When you are ill or injured and need medical care, you count on your healthcare providers to act professionally, and if they don’t, medical malpractice lawyers are there to help. A medical malpractice attorney can help ensure that if you did not get the highest level of care possible he can help you get restitution. When you are working with any kind of medical caregivers, you trust them with your healthcare and overall your life.
Medical professionals have undergone detailed training and have extensive experience. However, medical errors continue to happen. It is only normal to expect your doctor to administer the duty of care. That duty of care is sometimes breached. Medical errors have become a major problem across the United States. These errors in the medical field have negative impacts on patients who trusted their medical care providers with their health, wellness, and lives.
Johns Hopkins University conducted a detailed study that revealed medical errors have become the third leading cause of death in our country. They rank right behind cardiovascular disease and different kinds of cancer. When injuries result from med mal, the highly skilled medical malpractice lawyer at Burnetti, P.A., might be able to help you file legal action against the medical provider or hospital who acted in a negligent manner and harmed you. When a medical provider’s treatment for your condition fails to meet the normal standard of care for that particular medical condition. And if that failure causes you to be put at risk of suffering serious injury or death, there has been medical malpractice.
If your healthcare provider doesn’t act like other medical professionals who have undergone the same training, that provider might be held liable for your injuries. These medical errors might happen while you are already suffering from work-related injuries from a bike crash, motorcycle accident, or even a car crash. Therefore, medical malpractice magnifies any existing injuries or illnesses while you focus on healing.
A lengthy hospitalization stay could be necessary. You shouldn’t let negligent parties get by without paying for damages they have done causing your injuries and losses. Call one of the experienced medical malpractice lawyers at Burnetti, P.A. for proper guidance throughout these trying times.
If you or your relative has suffered because of a physician, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, nurse, nursing assistant, or other healthcare provider acted in a negligent manner, you could be eligible to seek compensation with the help of our St. Petersburg medical malpractice lawyer. To see if a Burnetti, P.A., medical malpractice lawyer can help you, complete the online form or call us today to set up a free initial evaluation for your St. Petersburg claim.
Retaining The Services of Skilled and Knowledgeable Medical Malpractice Lawyers is Important for Success
In most instances when you are hurt, you might file a personal injury claim to recover your damages. Those personal injury claims don’t compare to a medical malpractice claim, which is very complex. Two specific areas of expertise law and medicine are connected in a medical malpractice claim. Medical malpractice cases require in-depth research, which necessitates an experienced attorney’s eye for detail. Retain a medical malpractice lawyer who is experienced and knowledgeable in both medical and legal matters. You want to choose a medical malpractice lawyer who:
- Understands the medical field
- Accurately comprehends complicated medical documents
- Knows what kinds of expert witnesses will help your case
- Understands how to conduct medical malpractice questioning that works
- Can predict the defendant’s responses with accuracy
Why You Should Choose Burnetti, P.A. Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Most professionals in the medical field have a lawyer readily available to represent them if medical malpractice allegations arise. Some medical professionals might have been involved in medical malpractice suits before. It is detrimental to your medical malpractice case that you hire a lawyer who has a track record of helping clients with St. Petersburg, FL medical malpractice suits.
You want a lawyer who is experienced with medical malpractice so he or she can accurately determine which tactics might be undertaken by the medical provider in the attempt to protect themselves from the allegations. These practitioners will deny the allegations you make against them. Knowing how to address this is important for your medical malpractice claim to succeed.
Burnetti’s, team of experienced lawyers handle not only Florida medical malpractice claims successfully but they have lawyers that handle the following:
that cover before. Our lawyers are dedicated and experienced, treating clients with care and compassion. You can count on our team being ready to effectively and efficiently file your medical malpractice suit and proceed with it in any Florida courtroom. Our medical malpractice lawyer will aggressively fight for you. Our medical malpractice lawyer uses very effective negotiation tactics. Also, makes use of the different resources available to help with your claim. At Burnetti, P.A., we have a team of well-known industry experts that have been trained in different fields.
These experts prove to be very beneficial when pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit. Our extended team at Burnetti, P.A., includes expert witnesses, consulting physicians, paralegals who are also nurses, and nurse consultants, all of whom can help build the link that must be shown between the negligence of the medical provider and any injuries that resulted.
Burnetti’s has a medical and legal team that provides help to our medical malpractice lawyers. Our medical malpractice lawyer prides themselves for having built a strong reputation for their ability to assist victims of Florida medical malpractice to get the damages they deserve and be awarded fair settlements based on the injuries that they suffered because of those negligent acts.
