How West Palm Beach Medical Malpractice Lawyer Prove Negligence in my Medical Malpractice Claim?
In a medical malpractice lawsuit, the injured patient can sue a medical professional for pain, mental anguish, medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning capacity, etc. In order to have a successful filing a claim of medical malpractice, the injured patient must be able to prove that:
- The patient was owed a duty of care
- A breach of duty occurred due to the negligence of the medial professional
- The negligence of that medical professional directly resulted in injury to the victim
- The injury resulted in compensable harm to the patient and that the victim is entitled to damages
How to Recover Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in West Palm Beach?
It is typically necessary for medical malpractice lawsuits to hire an expert witness to corroborate your story. This witness can explain to a jury that the medical professional in your case did not live up to the standard of care that a reasonable professional would under similar circumstances. The expert witness will also testify as to whether they believe the negligence of the medical professional led to your injury. Contact our medical malpractice lawyers in West Palm Beach to evaluate your case.
What are the Limits on Medical Malpractice Awards in West Palm Beach, FL?
The State of Florida places limits on certain kinds of medical malpractice awards. There is a cap placed on the amount of non-economic damages a person can receive in a medical malpractice lawsuit. Non-economic damages are the non-quantifiable losses incurred due to an injury, such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, disfigurement, etc.
In Title XLV Torts Section 766.101, non-economic damages from medical malpractice by a practitioner is limited to $500,000 and damages caused by a non-practitioner are limited to $750,000. In the case of wrongful death or catastrophic injury, damages are limited to $1 million and $1.5 million respectively.
However, there is no limit on economic damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, or other monetary losses that you suffered due to your injury.
Medical Malpractice Lawyers in West Palm Beach
A study by Johns Hopkins estimated that more than a quarter of a million deaths occur in the United States every year as a result of medical errors. This makes medical errors the third leading cause of death in the country. The United States has medical treatment rates that are significantly higher than those found in other developed countries, even though less than 10 percent of all medical errors are reported.
If you or a loved one was harmed or injured in any way by negligence or medical malpractice, you can hire a West Palm Beach medical malpractice lawyer from the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato to help you with your case. Our team can be reached at (954) 633-8270.
We can help you collect evidence, understand your rights, and work toward a settlement for medical malpractice in West Palm Beach. According to the Florida Statutes § 95.11, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases is generally two years, so do not hesitate to contact us today.
The Basics of West Palm Beach Medical Malpractice Claims
Here are a few basics on medical malpractice claims we will discuss further in this article:
- When and how to seek legal counsel from a West Palm Beach medical malpractice attorney
- What kinds of evidence are needed to build a case
- What kinds of errors and actions constitute negligence and might give you grounds for seeking a medical malpractice settlement
However, the first step is to understand a few important basics about who can file a medical malpractice claim, what constitutes malpractice, and how an attorney may be able to help you.
Suing for Medical Malpractice
When it comes to medical malpractice, the first thing to understand is that suing for malpractice is your legal right. If you suffered injury or harm of any kind while receiving medical treatment, you may be eligible to seek compensation for your losses and damages.
To do so, you must show that the care you received was not up to the standard that a reasonably competent and skilled doctor would have delivered if faced with the same situation and that the actions of your caregiver were the direct or proximate cause of your injuries.
Defining Medical Negligence
Successfully winning a West Palm Beach medical malpractice claim will depend on your ability to show that you were affected by the medical negligence of your caregiver.
It can be difficult to categorize a doctor’s or nurse’s actions as negligent without proof. However, if you can show that your caregiver’s actions or inaction were not in line with what another doctor would have done in the same situation, you may have grounds for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. You may also be eligible to file a lawsuit if you can prove that avoidable mistakes were made during your treatment. We provide examples of medical negligence that meet these definitions further below.
Eligible People Who May File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
The following people may file a medical malpractice lawsuit:
- A patient who was harmed by the actions or negligence of a doctor or another caregiver
- The patient’s legal guardian
- The patient’s authorized legal representative
A West Palm Beach medical malpractice lawyer can help you understand the medical malpractice laws that apply to your case. As your legal representative, they can file a lawsuit on your behalf and begin collecting evidence to support your case.
When to Hire a Malpractice Attorney
In Florida, you generally have two years from the incident of malpractice to file a lawsuit. You can hire or retain the services of a West Palm Beach medical malpractice attorney at any point during this time for legal assistance and guidance with your case. However, the sooner you speak with legal counsel, the sooner your attorney may be able to gather evidence in support of your case. It is recommended that you do not delay to avoid missing the statutory deadline.
What a Lawyer Can Do for You
There are many things that a West Palm Beach medical malpractice lawyer can do for you. They can:
- Gather evidence in support of your case
- Demonstrate that your doctor or caregiver did not have the training, experience, certifications, or skills required to treat you
- Obtain expert testimony from another doctor to prove that viable medical care alternatives were available, which could have reduced the chance of harm
- Help you identify compensable damages and evaluate your losses
- Help you understand the medical malpractice, insurance, and administrative laws that might pertain to your case
- Negotiate with insurance adjusters on your behalf
- File a lawsuit within the statutes of limitations
A West Palm Beach medical malpractice lawyer can also keep you updated on the status of your case and identify potentially liable parties. Your attorney can also act on your behalf and help you make informed decisions about your case as your case progresses.
