Boca Raton Medical Malpractice Lawyer
You deserve to be compensated when the healthcare provider you trusted injures you through negligence. Find out how to get compensated for your losses by consulting with a medical malpractice lawyer.
Getting injured or made ill by medical malpractice often comes as a surprise. You count on your doctor to make you well, so when negligence occurs and you get hurt, it can feel like the ultimate betrayal of trust.
This is something you should be compensated for, as your healthcare provider’s negligence will likely result in still more medical bills in addition to the emotional trauma you’ve suffered.
The physician and his or her malpractice insurer will likely be reluctant to settle your claim, however—the doctor, because it could damage his or her professional reputation, and the insurer, because every claim settled makes a dent in their profit margins. Even if you do get a settlement offer, it likely won’t be comprehensive.
By working with a Boca Raton medical malpractice lawyer from the Law Offices of Casey D. Shomo, you can build a powerful case that proves how the malpractice occurred and get the largest settlement possible to cover your losses and damages.
How Do You Know if Medical Negligence Was Involved?
Identifying medical malpractice isn’t always straightforward. Even if a doctor or nurse does everything possible and everything correctly, there’s still the potential that your health could decline. In order for malpractice to have occurred, the healthcare provider needs to have been negligent in some way.
This usually takes one of two general forms: negligent actions and negligent inactions. A negligent action is the most obvious and means that the physician has actively made an error that hurt you in some way. This could be done through performing the wrong surgery or prescribing the wrong medication, for example.
Negligent inaction can be a bit more difficult to identify. This usually means that the physician either failed or forgot to do something. This could be a failure to recognize symptoms or a failure to inform you of the risks inherent to a treatment and obtain informed consent.
Whichever category your situation falls under, a medical malpractice lawyer from our firm will be able to investigate your case and determine if malpractice has occurred. From there, we’ll be able to help you determine what your next step should be.
The Elements of a Malpractice Case in Boca Raton
Even if you believe that you have a case for medical negligence in Boca Raton, your attorney will need to prove that all the elements of a successful medical malpractice claim are present.
The first element that will need to be proven is the existence of a doctor-patient relationship. Basically, you will have to show that you were seeing this doctor and that the doctor agreed to provide you with medical care.
The next element is that the doctor breached the duty of care he or she had to you. This means he or she must have failed to provide you with a standard of care appropriate to your medical situation. How will you know what standard care is? Other doctors will be able to evaluate the care you received and determine if it was poor in some way.
Next, it must be shown that your doctor’s error is what caused your injury. Your injury must be causally linked to the healthcare professional’s negligence, and not to some other factor. For example, was your infection due to your doctor’s failure to provide you with the correct medication, or did you obtain an infection because you are prone to infections?
Finally, you must be able to demonstrate that you suffered a real injury that resulted in actual damages. It’s not enough to claim an injury; you must have evidence that shows your financial and non-financial losses.
Types of Medical Malpractice Cases
Malpractice can occur in virtually any healthcare profession that requires professional registration. You can suffer harm due to the negligence of a doctor, nurse, surgeon, anesthesiologist, pharmacist, dentist, or even a physical therapist and be eligible to file a claim seeking financial compensation.
These are some of the more common forms of medical negligence that a Boca Raton medical malpractice lawyer from our firm will be able to help you with:
- Surgical Errors – When a doctor makes surgical mistakes, you can be seriously injured as a result. If those mistakes were due to the doctor’s negligence, you can file a medical injury case against the doctor. Collecting damages for surgical injuries is your right.
- Birth Injuries – If medical injuries occur during birth, both the baby’s and the mother’s health can be put in jeopardy. If you or your baby were harmed because of a medical practitioner’s carelessness, you deserve compensation.
- Dental Malpractice – Some dental procedures are very serious, and injury can occur. Not only could you lose teeth, but you can also have severe nerve damage and dangerous infections. In some cases, wrongful deaths have occurred.
- Misdiagnosis and Failure to Properly Diagnose – When a doctor fails to diagnose you or misdiagnoses you, your health can be seriously impacted. Tracing the negligence back to the doctor can be difficult, so hiring a medical malpractice attorney in Boca Raton will be helpful to your case.
- Prescription Errors and Drug Interactions – Many people have allergies to certain drugs. If your doctor fails to read your medical history and prescribes you the wrong drug or the wrong dosage, you could be seriously injured. Drug interactions can lead to high blood pressure, strokes, heart attacks, and more.
- Anesthesia Errors – Anesthesia errors can lead to serious injuries and wrongful death. If your loved one has died as a result of an anesthesiologist’s negligence, you can file a medical negligence claim so that this doesn’t happen to someone else.
Building a Case to Prove Medical Malpractice in Boca Raton
Possibly the most difficult part of a malpractice case is proving how the healthcare provider was at fault. Because it’s possible for a physician to do everything right and still have a patient decline, it’s necessary to collect as much evidence as possible to prove that this wasn’t the case. Doing so will strengthen your negotiating position and improve your odds for collecting a comprehensive settlement.