The Burnetti team understands medical malpractice cases and knows each case is unique. Our team also has the required knowledge to enable us to successfully proceed with the different claims. Our lawyers have successfully helped clients who have been hurt recover multi-million dollar settlements because of the injuries they suffered from medical negligence and malpractice.
What Medical Malpractice Lawyers can Do to Win Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
If a medical provider’s negligence left you or a family member in agony because of injuries, our skilled lawyers might be able to help you with your Florida medical malpractice lawsuit so you can be properly compensated for the losses you have suffered. Our medical malpractice lawyer will effectively prepare your St. Petersburg, FL legal claim by:
- Thoroughly reviewing medical records to determine if a claim might be viable
- Gather evidence and necessary documentation in support of your claim
- Determine which providers should be held liable for your injuries
- Inform you of your rights and how the legal process will work
- Handling all necessary procedures and technicalities for the case
While there might be evidence and documentation favorably supporting your case, its strength and its success might be based on your lawyer’s ability to show there was a causal link. At Burnetti, P.A., our lawyers know how evidence should be presented, explained, and then packaged. Our experienced team might question expert witnesses while also focusing on an effective and thoughtful way to fend off the defendant’s claims. Our medical malpractice lawyer can take facts that are neutral and make them become evidence that supports your claim. Our lawyers can also dispute any facts that don’t support your case. If you have any questions regarding the possibility of suing for medical negligence, Call one of our medical malpractice lawyers for FREE consultation.
What is Medical Malpractice – Definition of Medical Negligence
The definition of medical negligence – This is one definition of medical negligence: “An act or omission (failure to act) by a medical professional that deviates from the accepted medical standard of care.”
If a patient is hurt because of a medical professional’s negligence, a lawsuit might be how the injured party can recover damages. In St. Petersburg, Florida, the party who suffered injuries has to prove four elements in order for a medical malpractice claim to be successful. These four elements include:
Patient-Doctor Relationship: In order to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Florida, you have to establish there was a relationship between the patient and the doctor who caused harm. There must be evidence that you hired the physician in question and that physician must have agreed to take care of your need for medical services. The act of medical malpractice must have happened during the time the physician was employed by you.
Duty of Care: Doctors are required to handle their duties to coincide with the standards set by the medical community. Any healthcare providers, such as doctors, are legally obligated to act the same as any other healthcare provider in that same situation.
Breach of Duty: If a medical provider is believed to have acted negligently, you have to show a violation of the duty of care for the patient. To show this, you have to present evidence that the doctor did not handle the situation the same as another doctor who had undergone the same training facing the same situation.
Causation: For a claim to be valid you must show there was causation in addition to negligence. You have to prove the provider breached his or her duty. You must then prove the breach caused the injuries that were suffered. Medical records, proof of treatment, affidavits from other medical providers, and other documentation can prove this. Patients who suffered from medical malpractice must prove the relationship between injuries suffered and the doctor’s negligence.
Damages: You must have suffered injuries due to the medical provider’s negligence. Doctors can’t be held liable for damages unless the injured patient had damages that have real value, such as additional medical expenses, lost wages caused by the inability to work, loss of future earnings caused by disability, pain and suffering, depression or other kinds of mental trauma.
Here is an example of malpractice in St. Petersburg. You go to the nearest hospital emergency room in St. Petersburg, Florida. A doctor asks you about your symptoms. The doctor will then decide the best way to treat you and establish a treatment plan. At this point, a doctor – patient relationship has been established. This provider is now your doctor, so he or she owes you a duty of care to you. If the doctor says the problem is your appendix and it must be removed immediately, the surgeon on call has the duty to perform your appendectomy in the same manner as any other surgeon.
Acts of negligence, such as removing the wrong organ – like the gallbladder instead of the appendix – or forgetting a surgical tool or sponge inside the incision, breaches the duty of care. If you suffer injuries during the surgery or after it, you are required to have sufficient evidence to show the breach of duty led to your injuries. You must prove that the injuries you have suffered are worthy of any damages you seek.
Damages Suffered Because of Medical Malpractice
Damages sought for medical malpractice claims are to help compensate for the patient’s injuries resulting from the medical provider’s negligence. Compensatory damages for medical malpractice were created to make the injured patient “whole” again. It is supposed to give the injured patient the compensation needed to cover both non-economic and economic losses incurred. Economic losses might be called actual damages. Actual damages might include:
Medical Expenses – Your medical bills can add up fast. Medical expenses include doctor visits, hospitalizations, prescription medications, physical therapy, rehabilitation centers, home health, mobility devices or any other expenses related to your needed medical care. If you have suffered a serious injury that will haunt you the rest of your life, you might get compensation to cover future medical expenses.
Lost Wages – If you are left unable to work because of injuries suffered from medical malpractice, you might be awarded compensation due to your lost wages.
