Medical Malpractice Attorney in Gainesville, Florida
Filing a Gainesville Medical Malpractice Claim
Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor, hospital, private practice, or any other professional healthcare facility causes injury to a patient through omission or negligent act. The negligence might be the result of errors in diagnosis, treatment, aftercare or health management, and can lead to life-altering complications or the wrongful death of you or one of your loved ones. Our experienced Medical Malpractice Attorneys in Gainesville can help you receive compensation for damage resulting from incidents of negligence.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Popular culture commonly associates medical malpractice with grave surgical errors, such as leaving an instrument inside a patient’s body that requires further surgery to remove. However, a number of different actions can qualify as medical malpractice, including but not limited to:
- Improperly administering anesthesia, or administering incorrect dosages
- Causing an injury to a newborn baby or its mother during pregnancy or delivery, resulting from a failure to stem blood loss or monitor vital signs.
- Failing to conduct a thorough examination – such as ordering appropriate scans, tests, and biopsies – and misdiagnosing a serious illness.
An important thing to keep in mind is that even when an act of medical malpractice has been committed, the injured party needs to file a claim within the state’s statute of limitations from when the injury occurred. If you do not, you will be unable to receive compensation.
Proving Medical Malpractice
If you’re considering filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, the most important thing you need to do is establish proof. A legal claim for medical malpractice usually comes down to proving that your doctor or other health care professional was negligent in providing medical care or treatment and that you suffered some manner of harm as a result. The steps to do this are the following:
- Prove the existence of a Doctor-Patient Relationship – In the eyes of the law, showing this existed acknowledged the doctor’s duty to provide you with competent care. Any care provided by the doctor constitutes this relationship.
- Prove the Doctor’s Substandard/Negligent Care – Also known as the medical standard of care, this is the most important element of any malpractice case. Establishing this is done by comparing your doctor to similar professionals and circumstances to determine what they should have done. This is usually done through the use of expert witnesses with knowledge of accepted standards of medical practice.
- Link Between the Doctor’s Negligence and Patient’s Injury – After establishing that the negligent care occurred, you will need to show that either through the doctor’s actions or failure to act, you suffered additional injury or harm. Note that it must be because of the substandard care itself, and is not attributable to underlying medical conditions or other causes. Testimony is often used here as well.
- Quantifiable Proof of Patient’s Harm – Also known as “damages” in legal terms, this refers to the details of the actual harm you suffered. This might include lost income from being unable to work, the costs of additional treatment and pain and suffering endured from substandard care.
Who is Liable for Medical Malpractice?
It stands to reason that the main party that is liable for many cases of medical malpractice are doctors that deviate from the standard of care. While many medical malpractice cases are centered around a doctor’s negligent treatment of their patient, there are actually a number of other parties that can be held liable for medical malpractice. Ultimately, it depends on whether the party had the ability to prevent medical malpractice by taking reasonable care in the face of potentially dangerous conditions and if the party in question contributed negligence that caused medical malpractice to occur. This can apply to a wide number of medical professionals and employees that work in the healthcare industry. Nurses, technicians, assistants, etc. can all be part of and contribute to medical malpractice. The facilities and institutions where medical malpractice takes place can also be held liable for cases of medical malpractice. Hospitals commonly are named in medical malpractice claims and lawsuits because they can fail to take adequate measures to stop medical malpractice from occurring when it was within their power.
Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorneys in Gainesville
Most medical professionals are just that – consummate professionals who use great care when treating their patients. Unfortunately, mistakes can and will occur, and many of these errors could be avoided if not for a doctor’s negligent or reckless behavior. In such situations, patients who are injured can hold negligent professionals accountable. Often these claims are difficult to pursue, so if you or a loved one has been injured by medical negligence, contact The Eberst Law Firm online or call our Gainesville office at 772-225-4900 to discuss your case in a free consultation with one of our experienced medical malpractice attorneys.
About the Author of this Page: The above information was written or reviewed by one of the attorneys at The Eberst Law Firm who have extensive experience trying legal cases outside and inside courtrooms throughout Florida. This article was also extensively researched to ensure that all information is accurate and up to date. If you want to know more about the author of this page, view our attorney bios here.