Common Examples of Medical Malpractice in West Palm Beach
Your care providers—including doctors, nurses, support staff, lab technicians, hospital administrators, and the hospital or clinic itself—must treat each patient as a unique individual. Doctors are expected to avoid the pitfall of assuming that a patient has a certain sickness or ailment based on observable symptoms without taking a thorough patient history or substantiating hypotheses via diagnostic testing.
Doctors should spend whatever time it takes to gather a complete history from each patient to understand how or why an illness may have developed. When health care providers put profits ahead of patient care and rush testing, assessments, or diagnoses to save time and money without giving each patient their due consideration, it is the patient who ultimately suffers.
With this in mind, here are some of the more common ways that medical malpractice can occur:
Misdiagnoses occur when a doctor incorrectly diagnoses a patient’s illness or ailment. There are many reasons this can occur. Different illnesses can share the same symptoms, and a doctor may confuse the symptoms of one illness with the symptoms of another. A lack of experience, testing errors, incorrectly reading test results, administrative mix-ups, and incomplete patient histories can all lead to a misdiagnosis.
Here are a few signs you might have been misdiagnosed:
- You do not improve
- Your condition worsens
- Your doctor does not give you the time you need to properly discuss your case
- You cannot get through to your doctor when you need to nor discuss important health or care-related issues
- Your doctor does not run any tests or does not discuss test results with you
- You obtain a second opinion that conflicts with the diagnosis or treatment regimen initiated by your primary doctor
Delayed diagnosis is when a doctor correctly diagnoses a patient but takes longer than they should have to arrive at a conclusive diagnosis. Delays can cause a patient’s condition to worsen. The patient’s illness may become untreatable, lead to higher treatment costs, and result in more pain and suffering than the patient would have had to suffer otherwise.
Testing and Treatment Mistakes
Doctors and medical teams are expected to know how to hone in on a diagnosis based on a patient’s symptoms and medical history. They do so by conducting diagnostic tests, including blood tests, X-rays, MRIs, and other imaging exams. If a medical practitioner fails to perform a test or incorrectly interprets test results, and this error leads to a patient being harmed, they may be held liable for medical malpractice.
Treatment errors can also occur. Examples of treatment errors include:
- A surgeon leaves surgical equipment in a patient
- An anesthetist administers too much or too little anesthesia
- A doctor, nurse, or pharmacist prescribes or administers too much or too little of a drug or medicine
Surgical procedures are very complex, and even minor mistakes can have deadly consequences. Surgical errors can happen in many ways. It is not uncommon for a surgeon to perform the wrong procedure on the wrong patient or perform the right procedure on the wrong part of the body. A lack of training and experience can also lead to issues, especially when incomplete or botched procedures force a patient to undergo additional treatments that should have been avoided.
Cerebral palsy and Erb’s palsy are two common birth injuries. They involve damage or injury to a newborn’s nerves and/or brain and can lead to lifelong disability. Delivery teams must know how to identify and interpret signs of fetal distress, test for birth complications, and handle premature births and complicated deliveries. They must also provide adequate follow-up care to prevent a newborn infant from contracting illnesses, such as jaundice, which can lead to serious health issues.
A failure to do so can lead to serious, long-term issues, such as cerebral palsy or Erb’s palsy. It might also lead to other debilitating illnesses, including organ damage, sensory issues, and growth or development issues.
Products can malfunction during use, and equipment can fail during a procedure. A doctor, nurse, or a hospital administrator can be held liable for damages if poor product quality, mislabeled equipment or medicines, or unsterilized equipment leads to patient harm.
Patients must be informed about the dangers and potential harm of procedures and treatments that their doctors choose to administer and perform on them. If you agree to a medical procedure but suffer an outcome or injury that you did not know could occur because your doctor failed to inform you about it, you may have grounds for a West Palm Beach medical malpractice lawsuit.
West Palm Beach Medical Malpractice Compensation
There is virtually no end to the types of injuries you can suffer as a result of medical malpractice. Depending on how you were harmed, you can suffer anything from minor cuts, bruising, and nerve damage to paralysis or amputation.
You might be able to seek damages after suffering an injury caused by medical malpractice. These damages may include:
- Medical treatment costs, including the cost of your hospital stay, medicines, assistive devices, diagnostic tests, and travel to and from doctor’s appointments
- Lost income and/or lost earning potential
- Pain, suffering, and emotional damages
- Compensation for a loved one’s wrongful death
- Funeral, burial, and/or cremation expenses
A West Palm Beach medical malpractice lawyer at the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato may be able to help you identify compensable damages, quantify those damages, and gather evidence to prove your losses. Call us today at (954) 633-8270 for a free case evaluation.
Steps for Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
The goal of any medical malpractice settlement is to help the victim recover from their damages so that they can move past this unfortunate incident in their life. A person may reach out to a West Palm Beach medical malpractice lawyer to determine if they are eligible to file a claim or lawsuit.
