When medical practitioners make a major mistake that causes harm to a patient, it is only natural to want them to be held accountable. Suffering an injury or even death because of medical malpractice or negligence can be a distressing and angering experience that can cause someone to lose faith in medical practitioners.
Although it may seem obvious that a doctor who commits an error that negatively impacts a patient’s health should be responsible, medical malpractice lawsuits can be a challenge to file in Florida. The malpractice laws defend doctors from being easily sued, and the statute of limitations can prevent victims from having their case heard in court.
For these reasons, it is vital to have an experienced Dunedin medical malpractice lawyer on your side to fight for your rights if medical negligence has negatively affected your health or well-being. To begin your road to recovery consult with an injury attorney in Dunedin today.
Medical Malpractice Laws
In Chapter 766 of the Statutes of the Florida Legislature, it details the laws surrounding medical malpractice lawsuits if an individual suffers personal injury or death while in the care of a health care provider.
These laws have been established to protect patients from negligent medical practitioners, but many requirements in the law also serve to protect health care providers from unfair, mass litigation, which is vital in order to keep them operating. As a result, the laws place the weight of the evidence gathering on the patient who has suffered an injury or death attributed to a medical practitioner to take legal action against them.
The patient’s case hinges on being able to prove the medical professional failed to provide the prevailing professional standard of care for that health care provider, which means the medical practitioner in question did not have the appropriate response that another provider in the same field would have had under similar circumstances.
Proving this often requires the help of an expert witness who has been trained and who actively practices in the same specialty as the defendant as defined in F.S. §766.101(2)(b). This requirement alone could prove to be an obstacle for a person who does not have access contacts in the field who would be willing to serve as an expert witness. An experienced Dunedin medical malpractice attorney will have the contacts to secure an expert witness for the case.
Common Cases of Medical Malpractice
It is an unfortunate reality that mistakes and complications happen regularly during medical procedures because surgery and medicine are not easy or straightforward practices. A case will only be considered medical malpractice if a medical practitioner acted in reckless disregard for the patient’s safety or if the practitioner was not qualified to do the procedure or diagnosis that caused the injury or even death.
The most common cases of medical malpractice include:
- Misdiagnosis/delayed diagnosis
- Negligent prenatal care/care during birth
- Medication dosage/prescription errors
- Anesthesia mistakes
- Errors during surgery
It can be a harrowing experience to go to a health care provider expecting to be healed but to leave more damaged. If there is any indication the resulting injury, or death, is the result of the negligence of the medical practitioner, it is worth consulting a medical malpractice lawyer in Dunedin to determine if a case can be made.
It is also important to know that there are statutes of limitations that cap the period within which a lawsuit can be filed to two years after the incident with a few exceptions.
Process of a Malpractice Claim
A pre-suit investigation must occur before any case can be filed in order to investigate the medical practitioners involved in the incident to determine if there are grounds for a case against any one of them. Those named in the claim must be notified a case has been opened against them so they can offer a written letter in defense about the medical reasoning behind their actions.
If a case moves forward, then preparation for the trials may begin between the medical malpractice attorney of Dunedin and the defendant’s legal representative. During the trial, the judge will define what would be considered an appropriate action for a medical practitioner under similar circumstances before presenting the details of the case.
The jury will ultimately make the decision about whether the health care provider acted in a way that endangered life or resulted in the loss of life of the victim.
Consult With an Attorney Today
During the stress following a medical error that caused injury or death, it is vital to have an expert who can accurately build your legal case and defend your rights to compensation for damages suffered because of negligence.
A Dunedin medical malpractice attorney is experienced in presenting and arguing cases in court and will fight to defend your case.