Can I Sue My Obstetrician for Medical Malpractice in West Palm Beach?
Gregg M. Hollander | January 28, 2022 | Medical Malpractice
Obstetricians should be held accountable when they fail to provide the proper care. If your obstetrician is guilty of medical malpractice, you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries, emotional distress, and monetary losses.
What Do I Need to Know About Suing My Obstetrician for Medical Malpractice in West Palm Beach?
You should know several things about obstetrician malpractice claims in West Palm Beach. They include:
Legal Elements for an Obstetrician Malpractice Lawsuit
When a doctor provides negligent care, they can be held financially liable for the injuries they cause. As an injured patient, you have the burden of proving the elements of a medical malpractice claim before you can recover compensation.
The legal elements of a medical malpractice lawsuit in Florida are:
- The obstetrician owed you a duty of care
- The obstetrician breached the duty of care by failing to provide an acceptable standard of care
- The breach of duty was the direct and proximate cause of your injury
- You sustained damages because of the breach of duty
Florida’s Medical Malpractice Act requires you to prove that your doctor breached the “prevailing professional standard of care.” The prevailing standard of care is based on the level of care, treatment, and skill that a “reasonably prudent health care provider” would have used under the circumstances.
You must have sworn testimony from another obstetrician to show that your doctor was negligent. The obstetrician must have similar skills and experience as your physician. The medical malpractice statutes include detailed requirements for expert witnesses in medical malpractice cases.
Statute of Limitations for Obstetrician Malpractice Claims
The Florida statute of limitations for most medical malpractice claims is two years from:
- The date of your injury; OR
- The date you reasonably should have discovered the harm (if you didn’t discover the harm right away).
However, in most cases, you only have four years from the date of the malpractice to file a lawsuit, regardless of when you discovered the harm. Therefore, it is wise to talk to a lawyer as soon as possible.
Damages Available for Obstetrician Malpractice Claims
When you sue your obstetrician for medical malpractice, you may receive compensation for several types of damages. Your damages could include:
- Cost of treatment for injuries or conditions caused by the malpractice
- Loss of income, including decreases in future earnings and future lost wages
- Physical pain and suffering
- Permanent disabilities and impairments
- Diminished quality of life
- Mental anguish and emotional distress
- Cost of nursing care and personal care
There is no cap on the amount of economic damages (financial losses) you can receive for a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit. In the past, Florida statutes capped non-economic damages (pain and suffering), but the Florida Supreme Court ruled the cap on non-economic damages was unconstitutional.
A jury will decide how much to award you based on the facts of the case. Each medical malpractice case is unique. The value of your claim will depend on the severity of your injuries and your financial losses, among other things.
What Are Common Types of Obstetrician Malpractice?
There are many errors that may rise to the level of medical malpractice. Examples of situations that could lead to an obstetrician malpractice claim include:
- Failure to identify risk factors for the mother or baby
- Mistakes and errors related to anesthesia
- Failing to perform a C-section promptly
- Delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis of a condition during pregnancy that harms the mother or infant
- Failing to recognize complications or problems with the umbilical cord
- Incorrect use of forceps or vacuums during delivery
- Surgical errors during a C-section or after delivery
- Failing to monitor the baby or recognize signs of fetal distress
- Failure to diagnose gestational diabetes or preeclampsia (pregnancy-induced hypertension)
- Failing to diagnose ectopic or tubal pregnancies
Obstetrician malpractice can occur in the physician’s office, in an emergency room, during labor and delivery, or during a consultation. The obstetrician may not be the only party responsible for your damages.
In addition to your obstetrician, the clinic or hospital may be included as defendants in an obstetrical malpractice lawsuit. Nurses and other medical professionals may also share liability for damages caused by medical malpractice.
Contact Our Medical Malpractice Law Firm in South Florida
If you’ve been injured in an accident, please contact our experienced personal injury lawyers in Florida at Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation today. We have three convenient locations in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach.
We proudly serve Palm Beach County, Broward County, and its surrounding areas:
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – Boca Raton Law Office
7000 W Palmetto Park Rd #500
Boca Raton, FL 33433
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – Fort Lauderdale Law Office
200 S.E. 6th Street #203
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – West Palm Beach Law Office
319 Clematis St #203
West Palm Beach, FL 33401