Tampa Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If you’ve been the victim of medical malpractice, you have rights and may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, loss of enjoyment of life, pain, and suffering, and other damages. The key to a successful claim is having an expert medical malpractice attorney like Darrigo and Diaz on your side.
We know you probably have many questions about what to do next, and we want to help guide you through the complicated medical malpractice claims process. We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions here, and we encourage you to reach out to us at (813) 774-3341 for a free consultation right over the phone.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is the term used to describe negligence by a doctor, hospital, or other healthcare professionals such as nurses, anesthesiologists, etc. The negligence could stem from errors in diagnosis, treatment plans, medications, or aftercare and health management.
How Can I Prove Medical Malpractice in Florida?
A medical malpractice case must prove the following elements to be considered a valid claim under Florida law:
- The healthcare professional violated standard care practices — There is an established standard of care that all medical professionals must abide by. If the standard of care is violated, there may be cause to prove negligence.
- The negligence resulted in an injury to the patient — A violation of the standard of care is not enough to prove negligence. An injury to the patient must have resulted from that negligence. If an injury occurred, but the medical professional was not found to be negligent, there is no case. Similarly, if they were negligent, but there was no injury, there is no case.
- The injury must result in significant damages — Due to the highly complex nature of medical malpractice cases, the patient’s injury must be substantial enough to warrant the case. If the injury was slight and the damages sought do not significantly outweigh the cost of pursuing the case, an attorney will likely not take your case.
How Common is Medical Malpractice?
According to a John Hopkins University study, medical errors are now the third leading cause of death in the United States. The most common reasons for medical malpractice lawsuits included:
- Failure or delayed diagnoses
- Complications from treatment or surgery
- Poor outcome and disease progression due to the treatment course
- Failure or delayed treatment
- Wrongful Death
- An abnormal injury suffered by a patient
- Errors in administering medication
- Failure to adequately communicate patient instructions and education
- Failure to obtain or improperly obtaining informed consent from the patient
The portion of physicians facing malpractice claims annually varies by profession and specialty. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, 75% of doctors in low-risk specialties will have had a medical malpractice claim against them, compared to 99% of doctors in high-risk specialties.
What are the Most Common Mistakes Made by Medical Professionals?
The most common medical mistakes made by healthcare professionals include, but are not limited to:
- Medication errors — Misjudging anesthesia; prescribing the wrong medication; administering the wrong medication; administering too high a dosage of medication, and more.
- Hospital-acquired infections — Poor sterilization procedures; dirty hospital linens and surfaces; failed to take adequate precautions with cross-contamination and more.
- Improper diagnoses — Missed diagnosis; delayed diagnosis; wrong diagnosis, and more.
- Avoidable delay in treatment — Could result from improper diagnosis; negligent in referring patients to treatment options or specialists; did not act on test results, and more.
- After treatment, poor follow-up: Failed to monitor the patient after a procedure adequately; did not follow up on test results, and more.
- Leaving foreign objects inside a patient after a procedure — Objects may include instruments, sponges, or pieces of biological material that should have been removed.
How Can I Find out if My Doctor was Involved in a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in Florida?
The Florida Practitioner Profile database provides valuable information on the licensing status of medical practitioners. You can search for the medical professional’s name and see if they have had actions against them. However, the database may not always contain up-to-date information. If you are still in doubt, you can also search for their listing in the Federation of State Medical Boards’ database.
I Didn’t Give Consent for Medical Treatment. Can I Sue?
Under Florida Law, there is a statute known as Medical Consent. This law is a part of Florida’s Good Samaritan law. It helps protect medical professionals from claims that may arise when they cannot receive proper consent for medical procedures from the patient or the patient’s representative during an emergency. In most cases, you cannot sue a doctor, hospital, or other medical professionals for providing the care you would have otherwise declined.
Can I Sue a Chiropractor for Medical Malpractice in Florida?
The short answer to this question is yes. However, you would need to prove that your back injury was made worse by the chiropractor’s intentional negligence. If they acted in a way that breached the standard of care, you might have a case. The only way to find out for sure is to contact a qualified medical malpractice attorney like Darrigo & Diaz’s team.
I Have a Defective Medical Implant. Can I Sue the Doctor?
Typically, if a medical device is defective, you would claim against the manufacturer of the defective product. However, if the device is found to be defective due to the surgeon’s negligence, you would bring the claim against the doctor. The only way to establish liability, in this case, is to speak with an expert medical malpractice attorney.
How Long Will it Take to Settle My Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
It depends on the circumstances of the case. However, a recent survey by MedScape concluded that 39% of medical malpractice lawsuits take 1-2 years to resolve, while around 30% take 3-5 years. The more complex your case is, the longer it will take to prove it. The same report showed that about 30% of cases were settled out of court due to 41% of insurance companies encouraging the doctor to settle.
How Much Money Can I Receive from a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
The amount you are awarded can vary significantly depending on the circumstances of your case. However, according to Medscape, 68% of cases settled out of court for awards up to $500,000. The highest awards go to litigants involved in patients with substantial injuries and wrongful death cases.
How Can I Get a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Tampa?
According to the National Practitioner Data Bank, Florida ranks #4 among the states with the highest medical malpractice claims. Of the 84,484 medical malpractice claims, 35,315 cases received a payout between $50,000 and $2 million over the last 30 years. This information does not reflect other types of medical malpractice cases and payments. However, this does show just how difficult it can be to prove a medical malpractice case and why you need an expert medical malpractice attorney on your side.
The Darrigo & Diaz team has a track record of successfully winning medical malpractice lawsuits because a Board Certified Civil Trial Specialist leads our team. We have been serving injured victims in Tampa, FL since 1999. We strive to go above and beyond for our clients. Please call Darrigo & Diaz today at (813) 774-3341 to immediately discuss your case with an expert medical malpractice attorney. You can also set up a complimentary consultation with us online.