Fort Lauderdale Medical Malpractice Lawyer
When you step into a doctor’s office or a hospital, you’re putting your well-being in the hands of professionals who, at least on paper, are supposed to have extensive expertise and your safety in mind.
However, in Fort Lauderdale and throughout South Florida, medical malpractice is an ongoing concern.
Medical malpractice includes a wide range of mistakes in places like doctor’s offices, hospitals, dental clinics, and other medical facilities. Negligence from doctors, nurses, or hospital staff can seriously affect your life.
DEDICATED FORT LAUDERDALE PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS
If you or a loved one has been hurt because of medical malpractice, having an experienced team is important to protect your rights and fight for your legal claim for financial support. At Cowen Edwards, our team of experienced Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers is ready to support you. With our experience and dedication, we can help you and your family through this challenging time. Contact us today to set up a free, no-obligation consultation to get started.
MEDICAL MALPRACTICE IN FORT LAUDERDALE
Because there is a wide variety of different procedures and treatment options available when you visit a doctor or other care provider, the boundaries of medical malpractice are quite wide. In Fort Lauderdale–and other areas in Florida–medical malpractice is generally understood to be any situation where a healthcare provider:
- Fails to provide proper treatment, neglects to take necessary medical actions, or provides subpar care that results in harm, injury, or death to a patient.
Under this definition, medical malpractice can cover a number of different scenarios:
- Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis – When a doctor fails to correctly diagnose a condition or delays the diagnosis, leading to worsened health outcomes.
- Surgical errors – Mistakes made during surgery, such as wrong-site surgery, improper anesthesia administration, or leaving surgical instruments inside the patient.
- Medication errors – Incorrect dosage, wrong medication, or improper administration of drugs that lead to adverse effects or complications.
- Birth injuries – Negligence during childbirth that results in injuries to the newborn or mother, such as nerve damage or cerebral palsy.
- Anesthesia errors – Improper administration of anesthesia, resulting in complications during surgery or adverse reactions.
- Infections – Hospital-acquired infections due to inadequate hygiene or sterilization procedures.
- Failure to obtain informed consent – Performing a procedure without obtaining proper informed consent from the patient, detailing the risks and benefits.
- Lack of proper follow-up – Neglecting to provide appropriate follow-up care after a medical procedure, leading to complications.
- Neglecting patient history – Not considering a patient’s medical history or allergies when prescribing treatment or medication.
- Medical record errors – Mistakes in medical records that result in incorrect treatment or diagnosis.
Obviously, medical malpractice is very broad. Not only does the legal definition of medical malpractice in Fort Lauderdale cover the above actions, but it also ap
Take advantage of a free consultation whenever you feel you aren’t being treated fairly after an accident you didn’t cause.
WHO CAN BE HELD LIABLE AFTER MEDICAL MALPRACTICE IN FORT LAUDERDALE?
Medical malpractice covers a wide range of errors and mistakes that can happen in the medical field. Because of this broad scope, there are many different types of situations where something might go wrong, and various people or entities might be responsible. This means that when someone brings a medical malpractice claim, it can get pretty complicated, mainly due to the sheer number of medical professionals and groups that could potentially be at fault.
In most cases of medical malpractice, the blame for what happened could fall on one or more of the following:
- Surgeons – If a surgery goes wrong due to mistakes made by the surgeon during the procedure, they might be held responsible. This includes errors like operating on the wrong body part or making a mistake during the surgery.
- Primary Care Doctors – The doctor who first treated the patient might be at fault if they misdiagnosed the condition, leading to the wrong treatment or delayed treatment.
- Specialists – Sometimes, medical issues require expertise from a specialist, like an obstetrician for childbirth-related cases. If a specialist makes a mistake that causes harm, they could be held liable.
- Medical Firms or Partnerships – In cases where a doctor is employed by a medical firm or is a partner in a medical practice, that firm or practice might also be considered responsible if the doctor’s actions led to harm.
- Hospitals – Hospitals can be held accountable if their staff’s negligence or mistakes cause harm to patients. This might include issues with hygiene, patient care, or administrative errors.
- Medical Clinics or Centers – Similar to hospitals, medical clinics or centers can also be held liable if their staff’s actions or negligence result in harm to patients.
- Residential Treatment Facilities – These are places where people live while receiving medical treatment, and if the care provided there is negligent and causes harm, the facility might be held responsible.
- Nurses – Nurses play a crucial role in patient care, and if they make mistakes that lead to harm, they could be held accountable.
