How Do You Know If You Were the Victim of Florida Medical Malpractice?
Having trust in medical professionals is incredibly important when it comes to your wellbeing in times of health emergencies. When we get sick, and you have no background in medicine, your doctor is who you turn to in your time of need. And although doctors usually operate with the highest degree of care when it comes to treating their patients, whether in surgeries or prescribing medication, sometimes medical providers fail to meet minimal acceptable levels of care, resulting in injury to the patient.
Cases in which individuals have a botched surgical operation, receive the wrong diagnosis, or are prescribed unnecessary or irrelevant medication leading to grave side effects are all too common. Instances such as these may lead to complications where the patient is worse off than they were before. In the worst-case scenarios, they may cause death. Fortunately, if someone is a victim of a doctor’s medical negligence, they or their family may be able to receive compensation for the damages incurred.
How to Prove Medical Negligence
Florida Statute 766 deals with medical malpractice, also referred to as medical negligence. There are several things which must be proven to succeed on a claim of medical negligence against a healthcare provider, whether it be a doctor, hospital or companies that own healthcare institutions. Like standard negligence, an individual must prove:
- The doctor or healthcare provider owed a duty to the patient,
- The doctor or healthcare provider breached that duty,
- The breach of that duty is what caused the injury to the patient, and
- That there were actual damages sustained by the patient.
However, doctors and healthcare providers owe a hightended duty to their patients to use a professional standard of care when dealing with their patients. This places doctors and healthcare providers in a particular position, where they are required to take extra care when dealing with patients, for justifiable reasons. Doctors and healthcare providers breach that duty when they act in a manner that deviates from that professional standard of care. In other words, if the doctor or healthcare provider acted in a manner that is unusual or inappropriate in comparison to what other medical professionals would have done, then they breached their duty to the patient. For example, a doctor prescribing an unusually high dosage of certain medication that causes damaging side effects, or a surgery that is unnecessary or causes unexpected significant damage to the patient, would be a deviation from the medical professional standard of care.
The difficult part of proving medical negligence is proving that it was the doctor or healthcare providers actions that directly caused the injuries to the patient. Often, doctors or healthcare providers will seek every avenue possible to disprove that it was the healthcare providers’ fault for the injuries. During discovery in a lawsuit (the initial sharing of evidence between opposing parties), healthcare providers will scrutinize patient’s medical histories to make any connection possible that could show that the injuries were caused by anything other than the actions of the healthcare provider. However, if it can be shown that but for the doctor or healthcare providers negligent actions, the injury would not have occurred, that would likely be sufficient to prove the aspect of causation.
Finally, injured patients must be able to point to specific damages they received and show an appropriate amount for compensation. Usually, this is easy to prove. For example, surgeries gone wrong can easily show the damages that were caused by the botched surgery, whether it was damaging another part of the body, a detrimental side effect, or a life altering injury. At that point, it simply becomes an issue of determining how much compensation the patient should receive which can be determined from various things such as medical bills incurred by the injury, pain and suffering, and loss of quality of life.
Victims of medical negligence never asked for or deserved their injury. They trusted a medical professional to help them, and often they turn out worse or with unexpected injuries. Such victims require justice for their injuries, and fortunately the law provides a way for those victims to be compensated. If you believe that you or a loved one have been the victim of medical negligence, whether by a doctor or other healthcare provider, we at Rosen Injury Law have the expertise, passion and dedication to help you find justice. Contact us at www.roseninjury.com or call us at 954-787-1500.