Medical Malpractice Attorney in Pembroke Pines
As Americans age, we require more and more medical care. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the average yearly expenditure on health care costs comes to over $10,000 a year. There are over 48 million surgical procedures performed on a yearly basis, and with millions of specialists needed to help ensure we all stay healthy, it’s not surprising that mistakes can and do happen.
Medical practitioners are held to a high standard in the care they provide to their patients. When they fail to provide this standard of care, people can get hurt. Costs related to poor treatment can be astronomical. A failed procedure might require lifetime medication, rehabilitation, and additional surgeries, as well as result in lifelong pain, and emotional stress.
If you were harmed by a medical professional, a medical malpractice attorney can help. We understand how expensive a failed medical procedure can be, and we know how to help to get these costs covered. The Pembroke Pines medical malpractice attorneys at Schlacter Law will work hard to help you get the compensation you need to recover from your injuries.
Medical Malpractice Defined
The American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys states that medical malpractice occurs when “a hospital, doctor or other health care professional, through a negligent act or omission, causes an injury to a patient [and that] negligence might be the result of errors in diagnosis, treatment, aftercare or health management.”
Negligence is an important element in malpractice cases, and failing to prove that a medical professional was negligent may not rise to the level of malpractice. Unfortunately, just because a procedure resulted in a negative outcome does not necessarily mean a medical profession committed malpractice. To establish negligence a plaintiff must show that:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care
- The defendant breached this duty of care
- The defendant was the proximate cause of the injury
- The plaintiff suffered some form of injury or harm
To help establish if a professional was negligent, the duty owed to a plaintiff is to provide care that is appropriate under the circumstances. Florida Statutes, §766.102(1), states that “The prevailing professional standard of care for a given health care provider shall be that level of care, skill, and treatment which, in light of all relevant surrounding circumstances, is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent similar health care providers.”
Therefore, when a medical professional fails to provide similar care that a reasonable provider in a similar field would provide, they may be liable in a malpractice lawsuit. Establishing when a doctor failed to provide adequate care can be difficult. A malpractice lawyer can help by understanding the complexities involved with malpractice lawsuits and has the experience to apply the facts under your circumstances. Call the Pembroke Pines malpractice lawyers at Schlacter Law today for a consultation.
Types of Damages in Pembroke Pines
A successful Pembroke Pines medical malpractice lawsuit can provide compensation to a plaintiff through three different types of damages. These three types are:
- Economic damages
- Non-economic damages
- Punitive damages
Economic damages are the known costs associated with an injury. This might include:
- Medical bills
- Hospital bills
- Long-term medical care
- Rehabilitation care
- Lost wages due to the injury
- Lost income due to the injury
Because economic costs are generally easy to determine, their values are rarely in dispute. If a medical procedure resulted in further injury due to a medical professionals’ negligence, and that injury required an additional ten days in the hospital, the costs the plaintiff would be charged for those additional ten days would be included in the calculation for economic damages.
Non-economic damages are generally more difficult to calculate since these types of costs are not automatically associated with a dollar value. These types of damages might include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional stress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Permanent scarring
- Severe brain injuries
- Motor disturbances
- Neurological disorders
- Serious burns
Non-economic damages attempt to compensate a victim for the value of an injury that is unrepairable, or permanent. Since the true cost of compensation for someone who, for example, was blinded by a medical error would be hard to calculate, the dollar value is often calculated by looking at the known economic costs and multiplying that number by a figure, such as four. If economic costs were to equal $50,000, then non-economic costs might be estimated to be $200,000.
Punitive damages are also available in circumstances where the defendant’s actions were so egregious that additional compensation is awarded to prevent the defendant from continuing the type of behavior that led to the injury. This might include behavior that is reckless, and in total disregard for the wellbeing of the plaintiff.
Determining the types of compensation available in a medical malpractice lawsuit requires an attorney who has worked on these types of cases in the past. A Pembroke Pines medical injury lawyer is familiar with the types of injuries found in malpractice cases and has the experience necessary to evaluate their potential value. Be sure to consult a medical malpractice attorney immediately following a medical injury.
A consultation with a Pembroke Pines lawyer can better help you understand the types and amounts of compensation that may be available to you under the circumstances of your injury.
Statute of Limitations
Like most states, Florida places limits on the amount of time a claimant has to file a lawsuit in court. This is known as the statute of limitations. Each state has its own statute of limitations based on the type of case that is being filed.
Florida’s statute of limitations can be found in Florida Statutes, §91.11. Normally, a claim for negligence is given a four-year window with which to file a lawsuit. However, in cases where negligence stems from medical malpractice, this time window is reduced to only two years.
The statute states that “an action for medical malpractice shall be commenced within 2 years from the time the incident giving rise to the action occurred.” In cases where an injury is not immediately apparent and takes time to present itself, the action must be filed “within 2 years from the time the incident is discovered, or should have been discovered with the exercise of due diligence”.
Statute of limitation deadlines are extremely important. Failing to file a lawsuit in the time allotted by the statute could bar an injured party from receiving compensation. Therefore, it is important to contact a Pembroke Pines negligence attorney as soon as an injury occurs, or as soon as the injury is known. A medical malpractice attorney will work hard to make sure a claim for any compensation is made within the time allotted by the state and will help you get the compensation you deserve.
How We Handle Cases
- Your attorney will aggressively investigate your case. Schlacter Law will compile all necessary evidence needed to maximize the value of your case. Which includes but is not limited to photographs, police reports, security camera footage, witness statements, medical bills and medical records.
- You will remain in constant contact with Schlacter Law about the progression of your case.
- Your attorney will present your case to the insurance company and will attempt to resolve your case before the case goes to court for maximum compensation.
- Your attorney will make every effort possible to resolve the case as quickly as possible for the most amount of money you may be entitled to. You will be actively involved in the negotiation process with your attorney. Schlacter Law understands that this is your one opportunity to get justice for your loss.
- If settlement negotiations are unsuccessful, Schlacter Law will be fully prepared to bring your case to court to fight for the justice you deserve.
- At no cost to you, Schlacter Law will hire any experts and professionals needed to maximize your recovery and present your case in the strongest form possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
Medical lawsuit lawyers are typically paid through a contingency fee. This payment agreement would pay an attorney only when they successfully obtain compensation on your behalf. The fee arrangement would pay the lawyer between 33.33% and 40% of any amount they get in settlement. The benefit of this payment arrangement is it allows a victim to initiate a claim without having to pay the lawyer any money upfront. Speak with our Pembroke Pines medical malpractice law firm today for a consultation.
Unfortunately, it is very difficult to determine how much compensation is available without first evaluating the facts surrounding an injury. Compensation seeks to pay a victim for known and unknown costs, including medical bills, rehabilitation, pain and suffering, and emotional stress. In order to estimate the amount of compensation, it is important to determine these costs. Consult an attorney in Pembroke Pines today to help figure out how much compensation you might be entitled to.