Medical Malpractice Lawyer Miami, FL
5 Common Examples of Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
If you’ve suffered because of medical malpractice, the right medical malpractice lawyer in Miami, Florida, can make a world of difference. An improperly executed medical procedure can land you in severe financial difficulties, swamping you with bills and frustrating you to no end—to say nothing of the potentially long-lasting health complications. You may find yourself dealing with expensive bills for procedures you didn’t even need, and struggling to recover from an operation you weren’t prepared for. You shouldn’t have to deal with a difficult recovery out of pocket. A medical malpractice suit can keep your financial obligations in check, and possibly prevent the same improper medical care from happening to anyone else.
Can I File a Medical Malpractice Claim?
You may be wondering if you can file a medical malpractice claim. It may seem obvious from your perspective that you suffered needlessly at the hands of an inexperienced or ill-prepared medical professional, but unfortunately, the process is more complicated that you’d think. A medical malpractice suit requires lots of planning before moving forward, and like any other kind of lawsuit, having a professional take a look at your case can give you an idea of how best you can proceed. Before you file a medical malpractice claim, you need to ensure your case satisfies a few key requirements. Importantly, you need to be able to prove negligence, and injury.
- Negligence: Negligence is a key component to any medical malpractice suit. If you suffered because of a healthcare professional’s negligence, you have to prove it. This means you need to have solid evidence that your healthcare provider acted negligently or unreasonably during the course of your care – which is difficult for any one person to prove by themselves. It’s oftentimes a good idea to get the assistance of another medical professional to prove there was negligence involved in your case, and – of course – a medical malpractice lawyer in Miami that can put you in touch with the right people.
- Injury: It may seem almost offensive that you’d have to prove you suffered an injury over the course of your medical care, but it’s a necessary requirement. Think of it this way: If you were injured during a surgery, who can prove that the injury wasn’t part of the procedure? Once again, it pays to contact another medical professional who can weigh in on your case, as well as a medical malpractice lawyer who can walk you through your next steps.
A medical malpractice case can award you the compensation you need to move on from your botched medical procedure or improper medical care. While the payout can help you with any looming debts accrued over the course of your medical care, it’s not easy to win by yourself. The right lawyer can show you how to navigate the ins and outs of your medical malpractice case, and can keep you informed about how best to proceed. Contact Needle & Ellenberg, P.A., and see how a medical malpractice lawyer in Miami, FL can help you get the justice and financial compensation you deserve.
A medical malpractice lawyer Miami Florida offers from the law firm of Needle & Ellenberg, P.A. may be able to help you get justice after sustaining a serious injury. If a settlement is not possible, one of our attorneys can represent you in a lawsuit against the guilty party. Call us today to discuss your case with one of our knowledgeable lawyers.
Medical malpractice lawsuits are lawsuits based on acts of negligence within the medical field. A patient who has suffered damages from a breach of duty by a physician or other medical professional might consider consulting a personal injury lawyer about pursuing compensation. A Miami medical malpractice lawyer from our firm can review your case and offer guidance for moving forward. Here are five common examples of medical malpractice lawsuits:
1. Failure to Diagnose
If a physician fails to report information that would be medically beneficial to a patient, and this withholding of information caused the patient significant damages, a medical malpractice lawyer Miami FL victims turn to can take this to court.
-The victim can pursue compensation from the physician who failed to report critical information due to clinical oversight or their lack of skill.
-Negligence can be determined not only when a doctor’s actions are unreasonable or unethical, but also when a doctor’s skill level is below that of what is expected of a reasonably qualified physician.
This kind of medical malpractice lawsuit can occur when a physician prescribes the wrong medication or the wrong dosage.
-Prescribing the wrong dosage is the more common issue, but serious problems also arise if a doctor prescribes a medication to which the patient has a known allergy.
-Further, prescribing the wrong medication can seriously set back recovery time.
When dosage is the problem, a doctor may have written incorrect instructions which can cause the patient serious damages.
-The medication could have been properly prescribed but been administered in the incorrect dosage by nurses and staff. In this scenario, the supporting staff member might be held accountable. A medical malpractice lawyer Miami FL patients rely on can review your case and make that determination.
