Tampa Medical Malpractice Attorney
When you are sick or injured, you trust healthcare experts to provide you with at least a reasonable standard of care in diagnosing and treating your condition. However, sometimes medical professionals make mistakes that lead to the injury or wrongful death of a patient. If this happened to you or a loved one, contact a Tampa medical malpractice attorney at Capaz Law Firm.
If you were harmed due to the negligence of a nurse, doctor, surgeon, dentist, psychiatrist, hospital or other healthcare provider, contact Capaz Law Firm. Call today for a free consultation.
How Can a Medical Malpractice Attorney Assist with My Case?
If you believe you were injured due to your healthcare provider’s negligence, it is in your best interests to speak with a Tampa medical malpractice lawyer. Not only can a seasoned attorney help guide you through the proceedings, but they can also oversee the logistics of your case so that you can focus on getting your life back on track.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways we might be able to assist with your medical malpractice claim:
- Oversee Dialogue with Opposing Parties: We can help handle all correspondence with your healthcare providers and their insurers. Speaking to any of these parties directly could put your claim at risk as they may manipulate you into saying something that could be used to dispute your case or convince you to accept an unfair offer.
- Estimate the Value of Your Damages: The financial impact of a medical malpractice injury can reach far and wide. From lost wages and diminished earning capacity to medical expenses and physical therapy costs, there are many different losses to consider. Personal injury attorney Dereck Capaz can help you track your recoverable damages and use widely accepted methods to approximate fair compensation for what you’ve lost.
- Negotiate the Settlement: We understand that your financial future is likely hinging on the outcome of your case, so we will do everything in our power to help you obtain a fair settlement.
- Prepare Your Case for Trial: If the insurance company disputes the healthcare provider’s liability or refusers to offer a fair payout, Dereck Capaz is a seasoned trial attorney with the knowledge, experience, and resources to help you succeed in court.
- Guide You through Proceedings: Whether you’re filing a claim or preparing a lawsuit, taking either of these steps can be a daunting prospect. When you hire Capaz Law Firm to handle your claim, you will have someone by your side to help you navigate the challenging days ahead. We can answer your questions, explain your role at each step of proceedings, and provide updates on the progress of your claim.
Common Medical Malpractice Cases
Typical forms of medical malpractice and negligence occur when medical professionals:
- Treat the wrong patient
- Operate on the wrong body part
- Leave surgical instruments inside a patient’s body after surgery
- Cause infection due to poor hand washing before surgery
- Cause birth injuries
- Cause brain injuries
- Administer an improper dosage of anesthesia causing a patient to wake up during surgery
- Falsely pose as licensed physicians and provide improper medical care
- Failure to remove a chest tube, resulting in air bubbles in the blood
- Failure to supervise patients with dementia
- Failure to inform patients about risks from medical procedures and prescription drug use
- Prescribe the wrong medications
- Misdiagnose a patient or diagnose a patient too late
- Neglect or abuse nursing home residents
What Constitutes Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice leads to thousands of deaths and many more injuries in the United States every year. However, patients may suffer unexpected complications in even the most controlled environments, so it can often be difficult to tell whether your injuries are a case of malpractice or misfortune.
Let’s explore the elements that typically constitute a medical malpractice claim:
- Duty of Care: To prove a medical malpractice claim, you must show that the healthcare provider or facility owed you a duty of care. Fortunately, if you meet with a doctor in a clinical setting, he or she automatically takes on this responsibility. As a patient, you have the right to assume that doctors and other medical professionals will provide care in line with the accepted medical standard of care.
- Breach of Duty: If a procedure didn’t yield the expected results, this—on its own—doesn’t necessarily mean you are entitled to damages. Even under the watchful eyes of a diligent healthcare provider, unanticipated complications can arise. As such, you will need to show that the physician or facility deviated from the accepted standards of care. This is known as a breach of the duty of care.
- Causation: While you may have evidence that the healthcare provider breached the duty of care owed to you, you will also need to show that their negligence led to your health complications. As such, if you cannot show that the doctor’s actions—or inaction—are connected to your illness, worsening condition, or injuries, you are unlikely to receive a financial award.
- Damages: Medical malpractice cases are incredibly expensive to litigate, often requiring countless hours of deposition and testimony from numerous medical, vocational, and financial experts. As such, you will need to show that you suffered significant damages due to the healthcare provider’s negligence. If, for example, your doctor realized their mistake and took steps immediately to correct it, your damages may not amount to much. In such situations, it’s likely that the cost of pursuing your claim may be greater than the eventual recovery.
What Damages Can I Pursue?
Medical malpractice can lead to a host of unexpected health complications, potentially changing your life forever. Not only may you be unable to work or return to your normal routines, it’s also likely you’ve been straddled with thousands of dollars in medical expenses due to your healthcare provider’s negligence.
Fortunately, many of these costs might be recoverable in your case. Let’s take a look at the three main categories of damages in a medical malpractice claim:
- Economic Damages: This category of damages is intended to reimburse a medical malpractice victim for any losses stemming from the healthcare provider’s negligence. Commonly, these losses cover medical costs related to the treatment required to address your injuries and other health complications. If your injuries left you unable to work, you may also be able to pursue compensation for the wages you lost. Other recoverable expenses can include the cost of replacement services—such as alternative transportation and childcare—and home modifications.
- Non-Economic Damages: Did your injuries lead to considerable pain? Were you unable to enjoy your favorite hobbies, engage in physical activity, or take part in social gatherings? A serious injury can hamper the quality of your life in a number of ways, leaving you unable to do activities that once brought you joy. Such losses are often referred to as non-economic damages. Unlike economic damages, which can be easily demonstrated with bills and receipts, the value of non-economic damages can be challenging to quantify. Your attorney may ask family and friends to testify regarding your emotional state and psychological well-being to help a judge and jury understand the impact the malpractice has had on your life.
- Punitive Damages: Unlike the other damages listed here, punitive damages are not awarded to reimburse the patient for their losses, but instead to punish the defendant for their egregious actions. You will need to show that the healthcare provider or facility was either extremely reckless or intentionally harmed you. Your attorney can assess your case to determine whether you will be able to seek punitive damages.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Lawsuits in Florida?
The moment you fall victim to medical malpractice, a clock starts ticking. Florida sets out strict deadlines for plaintiffs wanting to bring a lawsuit to the state’s civil courts. Typically, you will have up to two years from the day you were injured to bring a suit. Attempting to file outside of this window will probably result in your case being dismissed.
The state also enforces another restriction on plaintiffs planning to file a medical malpractice case. The statute of repose dictates that you may not sue a doctor or another medical professional if more than four years have elapsed since you sustained your injuries. As such, even if you were not aware that a healthcare provider’s negligence caused your health complications, the law will likely prevent you from bringing a suit against the liable party outside of this four-year period.
There are, however, a few exceptions that may grant you an extension. For instance, if you can provide proof that the medical professional misrepresented information, concealed their mistakes, or committed fraud, you may be granted additional time to file a lawsuit.
Contact a Tampa Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Due to Florida’s statute of limitations for medical malpractice lawsuits, it’s important to file your claim as soon as possible. You have a limited amount of time to act. If you or a loved one has suffered injury or death due to the negligence of a healthcare provider, contact Capaz Law Firm. Call 813-440-2700 for your free consultation.
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Dereck Capaz is a proud member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. The Million Dollar Advocates Forum is one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in the United States.Learn more
Dereck Capaz was selected for inclusion and named in the 2009 – 2015 editions of Florida Super Lawyers.Learn more
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