When you visit doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals, you place your life and health in their hands. You deserve care provided with respect, professionalism, and competence. When this trust is broken, and that breach leaves you injured, it may cause emotions ranging from anger to betrayal to fear. You may wonder what options you have as you try to heal. If you, or a loved one, has suffered medical malpractice at the hands of a professional, contact a medical malpractice lawyer near Sarasota today to discuss your options. 

What Is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice is when a doctor, nurse, dentist, psychiatrist, or other medical professional fails to provide the level of care required by similar medical professionals. When one of these professionals fails to provide the standard level of care required by their position and this failure results in injury or death, Florida permits the victim to pursue a medical malpractice claim for compensatory relief. Medical malpractice doesn’t just occur in hospitals but also in doctors’ offices, care facilities, and even pharmacies.

Understanding whether you have a valid medical malpractice claim requires a careful analysis by your med-mal attorney in Sarasota. It’s important to remember that just because a surgery or procedure failed to produce the desired result, that does not mean medical malpractice occurred.  

What Are Common Examples of Medical Malpractice?

Various types of medical malpractice can cause injury or death to innocent victims. The most common reasons for bringing a medical malpractice claim include: 

  • Failure to diagnose. A failure to accurately diagnose a patient’s condition that results in a more severe condition or even death can be malpractice. 
  • Misread laboratory results. When a medical professional fails to properly read medical test results or fails to inform patients about test results, they may have committed malpractice. 
  • Surgical errors. A range of situations may qualify as surgical errors, including surgery on the wrong body part or organ or improperly administered anesthesia. 
  • Unnecessary procedures. A doctor requiring patients to undergo unnecessary medical procedures may create grounds for a medical malpractice claim. 
  • Medication errors. When a medical professional prescribes the wrong medication for your injury or illness, the incorrect amount of medication, or medication causing an adverse reaction with your other prescribed medications that can give rise to a medical malpractice claim. 
  • Insufficient care. Medical professionals who fail to provide the necessary standard of care, which then worsens your condition, may have committed malpractice. 
  • Healthcare-acquired infection. Infections may spread rapidly in patients, and if they go undiagnosed, may lead to death. Common types of healthcare-acquired infections include bloodstream infections, ventilator-associated pneumonia, and severe urinary tract infections. 
  • Childbirth injuries. Physicians must monitor and respond to changing conditions for the mother, fetus, and newborn to avoid injury during labor, delivery, and recovery. A childbirth injury can cause several conditions, including cerebral palsy, seizure disorders, brain damage, or paralysis. 

Contact a medical malpractice lawyer near Sarasota to explore your options if you believe you suffered an injury due to a medical professional’s negligence. 

Is There a Statute of Limitations? 

Sarasota Medical Malpractice Lawyer

The statute of limitations establishes how much time you have to file your lawsuit. Failing to file your claim within this period prevents you from pursuing your claim at a later date. In Florida, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims is two years from the discovery of the injury or two years from the time the injury should have been discovered. Injured victims may have many questions about which start date applies to them. Did you discover your injury immediately, or did your injury become apparent at a later date? Understanding how the statute of limitations applies to your claim requires the legal experience of a Sarasota medical malpractice lawyer. 

What Is the Statute of Repose? 

Florida enforces a harsh rule called the Statute of Repose. This rule provides that no claim may be filed against a healthcare provider more than four years after an incident occurred. There are exceptions to this rule if fraud, concealment, or misrepresentation occurred. When those factors are present, the court may extend the filing period for a medical malpractice claim up to seven years.  

Florida also provides a particular statute of repose for children. The statute of repose does not cut off a child’s malpractice claim until a child has turned eight years old.  

Without a Sarasota med-mal lawyer, understanding how the Statute of Repose affects your claim is challenging and may harm your chance of receiving compensation. 

What Is the Standard of Care?

Florida’s medical malpractice statutes govern actions qualifying as medical malpractice. To have a successful claim, you must prove the medical professional failed to uphold the required standard of care in your medical treatment. The standard of care is the level of skill, care, and treatment recognized as reasonable, appropriate, and accepted by other similar healthcare professionals. A medical malpractice claim requires proof of the following elements:

  • A medical professional owed you a duty of care, 
  • The medical professional breached this duty of care, 
  • That breach caused your injury, and 
  • You suffered harm and damages because of that injury. 

Even if a medical professional injures you, you must also show the doctor’s conduct failed to meet the required standard of care. A med-mal attorney in Sarasota usually hires a medical expert to testify about the appropriate standard of care. 

What Can I Recover? 

Florida permits injured victims in medical malpractice cases to recover economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages include the following: 

  • Past, present, and future medical expenses, 
  • Lost wages, and
  • Future loss of earnings.

Bills, pay stubs, invoices, and other tangible evidence will help your attorney calculate and prove your economic damages.

Noneconomic damages include the following: 

  • Pain and suffering, 
  • Emotional distress, 
  • Loss of enjoyment of life, 
  • Loss of companionship, and
  • Disfigurement.

Due to their subjective nature, noneconomic damages are difficult to quantify and prove. Without a lawyer to assist, it may be difficult to recover all the compensation you deserve. 

Contact Us 

James Horne Law PA’s primary value is our clients’ commitment to personal injury claims. We take the time to understand the full extent and severity of your injury. Medical malpractice injuries are always challenging and emotionally distressing. When you trust your medical care and safety to a medical professional, you expect them to carry out their duties to the highest standard. When they fail to do so, you may be left not only with physical injuries but emotional injuries as well. Let us fight to achieve the best possible result for your case so you can focus on your recovery. Contact James Horne Law today by phone or online to schedule a free consultation.