When Floridians visit their healthcare professionals, their medical needs are often addressed with the utmost care and accuracy. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for everyone. Medical mistakes and errors occur, and sometimes, they can impact their victims differently. Some get hit in the wallet, and without taking proper legal action, they could be left paying the price for a medical professional’s negligence.
If you feel you didn’t receive the quality of care that you should have and it’s caused you financial hardships, reach out to a medical malpractice lawyer in Miami, FL. During a free consultation, one of their compassionate medical malpractice attorneys can determine your next step.
What Is Medical Negligence?
Medical negligence is more commonly referred to as medical malpractice, although they have the same meaning. It occurs when a healthcare specialist fails to provide the duty of care they owe to their patient. Healthcare providers should follow the same standards that any similarly trained medical professional would follow under the same circumstances. Any deviation from the accepted medical standards is considered an act of negligence.
Common types of medical negligence can include
- Failure to diagnose
- Failure to order appropriate tests
- Prescription errors
- Incorrect treatment
- Surgical mistakes
- Anesthesia errors
- Failure to obtain informed consent
There are many other types of medical negligence, far too many to be described here. In the broadest definition, anything a healthcare professional does that isn’t what another expert would have done, and their actions or inactions have caused the patient harm is considered medical neglect or medical malpractice.
The Financial Impact of Medical Negligence
Proving medical negligence is no easy feat and should never be attempted without the guidance of a professional medical malpractice attorney. The victim must prove four important facts.
- The healthcare specialist had a duty of care towards them.
- The healthcare professional failed to follow accepted medical practice and breached their duty of care.
- The patient was harmed by their medical negligence.
- Due to medical negligence, the patient suffered damages.
If your case is valid, your personal injury attorney can easily prove these things. The last point above concerns the damages a victim of medical negligence suffers. They could be both economic and non-economic. Since your healthcare professional cannot undo the mistakes, victims can pursue compensation to cover their damages.
Medical Malpractice Economic Damages
A medical mistake can cause much harm, depending on the circumstances. These can be anything from a significant increase in medical bills to a lifelong disability. Any expenses caused by medical malpractice can be sought after by filing a personal injury lawsuit. Typical economic damages include
- Current and expected future medical bills
- Current and future loss of wages, other types of income, and benefits
- Transportation expenses – getting to and from medical appointments
- The cost of physically adapting the victim’s home to construct ramps, stair lifts, etc.
Those affected by medical negligence can face enormous financial hardships. Fortunately, victims have the right to pursue damages.
Medical Malpractice Non-Economic Damages
Victims of medical malpractice can also seek to recover damages of a non-economic nature. These can tend to be a bit more challenging to prove and put a monetary amount on. A personal injury attorney who has a background in medical malpractice claims can help you to gather the required evidence to prove non-economic damages like:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Receiving substandard healthcare that has caused injury can result in deep and long-lasting emotional issues. Depression, anxiety, and other psychological conditions should also be considered when seeking justice.
Punitive Damages in a Florida Medical Malpractice Case
Punitive damages punish the healthcare professional for a particularly heinous act of negligence. Although incredibly rare in Florida, medical malpractice lawsuits have been awarded. Punitive damages can only be collected in cases that go to trial and cannot be included in the plaintiff’s original claim. Florida tops punitive damages at three times the damages awarded, or $500,000.
The Financial Impact of Medical Negligence in Florida: Final Thoughts
Medical malpractice can destroy the lives of those who put their complete trust in a healthcare professional. Botched surgeries, medication errors, and misdiagnoses have affected the lives of many Floridians, causing them financial hardships and emotional trauma. Fortunately, they can seek to recover compensation for all their economic and non-economic damages.
If you feel you’ve been a victim of subpart medical treatment that has caused you physical and emotional harm, contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney. Victims would struggle to fight for their rights against a powerful hospital or insurance company. Don’t fight alone; hire a medical malpractice attorney to ensure that the negligent party faces accountability and you receive the compensation you deserve.