- Medical technicians – Technicians who perform various medical procedures, such as X-rays or lab tests, could be at fault if their errors result in harm to patients.
- Pharmacists – If a pharmacist gives out the wrong medication or makes a mistake with the prescription, and it causes harm to the patient, they might be considered responsible.
Remember, determining who is at fault in a medical malpractice case can be complex and requires a thorough investigation of the facts and circumstances surrounding the incident. Our experienced team of legal professionals can help navigate these complexities and determine the appropriate course of action.
HOW CAN YOU DETERMINE LIABILITY IN A FORT LAUDERDALE MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CLAIM?
Even when you’re injured by medical malpractice, it can still be challenging to track down all of the responsible parties. However, this part of your claim is absolutely vital to your recovery, since Florida injury law allows you to pursue action against all liable parties. As such, understanding how liability is determined is equally important. In Florida, as in other injury cases, liability is determined by negligence. In a medical malpractice claim, this includes establishing the following:
- There must have been a duty of care owed by the healthcare provider to the patient. This means the provider had a responsibility to provide a certain standard of care.
- It needs to be shown that the healthcare provider breached their duty of care. This involves proving that their actions or inactions did not meet the accepted medical standards.
- There must be a “causal link” between the breach of care and the patient’s injuries. It should be established that the provider’s actions directly caused harm.
- There must be evidence of actual harm or injury to the patient.
While these elements establish negligence on the part of the actual provider, most medical malpractice claims in Fort Lauderdale also include the concept of “vicarious liability.” Vicarious liability is a legal concept that:
- Not only holds the individual responsible for the damage but also the company or facility that employed the individual care provider.
In a Fort Lauderdale medical malpractice claim, proving negligence boils down to demonstrating that the provider or facility didn’t meet a reasonable standard of care and that this failure caused you harm.
The question then becomes: How can you establish negligence? Fortunately, there are steps you can follow:
- Document incident – Keep thorough records of any instances of malpractice that you suffered or your loved one reports. If possible, take photos or videos to provide visual evidence.
- Report the malpractice – Notify the staff, the facility’s administrator, and the Florida Department of Health about malpractice. This alerts the provider or facility to the potential occurrence of malpractice.
- Medical evaluation – Arrange to be evaluated by a medical professional to document any injuries or health issues caused by the malpractice. Gather their medical records to highlight lapses in treatment.
Once negligence is proven, the provider is considered responsible for the damages you or your loved one suffered due to the malpractice. At this point, you have the legal right to file a claim for damages against those responsible for the malpractice.
LEGAL OPTIONS AFTER MEDICAL MALPRACTICE IN FORT LAUDERDALE
To ensure you receive the necessary support and benefits after experiencing medical malpractice in Fort Lauderdale, filing a claim is a reliable course of action for recovering from your injuries and damages. Typically, this can be done by either filing an insurance claim or a lawsuit. Begin by consulting our team of lawyers to determine the viability of your claim and navigate the initial steps.
This step is crucial because medical malpractice claims, like other injury claims in Florida, have a two-year statute of limitations. Missing this deadline means forfeiting the opportunity to seek financial support.
After filing your complaint, the following damages may be available if your case succeeds:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost wages and earning capacity
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of quality of life
- Punitive damages
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Funeral and burial expenses in cases of wrongful death
Like any other claim, the extent of your damages depends heavily on your specific situation. However, working with our experienced medical malpractice lawyers can guide you through all the ways you can get help and make sure you’re treated fairly and get the justice you should.
Is the provider or facility responsible for medical malpractice in Fort Lauderdale?
Both. Under Florida law, both the individual care provider and the facility or company they work for can be held responsible for medical malpractice.
How much does it cost to hire a medical malpractice lawyer?
Cowen Edwards works on a contingency fee basis on medical malpractice cases. This means there’s no upfront cost for you and we take our fee from whatever result we get for you. Also, our initial consultations are free and there’s no obligation to hire us afterward.
What evidence is important in a medical malpractice case?
Important evidence includes medical records, expert testimony, documentation of injuries, and any communication you had with healthcare providers.
SUPPORT FROM SKILLED FORT LAUDERDALE MEDICAL MALPRACTICE LAWYERS
When you suffer injuries or other harm because of medical malpractice in Fort Lauderdale, it’s incredibly frustrating because of the vulnerable position you’re in when you need proper medical care. Our dedicated team of Fort Lauderdale medical malpractice lawyers at Cowen Edwards has the dedication and expertise to hold these providers and facilities accountable.
To start the process, contact us today for a free consultation.