Clearwater Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Do you suspect you have been the victim of medical malpractice in Clearwater, FL? If so, you may be entitled to fair compensation for your injuries. Medical malpractice is a serious and common problem. You may be left with worsened health, complications that lower their quality of life and function, and extensive medical bills.
At Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers, we have decades of experience helping medical malpractice victims seek maximum compensation for their injuries. Contact our law firm today to schedule a free consultation with a compassionate Clearwater medical malpractice lawyer who will help you explore your options.
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How Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help with Your Medical Malpractice Claim
You trust medical providers to have your best interests at heart, discover what’s wrong with you, and do everything possible to help you recover. When you discover this trust is misplaced and a physician’s negligence has actually caused you additional harm, you may be unsure where to even turn.
Sadly, medical malpractice is a common issue, and recovering the compensation you deserve can be an uphill battle. Medical malpractice cases require extensive investigation and a great deal of evidence in the form of expert testimony. When you are fighting against well-funded insurance companies for a high-value claim, you deserve experienced legal advocates who can help you hold the responsible party accountable.
The top-rated Clearwater personal injury lawyers at Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers have more than 75 years of experience helping medical malpractice victims. Our AV-rated law firm has two attorneys Board Certified in Civil Trial, a designation shared by just 2% of Florida attorneys which gives us an edge in achieving favorable results in complex injury cases.
Since 1996, Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers has passionately fought for injury victims and earned national recognition for the sizable jury awards and settlements we have recovered.
When you turn to Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers to represent you in your medical malpractice case, you can count on our firm to:
- Help you understand what you should expect and answer your questions
- Conduct a thorough investigation of your case
- Gather evidence to prove negligence and the extent of your injuries
- Work with top medical experts to prove the standard of care in your case and how your provider was negligent
- Fight against claims that there was no negligence or you were not actually injured
- Negotiate on your behalf for a fair settlement
If the insurance company will not reach a fair offer, the Board Certified Civil Trial lawyers at Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers are not afraid to take your case before a jury. We have been named Tampa Bay’s Top Trial Lawyers with a reputation built at the negotiating table and in a courtroom.
Contact our law office today to schedule your free consultation with a Clearwater medical malpractice injury lawyer ready to fight for you.
What Is Medical Malpractice in Florida?
Malpractice happens when a medical professional is negligent through action or omission and causes a patient injury. Medical malpractice can occur during diagnosis, treatment, follow-up or aftercare, or regular health management. It can also be committed by nearly any type of medical professional, including a hospital, primary care physician, pharmacist, nurse, or anesthesiologist.
Health care professionals are held to a high standard of care in Florida. They must provide the standard of care that a reasonable professional in the same field would provide to a patient in similar circumstances.
Florida Statutes 766.101 defines this prevailing standard of care as the “level of care, skill, and treatment which, in light of all relevant surrounding circumstances, is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent similar health care providers.”
When the professional fails in this duty and causes a patient harm, they can be held legally liable for the damage they have caused.
Types of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice comes in many forms. It may happen when a condition is not diagnosed correctly and worsens without proper treatment, or it may happen when a mistake is made during surgery. Some medical errors allow a medical condition to progress or worsen a patient’s health, while other errors cause direct harm such as amputating the wrong limb.
The following are the most common forms of medical malpractice in Clearwater.
Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis
Many claims of medical malpractice arise from how a condition is diagnosed.
Misdiagnosis happens when a physician examines a patient but does not diagnose the correct condition or illness. This may involve incorrectly telling a patient they have no known illness or diagnosing the patient with the wrong condition.
Misdiagnosis prevents a patient from receiving the treatment they need promptly which may cause harm.
Delayed diagnosis is similar, but it means the physician eventually makes the correct diagnosis after initially misdiagnosing the patient. This delay in diagnosis may allow the patient’s health to deteriorate because necessary treatment was delayed.
Failure to Treat
If a physician makes the right diagnosis, malpractice can still occur if the correct treatment is not recommended. A patient may be released from care too soon, a physician may fail to refer them to a specialist when needed, or proper follow-up care may not be offered.
It’s estimated that 4,000 surgical errors occur in the United States every year. Mistakes during surgery can leave patients with a worsened condition, serious complications, and the need for revision surgery. According to the National Quality Forum, surgical errors are “never events” which should never happen because they are easily preventable and have serious consequences.
