Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Clearwater, FL
When you need medical care, you expect your medical providers to act normally and provide quality care. We are entrusting them with our health and our lives. Despite the experience and training that medical professionals have undergone, accidents continue to happen. It is only normal to expect our healthcare providers consistently adhere to what is considered to be the proper duty of care. Unfortunately, that duty of care can be breached and it continues to be breached today. Throughout the country, medical errors have become a widespread problem. These mistakes impact the lives of individuals who have put trust in their healthcare providers.
A study conducted by Johns Hopkins University revealed medical errors have become the third leading cause of death in the U.S. Placing right behind heart disease and cancer. When an injury results from medical malpractice, our legal team at Burnetti, P.A., might be able to proceed with legal action against the healthcare provider, hospital, nurse, or doctor who acted in a negligent manner. When a healthcare provider’s treatment for your condition fails to meet the normal standard of care for that particular condition, putting you at risk of being injured or dying, there has been an act of medical malpractice.
If your healthcare provider doesn’t act in the same way as other medical professionals who have undergone the same training, they might be held liable for any injuries or damages that you suffer. These medical mistakes might happen while you are suffering injuries from an on the job accident, a motorcycle accident, or a car crash, which just adds to the situation that you are already facing as you try to recover. A lengthy hospitalization might even be necessary. Never let negligent parties get by without paying for your injuries. Contact the experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Burnetti, P.A. to help you during this difficult and challenging time.
If you or someone you love has suffered needlessly because of the negligence of a doctor, physician assistant, nurse, or another healthcare provider you might be eligible to receive compensation if you get help from a Clearwater Florida medical malpractice lawyer. To find out if a Burnetti, P.A., medical malpractice lawyer can help you, fill out the online information form or call our office today to schedule a free initial case evaluation.
Choosing an Experienced Clearwater Medical Malpractice Lawyer is Important for Your Claim
While there are various personal injury claims, none of them are the same as medical malpractice claims. Two areas of expertise, law and medicine tie together. Medical malpractice cases are in-depth, so they need a skilled lawyer’s experience and detail. Hire a lawyer who is knowledgeable in handling medical and legal matters. You want to hire a medical malpractice lawyer who:
- Is familiar with the medical field
- Can read and understand medical documents
- Knows which experts will help your case
- Understands medical malpractice questioning
- Can predict the defendant’s responses
Why You Should Choose Burnetti, P.A. as Your Clearwater FL Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Many healthcare professionals have a lawyer readily available to represent them. Some medical professionals might have gone through past medical malpractice suits. It is detrimental to your case that you choose a lawyer who has successfully handled Clearwater medical malpractice suits in the past. A lawyer who is experienced in medical malpractice can accurately anticipate which tactics will be used by the healthcare provider to defend themselves or to rebut your claims. This is important for the outcome of your claim.
At Burnetti, P.A., our team of experienced attorneys have handled Clearwater, Florida medical malpractice claims. Our experience and dedication will be put to use for your claim in the Florida courtroom. Our lawyers use the most effective negotiation tactics. We also make use of any other available resource our law firm can access. At Burnetti, P.A., we have a team of well-respected outside experts in various fields. Our extended team at Burnetti, P.A. includes a team of expert witnesses, consulting staff physicians, nurse paralegals, and consulting nurses, all of whom can effectively help us build a link between the defendant’s negligence and your injuries.
With our team of professionals helping, our medical malpractice lawyer has built a strong foundation for assisting victims of Florida medical malpractice to recover fair settlements based on the injuries suffered. We know every medical malpractice case is different, but we also know how to successfully approach various claims. Our team has successfully helped clients recover multi-million dollar settlements for medical injuries suffered because of negligence.
What Your Burnetti, P.A., Medical Malpractice Lawyer Will Do for You During Your Clearwater Medical Malpractice Suit
If the negligence of a medical provider left you injured, our attorneys might be able to help you file a medical malpractice lawsuit so you can be properly compensated for the damages that resulted. We will prepare your Clearwater, FL legal claim by:
- Carefully reviewing medical records and information to see if a viable claim exists
- Collect the evidence and documentation required to support your claim
- Determine which providers or parties are to be held liable for your injuries
- Educate you about your rights and the legal processes involved in the case
- Take care of the procedures and technicalities involved
While the evidence surrounding your case might be in your favor, the strength of your case and its success might be based on your medical malpractice lawyer’s ability to show a causal link. At Burnetti, P.A., our medical malpractice lawyer is familiar with how the evidence should be presented, explained, and then packaged for court. Our experienced legal team might question expert witnesses, determine effective and thoughtful ways to rebut any claims made by the defendant, and take some of the neutral facts and turn them into evidence. Our medical malpractice lawyer can also nullify any facts that aren’t favorable in your case.
