South Florida has a lot of Latin influences in its cuisine and music, and the Miami accent is more pronounced when you travel around this region. It’s also the only area in the continental United States with a tropical climate. However, in terms of healthcare, Florida ranks at the bottom of the list. Despite the abundance of healthcare facilities and institutions, medical malpractice also happens in this sunny state.
The common theme of personal injury cases involving medical personnel is negligence. The common reason for this is the healthcare worker failed to follow the standards expected of their profession.
But how do you know that you’re a victim of medical malpractice, and when do you contact a South Florida personal injury lawyer?
You need to meet certain conditions before you can file for medical malpractice. These parameters are enforced to weed out the spurious cases leveled against healthcare professionals. But how do you know if your case possesses the criteria for medical malpractice?
Here are some of the elements that you need to prove, according to the law:
- A doctor-patient relationship. First, you need to establish that the doctor and patient relationship existed in the first place. It means that the physician has a professional duty to render care to you. You hired their service, and they took your money when they agreed to employ them.
- The doctor was negligent. The second element of a medical malpractice lawsuit is negligence. This is challenging to prove, and you need the expertise of a South Florida personal injury lawyer to help you. Your feelings are not going to matter in the lawsuit. You’re not allowed to sue a physician simply because you’re unsatisfied with the results. The lawyer needs to establish that the doctor directly caused the injury by their actions or lack thereof.
- Negligence led to injury or harm. What medical malpractice lawsuits in South Florida boil down to is whether the physician is skillful and careful enough in the exercise of their duty. Multiple factors come into play. For instance, is the injury caused by a preexisting condition? Is the damage a result of the natural progression of a preexisting disease?
- The injury led to specific damage. Even if the doctor was indeed negligent in the care, you still could not cry medical malpractice. The harm caused by the negligence must lead to a specific injury. However, the injury need not be physiological. You can also sue for damages if you suffer mental anguish, chronic pain, loss of income due to missed time off work, and if you rack up the medical bills.
Furthermore, the state employs the “three-strike rule,” which works exactly as it sounds.
According to the report from Contact 5, in the past decade, doctors in South Florida have paid out more than $460 million on medical malpractice claims. Their insurance has covered the cost of payments.
However, a legal loophole allowed some of these doctors to continue their practice despite paying out multiple lawsuits. For instance, in Fort Myers, South Florida, a cardiologist spent $1.4 million to settle three cases, including two deaths.
The burden is almost always on the victim to prove that the doctor was negligent. However, an experienced lawyer by your side will improve your chances of getting justice. Oftentimes, it’s not about the compensation, but correcting what is wrong.