Medical Malpractice Lawsuits in Pompano Beach
Medical malpractice suits in South Florida increased an average of 14.29 percent in 2017, with 16.4 lawsuits for every 100,000 residents. According to the Florida Statute 766.106, medical malpractice refers to any claim arising out of the failure to render medical care or medical services.
However, not all cases can be considered medical malpractice. For a claim to be regarded as a medical malpractice case in South Florida, it must meet the following criteria:
- Proof of a violation of care – The law establishes medical standards that are recognized by medical professionals as acceptable medical treatment under specific circumstances. This is known as the standard of care, doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals must abide by. Under this standard of care, a patient has the right to expect a certain level of care consistent with such standards. If there is proof the standard of care has not been met, then medical malpractice or negligence can be established.
- Proof of injury caused by the negligence – Besides proving there was a violation of the standard of care, evidence of damage as a result of such negligence must be established. An unfavorable outcome by itself is not considered malpractice, the patient of the surviving family must prove that the injuries were caused by the negligence of the medical professionals or institution.
- Proof of significant damages by the injury – Also, the plaintiff must prove the damages are substantial enough. To prove medical malpractice, the damages from the injury must entail disability or loss of income, including past or future medical bills.
- Proof of doctor-patient relationship – The plaintiff also has to show evidence that there was, in fact, a physician-patient relationship with the defendant, which means someone hired the doctor and the doctor agreed to the terms of care.
Types of Medical Malpractice Cases
Since there is a wide variety of situations that can lead to a medical malpractice claim, these type of lawsuits are often complex and demanding. Some common examples of medical malpractice cases include failure to diagnose or misdiagnose a patient, failure to avoid injury at birth, surgical errors, poor aftercare, and prescribing incorrect drug doses. In general, most of the medical malpractice claims fall into one of these categories:
- Failure to diagnose
- Improper treatment
- Failure to warn a patient of well-known risks
Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim in Pompano Beach?
Filing a medical malpractice claim in South Florida requires the assistance of an experienced and trusted medical malpractice attorney that understands the special rules and procedures for this type of claims. Unlike other claims, medical malpractice must:
- Count with an expert testimony
- Be brought soon after the injury
- Be submitted to a malpractice review panel
- Give the doctor notice of the malpractice claim before filing
Medical Malpractice Damages
Many states limit the amount of money that can be awarded to a medical malpractice plaintiff. For now, Florida has a cap on damages that are available for medical malpractice claims. These limits apply to non-economic damages; this includes pain and suffering, anxiety, mental anguish, loss of companionship, disfigurement, and other losses. Previously, the caps set by the Florida Statute 766.118 outline that:
- There is a $500,000 limit on non-economic damages in medical malpractice suits against practitioners. This same cap would increase to $1 million if the negligence caused death or a vegetative state.
- There is a $750,000 limit on non-economic damages in medical malpractice suits against non-practitioners.
Following a Florida Supreme Court ruling, this set of rules were labeled unconstitutional in 2017. Regarding current medical malpractice damage awards, these can be categorized as follow:
- General damages – including loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, loss of future earning capacity, and physical pain or suffering
- Special damages – including medical bills, past wages, and future medical expenses
- Punitive damages – these are ruled by the judge or jury depending on the circumstances
In case the medical negligence leads to the unfortunate death of the patient, the law helps determine what damages can be recovered and by who:
- Survival statutes – They allow the deceased patient’s heirs or estate to recover the damage incurred during the first medical malpractice until the death of the patient. Under this statute, damages often include everything that the patient could have been awarded if they had survived.
- Wrongful death statutes – They allow the patient’s family to recover damages for future monetary loss. In this case, compensation for emotional harm and loss of companionship can be debated, as more states are including this.
Build Your Criminal Defense Team
Medical malpractice lawsuits are regulated by a complex set of rules, which vary dramatically according to many circumstances. Families looking at a malpractice lawsuit must look for advice and the representation of a criminal defense lawyer that can help them understand the claim better and to build a strong case against the defendant that will help them get justice for their family member.
Working with a Medical Practice Lawyer in South Florida
If you believe you or someone you know has been victim of medical malpractice, don’t let them get away with it. Fight for the justice your family member deserves and prevent this horrific experience from happening to other families in the future. Contact the medical malpractice lawyers from LJ Law Group at their Pompano Beach office by calling 954-597-6770 or filling our online form.