What is Considered Medical Malpractice in Clearwater?
In the event a patient is injured because of the negligence of a medical professional; a lawsuit might help with the recovery of damages. In Clearwater, Florida, the party who suffered injuries must prove four elements in order for a successful medical malpractice claim. These elements are:
Patient-Doctor Relationship: To pursue a medical malpractice claim in the State of Florida, you have to prove there were a patient and doctor relationship with the medical provider being accused of wrongdoing. The patient must have hired the physician in question and that doctor must have agreed to provide services for the patient who was injured. Any medical malpractice allegations are required to have happened during that course of employment.
Duty of Care: Doctors must perform any duties consistent with the standards set forth by the medical community. Any medical professionals, including physicians, have a legal requirement to act in the same way another medical provider in the same situation and field in the same situation.
Breach of Duty: If a medical provider is thought to have been negligent, they must have violated the patient duty of care. To do so, the doctor must not have handled things, in the same manner, another doctor would have done in the same situation when taking care of the same medical condition.
Causation: In addition to proving negligence, a valid claim must show there was causation. This means you must show the healthcare provider breached his or her duty and that is what caused injuries. Medical records, documentations regarding treatment, affidavits from other healthcare providers, and other evidence can prove this. Patients must prove there was a causal relationship between injuries suffered and the medical provider’s negligence.
Damages: You have to have incurred economic or non-economic damages resulting from medical provider’s negligence and/or actions. As a result of this, healthcare providers can’t be held liable for damages unless the patient who was injured experienced legitimate damages, such as the costs of medical care, lost wages, loss of future earnings, pain and suffering and mental or emotional trauma.
This is an example of Florida medical malpractice. You are suffering stomach pains so you go to the closest emergency room. A healthcare provider asks questions about your symptoms. The provider will then determine how to proceed with this and what treatment should be administered. At this point, you have established a doctor – patient relationship. Now this person is your physician, so he or she has a duty of care to you – the patient. If the physician says you need an appendectomy, that provider has the duty to perform this surgery in the same manner as any other surgeon would perform that surgery.
A negligent omission or act, such as taking out the wrong organ such as the gallbladder or leaving a surgical tool inside the incision, breaches the duty of care. If you suffer injuries during or following surgery, you must have enough evidence to show that the breach of duty caused your injuries and those injuries warrant compensable damages.
Damages Suffered Because of Medical Malpractice in Clearwater
Damages for medical malpractice claims provide compensation for the patient’s injuries caused by the medical provider’s negligence. Compensatory damages for medical malpractice in Clearwater, Florida are supposed to make the injured victim “whole” again. It was created to give them the compensation necessary to take care of any non-economic and economic losses suffered. Economic losses might also be referred to as actual damages. Actual damages might include:
Medical Expenses – These accumulate quickly and include hospital stays, physician office visits, prescription drugs, physical therapy, chiropractic treatment, assistive devices or mobility tools, and any other expenses related to medical care. If you have suffered a serious injury that will impact you the rest of your life, you might be able to get funds to cover future medical costs.
Lost Wages – If you miss work because of the injuries you suffered due to medical malpractice, you might be able to get compensation because of your loss of a paycheck.
Loss of Future Earning Capacity – If you are unable to return to the same line of employment and you can’t earn the same salary you were paid before suffering the injuries obtained, you might be able to seek compensation for your loss of earning capacity.
Pain and Suffering – Physical pain resulting from the medical malpractice act might also be compensated. These damages could include monetary damages for suffering from depression, fear, frustration, and anxiety, which are known as mental distress.
Loss of Consortium – if you suffered from a medical malpractice injury, you might be able to be compensated for the loss of marital benefits, such as companionship, sexual relations, affection, and loss of comfort. In the event of life-long injuries or long-term impacts from the injuries, loss of consortium compensation might be awarded.
Other Damages – In specific situations, you might be able to get compensated for other damages. These kinds of damages might include permanent disability, scarring, the loss of life enjoyment, disfigurement, loss of companionship, loss of parental support, and other damages resulting from the medical malpractice act.
When medical professionals such as doctors, nurses, or healthcare facilities act with gross negligence, which means that their actions were willful in nature or a malicious act, the patients who suffered injuries might be awarded punitive damages. Punitive damages weren’t created as a way to provide compensation to victims who incurred losses, but as a way to punish the defendant for their actions. It was also created to help deter others from acting in a like manner.
