Medical malpractice is professional negligence by act or omission committed by health care providers, such as doctors, surgeons, nurses, dentists, chiropractors and hospitals. Medical malpractice occurs when the treatment provided falls below the accepted standard of practice in the medical community and causes injury or death to the patient.
The medical malpractice attorneys at the Fort Lauderdale area law firm of Blaut Weiss have more than 60 years combined experience representing victims of medical negligence in South Florida. If you or a loved one are the victim of medical malpractice, contact our Florida law firm online, or call Blaut Weiss at 954.634.1800, to better understand your legal options.
HOLDING THE RIGHT PERSON RESPONSIBLE FOR MEDICAL MALPRACTICE
- Diagnostic errors
- Laboratory mistakes
- Birth injuries
- Nursing errors, including misdosing prescribed medications
- Errors before or during surgery, such as anesthesia errors, operating errors and other surgical errors
- Hospital errors, such as infections, patient identification errors, patient location errors, and under-staffing that resulted in delays in treatment and emergency
- response time
FLORIDA STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS ON FILING A MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CASE
In Florida, medical malpractice cases must be filed two years from the date of the negligent act, or two years from the time the injury was discovered or reasonably should have been discovered. However, in most instances, a lawsuit cannot be filed more than four years after the date of the negligent conduct.
In order to pursue a claim for medical malpractice, it is important to get to an experienced attorney at least six months to a year before expiration of the two-year statute of limitation, in order to allow adequate time for case evaluation, finding appropriate expert witnesses, and preparation of the case before filing suit.
In Florida, medical malpractice cases require expert testimony from a medical expert as to the standard of care and how it was violated in particular before the lawsuit can be filed. This expert will generally be a physician who is recognized in same or similar field as having the education, training, and experience to determine whether the medical professional or hospital violated the patient’s rights or otherwise breached the standard of care.
After reviewing the records, if the medical expert retained by Blaut Weiss believes the health professional or hospital breached the standard of care applicable for that medical specialty, then the expert prepares an affidavit attesting to the breaches of care under oath. Without this expert affidavit, no medical malpractice claim can move forward.
The firm of Blaut Weiss then files a notice of intent to initiate litigation upon the health professional who or hospital that was negligent. Usually, most health care professionals, hospitals, and their insurance companies deny the claim and provide their own expert affidavit in defense of their care.
WHY BLAUT WEISS FIGHTS FOR YOUR RIGHTS
It is important to remember that many medical professionals are competent and conscientious, and most things lay people believe are malpractice are, in fact, not malpractice. A bad result does not equal malpractice.
However, no one is perfect, and some studies indicate that medical errors are a major cause of disability and death in the U.S. With managed care restricting doctors’ decisions and forcing fewer doctors and nurses to care for more patients, serious mistakes are inevitable.