Any of us can become a victim of medical malpractice throughout the course of our lives. In fact, medical malpractice is one of the most common causes of death in the United States. It occurs when a doctor or other medical staff deviates from an accepted standard of care and causes a serious injury or even death.
Medical malpractice can occur in various forms. It may include surgical errors, prescription errors, misdiagnosis, and negligence during labor and delivery.
While there are hundreds of thousands of medical malpractice incidents every year, not all have merit. Medical malpractice cases are lengthy and costly. Lawyers do not want to handle these cases unless there is a significant amount of money involved.
So how do you know if you have a valid claim? See if these elements apply.
Elements of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice consists of four elements, all which must be met:
- Duty owed to the patient
- Breach of the duty
- Injury caused by the breach of duty
- Damages caused by the injury
This means that a doctor who is treating a patient must provide a reasonable standard of care. If a doctor deviates from that standard of care and acts in a negligent manner that results in injuries and damages, the doctor can be held liable. The patient can file a medical malpractice lawsuit and seek compensation for damages.
Filing a Claim
Before you file a claim, you should first contact the doctor who made the mistake and discuss the situation with them. Ask your doctor what he or she can do to remedy the situation. The doctor may agree to help however possible in order to offer a remedy. If he or she refuses to help you, seek legal help.
If you do file a medical malpractice claim, do it quickly. Under Florida law, you have just two years from the date of the medical malpractice (or the date the injury took place) to file a claim.
Check with your lawyer to see if your claim has merit. This will help you decide whether or not to move forward with your case.
If your lawyer does take on your case, ask about settling out of court. This is a good idea if there is some question as to whether or not you could receive a large settlement. If the malpractice resulted in lifelong injuries or death, however, your best bet may be to go to trial and seek the award you deserve.
Let Our Miami, Florida Personal Injury Attorneys Help You Today
While doctors are human and prone to error, the mistakes they make can lead to serious injuries and even death. They deserve to be held accountable for their negligence.
If you or a loved one was seriously injured or killed by medical malpractice, act quickly to preserve your legal rights. The Miami, FL medical malpractice lawyers at Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum, LLP can make sure you receive compensation for your losses. To schedule a consultation today, call (305) 371-2692 or visit us online.