Loss of Future Earning Capacity – If you can’t go back to work in your chosen field and you are unable to earn the same amount of pay you earned before your injury, you could be eligible to receive compensation based on your loss of future earnings.
Pain and Suffering – If you were hurt, you suffered from physical pain and suffering. You might be awarded damages for this. You might also get compensation for mental distress such as depression, fear, or anxiety.
Loss of Consortium – Your husband or wife might be awarded compensation for the loss of marital benefits they suffered. Loss of marital benefits includes loss of companionship, lack of sexual relations, loss of affection, and loss of comfort. If you suffered crippling injuries that will impact you for years to come, your spouse might be eligible for loss of consortium.
Other Damages – In some instances, you might be awarded compensation for other damages. These damages include permanent disability, scarring, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of companionship, loss of parental support, and other damages resulting from medical malpractice.
When medical providers such as doctors, nurses, or healthcare facilities act with gross negligence, that means they acted willfully or maliciously. Patients who were injured by such acts could be awarded punitive damages. Punitive damages weren’t created to provide compensation to victims who had losses, but as a way to punish the defendant for their inappropriate actions and behavior. It also helps prevent others from acting in a similar manner.
FL Medical Malpractice Insurance and Statute of Limitations
Florida has a statute of limitations for many claims, including medical malpractice claims. This means you have a specified amount of time where you can file a medical malpractice claim lawsuit the medical professional who was negligent. If you fail to file your medical malpractice claim within that specified amount of time, you could nullify your rights to pursue a claim. In some cases, there are extenuating circumstances, such as foul play, fraud, or misrepresentation by the medical provider that allow you to have additional time to proceed with a claim. Because of the statute of limitations, you should consult with a St. Petersburg medical malpractice lawyer right away if you are the victim of a medical injury in Florida.
Kinds of Medical Malpractice
Errors with Anesthesia
Anesthesia is dangerous if not properly used. If not, it causes serious injuries or even death. The medical professional who acted in a negligent manner can be deemed liable for the damages caused. There are several examples of negligence caused by a medical professional dealing with anesthesia, such as an anesthesiologist. Here are some acts of negligence that might occur:
- Wrong medication administered
- Mixing prescription drugs that have negative interactions
- Giving the patient drugs that he or she is allergic to
- Not monitoring vital signs
- Not responding to changes in vital signs
- Late administration of anesthesia
- Not properly intubating the patient
- Not properly using medical equipment
- Using faulty or damaged equipment that doesn’t work properly
- Not using the pulse oximeter alarm
- Not giving the patient follow-up care instructions.
There are three different kinds of anesthesia used for different procedures – regional, general, and local. Each kind of anesthesia serves well in the proper situation, but each can cause complications. One serious problem is anesthesia awareness, in which the patient is awake through the surgical procedure. He or she can see or feel the surgery. This is a serious complication. Those who are victims of anesthesia errors might be compensated for both their emotional and physical injuries.
Emergency Room Mistakes
In the event of a medical emergency, you will get help right away at a local St. Petersburg emergency room. The ER might be busy, fast-paced and even hectic, but the medical professionals are required to maintain good standards of care to make certain their patients are given the treatment they deserve. Any healthcare provider negligence can lead to debilitating injuries. If you have been hurt because of emergency room mistakes, you might be eligible to file legal action to be compensated for your injuries. Some common emergency room errors are:
- Surgical mistakes
- Failure to diagnose heart conditions that result in a heart attack
- Medication errors
- Failure to diagnose post-operative infections and not treating them
- Failure to provide proper patient monitoring after treatment
- Misdiagnosis or the delayed diagnosis of pulmonary embolisms, appendicitis, aneurysms, blood clots, etc.
- Failing to properly read medical test results or charts
Hospital Malpractice Negligence
There have been cases in which the hospital that provided patient treatment was named as a defendant in a medical malpractice lawsuit resulting from negligence. Hospitals are responsible for properly evaluating employee qualifications. This means any experience, required certifications, training, and their educational background must be thoroughly checked. If a hospital hires a medical caregiver who doesn’t have the right qualifications or is incompetent in their duties, the hospital might be liable for any damages suffered because of that worker’s acts of incompetence. If a hospital doesn’t properly conduct a background check to see if the employee has the right certifications along with the proper educational training to do the job in question, and that specific worker hurts a patient, the hospital might be liable for damages incurred.
St. Petersburg, Florida hospital staff might engage in inappropriate conduct that is in comparison to medical malpractice, causing the hospital to be liable. This bad 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
Hospitals might be vicariously responsible for damages resulting from their workers’ negligence, including staff such as nurses or technicians. Employers are responsible for duty of care when the supervision and direction of their employees is involved. This liability addresses employee negligence and systemic problems within the hospital itself, including improperly sanitized instruments that cause infection. Another area of liability could be unreasonably long waits in the hospital emergency room.