Medical malpractice claims can also arise from errors/negligence committed by a physician who harms a mother and/or the child during pregnancy or childbirth. Negligence can occur by the physician in any number of ways, including:
-During a C-section procedure.
-Injury to the infant during labor.
4. Errors by an Anesthesiologist
The medical field known as anesthesiology is particularly susceptible to malpractice claims. This is because an anesthesiologist must be very precise in their administering of anesthesia.
-If the anesthesiologist commits any error, it could lead to brain damage or death.
-The anesthesiologist may be negligent by failing to inform the patient of critical information (for example, failing to tell them not to eat before surgery).
-Failure to understand or investigate complications that arise during the surgery.
-Failure to monitor the patient’s vital signs during the surgery and take appropriate actions.
5. Errors during Surgery
The potential errors on the part of the surgeon during surgery are numerous. A medical malpractice lawyer in Miami FL from our firm is familiar with these common surgical mistakes:
-Puncture of an internal organ.
-Forgotten surgical instruments in the patient’s body.
-Operation on the wrong body part.
-Sub-standard post-operative care.
-Unsanitary conditions leading to surgical site infection. Not all surgical site infections arise due to negligence and a medical malpractice lawyer Miami FL families recommend can help determine how it occurred.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer on My Side?
It is crucial to have an experienced medical malpractice lawyer on your side so that you can have the best chance at getting compensation for your injuries. A good medical malpractice lawyer, like those at Needle & Ellenberg, will know all of the different damages that you can file for in a case like this. He or she will not only understand that there are many extensive medical bills that will be associated with medical malpractice, but a lawyer will also think about things like what your future at work looks like, whether you have any lifelong injuries or scars that you will have to live with, and even how to punish the at fault party so that this will not happen to anyone else in the future. It is your duty to look out for others to make sure that the medical professionals who harmed you are more careful from here on out.
Is a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Expensive?
The good news is that retaining legal representation for a medical malpractice case is affordable. Not only do most lawyers in the personal injury realm offer free initial consultations, but our medical malpractice lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means that we do not collect payment unless we win your case. We will agree upon a certain percentage of winnings that we will collect if we win before taking you on as a client. It is almost always worth having a lawyer on your side, as we typically get much more in damages than you would on your own without anyone experienced in this field. Your lawyer will know what kind of damages to file for, how much a judge – or even an insurance settlement – would find fair, and what kind of arguments are the strongest to use in court. A lawyer will also know what kind of evidence you will need and how to show this to a judge. Do not wait to reach out to get help from a lawyer, though. There is a statute of limitations in every state for filing a personal injury claim. If you miss this, you will be unable to claim anything from your case.
If you or a loved one was injured due to medical negligence or carelessness, contact a medical malpractice lawyer Miami FL community members turn to from Needle & Ellenberg for help.
5 Things To Know Before Choosing a Medical Malpractice Lawyer
When you are choosing an attorney for your case, ask these key questions to help your decision.
1. What Is the Lawyer’s Experience?
It is important that your medical malpractice lawyer in Miami, FL, has previous and ongoing experience representing individual plaintiffs (rather than doctors and insurance companies). The complex nature of medical malpractice law requires that lawyers understand the laws well and stay up to date on changes to effectively represent their clients.
2. What Is the Lawyer’s Track Record?
You should choose a medical malpractice lawyer in Miami, FL, who has a history of success. Specifically, you should know:
- How many cases has the lawyer had in medical malpractice?
- What is the lawyer’s success rate?
- Do the lawyer’s medical malpractice cases typically go to trial?
- What types of medical malpractice cases is the lawyer most experienced with?
- When was the last case the lawyer won and what was the settlement?
- What is a typical settlement the lawyer has won from cases of your type?
3. Does the Lawyer Have a Network of Professional Witnesses?
Having a strong professional witness for your case can have a favorable effect on your outcome. For this reason, most experienced medical malpractice law firms use at least one professional witness in their cases and have an established network of medical professionals to call upon when they need a professional witness.
