An article published in 2016 suggests that medical malpractice causes up to 250,000 fatalities every year in the United States, making medical mistakes the third leading cause of death in the nation. Although that study has been criticized by many in the profession, even conservative estimates regarding medical malpractice indicate that tens of thousands of people die in the United States annually as a result of mistakes made by medical practitioners. Of course, those numbers do not provide information regarding injuries and illnesses caused by medical malpractice.
The high rate of error in hospitals and other medical facilities is disconcerting to Americans. The numbers illustrate the fact that patients are often harmed by those whose job it is to care for them when they are injured or sick. If you or a loved one suffered harm at the hands of medical practitioners in Tampa, Florida, contact a dedicated medical malpractice attorney to discuss your legal rights and options for collecting compensation. At the Durham Law Group, our Tampa medical malpractice attorneys work to ensure that injured individuals in Florida obtain the help they need following accidents caused by negligent or careless medical professionals. Call us today at 813-333-6250 to learn how we can help you.
Elements of Medical Malpractice Claims in Tampa, Florida
In order to prove that your medical provider was negligent and owes you compensation, there are several elements that your claim must satisfy. First, your healthcare provider must have owed you a duty of care. Secondly, that provider must not have met the applicable standard of care. In other words, he or she must have breached the expected standard of care for medical providers in his or her field. And finally, you must have suffered injuries, and those injuries must be because of the breach of duty.
When it comes to medical malpractice cases, there is some question as to what constitutes a breach of care. Essentially, the medical provider must have failed to meet the acceptable level of care that a reasonably prudent provider in a similar field would have met under the same circumstances. For instance, a gastrointestinal specialist is expected to provide the care of a reasonably prudent gastrointestinal specialist. Doctors have different specialties and are expected to perform as competent professionals within their area.
Common Injuries Caused by Medical Malpractice
Medical professionals are responsible for the actions they take as well as those that they neglected to take. Either action or a failure to act can result in dire consequences for the patient. Some common forms of medical malpractice include doctors providing treatments that are not effective or harmful based on the condition of the patient, advising patients to undergo treatments that were not necessary for their condition, doctors providing improper diagnoses that fail to meet the reasonable standard of care in their field, surgeons causing injuries during a procedure, and doctors failing to properly interpret results of lab tests and therefore failing to provide care for a treatable condition.
It is important to note that if the condition is one that is exceedingly rare or difficult to diagnose, it might be the case that even a reasonably cautious physician might not correctly diagnose the patient. In such cases, the question of reasonableness and the expected standard of care will be up to the court to decide.
Additionally, if a patient fails to provide necessary information to their doctor, the doctor may be incapable of correctly diagnosing or treating the patient as a result of that lack of information. For example, if you know that you are allergic to medication but failed to tell your doctor even after being questioned regarding allergies, your doctor might not have access to information that would inform them of the fact that that medication would be dangerous to you.
Injuries and Foreseeability in Florida
In Florida, you must also show that you could not foresee the resulting injury as a result of the treatment provided by your doctor. If your doctor must perform surgery, you cannot sue the doctor for the pain and suffering related to that surgery as long as the doctor correctly performed that procedure. In short, if the procedure will necessarily involve pain and suffering, you can foresee those consequences, which are a necessary part of the treatment.
Proving Your Case
Medical malpractice cases are highly technical. Most people do not have an expert level of knowledge of medical treatment. Many medical malpractice lawsuits will be heavily dependent on information provided by expert witnesses. An expert witness is often a medical professional who will be able to interpret medical evidence and help to determine what, if anything, your medical provider did wrong. To learn more about proving a medical malpractice claim in Tampa, Florida, contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney.
Call the Durham Law Group Tampa Medical Malpractice Attorneys Today
At the Durham Law Group, our compassionate attorneys understand how devastating it can be to suffer injuries at the hands of the person who is intended to help heal you. Call us today at 813-333-6250 to learn how we can help you pursue a claim and recover compensation that can cover many of the expenses related to the harm that you suffered.