a missed opportunity for treatment.
Surgical Mistakes can range from operating on the wrong body part or patient to leaving surgical instruments inside the patient’s body post-operation. Surgical errors can result in severe infection, pain, and sometimes require additional surgeries to rectify the mistake.
For example, even small errors in administering anesthesia can result in significant patient harm, including brain damage and death.
Medical negligence during childbirth can result in injuries to the baby, such as brain injuries (like cerebral palsy), nerve damage, and fractures. This can occur due to improper use of delivery tools or failing to monitor the baby’s oxygen levels.
The mother’s health can also be jeopardized by medical malpractice, such as failing to diagnose medical conditions during pregnancy or mishandling complications during delivery.
Prescribing the wrong medication or the wrong dosage can have severe effects on a patient’s health. This can happen due to a variety of factors, including misdiagnosis, pharmacy errors, or misunderstanding a patient’s medical history.
Hip Replacement Complications
Complications with hip replacement surgeries can occur due to defective medical devices or errors during surgery. Problems can include implant dislocation, metallosis (metal poisoning), and infection, often requiring additional surgeries.
Failure to Treat
When a doctor correctly diagnoses a patient but fails to recommend or administer an appropriate treatment plan, it can be considered malpractice. This might involve not providing follow-up care or disregarding patient concerns.
Inadequate Follow-up or Aftercare
Failure to provide adequate follow-up care can lead to complications for the patient. This includes not monitoring the progress of the patient’s condition or not identifying post-treatment complications.
Medical Procedure Errors
Errors can also occur in non-surgical medical procedures, such as radiology errors (misreading diagnostic tests) or errors during routine medical procedures like blood transfusions or colonoscopies.
How Will a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Tampa, FL Help Me?
A medical malpractice lawyer will be able to assist you in building your case by investigating your incident. A medical malpractice attorney in Tampa will use their wealth of experience to ensure that you have the best chance of receiving fair and reasonable for your experience of medical malpractice.
A medical malpractice lawyer will talk to independent medical professionals to assess your treatment and the care that you received. A lawyer will also be able to evaluate your incident to establish how much you could expect to recover in damages.
Unlike other law firms in Florida, a lawyer at The Law Place in Tampa, FL. will actively work with the other lawyers at the firm to ensure that their client has the chance to achieve the best possible settlement. You would be able to benefit from our combined experience.
Contact The Law Place for a free consultation and a chance to talk to a medical malpractice lawyer if you suspect you could be entitled to compensation.
Key Evidence in Proving Medical Malpractice
Proving medical malpractice is a complex process that hinges on substantial and convincing evidence. The key to a successful claim is demonstrating that the healthcare provider’s actions deviated from the accepted standards of medical care and directly caused harm to the patient. Understanding the types of evidence crucial in proving medical malpractice can guide patients and their legal teams in building a strong case.
Medical records are foundational in any medical malpractice case. These documents provide a detailed account of the patient’s medical history, the treatments administered, and the healthcare provider’s observations and decisions. They can highlight discrepancies or lapses in the standard of care. These records include hospital admission charts, treatment plans, surgical reports, medication records, and discharge summaries.
Medical malpractice often requires the insight of medical experts. These professionals can offer an independent assessment of the care provided, comparing it against the standard practices in the field. Expert testimony is crucial in helping the court understand complex medical issues and in establishing whether the healthcare provider’s actions were negligent.
Statements from individuals who witnessed the events or who can testify to the patient’s condition before and after the treatment are valuable. This may include family members, friends, or other healthcare professionals. Their observations can support claims about the impact of the malpractice on the patient’s life and health.
Imaging and Lab Results
Diagnostic tests, such as X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, and lab results, can provide objective evidence of the patient’s condition and how it was affected by the treatment. For instance, imaging results can reveal whether a surgical error occurred or if a diagnosis was missed.
Correspondence between the patient and healthcare providers can be telling. This includes emails, letters, or any form of communication in which concerns, symptoms, or responses to treatments were discussed. Such exchanges can sometimes reveal a provider’s acknowledgment of an oversight or error.