4. What Is the Lawyer’s Fee Structure?
It is common for law firms, such as Needle & Ellenburg, P.A., not to require fees or payment upon accepting your case. They can take on the costs of trial appearances, research, filings and hiring professional witnesses.
The law firm can recover fees from the settlement if one is awarded. In the case there is no settlement, there is typically no cost to the client. This is known as charging on a “contingency fee” structure.
Make sure that you understand how fees are paid to the law firm that you would like to hire, especially if it does not follow a contingency fee structure. In the case of a noncontingency fee structure, you could find yourself having to pay for representation regardless of the settlement amount, or even if a settlement is not awarded.
5. How Is the Lawyer Described by Past Clients?
Clients of Needle & Ellenburg, P.A. describe the lawyers as knowledgeable, experienced and compassionate. They appreciated these traits during their representation.
Many cases cannot be settled outside of court. Because of this, clients often find that having an experienced lawyer who also understands their situation and supports them throughout the trial is invaluable.
What Questions Should You Ask a Malpractice Lawyer?
Deciding to have surgery is often met with fear and anxiety. You meet with the surgeon, complete preliminary testing, and work up the nerve to proceed with the operation. You and your loved ones prepare for the big day, hoping that the surgeon will accomplish the desired results. But when you woke up from anesthesia, you discovered that something went wrong, leaving you with unbearable pain and complications resulting in additional days off work and time away from living your life.
You return home to recover, and after days and weeks spent in agony, you decide to hire a medical malpractice lawyer in Miami FL to discuss your options and assess your case. Before consulting with the attorney, you should be aware of what questions to ask to fully understand the road ahead. Here are five questions you should have written down before meeting with your attorney.
Do You Have Experience with Medical Law?
An attorney should be fully aware of the laws pertaining to your case, and they should also be willing to take the time and explain the law so that you have complete clarity before moving ahead.
How Long Have You Practiced Medical Malpractice?
A medical malpractice lawyer in Miami FL should have the experience necessary to assess the details of your case and avoid any loopholes that could rule in favor of the defendant. The lawyers at Needle & Ellenburg, P.A. have been in practice for a combined total of 50 years with ample experience with medical malpractice cases.
What Facts Could Make or Break Your Case?
A qualified attorney at Needle & Ellenburg, P.A. will outline the details of your case so that you understand factors that could positively and negatively impact the outcome of your case.
Who Should You Contact Throughout the Process of the Case?
You should secure the name and contact information of someone at the firm should you have any questions or receive additional information you would like to provide regarding your case.
What Are the Statutes of Limitations?
The statute of limitations for medical malpractice in Florida is two years from the time of the incident. If you are nearing the limits of this two-year timeframe, ask the attorney if there is enough time to try the case before the deadline. If you have been injured due to a medical or surgical procedure, contact a medical malpractice lawyer in Miami FL at the law offices of Needle & Ellenburg, P.A.
What Does Florida Law Say About Malpractice Suits?
Florida’s statute of limitations regarding medical malpractice, according to Florida Statutes section 95.11(4)(b) says that the victim or the victim’s family must file a medical malpractice lawsuit within two years after the medical error that’s being alleged was discovered. The law also states— “or, after you should have discovered it after due diligence”. There is an outside deadline of four years from the date of the alleged medical malpractice, too, which is four years from the date of the alleged medical malpractice regardless of when it was actually discovered. There are exceptions to this four-year rule, such as fraud and cases that involve extremely young children. The two-year deadline can be extended as per certain circumstances.
When Might the Statutes be Extended?
The statute of limitations, which is two years in Florida for medical malpractice may be extended if the medical provider prevented you from discovering the medical error through: fraud, concealment of the error, or intentional misinterpretation of the facts. The statute of limitations will be extended from the time you finally learn about the injury or at the very latest, seven years after the incident happened.
When a medical malpractice case is alleged and it involves a young child, this case may be filed after the expiration of either the four-year deadline or of the seven-year deadline (in cases of fraud), as long as it is filed prior to the child’s eighth birthday.
