According to the 2013 Medical Malpractice Payout Analysis by Diederich Healthcare, $3.6 billion in payments were made for medical malpractice in 2011. While it may come as a surprise, only 5 percent of these payments resulted from judgments awarded in court, while 93 percent of payouts resulted from settlements. With an experienced Tampa Bay medical malpractice lawyer by your side, you have a better chance of a fair settlement.
Four Parts Of A Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
If you land in the 5 percent who end up in court, being awarded the compensation you deserve will require a Tampa Bay law firm who knows the four fundamental parts of a medical malpractice lawsuit. If you cannot establish these four aspects, the chances of winning your case will be very low. With that said, the following will walk you through the four parts that are required to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit in Florida.
- Duty – Duty in a medical malpractice lawsuit refers to the responsible, judicious, and proper manner a health care provider owes to his patients. The “standard of care” that is expected and maintained in the medical environment sets the bar for the standard of “duty” a health professional should give to each patient. Simply proving a doctor-patient relationship exists with medical records is usually enough to prove duty.
- Breach – When a health care professional deviates from or falls below the “standard level of care” that his or her facility and profession requires, they have breached their duty. Breach is widely known in the medical industry as “negligence.” This part of medical malpractice is usually the reason the patient wants to pursue a lawsuit, but there is more to prove.
- Damage – There is no case if there is no harm done. For instance, a patient goes to the emergency room for pain in the arm. The emergency room doctor sends the patient home, but the patient asks for a second opinion. The second doctor orders x-rays and diagnoses a broken arm. Although the initial doctor misdiagnosed the patient, there was no harm done. Therefore, it would not be a case of medical malpractice because there was no damage.
- Causation – When suing a medical professional for malpractice, it is has to be proven that the breach of duty contributed to the “damage” to the patient. There has to be a specific connection between the breach of duty and the damage.
Contact Our Firm Today
Medical malpractice lawsuits are tricky because the plaintiff bears the burden of proof, starting with the list of requirements above. If you or someone you love has been injured or otherwise harmed by a doctor’s negligence, you should contact a Tampa Bay medical malpractice attorney immediately to discuss your case. Call our offices in PINELLAS: 727-796-8282 or HILLSBOROUGH: 813-288-8282.