What Is the Medical Standard of Care in Fort Lauderdale Medical Malpractice Cases?
Gregg Hollander | June 28, 2023 | Medical Malpractice
A standard of care is used to determine if someone is negligent. Typically, it is based on what a reasonable person would do in a similar situation.
The standard of care in a Fort Lauderdale medical malpractice case determines whether a doctor committed malpractice. If the doctor’s conduct fell short of the accepted medical standard of care, the doctor could be liable for the patient’s damages.
How Does Florida Define the Standard of Care for Fort Lauderdale Medical Malpractice Cases?
Florida’s medical malpractice laws require a patient to prove that the healthcare provider’s conduct breached the prevailing professional standard of care. The statutes define the medical standard of care as the level of treatment, skill, and care that is recognized as appropriate and acceptable by reasonably prudent healthcare providers.
The circumstances and the reasonably prudent health care provider must be similar in training and knowledge of the doctor who allegedly committed the malpractice.
The standard of care can differ depending on the circumstances of the case. Even if a doctor caused an injury, the patient has the burden of proving that the doctor breached the prevailing medical standard of care to prove malpractice.
Attorneys use medical experts to establish the standard of care in these cases.
A medical expert is defined by Florida law as a person:
- Who regularly engages in the practice of their profession;
- Who holds a healthcare professional degree from a college or university; and,
- Who meets the requirements of an expert witness in medical malpractice cases under Florida Statute §766.102.
You cannot win a medical malpractice case without a medical expert who agrees that your doctor breached the applicable standard of care. Typically, the case involves medical experts on both sides presenting conflicting testimony. The jury is the trier of fact, which means they decide who to believe.
How Do You Prove Medical Malpractice in Florida?
Proving medical malpractice in Florida requires you to demonstrate the following:
- The medical provider owed you a duty of care
- The medical provider’s conduct breached the duty of care by failing to provide care that met the accepted medical standard for your circumstances
- The medical provider’s breach of duty was the proximate and direct cause of your injuries
- You suffered damages and harm because of the breach of duty
Medical negligence claims are complex personal injury cases. An experienced Fort Lauderdale medical malpractice lawyer has the resources to investigate your claim, gather evidence proving fault, and hire medical experts to testify in your case.
What Actions Result in Medical Malpractice?
Actions that could give rise to a medical malpractice claim include, but are not limited to:
- Medication mistakes and errors
- Failing to order diagnostic tests
- Leaving instruments or foreign objects inside a patient during surgery
- Birth injuries
- Failing to monitor a patient after a procedure or treatment
- Discharging a patient too soon
- Operating on the wrong body part or person
- Performing unnecessary procedures or surgeries
- Interpreting lab or medical imaging reports incorrectly
- Failing to obtain informed consent
- Not reviewing a patient’s medical history
A bad outcome does not mean the doctor committed malpractice. Medical providers cannot control every factor that could lead to tragic results for the patient.
What Damages Can I Receive if a Doctor Breaches the Medical Standard of Care in Fort Lauderdale?
If they prove their case, they could receive compensation for:
- Permanent impairments and disability
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Emotional distress
- Medical bills
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Rehabilitative care
- Mental anguish
- Lost wages
- Physical pain and suffering
- Decrease in earning capacity
- Diminished quality of life
- Long-term skilled care
- Scarring and disfigurement
The amount of damages you receive depends on the case. Strong evidence proving malpractice increases the chance of you receiving maximum compensation in a medical malpractice case. The severity of your injuries also impacts how much a medical malpractice case is worth.
The time to file a medical malpractice case in Florida is usually two years from the date of the malpractice. However, you could have up to four years from the date of the malpractice to file your claim. You must file a lawsuit within two years after you discovered or should have reasonably discovered the harm caused by malpractice.
Calculating the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims in Florida can be confusing. The best way to avoid losing your right to file a lawsuit is to talk with a Fort Lauderdale medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.
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.
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