Surgical mistakes are different from known surgical risks or an unsatisfactory result from surgery. The most common types of surgical errors in Clearwater include:
- Leaving surgical equipment in the patient
- Wrong-patient surgery that is performed on the wrong patient
- Wrong-site surgery that is performed on the wrong part of the body
- Incisions at the wrong site
- Anesthesia errors
- Perforation of an organ
- Nerve damage
While three-quarters of surgical errors happen during surgery, other mistakes can occur before surgery or post-op.
Birth injuries affect almost 2 out of every 1,000 live births in the United States. While some birth injuries are unavoidable, many are caused by mistakes during pregnancy, labor, or delivery.
Medical providers have a duty in Florida to recognize and treat issues that can lead to a birth injury. This may include, for example, ordering a Cesarean section if the baby will not fit through the birth canal, labor is too difficult, or the baby shows signs of distress. Malpractice can also occur while the child is in utero, such as prescribing certain drugs to a pregnant woman.
Common birth injuries in Clearwater include:
- Cerebral palsy
- Brachial plexus palsy
- Erb’s palsy
- Shoulder dystocia
- Facial paralysis
If your child has suffered a birth injury, it’s important to consult with a Clearwater medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible to investigate your case.
Prescription Drug Errors
Prescription medication is crucial to the management of chronic health conditions and the treatment of acute conditions. Sadly, while prescription drugs can be life-saving, prescription errors can have lasting or even fatal consequences.
Prescription drug errors can happen when a physician makes a mistake by prescribing the wrong medication or the wrong dose of a drug is administered incorrectly. Drug errors may also happen when a prescription interacts with a medication the patient is already taking. A prescribing physician or a pharmacist may commit malpractice involving drug errors.
Proving Medical Malpractice in Clearwater
Medical malpractice claims are notoriously difficult to prove. For a successful medical malpractice lawsuit in Florida, you must prove the following elements:
- There was a doctor-patient relationship.
- The medical provider was negligent.
- The physician’s negligence caused your injury.
- The injury led to specific harm or damages.
To build your case, your Clearwater medical malpractice injury lawyer will begin by establishing the standard of care for your case. What would a prudent medical provider have done in a similar situation? This step often involves expert testimony from medical providers about what constitutes a standard of care within the profession and how your provider deviated from the standard of care.
To win a claim, your personal injury lawyer will also show the losses you have suffered as a result of the negligence. This will also involve working with experts to calculate anticipated future medical expenses you will face. Medical malpractice cases almost always require an extensive investigation with supporting evidence on both sides.
At Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers, we also understand the tactics medical providers and their lawyers will use to defend themselves against medical malpractice claims. We will fight against claims that there was no negligence, no damage was caused, or that something else caused your injuries by building the strongest case possible.
Damages Available in a Clearwater Medical Malpractice Claim
If your medical malpractice case is successful, you can recover compensation for the harm you have suffered. This includes economic damages for damages with a clear financial value and non-economic damages for damages that have no intrinsic value.
You may be entitled to compensation for:
- Medical bills related to your injuries including anticipated future medical expenses
- Lost wages for time you needed to take off work
- Loss of future earnings if you are disabled
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Scarring and disfigurement
There is no limit to the economic damages you can recover. While Florida Statutes 766.118 capped non-economic damages to $500,000 for practitioners and $750,000 for non-practitioners, this statute has been ruled unconstitutional.
Currently, caps on damages still exist in some cases, such as when negligent care was given where providers were state or county employees or there was voluntary binding arbitration.
Statute of Limitations for Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in Clearwater, FL
Under Florida law, there is a two-year statute of limitations to file a medical malpractice claim. This time limit usually starts from the date the patient or a family member knew or should have known that an injury could have been caused by malpractice.
Florida also has a statute of repose that bars medical malpractice lawsuits more than 4 years from the date of the actual malpractice. The only exceptions are when concealment, fraud, or misrepresentation existed.
Contact a Clearwater Medical Malpractice Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Have you suffered an injury due to a medical provider’s negligence? It’s crucial to work with a medical malpractice lawyer in Clearwater as soon as possible to begin building your case. Medical malpractice cases are notoriously complex and require a great deal of investigation. The sooner you begin working on your case, the easier it will be to gather evidence that may be crucial in proving your claim.
Contact Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers today to schedule a free case review with a Clearwater medical malpractice lawyer who can help you. We are here to fight for you.