Independent contractors are in a different category. Most often, hospitals aren’t liable for the acts and behavior of physicians who are classified as independent contractors. The majority of physicians aren’t employed by hospitals, but instead, work as independent contractors. These physicians have their own medical practices outside the hospital. Hospitals are only liable for the actions of independent contractors if these doctors fail to have the right training or experience, or don’t have the right qualifications.
If your medical malpractice lawyer can prove the contractor was misrepresented and you were led to believe the doctor was an employee of the hospital, and that you relied on that misrepresentation then suffered injuries because of that belief, you might be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit including the hospital as a defendant.
Hospitals work to prevent medical malpractice suits by making their contracted medical workers notify patients that they are do not work directly for the hospital but are independent contractors. Some hospitals post signs to indicate that certain medical providers are independently contracted and not hospital employees. If patients are not given proper notification of the contractor status of doctors or other medical professionals, the hospital might be liable for any injuries the patients suffer.
Errors Caused by Medical Devices
Medical providers rely on several different kinds of medical devices. These devices perform several tasks. Some devices diagnose diseases, treat diseases, and even prevent them. The misuse of these devices can cause a patient to suffer serious injury or even die. Sometimes these devices fail and have horrible impacts on patients. Medical devices have three major kinds of defects that can cause injury.
These defects put the manufacturer at risk of being liable for damages. These three defects include flaws in the design, defects from the manufacturing process, and lack of warnings. If anyone of these three problems is in existence, the manufacturer of the device might be sued for medical malpractice if death or injury result.
Medical professionals might not use medical devices right. If not properly trained or if insufficient knowledge, reckless behavior or negligence while using a device lead cause injury, the medical provider who failed to use the device in a proper manner can become liable for the damages that were suffered.
More Potential Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Possibilities – Delayed Diagnosis or Misdiagnosis
A patient and his or her loved ones might suffer if providers don’t properly diagnose illnesses. Delaying diagnosis or a misdiagnosis can result in severer medical issues or severe injuries, making the patient suffer throughout the years ahead. The patient might suffer debilitating physical injuries that might even result in death. Some of the most common conditions that doctors fail to diagnose fast enough include cardiac issues, cancers, vascular conditions, appendicitis, ectopic pregnancies, infections and brain tumors.
To be eligible for compensation after a lawsuit following misdiagnosis, you must prove negligence of the medical provider and that you suffered injuries as a result. Some negligent behaviors that might lead to misdiagnosis include:
- Failure to listen to the patient – As a patient, when you tell your medical provider that you aren’t feeling well, it is the responsibility of that healthcare provider to listen to you and investigate why you are suffering the different symptoms. If a doctor doesn’t examine the symptoms and your condition worsens, the physician 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 you exhibit the symptoms for a specific illness, that medical provider might be held accountable for medical malpractice if he or she doesn’t accurately diagnose the condition.
- Failure to check the medical history – Medical providers must accurately examine the medical history of their patient. They must also consider any family medical history. A provider might be considered negligent if the medical history does get examined and the patient condition deteriorates. If it is determined that the patient’s medical condition would have been easily identified if the medical history had been examined thoroughly, the doctor might become liable.
- Improper testing order – If the provider orders any tests improperly even after being aware of the exhibited symptoms of the patient, he or she might be considered negligent if that patient suffers additional injuries. Medical caregivers can also be held liable if they fail to conduct standard tests after observing specific symptoms in their patients.
- Failing to properly interpret tests – When a physician orders medical tests, the doctor is responsible for accurately 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.
Suing Doctors for – Postoperative Negligence
After a patient has had surgery or some kind of treatment, he or she must be given postoperative care. Healthcare staff are responsible for taking care of their patients to ensure certain complications that could result after treatment or surgery are prevented and properly attended to. The right care can prevent infection.
Medical providers must accurately monitor vital signs, give the patient detailed instructions as to what can and cannot be done following surgery or treatment, and prescribe the right medications in the right dosage amounts to help speed the healing and recovery process.
If a doctor doesn’t properly watch the patient, or if the physician doesn’t recognize the visual symptoms of medical complications, the patient might suffer serious injuries or die. This could give the patient the right to pursue a St. Petersburg, FL medical malpractice claim.
Some conditions, illnesses, or infections occurring because of negligence following a surgical procedure or other medical treatment might 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 St. Petersburg, Florida, contact one our medical malpractice lawyers at the Burnetti law firm for a FREE case consultation.