Not only will your Boca Raton medical malpractice lawyer collect all of the available evidence, but we’ll also enlist expert witnesses wherever necessary. If often takes another doctor or surgeon to fully explain how an error was made and what should have happened instead, making this a vital step in proving the medical negligence.
Take a look at some of the evidence your attorney will need to collect to secure you the most successful outcome possible for your case:
- Your medical history before and after the injury occurred
- Expert witness testimony from doctors in the field and others who might have witnessed your medical procedure
- Video and photographic evidence
- Records of the medical expenses this injury has caused you
- Your account of how your injury has affected your life
The stronger your case is, the more likely it is to settle during negotiations without court being necessary. This makes it essential to begin work on your claim as soon as possible after being hurt by medical misconduct in Boca Raton.
Collecting a Settlement for a Malpractice Injury or Illness
Whether your case can be resolved through negotiations or must go to trial, the settlement that you receive in the end should take into account all of your financial expenses and non-economic damages. What are economic and non-economic damages in Florida?
Economic damages are the financial losses you’ve suffered due to your injury. For example, if your injury has caused you to miss work for several months, you can calculate the pay you’re missing out on and add that loss to your injury claim.
Non-economic damages are the intangible effects of your injury—things like lingering fear of doctors, the loss of your mobility, or being unable to engage in activities you once enjoyed.
Unlike with personal injury claims, Florida capped the dollar amount that you could be awarded for non-economic damages in malpractice cases. These caps are $500,000 for an injury caused by a doctor or other physician and $750,000 for an injury caused by a non-practitioner.
Note that compensation for your financial losses is not capped in this way. Also note that a 2017 Florida Supreme Court decision called non-economic medical malpractice damage caps unconstitutional, so you may be eligible for more than what the caps suggest.
These are just a few examples of financial losses and quality-of-life damages that your Boca Raton medical malpractice lawyer will help you recover damages for:
- Medical Expenses – When medical care results in an injury that causes further medical bills, it just adds insult to the injury. Any current and future medical bills that result from the malpractice should be factored into your settlement.
- Lost Income – If your recovery cost you time at work or the malpractice caused a disability that will prevent you from working, you should be fully compensated for your lost income.
- Physical and Emotional Therapy – Suffering malpractice can be traumatizing both physically and emotionally and might require therapy to overcome.
- Pain and Suffering – Whether physical pain or mental anguish, what you’ve gone through needs to be accounted for.
- Disfigurement – If a botched surgery or medication side effect caused a permanent disfigurement, this can have a massively negative impact on your quality of life.
- Lost Enjoyment of Life – Your injury or illness might prevent you from engaging in activities and relationships that once gave your life meaning, and you should be fully compensated for this.
Boca Raton Medical Malpractice FAQ
Experiencing an injury due to medical negligence can leave you in a situation with a number of questions and concerns. We’ve answered a few of the more common questions here, but if you would like more information, please contact our office so you can speak with a medical malpractice lawyer that serves Boca Raton.
Is it malpractice when a surgical site gets infected?
Possibly, but it depends on what caused the infection. If non-sterile surgical tools were used or you weren’t given proper instructions on how to keep the site clean while it heals, then your situation might qualify as medical malpractice.
How soon do I have to file a claim for medical malpractice in Florida?
In Florida, there is a two-year statute of limitations for medical negligence claims. The clock starts ticking either from the date of the injury or the date that you discover the malpractice if there is a good reason for the delay.
Do I have grounds for a malpractice claim if I was hurt by a defective drug?
If the medication was correctly prescribed and dispensed but there was a problem with the drug itself, the drug manufacturer is more likely to be at fault than the healthcare provider. The physician or pharmacist would only be liable if they were aware of the problems with the drug but supplied it anyway.
Will I be required to attend court to obtain compensation?
Most of the time, you will not be required to attend court to get the compensation you need for your losses. Your attorney can negotiate with the negligent medical practitioner’s insurance company to obtain a comprehensive settlement. Should the insurer fail to compensate you fairly, your attorney can then fight for you in court.
What if I don’t have the money to pay for the services of a malpractice attorney?
Many people don’t file a malpractice claim because they believe they can’t afford an attorney, but you won’t need to worry about that. Your attorney from our office will work for a contingency fee. That means that you don’t pay for our services unless we win your case in negotiations or the courtroom.
Contact a Boca Raton Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Don’t let a doctor or physician avoid taking responsibility for an error that cost you your health. Find out how to hold them responsible by speaking with the Law Offices of Casey D. Shomo. We can help you get the settlement you are owed for the injuries and illness you have experienced due to medical neglect.
To find out what your next step should be, schedule a free consultation with an experienced Boca Raton medical malpractice lawyer. Just complete the contact form on this page or give us a call at 561-659-6366.