Hospitals, doctors, nurses and other medical providers must perform their duties with care. In the event that they provide negligent medical services, the results can be devastating and often cause injury or death to a patient. Because the results of this medical negligence and carelessness are all too often devastating, the patient or the patient’s survivors may have the right to sue for damages. Medical malpractice is the negligent behavior by a health care provider that results in undue injury to a patient. To be medically negligent, the provider must have failed to provide a patient with treatment that is seen as equal to the customary medical standard of care within the medical industry.
By hiring a medical malpractice attorney, patients or their survivors can receive help in finding financial restitution for many forms of medical negligence. At Rue & Ziffra, our medical malpractice lawyers will provide you with the proper, dedicated representation in court that you and your loved ones deserve. We have been in your community and on your side for over 40 years and we are here to help in your time of need.
What Types of Things can be Used Against Me?
If you have received an injury from some sort of medical malpractice and choose to file a claim, the doctor or other medical care providers under scrutiny will often try to build their own defense. As a result, the doctor may review your medical records and look for certain information such as:
- Instances of missed appointments
- Noncompliance with a treatment plan
- Written documentation of you engaging in lifestyle choices that could be bad for your health
All of these pieces of information could be used as evidence against your claim if the doctor presents these instances to the jury. If the jury feels you are in part responsible for your damages or injury, your award will be lessened by the percent of comparative negligence they ultimately determine.
When Should I Suspect Medical Malpractice?
Although medical malpractice is often hard for a patient to determine on their own, there may be some indicators to suggest negligence occurred. For example, if a patient experiences a serious brain injury following a “minor” surgery, this may signal that malpractice has occurred. Another sign may be if a provider fails to give a reasonable explanation for a worsened condition or the sudden death of the patient. Although each medical negligence case can be unique and apart from each other, certain patterns may occur more frequently than others. A few common patterns seen in medical malpractice may include when a physician fails to do at least one of the following:
- Diagnose a condition in time to treat it properly
- Treat a condition properly and a timely manner
- Monitor or observe the patient
- Perform surgery or give anesthesia properly
- Order necessary tests
- Consult with a specialist before making a diagnosis
If you suspect Medical Malpractice, call 800-526-4711 right away!
3 Types of Medical Malpractice
Failure to Warn
This is a type of negligence where a provider fails to disclose certain information to a patient. For example, a doctor may fail to tell a patient of risks associated with a particular treatment before having them consent to it. To prove the health care provider contributed to this type of medical negligence, it must be clear that a reasonable person would not have consented to the treatment if they had known of the risks beforehand.
This is where an injury results from a provider’s ignorance to act reasonably or up to date on best practices, such as if a doctor operates on a different body part than the one needing treatment. To prove this type of medical liability, the injury must be a direct result of the improper treatment and the provider must be linked to this particular act of negligence. An example of this may also be hospital infections.
Failure to Diagnose
In general, health care providers cannot always be held liable for diagnosing every condition because some are either very difficult to diagnose or cannot be detected until they reach a certain “stage.” However, a provider may be held liable for not diagnosing a condition (or failing to order tests to aid in diagnosis) when it is proven that another reasonable, trained provider would detect the condition if put in the same situation.
What is Comparative Negligence?
In some cases, more than one person may have contributed to the medical malpractice received by the injured person. Also, the injured person themselves may have contributed in some way to their injuries. Since these types of cases can have multiple negligent parties, the statutes of comparative negligence were created.
In a comparative negligence system, a jury or judge determines and assigns a proportion of fault to each responsible party and then apportions the damage award accordingly. This means that each party will be assigned a proportion of the fault, and then will have to pay that proportion in damages to the injured party.
Using this system, an injured person may recover some of his damages even if he was partially to blame for causing the accident. For example, even if the victim is found to be 99% at fault in causing his injury, he will still be able to receive the 1% in damages caused by the other negligent party. As you can see, the victim’s financial recovery will just be reduced, depending how his own actions caused or contributed to the injury.
Remember that many exceptions to the standard negligence systems are present in several states. Additionally, some states limit the types of cases to which these negligence systems may apply.
When To Not Make a Claim for Medical Malpractice?
When a medical malpractice claim emerges, there is a chance for an injured victim to receive financial compensation for their losses. The amount of these damages varies depending on the claimant’s situation and the extent of the malpractice. Unfortunately, not every act of medical malpractice justifies the filing of a formal claim for damages. Some instances where a claim may not be justified or damages may not be awarded can include:
- The patient makes a full recovery although briefly experiencing a worsening of his or her condition beforehand.
- The only real damages of any consequence of the medical malpractice are medical expenses that were fully covered by insurance.
- The patient requires the continued care of the doctor who committed the malpractice.
Orlando, Volusia County and Flagler Medical Malpractice Attorneys for over 40 Years
Hospital and medical malpractice and negligence can be some of the most confusing and frightening experiences you will ever face. With the experience of Rue & Ziffra’s attorneys (a combined 100 years of legal advice) you will be able to move forward successfully, as we have guided numerous malpractice cases for our clients to a favorable resolution. There are many minefields and issues along the way that only an experienced malpractice attorney can anticipate and fight against for you. At Rue & Ziffra we are your local attorneys that are available to you 24/7. Your needs are our priority, and should you have concerns or questions, we are always here to assist you.
For over 40 Years, Law Offices of Rue & Ziffra and Attorneys have provided legal advice and results for those who have been affected by Medical Malpractice in Bunnell, Daytona Beach, DeBary, DeLand, Deltona, Edgewater, Flagler Beach, New Smyrna, Orlando, Ormond Beach, Palm Coast, Port Orange and Sanford.