Medical malpractice in Florida is much more common than you may realize. How common?
Take a look at just a few stats:
- Nearly $4 billion is paid out in medical malpractice claims each year in the United States.
- Other than death, the top reasons for injury claims include significant or major permanent injury, brain damage, and lifelong care.
- Allegations are most frequently related to misdiagnosis, surgery, and treatment.
- Inpatient medical errors account for 45 percent of all payouts. Outpatient errors make up 41 percent. Both inpatient and outpatient errors make up nine percent of total payouts.
- Florida ranks in the top five states for highest medical malpractice
Why are there so many medical malpractice cases? Because there are so many mistakes.
In fact, a recent study found that medical errors are the third highest reason for death in the U.S. They cause around 250,000 deaths every year, behind only heart disease and cancer.
In this post, we’re going to detail some of the most common errors to watch out for and explain how you can fight back if you suffer undue injury.
The Most Common Medical Errors Floridians Face
The most common medical errors that qualify for medical malpractice claims fall into these categories.
Some doctors make the wrong diagnosis, which can cause a life-threatening condition to develop. Additionally, it’s possible that your doctor may wait too long to give the correct diagnosis, which can also present hazards to you.
Misdiagnosis is common with tumors, infections, heart attacks, heart disease, or blood clots. To win a medical malpractice lawsuit involving misdiagnosis, your attorney will likely rely on expert medical witnesses to prove the diagnosis was wrong or late.
There are several ways a prescription can go wrong. The doctor may prescribe the wrong drug, or too much or too little of the correct drug.
The pharmacy may get the dosage wrong, or the nurses in the chain of care at a hospital may botch the prescription. The labels could be incorrect, or you may not have received sufficient warnings of the drug’s side effects.
Any of these mistakes could cause serious injuries. A skilled attorney will know if prescription errors play a role in your case.
Doctors commonly make errors during surgery, which can present significant threats to your health. The most common surgical errors include the following:
- Foreign object is left inside the body
- Wrong surgery is performed
- Bleeding is not controlled
- Nerve is damaged
- Artery is cut
- Anesthesia dosage is wrong
- Anesthesia tubing is incorrect
- Equipment is defective
- Blood transfusion is with wrong type of blood
- Too much blood is given
- Patient is not properly monitored during and after surgery
Surgical mistakes can cause temporary or long-lived issues. If you have been affected by a surgical error, you need the help of a knowledgeable Florida medical malpractice attorney immediately.
Several errors are common during hospital stays. Falls often occur, which can worsen a patient’s condition or expose a patient to infection.
Additionally, an inattentive staff may fail to remove central lines, administer antibiotics in the proper way, or turn the patient so bed sores don’t develop. Negligence is often at the root of hospital injuries and infections, and an experienced Florida injury attorney can fight on your behalf if you have been hurt.
Obstetrics and childbirth injuries
Childbirth is a risky endeavor, and both mothers and children can be harmed by medical malpractice. These are the most common reasons for obstetric and childbirth injuries:
- Failure to diagnose placental abnormalities
- Anesthesia not properly administered
- Prolonged labor that results in injury
- Surgical errors
- Uncontrolled bleeding
- Nerve damage
- Negligence in baby care
An expert witness will be able to testify whether the standard of care is breached in cases involving obstetric or childbirth malpractice.
What You Should Know about Florida Medical Malpractice Laws
Under Florida law, you can seek three types of damages from a medical malpractice claim. Compensatory damages are awarded for medical bills and lost wages. Non-economic damages are awarded for pain and suffering. Punitive damages may be awarded for cases of gross negligence.
However, to even have a chance, you must file a lawsuit within two years of discovering the injury or no later than four years from when the act occurred. If the medical provider intentionally concealed the malpractice, you have two years from the date of discovery and seven years from when the act occurred. There is no statute of limitations for an act that occurred on a person under the age of eight.
In Florida, caps exist on how much you can be awarded. Talk with a knowledgeable lawyer to understand how the caps apply in your case. Get in touch for a free case review today.
About the Author:
A partner at Lawlor, White & Murphey and a distinguished personal injury lawyer, Ben Murphey tries complex disputes that include civil appeals, maritime and admiralty claims, wrongful death, and labor disputes. Mr. Murphey has been recognized for his excellence in the area of personal injury litigation by being rewarded with a 10/10 Avvo Rating and named a Super Lawyers “Rising Star” for the last four consecutive years (2011-2014). Mr. Murphey regularly tries cases in state and federal courts around the country, being admitted to practice before all Florida courts and the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.