Do I Have a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
February 1, 2016
Medical malpractice cases are often complex, but if you’ve been harmed or injured due to the negligence, poor medical treatment, or mistaken diagnosis from a healthcare provider, you may be entitled to benefits.
Each year, between 44,000 and 98,000 Americans die due to preventable medical errors, according to the Institute of Medicine (IOM). Many studies have come up with far higher estimates.
If you aren’t sure whether or not you have a medical malpractice lawsuit, the best thing you can do is consult with a personal injury attorney about your case. He or she can help you to fully understand medical malpractice and its requirements, as well as whether or not your case seems worth pursuing.
Types of Medical Errors
There are several types of medical errors that may constitute a form of medical malpractice. To be considered medical malpractice in the eyes of the law, the doctor, nurse, or other healthcare providers must have been negligent in some way. Some of the most common complaints in medical malpractice suits include:
- Delayed or misdiagnosis: A majority of medical malpractice cases are caused by a delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis. In some cases, failure to obtain a proper diagnosis in a reasonable amount of time can result in serious harm to the patient – or even death.
- Childbirth injuries: Depending on the circumstances surrounding the case, some childbirth injuries may be considered medical malpractice. Medical malpractice can occur during prenatal care or during childbirth due to the negligence of an obstetrician or physician.
- Medication Errors: Determining how many adverse drug reactions occur in the United States each year is difficult. Some studies put the number at over two million. If a patient is harmed due to an error in a prescription or due to a doctor prescribing medication to treat a misdiagnosed condition, there may be cause for a medical malpractice case.
- Anesthesia Errors: Too much anesthesia, too little anesthesia, or failure to properly monitor a patient during surgery can constitute medical malpractice. The results of anesthesia errors are significant, ranging from permanent brain injuries to death.
- Surgical Errors: Errors that occur in the operating room must be proven to be caused by the negligence of the surgeon or another healthcare provider. Medical malpractice may be claimed if the surgeon left an instrument or other object inside the body during surgery, or was negligent during post-operative care, resulting in injury or infection.
Possible Medical Malpractice Damages
If you’ve been injured due to the mistake of a healthcare provider, you may be suffering not only physically and mentally, but also financially. To help you get back on your feet, victims may be able to get compensation if the medical professional is found to be negligent. This compensation may be for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and various other damages.
Act quickly if you plan to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, though, because the state of Florida has a statute of limitations. This limits the amount of time the victim has to pursue a medical malpractice case against the negligent party to four years.
If you fail to file within the allotted time, you may lose your right to recover compensation for your injuries. Therefore, it’s crucial to contact a strong track record of success in this area of the law will be your best chance at getting the fair and just compensation you deserve.
About the Author:
John K. Lawlor, a South Florida personal injury attorney who focuses his practice on complex personal injury, wrongful death, and professional malpractice, founded the law firm of Lawlor, White & Murphey in 1998. Since 1995, Mr. Lawlor’s trial advocacy and litigation skills, as well as his wide-ranging legal expertise, have provided plaintiffs and their families with a distinct advantage when seeking financial compensation and justice for injuries caused by the negligence of others. Mr. Lawlor is an EAGLE member of the Florida Bar Association and an active member of the American Association for Justice, the Broward County Justice Association, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and several professional associations.