Florida Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations
Florida, like other states, has a statute of limitations on medical malpractice claims. This means you have a limited time in which you can proceed with a medical malpractice claim against the healthcare provider who acted negligently. If you fail to file your medical malpractice claim within that specified time frame you might lose your right to proceed with a claim. While there are some extenuating circumstances, such as misrepresentation, foul play, or fraud on the medical provider’s fault, that give you additional time to proceed with a claim you should consult with a lawyer right away. Due to the statute of limitations, you must consult with a Clearwater medical malpractice lawyer right away if you have suffered a medical injury in Florida.
Kinds of Medical Malpractice
Errors with Anesthesia
If not used as directed, anesthesia can cause the death of or result in serious injury of a patient. The medical professional who acted negligently can be held liable for the damages that resulted. There are several examples of negligence caused by a medical professional, such as an anesthesiologist. Here are some negligent acts that could occur:
- Using the wrong drug
- Administering medications that interact negatively with one another
- Knowing a patient is allergic to a drug and administering it anyway
- Not properly monitoring vital signs
- Failing to properly respond to changes in vital signs
- Late administration of anesthesia
- Not properly intubating the patient
- Improper medical machine usage
- Use of faulty equipment or failing to repair it
- Turning off the pulse oximeter alarm
- Failing to the give proper instructions to the patient
Three different kinds of anesthesia are used – regional, general, and local anesthesia. Each of these kinds of anesthesia is used for different situations. Each anesthesia can result in different complications. Anesthesia awareness leaves the patient is awake during surgery and lets he or she see or feel the surgery is a much more serious complication. Those who suffer from anesthesia errors might be awarded compensation for the emotional and physical injuries suffered.
Emergency Room Mistakes
If you are experiencing a medical emergency, you will seek immediate help at a local emergency room. Although the ER might be busy, rushed and hectic, any healthcare professionals are expected to maintain a higher standard of care and ensure their patients get proper treatment. Negligence by any healthcare providers, such as physicians, nurses, technicians, or any other ER staff can lead to life-altering injuries. If you have suffered injuries because of emergency room mistakes, you might be able to file legal action with the help of your medical malpractice lawyer to seek compensation for the injuries you suffered. Some more common emergency room mistakes include:
- Mistakes during surgery
- Not properly diagnosing heart problems that lead to a heart attack
- Mistakes prescribing or administering medicines
- Failing to properly diagnose postoperative infections and failure to treat them
- Failure to properly monitor after treatment
- Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of pulmonary embolisms, appendicitis, aneurysms, blood clots, etc.
- Misreading tests, charts, scans, x-rays, MRIs
Hospital Malpractice in Clearwater
There are some situations that permit a hospital that treated a patient to be named in a negligence lawsuit following a medical malpractice incident. Hospitals are given the responsibility to properly evaluate the qualifications of employees, including their experience, certifications, training, and educational background. If a hospital hires a medical professional who is not properly qualified or incompetent in their duties, the hospital might be liable for injuries suffered because of an employee’s incompetent behavior. If a hospital fails to adequately conduct a background check to see if a worker has the needed certifications and appropriate educational training and that worker injures a patient, the hospital might be liable for any damages.
Clearwater hospital staff could engage in inappropriate conduct that compares to medical malpractice, which causes liability for the hospital. This kind of conduct might include:
- Failure to accurately diagnose a condition
- Failure properly treat the patient or neglecting the patient
- Failing to send the patient on to a specialist when current care is inadequate
- Not properly caring for a patient whose condition isn’t stable
- Not ordering the right diagnostic testing to determine which treatment options are needed
- Choosing the wrong drug or administering improper amounts of the drug
- Erroneous use of anesthesia
- Improper usage of medical equipment
- Performing surgery that is not consented to or that is not going to be beneficial
- Failure to adhere to hospital procedures which cause injuries, such as infection
Vicarious Liability for Hospitals
There are instances when hospitals can be vicariously liable for injuries resulting from the negligence of their workers, such as nurses or technicians. Employers do have a responsibility for duty of care when it involves the supervision and direction of their employees. This kind of liability covers the employee negligence in addition to systemic problems within the facility which might include unclean instruments causing infections or unreasonably lengthy ER wait times.
Independent contractors or freelancers are different. Usually, hospitals cannot be held liable for the actions of independent contractors. The majority of physicians aren’t employed by the hospital but are independently contracted by the hospital. These doctors usually operate their own medical practices. Hospitals are only liable for the actions of independent contractors if they don’t have the proper experience and training, lack the necessary qualifications, or acted within the facility’s routine business. If your medical malpractice lawyer can prove the freelancer was misrepresented as an employee of the hospital, and the patient was dependent upon that misrepresentation and was injured because of that misrepresentation, the patient might have legal grounds to proceed with a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital.
