Do I Have A Case For Medical Malpractice & Negligence?
Doctors and healthcare professionals are not always perfect. But does that mean there was medical malpractice or negligence?
Unfortunately, preventable medical errors are a leading cause of death in the United States not to mention medical issues that can lead to life-long impact on the patient’s future. If you or a loved one believes you have a legitimate medical malpractice case, Attorney Alan Bulnes is here to help.
To make sure you’re informed about what medical malpractice and negligence are keep reading. Remember, when in doubt reach out to Mickey Keenan, P.A. for a free case review.
What is Medical Malpractice?
When proving a case of medical malpractice, an attorney has to demonstrate that a healthcare provider:
- Had a duty of care to the patient
- Breached the standard of care
- That the breach caused actual harm to the patient
Breaching the standard of care is the crux of medical malpractice cases. This means that a healthcare provider acted in a way (or failed to act in a way) that a reasonable, similarly trained person would not have acted. And this action—or inaction—fell short of the appropriate standard of care, making the provider negligent.
The doctor’s negative actions and breach of their duties must be the direct cause of the injury. Keep in mind that just because something goes wrong, or the patient’s conditions goes from bad to worse, does not always mean there is a legitimate medical malpractice claim.
Breaching the standard of care is the crux of medical malpractice cases. A negative treatment outcome does not mean your doctor or healthcare provider has committed medical malpractice.
Do I have a Medical Malpractice Case?
Even though doctors and other medical professionals are properly trained, the truth is medical procedures can still be performed incorrectly, mistakes with medication can be made, and not enough patients may be given enough care or attention.
At Mickey Keenan, P.A. attorneys are experienced with medical malpractice cases and these are four of the most common types of malpractice cases we see at our Tampa law firm:
1. Lack Of Informed Consent
Medical procedures and surgeries come with a certain amount of risk and possible complications. Before any type of treatment, procedure, or surgery a doctor should explain to the patient the risk and the benefits and what to expect.
A medical malpractice claim that involves the lack of informed consent would require the patient to have experienced/suffered actual harm from one of two ways:
- The doctor did not explain all the risk to the patient, because if they had, the patient would not have agreed to it, or
- The doctor performed a procedure the patient did not agree to.
2. Extraordinary Consequences
When a doctor explains the risks and benefits of the treatment/procedure they must explain the foreseeable ones. If it was not foreseeable, then perhaps a mistake or error was made or the risk could have been avoided completely.
Some examples of extraordinary consequences include:
- Receiving the wrong surgery
- Tools were not properly sterilized.
- Equipment and/or tools were left inside the body after surgery causing infection and severe pain
- Failing to check for allergies before prescribing medication
3. Facility Is Understaffed
It is not uncommon for medical practices or facilities to be understaffed, and this can lead to a host to many additional problems, including inadequate medical treatment.
If there is neglect due to lack of staff, which results in preventable problems or further damage to your health you have a medical malpractice case.
Pursuing this claim can be two-fold—not only can you receive compensation to pay for better (and/or additional) medical care, but it can also help other patients who may have pain and suffering from the same neglect.
4. You Are Informed of the Mistake
It may be surprising to hear from your doctor or healthcare provider that they made a mistake, but admitting fault does happen. In addition to just being honest when a medical error has occurred and offering their apology, a lot of healthcare providers are interested in conducting an internal investigation and are willing to offer compensation without going through the legal system. Before you accept any compensation, you need to speak to our attorneys.
When It May Not be a Medical Malpractice Case
These situations will likely not amount to a legitimate malpractice case. These examples are unfortunate, but have little to do with a doctor’s reasonable expectations of standard of care:
The Patient’s Condition Gets Worse
Should a patient’s condition become worse during the course of treatment does not mean a healthcare provider committed medical malpractice. There is no guarantee that every patient will respond to treatment, even if it is considered treatable. As long as the provider acted with reasonable care, medical malpractice has not legally occurred.
The Patient’s Condition Is Untreatable
Sadly, we all know that not every condition is treatable. Healthcare providers should not be held liable just because their patient’s condition is untreatable or even terminal.
Florida’s medical malpractice laws are put in place to provide legal protection when the treatment that a patient is given falls short of the acceptable standard of care.
Making It Right After Medical Malpractice
Proving a medical malpractice case requires care, attention to detail, and experience. These cases require complex medical and legal knowledge. Here, your family is our family and this is not something you should have to go through alone.
Our local medical malpractice attorney will work hard to make the misdeeds of healthcare providers right. Our goal is to make you whole again with a settlement that addresses all of your injuries due to their negligence.
If you think you have been treated wrongfully by a medical professional, talk to the experienced and knowledgeable personal injury lawyers at Mickey Keenan, P.A. in Tampa, FL. We will help you know if your circumstances equate to a medical malpractice case. Contact us today at 813-871-1300 for a free consultation.