Medical Malpractice FAQ
Every patient has the right to expect competent care from medical professionals and healthcare providers. While this doesn’t mean that healthcare providers have to be perfect in every case, it does mean that medical professionals are expected to provide medical service commensurate with what would be expected of someone with their background, education, training and experience.
Unfortunately, healthcare providers sometimes fail to live up to the standards of professionalism that are imposed upon them. When this occurs, patients who suffer an injury as a result may file a claim for medical malpractice. To help you better understand medical malpractice laws in Florida, the Fort Lauderdale medical malpractice lawyers at Freeman Injury Law have prepared the following FAQ. We also offer free consultations to clients who suspect they were victims of medical malpractice.Medical Malpractice FAQ
1) What is a medical malpractice claim?
Patients who suffered injury or harm because of a healthcare provider who failed to provide reasonably competent care may file a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation for damages. The personal injury lawsuit is called a medical malpractice claim.
2) Who can be sued for medical malpractice?
Any healthcare provider with a duty to care for his patients can be sued for medical malpractice. This can include doctors, dentists and hospitals, among other care providers.
3) Do I have to go to court?
Many medical malpractice cases settle outside of court. Doctors have medical malpractice insurance and the insurance carriers will offer you a lump sum payment in exchange for you agreeing not to sue. Before settling, be sure to speak to a lawyer to make sure you are actually getting the compensation you deserve.
4) What types of compensation can I get for medical malpractice?
Typically, you may recover full compensation for all medical costs that you incurred to correct your doctor’s errors and/or to help you recover from any injuries or illnesses your doctor caused or exacerbated with his negligence. If you need to miss work because of your doctor’s negligence, or if your resulting medical problems cause you to experience a permanent reduction in your ability to earn money, you should receive compensation for lost income. Payment for pain and suffering and emotional distress is also expected.
5) What if my family member or loved one died as a result of medical malpractice?
If you lost a loved one due to medical malpractice, you may file a wrongful death claim against the doctor or care provider. You can sue for damages you suffered because of the death, such as loss of companionship and the loss of financial support the deceased would have provided if he or she had not died due to the healthcare provider’s negligence.
6) What do I need to do to prove medical malpractice?
You will need to show that your healthcare provider provided unreasonably poor care. You will also need to show that the provider’s breach of their professional duty was a direct cause of some harm that you endured.
7) How do I prove medical malpractice?
Typically, you will need expert witnesses to testify on your behalf in court to help a judge or jury to see how your doctor or healthcare provider failed you. Medical records can also be important evidence. A Fort Lauderdale medical malpractice lawyer will help you to learn what types of evidence you need as you build your case.
8) Can I sue for malpractice based on a misdiagnosis or a missed illness?
You may be able to make a claim for medical negligence if your doctor failed to diagnose an illness or if your doctor diagnosed you incorrectly. Your doctor is likely to try to argue that any injuries or damages you suffered happened as a result of your illness- not his misdiagnosis- and that your medical problems would have been the same even if he’d diagnosed you correctly. You will need to present your own evidence and expert to disprove his claims.
9) Can I sue for malpractice if I develop an infection in a hospital?
The risk of infection in hospitals has become a major concern, especially in light of MRSA epidemics. Hospitals need to take reasonable precautions to protect people who come for help. If a hospital fails to have policies in place or to screen staff, or if the hospital staff is negligent in any way, it may be possible for you to hold the hospital responsible through a malpractice claim.
10) Do I need a lawyer to sue for medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice claims are very complex due to the technical nature of a doctor or healthcare provider’s obligation. It can also be difficult to determine what injuries occurred because of underlying medical problems and because of what the negligent care provider did. As such, having a lawyer is absolutely essential if you want to make a successful claim for medical malpractice. Freeman Injury Law is here to help. We offer free consultations and you do not pay unless you win. Contact us today to learn more.