If you or a loved one fell victim to medical malpractice in the Lakewood Ranch area, would you know where to turn for help? Medical malpractice cases are tough. To succeed, you need an attorney who understands complex medical issues and knows how to litigate cases.
Lakewood Ranch med-mal lawyer James Horne is an experienced and award-winning medical malpractice lawyer who never shies away from a complex case. He is a skilled Lakewood Ranch medical malpractice attorney who has a proven track record of holding negligent medical practitioners responsible for the damage they caused.
Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Lakewood Ranch Explains Why Pursuing a Med-Mal Claim Is Important
When we trust our health to our doctors and care team, we expect the best results possible.
You should never put your life in the hands of a physician you do not feel you can trust. Doctors also want their patients to trust they will do the best they can in all cases. Our healthcare system would fall apart if we lost that sense of trust.
We also need to realize that medical professionals are ordinary fallible humans. They make mistakes at their job just like everyone else. The problem is their mistakes have the potential to ruin a patient’s life or even kill them. If there was no system in place to hold medical practitioners liable for their negligence, doctors would not be incentivized to prevent or correct mistakes. Additionally, medical malpractice victims need to feel a sense of justice for their loss. Victims of medical malpractice would have to suffer in silence if they did not have a way to be compensated for their injuries. By holding negligent practitioners liable for their actions and by giving victims a voice, medical malpractice lawsuits play an important role in the healthcare industry.
Medical Malpractice Law In Florida
Florida law statute 766.102 defines medical malpractice. At the outset, you must understand that an injury or a bad outcome is not necessarily evidence of medical malpractice. People sometimes suffer poor medical outcomes even when the doctor does not make a mistake. A medical malpractice claim is viable only if a medical professional breached their professional standard of care.
Standard of care means the level of skill, care, and treatment a reasonably prudent healthcare provider should give when considering all relevant circumstances. What does that mean? Essentially, you judge a practitioner’s actions according to how a reasonable practitioner would act in the same circumstances.
Under Florida law, you can pursue a medical malpractice claim even if the doctor followed the standard of care if the provider was negligent and the injury was not a reasonably foreseeable or necessary result of the procedure. Discovering a foreign medical object like a needle, sponge, forceps, clamp, or other medical tools in the body is also evidence of medical malpractice. However, refusing to order additional tests is not necessarily malpractice if the provider did so in good faith and in keeping with the appropriate standard of care.
In addition to proving a breach of the relevant standard of care, you also have to prove causation to win your medical malpractice case. To prove causation, you must show the doctor’s failure to follow the standard of care caused your injury.
Lakewood Ranch Medical Malpractice Attorney Discusses an Expert Witness’s Role in Med-Mal Claims
There are some injury claims you can file without needing an expert’s opinion. For example, you can file a car accident claim without the opinion of an accident reconstruction expert. Medical malpractice cases are different. Expert witnesses must testify to the standard of care for the relevant discipline. Florida law has specific qualifications for expert witnesses. Having no record of convictions for fraud or perjury in any jurisdiction is one of the many qualifications an expert medical witness must have. Working with a lawyer who has a keen understanding of the law and knows how to get the right experts for your case is vital to make your medical malpractice claim as strong as possible.
In fact, you might need several expert witnesses to prove your case. You might have to call on other doctors to explain the nature of your injury, your long-term prognosis, and whether you can regain normal function again. Additionally, economic experts can help the jury understand how much money you lost from wages or your salary because of medical malpractice. This calculation includes the loss of potential future earnings as well. If your injuries are permanent, you might need testimony from an actuary who can explain your life expectancy and how much money you will need to live for the duration of your life.
Medical Malpractice Attorney Near Lakewood Ranch Explains Damages
As a claimant, you have an obligation to prove damages in your case. In Florida, a medical malpractice victim can recover economic damages such as past and future medical expenses, lost wages, lost benefits, and loss of future earnings capacity. You are also eligible to collect damages for noneconomic losses as well. Noneconomic losses include:
- Physical impairment,
- Pain and suffering,
- Loss of ability to enjoy life, and
- Mental anguish.
Unlike other states, Florida imposes no limits to how much you can recover for noneconomic damages.
Time Is of the Essence in Medical Malpractice Cases
The Florida statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases is two years from the date you discovered your injury. That means you need to file your lawsuit within two years of discovering you were injured. Missing that deadline means you lose your right to file a lawsuit in court. Two years leaves precious little time to complete a thorough investigation, retain expert witnesses, develop expert opinions, and identify all the parties who might be responsible for your losses. Contacting an experienced Lakewood Ranch medical malpractice attorney as soon as you suspect you are a victim of medical malpractice is the only way to protect your rights.
Committed to Achieving the Best Result Possible
The team at James Horne Law PA knows what it takes to succeed at the negotiating table and in the courtroom. James Horne is a dedicated and experienced medical malpractice attorney in Lakewood Ranch, FL. His commitment to excellence led to recognition from Martindale-Hubbell as an AV-Preeminent rated attorney and by SuperLawers. Contact us today online or by phone to schedule a free case review.