When a patient is harmed by a medical professional that fails to perform within reasonable medical responsibilities, he or she may have a viable medical malpractice claim. The rules regarding medical malpractice claims in Florida are complex; therefore, it is best if you speak with a medical malpractice attorney before assuming you do or do not have a valid claim.
About Medical Malpractice
However, there are some general principals you should familiarize yourself with when deciding if you do have a medical malpractice case.
The Basic Requirements for Medical Malpractice
In order to prove that you suffer from medical malpractice, your attorney will have to show several critical factors, including:
- Prove a doctor/patient relationship was present. The biggest requirement for medical malpractice is proving that there was a relationship. That means that your doctor owed you a medical responsibility because you were legally their patient. This is established by insurance records or some proof of payment such as a deductible or copayment to their office.
- Prove the doctor acted negligently. Just because a physician made a mistake or you did not receive the care you think you deserve does not mean you have a medical malpractice claim. Your attorney must prove that the doctor acted negligently or in a way that other medical professionals would not have acted.
- Prove the doctor’s action caused your injury. Also, you must prove that you suffered from an injury that was directly related to the doctor’s actions. If there was no injury, then you will not have a valid medical malpractice claim.
- Prove the injury caused damages. Even if an injury occurs, you must still prove that there were damages that occurred because of that injury. This can include mental anguish, medical costs, lost wages or physical pain.
Common Examples of Medical Malpractice
There are numerous ways a physician or medical professional can cause medical malpractice, however some are more common than others. Most malpractice claims can fall into one of three categories, which include:
- Failure to Diagnose – This can also include a misdiagnosis. It occurs when a patient is not diagnosed in time or the wrong diagnosis is given. It must be proven that a competent physician would have discovered the right diagnosis and that the physician failed to take necessary steps to find the right diagnosis.
- Improper Treatments – Using treatments that are inappropriate for the injury or illness is also medical malpractice. Your attorney will need to prove that a competent doctor would not have used similar treatments.
- Failure to Warn of Risks – There are known side effects and risks to every procedure. If a patient is not warned of those risks and consents to treatment, and then suffers injury as a result, then the physician is guilty of medical malpractice and is accountable for any injuries or losses that occur.
Other Special Requirements
Medical malpractice claims are much more complex than regular personal injury claims. They often require additional evidence and even expert testimony to prove. Just some of the things your attorney may have to complete include:
- Hosting a review panel
- Finding experts to testify
- Using special notifications
Do You Have a Medical Malpractice Claim?
If you or a loved one was injured and you think you have a valid medical malpractice claim, contact the Jacksonville medical malpractice lawyers at Hardesty, Tyde, Green & Ashton today for a free consultation by calling (904) 398-2212. We will assess your case and help you determine if you are eligible for compensation.
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