Being injured after a procedure you believed would help you is devastating. When the injury could have been prevented had the medical professional not been negligent, it’s even worse. Unfortunately, medical malpractice happens more often than many realize. As the third leading cause of death in the United States behind heart disease and cancer, medical malpractice has impacted many lives. 

That’s why Sowell and Chakour exist. We’re here to take a stand for and protect the rights of people injured as a result of the negligence of a hospital or medical professional. We understand that suffering from a medical malpractice injury is a confusing and overwhelming time. It’s difficult to know which step to take next, how to recover, and whom to call for help. As such, our medical malpractice lawyers in Florida have put together this article of FAQs to help guide you during this difficult time. 

If questions remain after you’ve reviewed this article, please reach out to us at 1-833-MedMals, email us at DrChakour@sowellchakour.com, or fill out our convenient online contact form. We’re here to help you get on the road to recovery.

What Is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice happens when a patient suffers damages from an injury that occurred because of the negligence of a medical professional or hospital. Malpractice can also be filed against health care professionals, like dentists, pharmacists, pharmaceutical companies, etc. If a professional fails to adhere to a reasonable and acceptable standard of care, thus causing an injury to a patient, malpractice has occurred. 

When Is a Medical Mistake Considered Malpractice?

Unfortunately, medical mistakes happen. Not all medical mistakes or dissatisfactory outcomes are considered malpractice. For example, a doctor cannot be sued just because she did not meet a patient’s expectations. For a malpractice case to exist, it must check four boxes:

1. A doctor-patient working relationship existed. There must have been a working agreement in place between the medical professional and the patient, meaning the patient agreed to hire the doctor and the doctor agreed to be hired. This may come into question when a consulting physician did not directly administer the treatment that led to the injury sustained by the patient.

2. Medical negligence existed. For medical malpractice to exist, there must have been a failure by the health care professional to adhere to a reasonable standard of care. A reasonable standard of care is characterized as the level and type of care that a reasonably competent and proficient medical professional, with an akin background in the same medical community, would have given under the circumstances that led to the alleged malpractice. Simply put, what would a competent doctor have done in the same situation? Negligence must be present, or there is no malpractice case.

3. The doctor or medical professional’s negligence caused the injury. Additionally, the proven negligence must have resulted in the injury in question. Sometimes, pre-existing conditions make it difficult to directly link medical negligence to an injury. Your lawyer will need to collect specific evidence to prove that the injury was caused by negligence.

4. The injury led to specific damages. The fourth box to check in malpractice cases is that the medical negligence resulted in an injury that directly led to the patient suffering damages. Some damages from the injury might include more medical bills, physical pain, emotional trauma, physical therapy, loss of employment, loss of earning capacity, etc.

If you believe your condition is the result of medical malpractice, contact our medical malpractice lawyers in Florida today to review the details of your case. We’ll begin collecting the facts and compiling the evidence needed to file your malpractice claim. 

What Are Some Common Types of Medical Malpractice?

Malpractice can happen in multiple medical settings, including hospitals, the operating room, nursing homes, etc. As such, there are many types of medical malpractice injuries, including:

1. Surgical errors
2. Failure to diagnose a condition/illness
3. Birth-related injuries
4. Brain injuries
5. Anesthesia errors
6. Medication or dosage mistakes
7. Unnecessary surgeries, or surgeries on the wrong site
8. Infections
9. Medical tools or equipment left inside the patient

Read more about the common types of errors, as well as causes here

If I signed a Consent Form Can I File for Medical Malpractice? 

Filing a consent form does not relieve the health care professional of his duties to administer a reasonable and acceptable standard of care. Your malpractice case rests on proving that the negligence of a care provider caused your injury and resulted in damages to you. Signing any consent form or waiver does not make the doctor or hospital any less liable for your injuries. 

Are There Any Time Limits for Filing a Med Mal Claim? 

In Florida, plaintiffs must adhere to a statute of limitations for filing medical malpractice claims. This timeline is no more than two years after the injury has occurred, or two years after the injury has been discovered. No more than four years can pass from the date that the negligent action happened. Consult an experienced medical malpractice lawyer in Florida to understand the specific deadlines for your case. 

What Kind of Compensation Can I Recieve?

Depending on your specific case, you might be entitled to receive compensation for a variety of damages. Your malpractice lawyer will help you determine what types of damages you can receive based on the facts of your case. These could include any of the following:

1. Medical bills (current and future)
2. Loss of wages
3. Loss of earning capacity
4. Emotional trauma
5. Pain  and suffering
6. Physical pain
7. Loss of companionship
8. Loss of enjoyment of life

Who Is Liable in a Malpractice Case? 

Medical negligence is not always committed by a doctor. Multiple medical professionals and facilities can be responsible for injuries sustained by patients due to medical negligence. Your lawyer will be tasked with proving the medical negligence that directly led to an injury, as well as who is liable for the injury. This could be a doctor, hospital, health care facility, surgeon, pharmaceutical company, or another medical professional. To better understand the types of medical professionals who can be held responsible for medical negligence, read our previous blog about types of medical malpractice claims.  

Should I Hire a Medical Malpractice Attorney?

Hiring a medical malpractice lawyer in Florida is your next step to recovery. Medical malpractice claims are extremely complex both in-process and in proving negligence. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to the negligence of a health care provider or facility, contact Sowell and Chakour today to discuss the facts of your case and set a strategy so you can get the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 1-833-MedMals, email us at DrChakour@sowellchakour.com, or fill out our online form. We’re here to fight for you and your family. 

The information in this blog post is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. You should not make a decision whether or not to contact an attorney based upon the information in this blog post. No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. If you require legal advice, please consult with an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.