When you visit your doctor, a healthcare facility, or any licensed medical professional, you deserve to trust the professional’s abilities and decision-making skills when it comes to your healthcare outcome. In fact, it is your legal right. When you are working with a licensed professional, you trust in their years of experience and their duty of responsibility towards you, expecting that you will be handled with care and that you will avoid any additional injuries as a result of your treatment. Unfortunately, there are an alarming number of instances where a patient does not receive the care they expect, and suffers unnecessary injuries as a result of negligence (through either act or omission) known as medical malpractice.
It is important to understand that there is a significant difference between medical malpractice and a worsening or untreatable condition. Doctors and medical professionals are not expected to achieve perfect success with every patient, but they are expected to take all reasonable steps in order to avoid additional or unnecessary harm to their patients. This is known as the standard of care, which is simply a treatment guideline for appropriate medical care that a doctor or other health professional must adhere to as best as possible. A failure to successfully treat a condition is not medical malpractice, but a failure to diagnose a condition, or a misdiagnosis of a condition, may very likely be considered medical malpractice.
If you believe that you have been the victim of negligence on behalf of a medical professional or healthcare organization, contact 1-800-Injured as soon as possible to be connected to our network of aggressive and proven medical malpractice lawyers in Orlando. The most important step to take after suffering from this type of injury is to get the appropriate legal representation for your case so that you can focus on recovery while benefiting from experienced guidance from a seasoned attorney.
Read more below for some general information about Orlando medical malpractice cases, and contact us now to be connected with an attorney who is ready to take your case today.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Understanding the specifics of what is and what is not medical malpractice requires an understanding of what the “standard of care” is. According to Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute, standard of care is “the degree of care (watchfulness, attention, caution, and prudence) that a reasonable person should exercise under the circumstances.” In terms of medical care, this requires that the professional adhere to the appropriate guidelines in order to minimize the risk of unnecessary harm to the patient.
For a case to be considered for medical malpractice, it must have the following characteristics present:
- The medical professional failed to uphold their standard of care during the course of your treatment
- This failure caused an accident or a dangerous situation
- You were injured as a result of the medical professional’s failure to adhere to their standard of care
Why Work With a Medical Malpractice Attorney?
The most important thing to do is to hire an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible, ideally before you even initiate your claim or take any steps in your case. Insurance companies work aggressively to restrict the amount of money that any claims are settled with, and your situation will be no different. When you are being represented by an attorney, you can focus on recovery while your lawyer is able to take on the insurance company and get you the money you truly deserve.
Seeking Compensation for Orlando Medical Malpractice
Once it has been determined that you are a victim of medical malpractice, you will need to take action to initiate a claim and start working towards getting the compensation you deserve for your suffering and the financial impacts of this error. You will likely work directly with the company that the doctor has an E&O (errors and omissions) policy with. In many ways, this claims process is similar to filing a claim for compensation following a car accident. However, there are additional details and complications when dealing with these types of insurance companies.
Frequently Asked Questions about Medical Malpractice Cases
Does Florida Have Damage Caps for Medical Malpractice?
Florida has a limitation known as a “damage cap” for any non-economic damages (things like pain and suffering, and emotional trauma) that a victim of medical malpractice may suffer. Typically this cap is $500,000, but the limit is raised to $1 million in cases where the victim suffers death or is left in either a vegetative state.
However, there are no damage caps for economic damages, which include all of the measurable financial impacts that a victim suffers. These include things like the medical bills from the injuries, as well as all income-based effects of the injury such as lost wages and a decreased earning capacity. If the victim is left with a disability that impedes their ability to earn their former pay, this will be considered as well.
What are some examples of medical malpractice?
These general requirements for a medical malpractice case clearly indicate that there is a wide range of situations that could qualify for this type of civil suit. One such example could be a prescription error, where a doctor fails to consider the possible interactions between this new medication and any medications that the patient is already taking. It is the doctor’s responsibility to know these things in order to avoid dangerously, and sometimes deadly reactions between prescriptions.
Some medical malpractice cases are even more shocking, such as surgical errors like performing the wrong surgery, or leaving surgical tools inside the patient once the procedure is completed, known as “retained surgical instruments.” An alarming number of these cases happen each year, with estimates ranging from 1 in every 100 to 1 in ever 5000 surgeries resulting in this type of error.
In either of these examples, the doctor and all other professionals involved had a responsibility to ensure that the medical actions they take are safe for their patients, and failed to do so. There are many other situations that qualify as medical malpractice, which you will be able to discuss in specific detail once you are connected to an Orlando medical malpractice lawyer through 1-800-Injured.
Should I settle with the insurance company?
In some estimates, nearly 95% of all personal injury claims are settled before trial. However, the amount that you settle for will vary greatly depending on how much leverage you have during negotiations, and when you decide to accept the offer. An insurance company will always start with extremely low offers, and it is up to you and your attorney to negotiate in order to reach an agreement that makes sense for you. Never settle with an insurance company before consulting with an experienced lawyer.