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Telehealth Gone Wrong: Can You Sue for Telemedicine Malpractice in Florida?

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Telehealth has become a widespread alternative to traditional in-person medical consultations. A survey by Sachs Media reveals that 62% of Florida residents have used telehealth services. Despite its convenience, telehealth is not immune to medical malpractice. When medical negligence occurs during a telehealth visit, patients may face serious health consequences and wonder about their legal rights and options for compensation. In tragic cases, these mistakes can even lead to wrongful death.

At Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, LLP in Miami, our medical malpractice and wrongful death lawyers are well-versed in the nuances of the medical industry, including telehealth practices and regulations. Contact us without delay if you believe you have been a victim of telehealth medical malpractice.

What is Telehealth?

Telehealth, also known as telemedicine, lets patients have medical consultations without visiting a healthcare provider’s office. This service usually uses digital devices for communication: video chats; phone calls, secure messaging systems for exchanging information, also remote monitoring devices to oversee a patient’s condition. Additionally, some healthcare providers offer prescription services via telehealth. 

The common uses of telemedicine include post-surgery check-ins, diagnosing, sharing lab tests and X-ray results, and managing recurring health conditions through monitoring and prescription refills. It is also increasingly used for mental health therapy sessions. 

Telemedicine and Potential for Malpractice

Mistakes and medical malpractice can occur during telehealth just as they can in traditional medical settings. Doctors may face limitations in gathering information for accurate diagnoses and treatment when not in direct physical contact with the patient. Additionally, the human factor plays a role. Patients might feel uncomfortable or unfamiliar with sharing detailed health information digitally, leading to incomplete disclosures. If healthcare providers fail to recommend an in-person examination or necessary tests during telemedicine sessions, it can be counted as an oversight resulting in a medical malpractice lawsuit.

How Telehealth Medical Malpractice Claims Work in Florida

Similar to traditional medical malpractice, telehealth malpractice claims hinge on the concept of a healthcare provider failing to meet the recognized standard of care. This standard is established by comparing the provider’s actions to those of other qualified professionals in the same area and specialty.

To prevail in a telehealth malpractice claim, a plaintiff typically needs to prove three key elements:

  • Duty of Care: A doctor-patient relationship exists, establishing a duty of care owed by the provider to the patient. This applies to both in-person and telehealth consultations.
  • Breach of Duty: The healthcare provider deviated from the accepted standard of care, falling short of what other qualified professionals would have done in the same situation.
  • Causation: The provider’s breach of duty directly caused the patient’s injuries or damages.

Remember that legal matters are complex and this information is for general understanding only. Consulting with an experienced Miami medical malpractice lawyer is recommended to navigate the specifics of your situation and understand your legal options.

Common Telehealth Medical Malpractice Errors

While certain errors specific to physical procedures, like anesthesia mistakes or surgical errors are impossible to occur in telemedicine, other types of mistakes can still lead to telehealth malpractice claims. Here are some examples:

  • Misdiagnosis: Due to limitations in physical examination and potential communication challenges, telehealth consultations carry a risk of missed or incorrect diagnoses.
  • Inadequate aftercare: Telehealth providers might not be able to adequately monitor patients after procedures or provide detailed instructions for post-treatment care, leading to complications.
  • Medication errors: Errors in prescribing the wrong medication, dosage, or failing to consider allergies can occur due to miscommunication or incomplete information during telehealth visits.
  • Incorrect test interpretation: Difficulty in clearly viewing test results or misinterpreting them during a virtual consultation could lead to delayed or inappropriate treatment.
  • Misinformed decisions: Providers may make uninformed decisions due to limitations in accessing complete medical history or misreading patient records during a telehealth consultation.

Do You Need a Telehealth Medical Malpractice Attorney in Florida?

Victims of telehealth medical malpractice may question if they need an attorney. The answer is yes. Facing the complexities of medical malpractice claims requires legal expertise, especially when it involves telehealth. A lawyer specializing in medical malpractice can provide critical support in several ways.

Investigating your case: An attorney can analyze your situation, gather evidence, and determine whether you have a valid claim. This includes reviewing medical records, consulting medical experts, and reconstructing the events of your telehealth visit. 

Understanding complex legal issues: Telehealth malpractice is a relatively new legal area, and the laws governing it can be intricate. Miami medical malpractice lawyers understand the medical and legal standards required for a successful claim in Florida, ensuring your claim is filed correctly and timely. 

Negotiating with the healthcare provider or their insurer: If your claim has merit, an attorney can negotiate with the responsible party or their insurance company on your behalf to seek fair recovery for your damages. They can accurately calculate potential damages. This can include compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, 

Representing you in court: If an agreement cannot be reached outside of court, your medical malpractice lawyer will represent you in litigation, ensuring your case is presented effectively before a judge and jury.

Don’t Let Telehealth Medical Malpractice Go Unanswered

Telehealth convenience shouldn’t come at the cost of your health. If you suspect medical negligence during a telehealth visit caused you harm, don’t hesitate to seek legal help.

When a healthcare provider fails to provide quality care, even through telehealth services, you have a right to hold them liable for injuries caused by negligence.  A Miami medical malpractice attorney can discuss the specifics of your case with you and can help you determine who you may be able to sue to seek compensation. At Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, LLP, we regularly assist clients with a wide variety of medical malpractice claims, including telemedicine. 

Our experienced Florida medical malpractice attorneys at Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, LLP are committed to helping injured patients in Miami. Call 305-371-2692. We understand how devastating a medical error can be, and we want to assist you in seeking compensation for your losses.