Often, hospitals try to avoid this situation by making all of their independently contracted medical staff inform patients they are not employed by the hospital. Some hospitals have signs that indicate that the specified medical professionals are independent contractors and not hospital employees. If patients are not properly given notification of the independent contractor status of physicians or any other medical professionals, the hospital might be held liable for any injuries suffered by the patients.
Errors Caused by Medical Devices
Medical devices are often used to diagnose or treat diseases and sometimes even prevent them. However, the misuse or failure of these devices can cause a patient to suffer serious injury or even die. Medical devices have three major kinds of defects that can lead to injury and put the manufacturer at risk of being found liable for damages. These three defects include flaws in design, manufacturing process defects, and warnings that are insufficient or inadequate. If one of these problems exist, the device’s manufacturer might be sued if injury or death results.
Medical devices might be improperly used by medical professionals. If improper training, insufficient knowledge, negligence or reckless behavior using a device cause injury, the professional who improperly used the medical device can be liable for the damages suffered and sued with the help of your medical malpractice lawyer.
Delayed Diagnosis or Misdiagnosis
A patient and their family can be impacted significantly by misdiagnosis of illnesses. A delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis can lead to serious medical problems and injuries, causing the patient to suffer from debilitating pain and life-changing physical injuries that might even cause death. Some of the most common conditions that are not properly diagnosed include heart problems, cancer, vascular diseases, appendicitis, ectopic pregnancies, gallbladder problems, infections, and brain tumors.
To get compensation through a lawsuit because of being misdiagnosed, the patient who was injured be able to show that the medical professional acted in a negligent manner. Some examples of negligent behavior that lead to a patient misdiagnosis include:
Failure to listen to the patient – When a patient explains to their healthcare provider that they aren’t feeling well, the provider must listen to the patient and investigate the causes of the different symptoms. If a medical provider fails to examine the symptoms and the patient’s condition becomes worse, the practitioner can be held liable for misdiagnosing the condition.
Failure to notice the symptoms – Medical providers are trained to diagnose a patient from their symptoms. If a provider fails to accurately diagnose despite the symptoms indicate a particular illness, that medical provider might be held accountable for medical malpractice.
Failure to check the medical history – Medical providers are responsible for examining the medical history of their patient as well as their family medical history. A provider might be considered negligent if the medical history isn’t examined while the condition from which the patient is suffering becomes worse and it is determined that the medical condition would have been easily identified if the medical history had been more thoroughly examined.
Improper testing order – If the provider orders any tests incorrectly based on the symptoms their patient exhibits, they might be negligent if that patient suffers additional injuries. Providers can also be held liable if they don’t order standard tests following the observation of some specific symptoms in their patients.
Failing to properly interpret tests – After tests have been ordered for patients, the provider is responsible for properly reading the results. If a physician interprets the patient’s test in a reckless or careless manner that physician might be held liable for negligence and for any unnecessary illness or injury that results because of this negligent act.
The care after a patient has surgery or undergoes treatment is referred to as postoperative care. Medical providers are given the responsibility to properly take care of their patients to make certain complications that could result after treatment or surgery are given prompt attention. Proper care is needed to prevent infection. Medical providers must properly monitor vital signs, provide the patient with detailed instructions on what can and cannot be done after surgery or treatment, and prescribe the right drugs in the proper dosage amounts to help with the healing and recovery process. If a healthcare provider fails to give the patient proper monitoring, or if the doctor fails to recognize symptoms of medical complications, the patient might suffer serious injury or die. This could give the patient the right to pursue a claim with the help of a medical malpractice lawyer.
Some conditions, illnesses, or infections that result because of negligence after surgery or treatment include:
- Unnoticed tears in organs
- Urinary tract infections
- Internal bleeding
- Sepsis or infections of the bloodstream
- Viral infections
- Staph infections including MRSA
- Respiratory infections including pneumonia
- Blood clots or pulmonary embolisms
Other kinds of medical malpractice might include:
- OBGYN malpractice
- Orthopedic malpractice
- Dental malpractice
- Medication errors
- Psychiatric malpractice
- Surgical errors
- Cosmetic surgery malpractice
- Chiropractic malpractice
If you believe you have suffered because of medical malpractice in Clearwater, Florida, contact Burnetti, P.A., for a free case consultation with our medical malpractice lawyer.