You Local Florida Medical Malpractice Attorney
While many healthcare providers take great care to properly diagnose and treat their patients, an alarming number are not so conscientious and cause thousands of preventable injuries and deaths every year. Although it is possible to hold these negligent individuals and entities accountable for their actions, doing so can be difficult, so if you or a loved one recently sustained an injury due to a healthcare provider’s negligence, it is important to contact an experienced Florida medical malpractice attorney who can explain your legal options.
Elements of a Medical Malpractice Claim
Before a plaintiff can recover compensation from the negligent hospital or individual who caused his or her injury, he or she must be able to prove that:
- The defendant breached the prevailing professional standard of care;
- The defendant’s breach caused the plaintiff to suffer an injury; and
- The plaintiff suffered significant harm as a result of the defendant’s actions.
We’ve included more details about the elements of a negligence claim below, but if you still have questions about what is required to successfully file a medical malpractice lawsuit, please don’t hesitate to contact our legal team today.
Breaching the Standard of Care
Of the elements required to establish a medical malpractice claim, proving that a defendant breached the relevant standard of care is often the most difficult, as it requires proof that the defendant failed to use the level of care, skill, and treatment, which, given the patient’s condition, has been recognized as acceptable and appropriate by similar healthcare providers operating in the same area.
Because the standard of care varies from state to state and depends on a wide range of factors, such as the patient’s age and illness, proving that the standard of care has been breached can be complicated. This is especially true in cases that involve technical language and complex procedures. In other situations, however, it is obvious, even to a layman, that the medical standard of care was breached. It is clear, for instance, that if a surgeon left a surgical tool inside of a patient, that he or she did not use a reasonable level of care.
Regardless of the type of case in question, a plaintiff who is alleging negligence must be able to prove that:
- The defendant in question had a duty to use reasonable care;
- The defendant breached that duty; and
- The plaintiff suffered an injury as a result of the defendant’s actions.
Only plaintiffs who can fulfill these elements are entitled to damages compensating them for related losses.
Noakes can handle your unique case.
Once a plaintiff has established that a specific healthcare provider breached the prevailing professional standard of care, he or she must still prove that, but for the defendant’s negligence, his or her injuries would not have occurred. Because medicine is such a complex subject matter, plaintiffs who file medical malpractice claims are almost always required to provide expert testimony regarding whether the defendant actually caused the plaintiff’s injuries. There are some cases, however, where the opinion of an expert may not be necessary to establish a claim of negligence because the injury speaks for itself. If, for instance, medical personnel were in exclusive control of the instrumentality that caused an injury or there could be no other cause for a plaintiff’s injury, but a healthcare provider’s actions, a jury may not require an expert opinion to reach a guilty verdict.
Contact Our Florida Law Firm Today
Noakes can handle your medical malpractice case.
Finally, plaintiffs who are attempting to establish medical negligence must have evidence that they suffered serious harm as a result of the defendant’s actions. In most cases, this means that an injury must have resulted in extensive pain and suffering, required time off from work, and cost the plaintiff a hefty sum in medical bills. Successful plaintiffs are entitled to compensation for these losses, including future medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Although the Florida Legislature attempted to place a cap on the amount that a plaintiff could recover in non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering and emotional distress, a Florida appellate court recently ruled that placing such a limitation on a plaintiff’s recovery was unconstitutional.
Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations
In Florida, there is a two year statute of limitations for claims based on the negligence of a healthcare provider. This means that plaintiffs have two years from the date that they knew about or should have known about their injury, to seek compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit. Another limitation, known as the statute of repose, also states that in the absence of extenuating circumstances, healthcare providers cannot be sued for medical negligence more than four years after the incident occurred, unless there is evidence that the negligence went unnoticed due to fraud, concealment, or misrepresentation on the medical provider’s part.
Contact an Experienced Florida Medical Malpractice Attorney
Please call 561-301-6999 today to schedule a free case review with one of the Florida medical malpractice attorneys at Noakes Law Group today. A member of our legal team can also be reached via online message.
Other Practice Areas
Our experienced attorneys are here to provide you with legal representation when your future depends upon it. Noakes Law Group has the experience and resources necessary to win cases and we are prepared to handle your unique case. Our practice areas include.
Contact Noakes Law Group Today
Our lawyers have the skill set and experience you’re looking for, and know how to bring forth successful claims. Call our legal team today for a free consultation for answers to your questions.