In some cases, a court or judge may decide to levy punitive damages against a medical care provider to deter dangerous, reckless, or negligent behavior from occurring in the future. However, in most cases, a victim will file a claim seeking compensation for the economic and non-economic damages they suffered because of their caregiver’s negligent actions.
With this in mind, if you were injured or harmed by medical malpractice, you should:
- Reach out to your doctor or caregiver: You can discuss what happened, how you were harmed, what mistakes or errors occurred, and what can be done to address the issues you now face.
- File your lawsuit on time: You must file your lawsuit within the statute of limitations of your state. In Florida, you generally have two years from the date that harm occurred or was first identified to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
- Gather evidence of your doctor’s mistakes: You can collect treatment records or seek a second opinion from a reputable doctor.
- Obtain a certificate of merit from a licensed doctor: This certificate states that the injuries you suffered are serious enough to warrant a compensation claim.
- Submit a letter of intent to sue to the at-fault party’s insurer: Be sure to include all of the evidence you collected in support of your claim and the settlement amount you seek based on the value of your damages.
- Negotiate a settlement with the insurer: If a settlement cannot be arrived at or you are issued a denial, you may be able to take your case to court.
Hire Our West Palm Beach Medical Malpractice Lawyers
If you suffered any form of medical malpractice, our team is just a call away. Contact the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato at (954) 633-8270 for a free case evaluation. A West Palm Beach medical malpractice lawyer can help you file a claim or lawsuit.
Medical errors, malpractice, and negligence can lead to significant physical and financial losses, and you have the legal right to seek a settlement for your damages. So, we encourage you to act early and contact us today to discuss your case.
Contact Our West Palm Beach Medical Malpractice Lawyers
You don’t have to suffer due to the negligence of a medical professional. If you have been injured or suffered from malpractice in West Palm Beach, contact the West Palm Beach medical malpractice attorneys from the law offices of Wolf & Pravato today to set up a consultation – 1-954-633-8270.
We also help the victims of other practice areas:
Read our blog related to medical malpractice:
FAQs of West Palm Beach Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If you or someone you love was injured due to a medical error or mishap, you might have the basis of a medical malpractice insurance claim or lawsuit. Filing a medical malpractice claim may allow you to seek financial recovery from the health care provider whose negligence led to your adverse medical condition.
By filing a claim, you may be able to hold the at-fault party financially responsible for the damage to your health caused by neglect. Your lawyer can start by ensuring your medical malpractice lawsuit complies with Florida’s statute of limitations. According to Florida Statutes 95.11, you are generally required to file your lawsuit within two years of the date of the discovery of your injury, but not longer than four years from when the injury occurred. Your lawyer can help you determine the applicable date and ensure that your claim is filed on time.
A medical malpractice lawyer may be able to help prove the cause of your injuries and the anticipated costs of restoring your health as fully as possible. Your lawyer may also be able to help you assign financial liability to the at-fault health care provider or facility and fight for the compensation on your behalf.
Who Can Bring a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in West Palm Beach, Florida?
Anyone can file a malpractice lawsuit if their injuries resulted from a health care provider’s failure to meet the accepted standard of medical care. Surviving family members can also file a claim for the loss of a loved one by medical negligence. The decedent’s spouse, children, or parents may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit for medical malpractice.
How Do I File a Malpractice Lawsuit in West Palm Beach?
According to Florida Statutes 766.203, you are required to make specific pre-lawsuit investigations, notify the at-fault party of your intent to pursue compensation, and identify medical experts who support the merits of your medical malpractice claim. If you hire a medical malpractice lawyer to represent you, they may be able to handle these logistics and file a malpractice suit on your behalf.
How Much Can You Get from a Medical Malpractice Case?
Medical malpractice compensation varies from plaintiff to plaintiff. Your potential compensation may be a combination of economic and non-economic damages. In a medical malpractice case, the potentially recoverable damages may include:
- Current and future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- And more
A lawyer can help you identify your damages, collect evidence of their value, and pursue a medical malpractice settlement on your behalf.
When Should I Hire a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in West Palm Beach?
You should consider hiring a lawyer as soon as you become aware of your injuries. A lawyer may be able to take over all of the legal work in your case once you hire them. This includes handling communications with the responsible party’s insurance company. A lawyer can also provide you with legal advice and help you design a strategy for your case.
Call the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato Today
If you or someone you love was the victim of medical malpractice in West Palm Beach, you might have the basis of an insurance claim or lawsuit. A medical malpractice attorney from the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato may be able to represent you.
The Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato works hard for our injured clients. Our clients respect us because we respect them, and it shows in our honesty and prompt, responsive communication. Combined with a caring and attentive staff, we treat every client like family. Our client-focused law firm devotes time to make sure you know your legal options and understand your current legal situation.
For a free consultation on your case with a member of our medical malpractice team, call the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato today at (954) 633-8270. We can help you understand your legal options and discuss our services with you during this call.
If you qualify, we may be able to offer you representation on a contingency-fee-basis. There are no up-front payments required in this arrangement, and we do not collect attorney fees unless and until you win your case and receive a payout in the form of a court award or settlement offer.