People go to hospitals to get better. Whether you’re undergoing surgery, getting emergency treatment for an injury, or seeing a health professional for testing or some other procedure, you don’t expect to come out worse than you went in.
Tragically, medical mistakes are now the third leading cause of death in the United States. These are not rare events.
Medical malpractice is happening with alarming frequency all over the country, and doctor and hospital errors are cutting lives short.
Recently, the Jacksonville lawyers at Hardesty, Tyde, Green & Ashton filed a medical negligence and elder abuse lawsuit against Orange Park Medical Center in Orange Park, Florida.
Our client entered the hospital a healthy woman with operable lung cancer, and she expected to be released shortly after her surgery.
Instead, the hospital’s negligence allowed her to become infested with maggots, and a cascade of mistakes and poor care ultimately resulted in her death.
You can read more about the case we filed against Orange Park Medical Center and its parent company, Hospital Corporation of America.
Heartbreaking cases like this often make people wonder just what it takes to file and win a medical malpractice case.
Sadly, many people hurt by doctors and hospitals never seek legal help, either because health care workers have told them they’re imagining things, or because they feel intimidated at the thought of taking on a large hospital.
Our Jacksonville medical malpractice lawyers are not intimidated by hospitals or their lawyers.
Our attorneys have dedicated their lives to helping victims of medical mistakes get justice. One of the first things we explain to our clients are the elements of a medical malpractice claim.
We want our clients to feel empowered about their health and their legal options.
What Does It Take to Bring a Medical Malpractice Claim?
Before you file a medical malpractice case, you must look at the facts to determine if you meet all the elements required to make a claim.
Under Florida law, there are four elements required to file a medical malpractice case.
- The Hospital Owed a Duty of Care. A plaintiff can only bring a lawsuit against a doctor or hospital if the doctor or hospital had a duty of care toward the plaintiff.
- Breach of the Standard of Care. Under Florida law, the plaintiff in a medical malpractice case must prove that the hospital, doctor, or health care provider breached the prevailing standard of care for that type of health care provider. The standard of care required of a doctor or hospital is that which is generally accepted in the region and one that meets the care, skill, and treatment offered by similar providers. This is often the most challenging element to prove in a medical malpractice case.
- The Breach Caused the Injury. The hospital’s breach of the duty of care must have caused the plaintiff/patient’s injury.
- The Plaintiff Suffered Damages. The plaintiff/patient must have suffered damages, such as pain and suffering, to bring a medical malpractice claim. Even if the evidence shows the hospital made a mistake, the plaintiff can’t bring a case if he or she wasn’t harmed by it.
Medical malpractice cases are almost always complex. You must prove each element to successfully file a claim. These cases demand the skill and experience of a seasoned medical malpractice litigator.
Get a Jacksonville Medical Malpractice Lawyer on Your Side
If you have been harmed by a doctor’s mistake or a hospital’s negligence, you have limited time to bring a claim.
Florida law gives you just two years to file a claim, with some exceptions in certain circumstances. Because the window of opportunity is so short, don’t hesitate to contact a medical negligence lawyer about your case.
If you wait too long, your case could be barred forever.
Being injured by a doctor or hospital is the ultimate betrayal of your trust. When you put your health and your life in someone’s hands, you have a right to expect competent, effective care.
Call a Jacksonville medical malpractice lawyer today to get started on your case.