The deadline may also be extended to allow you and your legal team to conduct an investigation. When you file a lawsuit alleging medical malpractice, your lawyer has to attach a certificate to the claim that swears that they have conducted a reasonable investigation into the case you’re alleging. This is a “good-faith belief” that there are grounds for medical malpractice, and if you need more time for this step then your lawyer may file for a petition to get the automatic 90-day extension of the statute of limitations as long as the deadline has not already passed.
Once your lawyer has conducted their investigation, Florida law requires that the defendants of your case receive a notice that you are intending to sue them for medical malpractice. This notice sets off the 90-day period for the defendant to evaluate and respond to the claim. In fact, you cannot continue with filing your lawsuit until that 90-day period is up.
Working with a lawyer will assure that you follow Florida laws correctly when filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against a physician of any kind. The lawyer will make the stress of it lesser, and they’ll be able to walk you through everything with an experienced eye. You won’t need to worry about doing something wrong with the right lawyer at your side. Medical malpractice is serious, and sometimes ends in death, and most medical malpractice lawyers realize they’ll be working with families who are grieving in some way after a medical error has happened.
How Much Will My Medical Malpractice Award Be?
If you’re anticipating a medical malpractice award, you may be wondering how much you should expect to receive. As a Miami FL medical malpractice lawyer Miami FL can explain, your final award will be influenced by a number of factors.
The Extent of the Injuries You Suffered
Obviously, the major driver in your malpractice award is the extent of your injuries due to malpractice. Both your Miami FL medical malpractice lawyer and the physician’s insurance company attorneys are estimating the size of this award at each stage of the negotiation process. This might seem like it should be the only factor in your award, but unfortunately many other factors play a role.
The Certainty of a Win in Court
While most malpractice cases are settled before they get to court, the ultimate prospect of a jury trial is what drives the award process. The negotiation process is highly influenced by how certain both sides feel about their chances if the case goes to court. Some cases are well attested with a number of impartial witnesses. Some conduct by medical professionals is more egregious than others. And some cases have more “jury appeal” than others. While some of these factors may feel unfair, they do unavoidably influence the situation.
Your Ability to Hold Out Against a Quick Settlement
In a malpractice case, time is often on the side of the injured party. Initial offers before a suit is filed are often much less generous than offers once a suit has moved forward. Remember that a suit can be settled at any time prior to a jury reaching a verdict, but the more serious you and your medical malpractice lawyer in Miami FL are about moving forward if needed, the more the medical provider’s insurance company will typically be willing to offer.
Fees and Expenses Affect Your Net Amount
There are many different amounts to consider when understanding the value of a jury award or settlement. While a jury award will often include attorney’s fees and/or expenses, these fees will naturally go to the law firm. Expenses incurred in bringing the case, such as paying expert witnesses to testify, are often paid by the plaintiff’s attorney and these amounts come out of the award as well. If an attorney’s fee is paid on a contingency basis, as it often is, remember that expenses reduce the gross amount of the award before the percentage is applied.
It can certainly be nerve-wracking trying to understand how much to expect in a medical malpractice award, especially when the money is often intended to replace lost income. You need an experienced medical malpractice attorney Miami FL clients recommend from Needle & Ellenberg, P.A. to give yourself the best chance for a maximum net award.
Do State Licensing Boards Prevent Dangerous Doctors from Practicing?
When we go to the doctor, we expect that the state’s licensing board has done due diligence and the person we put our trust in to treat us or our loved ones is qualified to practice medicine. But as a Miami FL medical malpractice lawyer can explain, investigations show that many physicians who lose their license just pack up their medical bags, move to another state, and continue to see patients.
And not only are these doctors still practicing medicine, they are also collecting millions of dollars in Medicare payments – this despite Medicare receiving notification of the original medical license suspensions. In one year, almost $7 million was paid to doctors who had suspended medical licenses in other states.
One investigation highlighted an example regarding a surgeon who lost his license to practice in one state after he was found guilty of “gross malpractice or gross negligence.” The doctor had performed surgery on a 36-year-old female patient suffering from acid reflux and an inflamed esophagus.
