Medical Mistakes Happen, Let Us Help You
Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Boca Raton
We've Recovered Tens of Millions for Our Clients
Injuries resulting from a medical professional’s mistake are often shocking and devastating for the patients. In addition to the injuries you or your loved one may have suffered, the emotional distress of feeling betrayed by an institution you trusted can make it difficult to ever place your faith in a doctor again. Our Boca Raton medical malpractice attorneys help our clients fight for the compensation they are owed and can refer you to reputable medical professionals in Florida so you can receive the quality care you deserve.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is the failure of a doctor or other medical professional to provide a patient with a diligent standard of care. In other words, if you or a loved one were injured or killed because of a doctor’s mistake, they are most likely guilty of malpractice. A doctor has a duty to uphold a certain standard of care, and failing in that duty, even if without malicious intent, can result in serious consequences. Pursuing these cases is important not only for your financial wellbeing but also to ensure that all medical professionals remain diligent and take measures to ensure these mistakes do not repeat themselves.
Some common examples of medical malpractice include:
Is Medical Malpractice the Same Thing as Medical Negligence?
Both medical negligence and medical malpractice require a lack of duty of care. In the medical world, duty of care is the standard of care a skilled and prudent medical provider in the same position with the same knowledge would do in a given circumstance. This is often why medical experts are asked to give testimony in medical malpractice and negligence suits. They are able to explain what a “skilled and prudent” medical provider would have done in a specific circumstance, they can establish whether or not duty of care was breached.
Medical negligence is a type of medical malpractice, there is however a subtle but important difference. Medical malpractice requires a breach of duty of care and “intent.” This doesn’t necessarily mean the intent to harm but rather the knowledge that their action or lack of action poses an abnormally high risk to the patient. Here’s an example of malpractice and negligence: if a sponge is left inside a surgical wound on accident it is negligence if a medical provider knew that the sponge was there and closed the wound anyway it is malpractice.
Both medical malpractice and negligence suits require a thorough investigation and knowledge of the specific state rules governing these lawsuits.
Proving Medical Malpractice
Each state has different rules governing medical malpractice lawsuits. In Florida, the statute of limitations on medical malpractice cases is four years, with two exceptions. The first exception is a case started on or before an injured child’s eighth birthday. In this scenario, the statute of limitations does not apply. The second exception is if your injury was not discovered right away because a medical provider intentionally deceived you about the injury. In this case, you have two years from the date you discovered the injury
Each state does have the same general requirements for a malpractice suit, with some exceptions. These requirements are proof of:
What Damages Are Available in Medical Malpractice Cases?
Damages are the types of compensation available in a given personal injury case. In Florida, there are three different types of damages available in medical malpractice cases, economic, non-economic, and punitive. Economic damages compensate for the quantifiable expenses incurred as a result of an injury such as medical bills and time off work. Economic damages are usually very specific.
Non-economic damages, sometimes called general damages, compensates for more abstract suffering such as loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering or loss of future earning potential. Unlike other damages, the purpose of punitive damages is to punish the negligent party. These damages are not awarded often and usually have more rules placed on them.
The challenge of litigating a successful medical malpractice case is demonstrating to the court that a doctor made a mistake that another medical professional wouldn’t have made. It is almost impossible to do this without testimony from another medical professional. At Somera & Silva, LLP, we have a physician on staff and our co-founding attorney is a licensed medical doctor. We can analyze your case and help you determine whether or not malpractice has occurred. Additionally, we can secure expert witness testimony to back up your claim in court.