Every year, people around the United States spend over $10 billion on the medical malpractice insurance industry. More than 8,000 people in the country work at more than 200 businesses to help provide people with insurance against the possibility of medical malpractice.
Those numbers show just how vital it is for many people to protect themselves against medical malpractice. The complexity of medical malpractice laws can make this difficult. It can even be difficult for a layperson to know whether or not they have suffered from medical malpractice in some way or not.
So what exactly is medical malpractice, and how does Florida deal with it? Read on to learn all about the essential things to understand about Florida’s medical malpractice laws!
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Some people think that anytime a surgery or medical treatment goes wrong, that is a case of medical malpractice. However, there are many cases in which a failed surgery does not have anything to do with the doctor making a mistake.
Instead, medical malpractice first requires a doctor to be responsible for providing a minimum standard of care. Then, they have to fail to do so in a way that causes significant damage to a patient.
Malpractice Law Details
To assess whether or not a situation counts as medical malpractice, there are three legal factors you need to consider in Florida. They are the breach of the standard of care, direct causation, and damages.
The standard of care legal doctrine states that doctors have a responsibility to provide a minimum standard of quality when they are treating their patients. If a doctor fails to provide this minimum standard of care, then they may be guilty of medical malpractice.
A doctor may fail to provide the necessary standard of care if they are negligent and do not pay close attention while providing treatment. However, even if a doctor does this, that does not automatically mean that they are guilty of medical malpractice.
The second legal requirement for medical malpractice is the proximate cause. In other words, the failure of a doctor to provide the required minimum standard of care has caused damages of some kind to the patient.
The last legal requirement for medical malpractice is damages. If there are no damages, then there is no viable case. That’s true even if a doctor did make a mistake while providing treatment.
Another detail to keep in mind is that different doctors can be required to meet different minimum standards of care. For example, a specialist might be expected to provide a higher standard of care than a generalist.
It is also vital to remember that Florida places a statute of limitations on medical malpractice cases. In Florida, patients have up to 2 years to file a suit for medical malpractice. The deadline for filing starts as soon as the patient discovers the harm that they have suffered due to poor medical treatment.
Different Kinds of Malpractice
There are a lot of mistakes that can make a doctor guilty of medical malpractice. For example, they might not diagnose their patient’s condition. This will only count as medical malpractice if the court decides that the doctor should have been able to diagnose the condition in question.
Doctors can also be guilty of medical malpractice when they prescribe the wrong medication or dosage for a patient. In other cases, doctors will make a mistake while performing surgery.
Not all surgical mistakes count as medical malpractice. However, some surgeons make mistakes like leaving a tool inside the patient. Some even operate on the wrong part of the body.
When the mistakes that a doctor makes are egregious enough, they may be guilty of negligence. If they are the proximate cause of significant damages, that can lead to medical malpractice.
Calculating Damages in Malpractice Law
When a doctor is guilty of medical malpractice, the patient will often receive economic compensation of some kind. However, any good malpractice guide will emphasize that the amount that a patient receives during a lawsuit can vary a lot. The larger the damages, the larger the potential compensation a patient will receive.
If a patient suffers from chronic pain or mental anguish, that can increase the amount of compensation they will receive. Anything that diminishes a patient’s quality of life can also contribute to the amount of their compensation.
Finding the Right Malpractice Lawyer
Some kinds of lawsuits are more difficult to win than others. As you read through lawsuit guides, keep in mind that your lawyer will do most of the detailed work. The most effective thing you might be able to do to affect the outcome of your case is to make sure to find a quality lawyer.
You can look at reviews for medical malpractice lawyers to help you find a great option. The more experience your lawyer has working with cases like yours, the better the chance that your case will succeed.
Understand Florida Medical Malpractice Laws
Although the medical malpractice laws in Florida can be complicated, we hope that this article has helped clarify them for you. The better you understand Florida’s medical malpractice laws, the better you can assess if you should file a lawsuit. Of course, speaking with a lawyer is the best way to help you assess how likely your case is to succeed.
To learn more about where you can find an expert medical malpractice legal council, reach out and get in touch with us at any time!
CONTACT A TAMPA Medical Malpractice ATTORNEY
In short, if you believe you’re a victim of medical malpractice, you may not know your rights. Above all, don’t struggle through the process alone. Actually, our personal injury team is here to help you with any legal needs you might have regarding your case.
Lastly, let RHINO Lawyers answer your questions and review the facts of your case with a Free Consultation. So, get started by completing the “Free Instant Case Evaluation” or by calling us any time, day or night, at 844.RHINO.77.