According to the original complaint, the surgery he performed was “not an accepted anti-reflux operation” and the doctor had been “struggling during the surgery, which was reportedly accompanied by copious bleeding.” The day following the surgery, the patient spiked a high temperature and her white-blood cell level increased, both signs of a possible infection. The patient also had an elevated heart rate. The doctor dismissed the blood test results as a lab error and failed to order a new test. He also ignored the abnormal heart rate. Instead, he sent the patient home, where she was found dead the next day.
The doctor tried to blame the patient’s death from an overdose of painkillers he had prescribed. The state licensing board disagreed and suspended his license. Among the long list of violations included “conduct which is dishonorable and which shows a disposition to lie, cheat and fraud.” Shortly thereafter, another state where the surgeon also was licensed, suspended his license to practice there, based on what the first state had uncovered.
A third state, however, only required the doctor to get 20 hours of continuing education. He continued to treat patients – most, if not all, unaware of his dangerous past.
Some Medical Malpractice Stats
Medical malpractice is a major cause of personal injury and wrongful death in the United States. Johns Hopkins Hospital says that medical malpractice ranks as the third leading cause of death which is just behind heart disease and cancer. Neurosurgeon and OB/GYN’s face a higher risk of medical malpractice lawsuits than any other specialty and this is because of the severity of their treatments where a negative outcome may have catastrophic consequences.
What type of medical malpractice happens the most?
Retained foreign objects such as surgical tools and items that are left inside of a pager after surgery is the most common form of medical malpractice.in fact, Midwestern was left behind include noodles, scalpels, clamps, scissors, electrical equipment, knives and blades as well as other objects. Retained foreign objects are such an issue because they can cause long-term issues down the road that may not be caught for a few years. Furthermore other types of medical malpractice that happens commonly are surgery on the incorrect body parts, birth injuries, strokes, medication errors, errors with anesthesia and misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose.
Examples of Real Medical Malpractice Cases
So before we dive into examples of real medical malpractice cases we should consider that the first documented medical malpractice lawsuit occurred in 1164. Medical malpractice lawsuits seem like they are fairly recent but they have been an established form of litigation throughout history. The earliest recorded case of medical malpractice litigation happened in England, the case of Everard and Hoskins. A servant and his master collected damage from a physician for practicing unwholesome medicine.
However the first true medical malpractice case was Stratton v Swanlond. In 1374 this case happened and is considered to be the first true medical malpractice lawsuit which established the foundation for breach of care. Agnes of Stratton and her husband sought damages from a surgeon for breach of contract. Agnes underwent a surgery on her severely deformed hand in assessing guaranteed he could fully repair and afterwards the hand remained mangled.
However the first medical malpractice case in the United States did not occur until 1794. The suit alleges that a doctor promised to perform an operation on his wife in a skillful manner that was safe to do so and the wife died on the operating table. The plaintiff who won the case received an award of 50 English pounds.
Of course the United States of America has seen some large medical malpractice cases. In 2006 there was a medical malpractice suit in Florida and it was considered the largest settlement in recent history. Alla Navarro received $216.7 million after he was left brain damaged and confined to a wheelchair after a misdiagnosis of stroke symptoms. Essentially he went into the ER in 2000 and its symptoms are indicative of a stroke and he had a history of strokes in his family. The doctors diagnosed him with sinusitis and sent him home.
When You Need an Experienced Miami FL Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against a doctor, hospital, or other medical facility can be overwhelming and even a bit intimidating. This is why having a skilled and seasoned medical malpractice lawyer Miami FL clients recommend from Needle & Ellenberg, P.A. representing you can make all the difference. We will work diligently to get you the compensation you may be entitled to.
Your Miami FL medical malpractice lawyer will aggressively advocate for you in obtaining funds for medical expenses, loss of wages, pain and suffering, and emotional anguish. If you have been left with permanent disabilities, you could be entitled to compensation for that, as well as the loss of the ability to enjoy daily activities.
Call our office today to set up a free and confidential consultation with a member of our legal team and let us help get you the financial justice you deserve.