Internal Hospital or Clinic Documents
Sometimes, internal documents from the healthcare facility can be used as evidence. This might include internal reviews of the patient’s treatment, staff meeting notes, or records of complaints and responses. These documents can indicate whether the facility had prior knowledge of potential issues with the care provided.
The Plaintiff’s Personal Account
The patient’s personal account of their experience, symptoms, and the impact of the alleged malpractice on their life is a powerful form of evidence. This narrative can offer a compelling human element to the technical and clinical details of the case.
To claim economic damages, financial records that detail the costs incurred due to the malpractice are necessary. These records can include bills for medical treatments, receipts for out-of-pocket expenses, and documentation of lost wages.
Tampa Medical Malpractice Lawyer, FAQ
What constitutes a medical malpractice claim in Tampa?
A medical malpractice claim in Tampa involves a situation where a patient suffers harm due to the negligence or substandard care provided by healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, or other medical professionals. This can include misdiagnosis, surgical errors, improper treatment, and medication mistakes.
How does a medical malpractice lawsuit differ from other personal injury lawsuits in Tampa?
A medical malpractice lawsuit specifically addresses harm caused by healthcare provider negligence, whereas other personal injury lawsuits might involve different types of negligence, such as car accidents or slip and fall incidents. Medical malpractice cases require proving that the medical professional failed to provide care that meets the accepted standards.
What are common reasons for filing medical malpractice claims?
Common reasons for filing medical malpractice claims include misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, surgical errors, birth injuries, medication errors, and failure to treat. These claims arise from medical errors that result in injury or worsening of a patient’s condition.
How can personal injury lawyers assist in a medical malpractice case?
Personal injury lawyers with experience in medical malpractice can provide skilled guidance for these complex cases. They understand the medical and legal aspects required to build a strong case, including gathering medical evidence and consulting with medical experts.
Why is it important to hire experienced medical malpractice lawyers for these cases in Tampa?
Experienced medical malpractice lawyers have a deep understanding of the medical industry and legal process involved in these cases. Their experience in dealing with healthcare providers, understanding medical terminology, and navigating the legal system is crucial for a successful medical malpractice claim.
What types of compensation can be recovered in medical malpractice lawsuits?
In medical malpractice lawsuits, compensation can include medical expenses for ongoing and future treatments, lost wages, pain and suffering, and sometimes punitive damages if gross negligence is proven. The compensation aims to cover both economic and non-economic damages suffered by the patient.
What role do other medical professionals play in medical malpractice cases?
Other medical professionals often play a critical role in medical malpractice cases as expert witnesses. They can provide testimony on the standard of care expected, whether that standard was breached, and how the breach caused harm to the patient.
What is the statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice claim in Tampa?
In Tampa, the statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice claim is typically two years from the date the malpractice occurred or the date when the injury was or should have been discovered. However, there are exceptions and specific conditions that can extend this period.
How do I know if I have a successful medical malpractice claim?
To know if you have a successful medical malpractice claim, you must prove that a healthcare professional provided substandard care and that this directly resulted in your injury or harm. An experienced medical malpractice lawyer can assess your case and advise on the likelihood of success.
What should I do if I believe I am a victim of medical malpractice by a healthcare provider in Tampa?
If you believe you are a victim of medical malpractice by a healthcare provider in Tampa, it’s important to document all aspects of your treatment and contact a medical malpractice lawyer. They can review your case, advise you on your legal options, and guide you through the process of filing a claim.
Speak to One of Our Tampa Medical Malpractice Lawyers Today
By hiring a lawyer at The Law Place, you are ensuring that you are giving yourself the best chance of receiving the justice that you deserve. If you or someone you know suspects that you have been the victims of medical malpractice, don’t hesitate to contact our law firm for a free consultation.
Once you contact The Law Place for a free consultation, you will be allocated a dedicated medical malpractice lawyer who will do all the work for you. They will handle all of the paperwork and handle negotiations – so you don’t have to.
We strive for the very best for our clients. We understand how painful it can be to have your trust broken by a medical provider. We would like to reassure you that we are here for you.
We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call us today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer at (888) 224-6114.