Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional, such as a doctor, a nurse, or an orderly, causes injury to a patient. To qualify as medical negligence the injury must be a violation of the "standard of care" and result from negligence.
If you suffer injury or a worsened condition because of medical malpractice, get in touch with a Hollywood medical malpractice lawyer to find out what legal options for compensation may be available to you. A compassionate Hollywood attorney can help you better understand how to file a strong claim.
Medical Standard of Care
Legally, the standard of care for medical professionals is what a reasonably prudent healthcare professional in the same field would deem to be acceptable treatment under similar circumstances. In other words, what that healthcare professional would be reasonably expected to do. It is based on the premise that patients have a right to expect care according to consistent standards.
An unfavorable outcome alone is not legally considered medical malpractice. To bring a successful claim, there must be negligence in addition to a mere violation standard of care. Specifically, the injured person must show that the injury would not have happened if the healthcare professional was not negligent in their care.
Potential Sources of Medical Malpractice Claims
Medical malpractice can come in a variety of forms. Common types of medical malpractice include:
- Failure to diagnose
- Unnecessary surgery
- Improper surgery on the wrong body part
- Improper aftercare
- Failure to test
- Improper testing
- Failure to recognize symptoms
Medical malpractice suits are not limited to only individual healthcare professionals. A seasoned Hollywood medical malpractice attorney could also bring suit against larger entities that employ negligent care providers, such as hospitals and nursing homes.
The Statute of Limitations in Hollywood Medical Malpractice Cases
If a patient is injured by medical negligence in Hollywood, the statute of limitations for filing suit is two years from the time that person knew or should have known the injury was caused by medical malpractice.
This specific language extends the time period for certain patients, as the state recognizes that it is not always obvious when an injury is directly caused by medical malpractice. For instance, if a surgeon leaves a sponge in a patient's body, the patient may not immediately know the source of any discomfort or injury they suffer as a result.
However, no matter when a patient could have known, Florida law does not allow a medical malpractice suit more than four years after the incident of malpractice.
A claim of medical malpractice must have damages that can be compensated by a financial award. The state of Florida caps the total amount that can be awarded based on whether the liable party practices in the medical profession or not.
Practicing medical professionals, or "practitioners" include:
- Physicians and physician assistants
- Dentists and dental hygienists
- Physical therapists
- Registered nurses
Recovery for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering and loss of consortium, from practitioners in medical malpractice cases is limited to $500,000. If the injury is particularly severe and considered a catastrophic injury, then damages are limited to $1,000,000.
Someone who causes or contributes to medical negligence without necessarily being a medical professional is considered a "non-practitioner." Recovery for non-economic damages from non-practitioners in medical malpractice cases is limited to $750,000. In the event of a catastrophic injury, damages are limited to $1,500,000.
Speak with a Hollywood Medical Malpractice Attorney Today
If you or a loved one were injured by a healthcare professional in Hollywood, a Hollywood medical malpractice lawyer could review your case and medical files to identify legal negligence and help you file a malpractice suit within Florida's statute of limitations. Call now to set up a consultation.