What Constitutes Medical Malpractice?
In an ideal world, physicians would be able to cure every patient who turned to them for care. Since so much is yet to be discovered in the field of medicine, however, that’s not possible.
There remain all kinds of conditions that doctors cannot treat. Instead, their only option is to manage the worst of the patient’s symptoms and to make them as comfortable as possible.
Regardless of how much—or how little—a provider can offer, though, they always have an obligation to do no harm. In other words, you should never end up in worse condition because of something your physician did (or failed to do).
If you did suffer complications that could have been prevented, there’s a chance you were the victim of medical malpractice, and you might be entitled to compensation. To have grounds for a malpractice claim in Florida, you’re going to have to prove the following four elements:
1. A Duty of Care
As long as you visited the doctor in question in a clinical setting, they owed you a duty of care. This element simply means the physician was obligated to treat you and to follow the most widely accepted standards of care when doing so.
2. A Breach of Duty
Most medical malpractice claims are filed on the grounds of negligence, which is characterized by a breach of duty. Since medicine is not an exact science, suffering complications isn’t enough to constitute legal action. You must be able to prove that your doctor actually deviated from the established professional standards when treating you.
Sufficient evidence of causation is the linchpin of every successful medical malpractice claim. In addition to proving your physician was negligent, you must demonstrate how your complications were a direct result of their conduct. In other words, they did not merely occur because your health was failing to begin with.
Naturally, this can pose a challenge, especially since you wouldn’t have sought care in the first place if you didn’t have a preexisting condition. With the right legal strategy, however, and testimony from relevant experts, you should be able to show causation.
The fourth and final element of every malpractice claim that ends up yielding a payout is damages. Victims are not entitled to compensation unless they incurred actual losses as a result of the substandard care they received.
When it comes to personal injury claims, the state of Florida recognizes both monetary and non-monetary losses. Examples include:
- Additional medical bills;
- Lost wages;
- Loss of earning capacity;
- Home care;
- Domestic help;
- Replacement services;
- Loss of enjoyment in life;
- Emotional distress; and
- Pain and suffering.
If the complications have affected your marriage, your spouse may also have a claim for loss of consortium.
Call 813-551-3907 to Discuss Your Case with a Tampa Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you think your doctor failed to provide adequate care, turn to Capaz Law Firm, P.A. to see if you have grounds for legal action. Our resourceful team will investigate the situation and help you determine how best to proceed. Call 813-551-3907 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free case review with a medical malpractice lawyer in Tampa.