Lawyers Palatka FL and Surrounding Areas: Medical Malpractice
A medical malpractice action is an action taken against a healthcare professional based on negligence. Medical malpractice actions most commonly involve doctors or physicians, but nurses, physicians’ assistants, or anyone else who provides medical care to a patient can also be sued for malpractice.
Although these are important considerations, to prevail in a medical malpractice claim and recover for the injuries you have sustained, lawyers in Palatka FL must prove the negligence of the defendant by a showing of the presence of four key elements.
There are four elements your First Coast medical malpractice attorney must show in your claim. The first is a duty to provide a certain “standard of care.” This means that a doctor or other health care professional must have the same level of skill and knowledge as other professionals in his or her field and must apply that skill and knowledge using appropriate care. In order for this duty to arise, your First Coast medical malpractice lawyer must show that the medical professional had a doctor-patient relationship with you.
Florida Dog Bite Personal Injury Attorney Starke FL and Surrounding Areas
A personal injury attorney in Starke FL will inform you that, similarly, Florida Statute 767.01 provides that “owners of dogs shall be liable for any damage done by their dogs to a person or to any animal included in the definitions of “domestic animal” and “livestock.”
This is not to say that a dog’s owner will be found liable in every case where his dog injures someone. If the owner shows that the person who was bitten had kicked, teased, or otherwise provoked the dog, the damages can be reduced under the theory of comparative negligence. Contact your personal injury attorney in StarkeFL for more information.
Breach of Duty
Usually, this relationship is created when a doctor agrees to treat you, but it can also arise in other ways. In some jurisdictions, hospitals must provide emergency assistance to anyone who comes to them. In such a case, the hospital must exercise a “standard of care,” even though they did not explicitly agree to a doctor-patient relationship.
The second element your attorney must show is a “breach” of the required standard of care. This means that the medical professional who treated you lacked the requisite knowledge or skill or failed to exercise care when applying the skill and knowledge. This breach can occur through neglect or an intentional act. This element is usually comparatively easy to prove.
The third element is “causation,” which means that the medical provider’s breach of his or her duty needs to have “caused” your injury. What this means varies from state to state. In some states, you cannot receive an award for damages if you contributed to your injury in any way. In Florida, lawyers Palatka FL can help you recover for damages even if you are partly at fault. The amount you can recover will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if a jury finds that you are 10 percent responsible for your injury, your award for damages will be reduced by 10 percent.
Contact Lawyers Palatka FL for Legal Advice
Sometimes, even if you can show that medical negligence caused your injury, the medical professional will not be held liable because the injury you suffered was not foreseeable at the time the negligence occurred. In such a case, we would say that the negligence was not a “proximate cause” of your injury.
Finally, your medical malpractice lawyers Palatka FLmust show damages that were caused by the medical professional’s negligence. Damages need to be quantified in monetary terms, and the question is how much will it cost to compensate you for your losses? Factors to consider include medical costs, lost income or wages, disability, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is medical malpractice?
Do I need an attorney for my medical or hospital malpractice case?
Who can be sued for medical malpractice?
If I am unable to pay my medical bills as they are incurred, will my healthcare providers wait for payment?
How does my lawyer make sure that my doctors and hospitals are paid?
Why won’t the insurance company for the defendant just pay my medical bills as I incur them?
Generally, insurance companies for the tortfeasor (the person(s) or company that caused your injuries) will not automatically pay your medical bills. One reason is that they do not want to pay large medical bills and then be faced with an unreasonable or excessive final settlement demand. In other words, they do not want to expend a substantial sum of money on medical bills and then be faced with the expense of defending a lawsuit. Second, insurance companies prefer to settle the claim with one single payment. Therefore, most insurance companies will wait for a letter of demand from your attorney and attempt to settle case with a single lump sum payment.
Contact First Coast injury attorney John Fagan for questions about your personal injury case.