A medical negligence claim, which is the legal term for malpractice, rests on whether a medical professional caused an injury, loss, or damage. There are certain known risks associated with medical procedures that are not subject of malpractice, specifically if a person is advised of a risk to a particular procedure and a procedure does not go as intended or if a procedure has an unintended consequence, that is not malpractice.
Regardless, medical professionals and hospitals cannot ask a patient to waive a medical professional’s duty to provide competent care within the reasonable standard of medical care applicable for a particular specialty.
Due to the importance of a medical negligence claim, it is imperative that a person who has suffered due to the negligence of a medical professional in St. Petersburg contacts a St. Petersburg medical malpractice lawyer right away. A knowledgeable attorney can explain the significance of liability and damages in a case and can use their experience to provide the best representation possible.
Identifying who may be responsible for a particular medical negligence is the most difficult part in a case.
The most common misconception is people believing that just because something was unsuccessful or if they had a procedure that had unintended results, that there must be malpractice. That is not the case, however. Sometimes, things do not go as planned and that is medical negligence. The question is how the physician dealt with the circumstances that befell that particular patient.
Misdiagnosis of known medical conditions within the standard of care requires medical providers to identify symptoms or conditions based on an individual patient, their family history, their medical condition, and social risk factors. The medical field imputes a basic knowledge and ability of all medical providers to be competent in their individual fields.
A skilled attorney can help a person determine if they have a medical negligence claim and can help them prepare for the next steps if they do have a case.
Damages are calculated by considering any medical expenses involved that are associated with treating a condition caused by a malpractice, either in the past or that may be necessary in the future. The loss of income to an individual patient can be considered because of their inability to work or generate income because of a medical professional’s malpractice.
The biggest element of damages is normally always pain and suffering, which is the loss of enjoyment of life and the loss of companionship that individual has because of the malpractice. There are also specific damage that could potentially be awarded to an estate if someone dies from medical negligence, like the loss of net accumulations, meaning the amount of money that an individual would have left for their family over the course of their work life.
Additionally, consortium claims for children under the age of 24 or for spouses that have lost the services, companionship, or consortium, meaning their ability to spend time with a specific patient.
Notably, punitive damages require knowledge or intent to do something, or complete disregard doing something that has a foreseeable consequence that is detrimental. Normally, punitive damages are available, but this is beyond the medical malpractice claim.
There are statutory caps applicable to various medical professionals and facilities based upon their licensing, or legal status and those caps and damages vary.