Medical Malpractice

Did a Doctor's Action Harm You?

 

Doctors are licensed to provide adequate treatment to their patients. If the doctor’s wrongful act resulted from the improper application of medical services, and improper use of professional judgment and skill, and the doctor’s wrongful act caused the patient to suffer the following:

  • Substantial loss of income to the patient

  • Injury to the patient

  • Death,

then a patient may have a cause of action; however, the patient will have to prove that the doctor’s wrongful action was a breach of the prevailing professional standard of care. This is done by proving that the doctor’s level of skill, level of treatment, level of care was provided at a level less than the recognized level that is accepted and appropriate.

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How can a Medical Malpractice Attorney Help You?

Medical Malpractice is a type of case that involves both law and medicine. The case requires that the attorney have an understanding of both of these areas. The medical provider that caused the injury will likely have their own defense, consequently, it is essential that the injured party seek the counsel of an attorney that has the skill necessary to litigate a malpractice case.

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In Florida, a person cannot simply file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Florida has imputed special protection to the doctors by requiring the person to conduct a pre-suit investigation. This investigation must take place prior to filing a lawsuit. In addition, the person must provide, to the doctor, a notice of intent to initiate litigation.

The purpose of the presuit investigation is for the person to obtain expert opinion that would corroborate the assertion that reasonable grounds exist to file a medical malpractice suit. The expert must produce a verified written medical opinion.

In medical malpractice cases, not including children, the statute of limitation requires the lawsuit to be filed within 2 years from the time the injury is discovered or should have been discovered with the exercised of due diligence.

After receiving the written notice of intent, the defendant (doctor) is required to conduct his own presuit investigation.

A lawsuit cannot be filed until the period for the defendant to conduct his presuit investigation expires.

For the specific purpose of conducting the presuit investigation, presuit discovery will be allowed for each party. The discovery is allowed in order to provide each party reasonable access to information in the control of the other.

Consent

The patient has a right to direct what could or cannot be done to his body. Therefore, prior to performing a procedure, a doctor has the duty to inform the patient at a level that would allow the patient to make decision involving his health care.

In order to agree (consent) to a medical procedure, the doctor needs to provide sufficient information to the patient, (to the parent in the event the patient is a minor) that would allow the patient to consider the risks, consider the possible injury and benefit, consider other alternatives, to the medical procedure prior to undergoing the procedure.

In order to allow the patient to agree (consent) to a medical procedure, the doctor needs to provide the information in a way that would enable the patient to decide without coercion and with understanding of the facts to a level that would enable him to make an informed decision.

Vicarious Liability

In addition to the doctor who performed a wrongful act against the patient, it is possible for the hospital to be held vicariously liable for the injuries inflicted upon the patient. This is because a hospital is also required to assure that the doctor it employs exercises reasonable care toward the patient.

In order for the hospital to be held vicariously liable for the wrongful act the doctor committed, a relationship between the hospital and doctor must exist (at such a level) that would cause the hospital to be vicariously liable for the doctor’s action.

The hospital may also be held vicariously liable for the wrongful acts committed by a nurse.

Medical malpractice case is complex; there are other legal issues not discussed above. In addition, Statute of limitation allows only 2 years to file a medical malpractice lawsuit; you don’t have time to waste. You need to act quickly!

 

If you have any questions for the Florida malpractice attorney.

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