Florida’s Medical Malpractice Act

All medical professionals and healthcare providers, including doctors, dentists, chiropractors, nurses, and hospitals, are required to exercise the appropriate medical standard of care under Florida law. A failure to act with reasonable and appropriate care, or an act of deviation from standard medical care, is known as medical malpractice. If the physician’s negligent medical treatment causes injury or harm to the patient, the patient has a legal claim for medical malpractice.

Florida’s Medical Malpractice Act is extremely complicated with time-specific requirements which must be satisfied before an individual can file a lawsuit. For instance, one condition requires you to submit a sworn affidavit from a medical expert who practices in the same or similar medical specialty as the defendant (the health care provider you are accusing of malpractice) attesting to the defendant’s deviation from the standard medical care.

Whether your drunk driving accident happens in Palm Beach County or anywhere else in Florida, the same laws apply?

Yes, an insurance provider will cover damages arising from a drunk driving accident if you can prove the drunk driver caused the crash and that you sustained injuries and damages because of the collision. In this regard, a DUI accident insurance claim is no different from an insurance claim for another type of traffic accident. The fact that the driver was intoxicated can be a factor in the cause of the crash; however, it is up to you to prove that the driver’s actions behind the wheel “caused” the crash.

For example, a drunk driver could be involved in an accident in which another driver fails to yield the right of way and crashes into the drunk driver’s vehicle. In this case, it is obvious that the sober driver caused the crash. The drunk driver may be charged with DUI and face criminal penalties, but the sober driver cannot hold the intoxicated driver responsible for damages simply for the fact that the driver was intoxicated when the sober driver caused a crash.

On the other hand, the fault of the crash could be disputed. Either driver could have contributed to the cause of the accident. The fact that one driver was intoxicated could weigh heavily in the determination of fault.

If the drunk driver was at fault, the driver’s insurance is responsible for damages. However, as with all other traffic accidents, an insurance company may attempt to deny liability or minimize the claim even though they know their driver was responsible for causing the DUI crash.

Get Help from an Experienced Palm Beach County Medical Malpractice Attorney

The lawyers of Trelles & Bichler understand the various requirements and time constraints which must be satisfied to win a medical malpractice lawsuit. We consult with medical experts from around the country regarding medical malpractice claims to maximize the likelihood of success in this complicated area of law.

Contact our law firm by calling 561-299-4878 (HURT) to request a free consultation with one of our Palm Beach County medical malpractice lawyers.

Common Causes of Medical Malpractice in Florida

Medical malpractice can arise from a variety of situations involving medical negligence and medical errors. If a health care provider fails to act or acts in a way that harms or injures a patient, the health care provider may have committed malpractice.

Some common causes of medical malpractice include:

  • Failing to diagnose or a delay in diagnosing a patient
  • Misdiagnosis of a condition or illness
  • Birth errors and injuries
  • Leaving instruments inside a patient during surgery
  • Performing the wrong surgery or surgery on the wrong site
  • Prescription and medication errors
  • Anesthesia errors and mistakes
  • Failing to perform diagnostic tests
  • Failing to monitor patients for post-surgery infections
  • Failure to review a patient’s medical history or conduct a thorough examination before developing a treatment plan

The above list of examples is not a complete list of all the types of medical negligence and medical errors that could lead to a malpractice claim. If you suspect you have suffered harm or injuries because of the actions or inactions of a medical provider, we encourage you to contact our office for a free case review by an experienced Palm Beach County medical malpractice lawyer.

How Do You Prove Medical Malpractice Claims?

All cases of medical negligence or medical errors do not give rise to a malpractice claim. You must prove all the legal elements of a medical malpractice claim to recover compensation for damages. For instance, if you were not actually harmed or injured because of the negligence or error, there is not a viable claim for medical malpractice.

A medical malpractice claim requires you to prove:

  • A doctor-patient relationship existed
  • The medical provider failed to provide care that met or exceeded the medical standard of care
  • You were injured or harmed
  • The breach of duty was a direct and proximate cause of your harm or injury
  • You sustained damages and losses as a result of the malpractice and related injury

Proving a doctor-patient relationship and proving you were injured and sustained damages, are typically not as difficult as proving the health care provider acted below the medical standard of care.

How Do You Establish the Medical Standard of Care?

Before you can prove that a doctor breached the standard of care, you must define the medical standard of care for your case. A medical expert that practices in the same field as your doctor must explain what a reasonable, prudent medical provider practicing in the same field would have done in the same or similar situation. This is the basis for the medical standard of care in your case.

The medical expert must then explain how your doctor’s actions deviated from the accepted medical standard of care and how that deviation caused your injury. If the deviation did not cause your injury, there is not a legal claim for medical malpractice. The physician might have been negligent, but negligence is not the same as malpractice.

Damages and Compensation in a Medical Malpractice Claim

The amount of compensation you may receive for a medical malpractice claim varies depending on the unique circumstances of your case. However, victims of medical malpractice can often receive compensation for their:

  • Medical expenses and bills
  • Personal care
  • Loss of income
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional and mental suffering
  • Scarring, disfigurement, and disability
  • Loss of enjoyment of life and quality of life
  • Other out-of-pocket losses

Our Palm Beach medical malpractice attorneys know how to build a strong case for full compensation of all damages and losses. You deserve to be compensated for the injuries and losses caused by medical errors and medical negligence.

Contact a Palm Beach County Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today

The time to file a medical malpractice lawsuit is shorter than the time to file lawsuits in other cases. You must also take various steps before you can file a lawsuit. Therefore, it is best to contact an attorney as quickly as possible to discuss your legal options.

Contact Trelles & Bichler by calling 561-299-4878 (HURT) to schedule a free consultation with one of our Florida medical malpractice attorneys.

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