Which Elements of Proof are Required in a Florida Birth Defect Medical Malpractice Case?
Unfortunately, many babies are born with birth defects, and sadly, many of these birth defects are the result of medical malpractice. The following article will provide some information regarding the specific elements you will need to prove in a birth defect medical malpractice case in the state of Florida.
Florida Law on Medical Malpractice
Florida Statute § 766.102 outlines Florida’s law regarding medical malpractice. This statute provides a cause of action for the recovery of damages based on the death or personal injury of any person in which it is alleged that such death or injury resulted from the negligence of a healthcare provider. This statute also requires that the claimant must show that it is more likely than not that the alleged actions of the health care provider represented a breach of the prevailing professional standard of care for that health care provider. Further, the statute specifies that the prevailing professional standard of care for a health care provider is the level of care, skill, and treatment which (in light of all relevant surrounding circumstances) is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent similarly-situated health care providers.
What elements do I need to prove in a birth defect medical malpractice case?
If a physician’s or other health care professional’s conduct resulted in your child being born with birth defects, you may have a valid medical malpractice claim against that physician, as well as the associated hospital, birthing center, or other medical facility. In order to establish a successful medical malpractice claim against a physician for causing birth defects, you will need to provide proof of the following elements:
- Duty: You will first need to establish a physician-patient relationship between the health care provider and yourself (and consequently, to your child). Once established, you will be able to show that the physician owed a specific duty to you as his patient. As previously mentioned, a Florida physician’s duty is to provide the level of care, skill, and treatment which (in light of all relevant surrounding circumstances) is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent similarly situated health care providers.
- Breach: After establishing that the physician owed a duty to you as his patient (and consequently, to your child), you will then need to show that he breached that duty. You can do this by proving that the physician failed to adhere to the level of care, skill, and treatment which (in light of all relevant surrounding circumstances) is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent similarly situated health care providers.
- Causation: Next, you will need to demonstrate a direct link between the physician’s actions and your child’s birth defects. This requires providing proof that the birth defects that resulted would not have occurred absent the physician’s negligent conduct.
- Damages: Finally, you will need to provide sufficient proof of the actual injuries your child sustained, as well as any damages you have personally experienced. In personal injury cases, courts will typically provide compensatory damage awards which cover medical expenses or loss of income and/or non-compensatory damage awards which cover intangible things like pain and suffering.
If You Suspect that Medical Malpractice Caused Your Child to Suffer Birth Defects, Speak to a Fort Lauderdale Attorney.
If you believe that a physician’s malpractice caused your child to be born with defects, Rosen Injury Law, P.A. can assist you. Our experienced Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys can help you build a strong medical malpractice case and get justice for any injuries your child has suffered.