When you need skilled help, you turn to a professional and you expect that professional to do his or her job appropriately. Perhaps nowhere is this more important than in trusting a professional medical caregiver with your health.
Patients should be able to reasonably expect that the doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals involved in their care would provide medical care and treatment that meets or exceeds professional standards. When the care a patient receives falls short of acceptable standards, serious harm may result. A health care provider’s negligence that results in patient injury or harm is known as medical malpractice.
If you believe your illness, injury, or worsened medical condition is the result of health care negligence, contact a Tampa medical malpractice lawyer to discuss your case. An experienced injury lawyer can assist in gathering evidence and establishing damages.
Medical Malpractice Claims
According to an Institute of Medicine report, up to 98,000 people die each year as a result of preventable medical errors in hospitals. If this number is accurate, hospital errors would contribute to more deaths than the top two CDC-reported leading causes of unintentional injury death combined.
However, only a small number of these cases reach courtrooms in the United States, in part because many injured patients and surviving family members do not fully understand medical malpractice, and may not realize that their injuries and losses were the result of professional negligence.
In order to prove a medical malpractice claim, a plaintiff or their Tampa medical malpractice attorney must establish three specific elements:
- The medical professional owed the patient a duty of care. In other words, the doctor or nurse had the responsibility to provide medical assistance to the person in need of care.
- The medical professional was negligent in providing an appropriate standard of care. This means that he or she behaved in a manner that deviated from the path other medical professionals would reasonably have taken in the same or similar circumstances.
- The patient was harmed as a result of that negligence. A bad medical result alone is not enough to determine malpractice, but the illness, injury, or worsened condition must be linked directly to the errors, negligence, or recklessness of the medical professional.
Although medical malpractice cases can be notoriously difficult, a medical malpractice lawyer in Tampa should have the experience and resources to demonstrate when medical negligence has occurred, and can fight to hold accountable the medical professionals whose failure resulted in patient harm.
Types of Malpractice
Medical malpractice can occur in many forms, and malpractice lawyers represent individuals and families that have suffered as a result of negligent health care. Common malpractice claims include the following errors and omissions:
- Emergency room mistakes
- Misdiagnosis, missed diagnosis, or delayed diagnosis
- Surgical errors, including wrong-site and wrong-patient surgery
- Anesthesia errors
- Medication errors, including wrong medication, wrong dose, and dangerous drug interactions
- Obstetric error, birth trauma, and birth injury
- Hospital mistakes
Patient injuries may result from poorly equipped hospitals, inadequate training in use of surgical devices, insufficient patient safety policies, and simple physician carelessness and neglect.
Although anyone can make mistakes, medical caregivers are expected to protect the safety and well-being of their patients by practicing medicine that meets an accepted standard of care. Those who fail to do so should be held liable for their negligence.
Every case is different, and therefore no one can guarantee the type and amount of financial compensation a person might receive in a medical malpractice settlement or judgement. However, malpractice awards may include compensation for the following costs and damages:
- Hospital bills and medical expenses
- Costs associated with physical therapy, occupational therapy, and rehabilitation
- Follow-up doctor visits and continuing medical care
- Lost income or reduced earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Punitive damages
If you or someone you love has been hurt as a result of medical malpractice, contact a medical malpractice attorney in Tampa to discuss your case. We can fight for the compensation you deserve from those responsible for your suffering.