Medical negligence is a legal concept that arises when healthcare providers fail to provide appropriate care that meets the accepted standard of care for their patients. In Florida, medical negligence can occur in any healthcare setting, including hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and private practices.
As a prominent personal injury law firm based in Florida, Fetterman Law has seen the devastating consequences that medical negligence can have on patients and their families.
Here, you can learn the importance of understanding medical negligence in Florida. We will explain the elements of medical negligence, provide examples of common types, and discuss the statute of limitations for filing a medical negligence claim in Florida.
We will also emphasize the significance of seeking legal help in cases of medical negligence, as victims may be entitled to compensation for their damages.
Elements of Medical Negligence in Florida
Medical negligence may occur when a healthcare provider fails to provide proper care to a patient, resulting in harm. In Florida, medical negligence cases are judged based on four elements:
Duty of Care
Healthcare providers have a legal duty to provide patients with care that meets their profession’s accepted standard of care. This means that they must provide reasonable and prudent care, given the circumstances.
Breach of Duty
A breach occurs when a healthcare provider fails to provide care that meets their profession’s accepted standard of care. A breach of duty can occur in many ways, such as misdiagnosis, medication errors, surgical errors, or failure to obtain informed consent.
Causation is the link between the healthcare provider’s breach of duty and the patient’s harm. The harm must have been caused directly by the healthcare provider’s actions or inactions.
Damages refer to the harm suffered by the patient due to the healthcare provider’s breach of duty. Damages include physical harm, emotional distress, and financial losses, such as medical bills or lost wages.
A patient may have a valid medical negligence claim if all four elements are present in a case. It’s crucial to note that each element must be proven by the plaintiff, or the person filing the claim, with the help of a skilled medical negligence attorney.
Examples of Medical Negligence
Medical negligence can take many forms, and the consequences can devastate patients and their families. The following are some common examples of medical negligence that can occur in Florida healthcare settings:
Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis
When a healthcare provider fails to diagnose a medical condition correctly, the patient may not receive appropriate treatment, leading to further harm or death. Similarly, delayed diagnosis can cause harm if the condition worsens over time.
Surgical errors can occur due to various factors, such as inadequate training, fatigue, or equipment failure. Common surgical errors include wrong-site surgery, leaving surgical instruments inside a patient, and damaging nearby organs or nerves.
Medication errors can occur when a healthcare provider prescribes the wrong medication or dosage, fails to consider drug interactions, or administers medication improperly. Medication errors can cause severe harm or even death.
Birth injuries can occur due to medical negligence during prenatal care or delivery. Examples include oxygen deprivation, forceps injuries, and failure to perform a necessary cesarean section.
These are just a few examples of the types of medical negligence that can occur in Florida healthcare settings. It’s essential to note that medical negligence can occur in any healthcare setting, including hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and private practices.
Statute of Limitations in Medical Negligence Cases
In Florida, a specific time limit for filing a medical negligence claim is known as the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations for medical negligence cases in Florida is generally two years from the date of the injury or from the date the injury should have been discovered. However, exceptions to this rule may apply in certain circumstances.
One exception to the statute of limitations is the “discovery rule.” Under this rule, the statute of limitations may be extended if the patient did not know and could not have reasonably discovered the injury until after the two-year period had passed. For example, if a patient has a surgical instrument left inside them and only discovers it years later, the statute of limitations may be extended.
Another exception is the statute of repose. The statute of repose limits the amount of time that can pass before a claim is barred, regardless of when the injury was discovered. In Florida, the statute of repose for medical negligence claims is generally four years from the date of the incident, regardless of when the injury was discovered.
It’s important to note that the statute of limitations and exceptions can be complex, and other factors may affect the timeline for filing a medical negligence claim.
At Fetterman Law We Can Help with Your Medical Negligence Claim
Medical negligence can have life-altering consequences for patients and their families. It can lead to physical, emotional, and financial damages, making it crucial for victims to seek justice and compensation.
At Fetterman Law we understand the importance of providing compassionate and skilled legal representation to those who have suffered due to medical negligence in Florida.
Our goal is to help individuals who have suffered from medical negligence better understand the legal process and their rights as a victim.
We also recognize that seeking legal help can be overwhelming, especially when dealing with the emotional and physical trauma caused by medical negligence. That’s why we offer a free consultation to anyone who believes they may have a medical negligence claim. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will listen to your story, evaluate your case, and guide you on the next steps.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of medical negligence, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to help and are committed to fighting for your rights. Let us put our expertise and experience to work for you.