Medical Malpractice and Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is for life, and if your child is showing the signs, it may warrant contacting a medical malpractice lawyer in Miami, Florida. At Needle & Ellenberg, P.A., we know that your child’s health is the most important thing in the world to you, and any action that has compromised the health and wellbeing of your children should be thoroughly investigated.
But what causes cerebral palsy, and how can a lawyer from our office help? You may feel completely overwhelmed, but it’s important to think rationally about the situation before filing a lawsuit. Read on to learn more about cerebral palsy, and understand what an experienced lawyer can do for you and your child.
What is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy is a lifelong disability caused by a brain injury. Specifically, it’s a lifelong motor coordination problem that’s caused by a brain injury at birth, typically as a result of a lack of oxygen. When an individual is afflicted with cerebral palsy, their coordination, voluntary, and involuntary muscle movements are spastic and and seriously affected. And because of the nature of the condition, it lasts for life.
Cerebral palsy can cause stiffness or spasms in the extremities, and it can also cause seizures and mental retardation. While cerebral palsy is actually an umbrella term for several different subtypes of similar disabilities with the same root causes, all forms of cerebral palsy can cause lifelong challenges.
What if My Baby is Showing the Signs?
Cerebral palsy is hard to spot in early childhood development. It’s typically diagnosed after your child turns two or three because it takes a long time for a medical professional to see whether or not your child is exhibiting the symptoms. Cerebral Palsy is caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain during childbirth, and is a serious risk for premature babies as well.
However, if your child begins to show the signs of cerebral palsy, it means it’s time to investigate your medical history, particularly labor and childbirth. Additionally, it may be time to get in touch with a medical malpractice lawyer in Miami, FL. It’s imperative that you get all the information available regarding your child’s delivery in case you decide to file a lawsuit.
Should I File a Lawsuit if My Child has Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral Palsy is a lifelong disability and it can cost you millions of dollars to ensure the best life possible for your child. While it’s possible for those with cerebral palsy to attain some semblance of normalcy in their lives, in more severe cases, it’s sadly impossible, and lifelong care will be required.
If your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, you may want to file a lawsuit against the hospital staff that assisted you with your delivery. Their negligence and incompetence may have been responsible for your child’s cerebral palsy, and you shouldn’t have to pay out of pocket for the care your child will need throughout his or her lifetime.
You and your child deserve the best life possible. If negligent medical professionals caused your child’s cerebral palsy, it’s completely unforgivable. Reach out to Needle & Ellenberg, P.A. today, and see how a medical malpractice lawyer in Miami, FL can help you and your child get the future you both deserve.
Medical malpractice cases are very complex and rely on a lot of facts and details, but if you are able to prove that the majority of your injury or disability was caused by a medical provider’s negligence, you can reach out to a medical malpractice lawyer in Miami, FL such as the ones available at Needle & Ellenberg to discuss your options for a case filing. In Florida, you are required to prove that the weight of the evidence points to the medical provider’s actions being inadequate as per the standard of care, and this rule is found in Florida Statute 766.102.
But what is the standard of care?
The standard of care is a term used in the medical field that describes how the provider that is treating you have to take care of you, the skill with which they must be equipped and used, and the treatment that is recognized by others in the field as being standard and acceptable in the conditions provided. The doctor or hospital must act up to standard of care and if they do not, then you can pursue a claim. If the doctor and hospital are found to have stayed true to the standard of care and experts agree with this on trial, then there is no case because your injury was most likely unavoidable.
How do you prove that your doctor is at fault for your injury or accident?
When you have to prove that somebody in the medical field did not live up to the standard of care that is expected of medical providers in their field, you have to be able to find somebody who will come forth as an expert witness in the same specialty. This person is going to testify that whatever your doctor did was negligent. So if you have a heart doctor or a brain surgeon, you will need an expert in the exact same field as them, and they will work with your medical malpractice lawyer in Miami, FL, to ensure that the expert understands what they are going to do. Essentially, the expert gets on the stand and tells the court what they would’ve done and what is considered the standard care practice for whatever they were treating.
Can the expert I use my case be any doctor? What are the requirements for medical malpractice or negligence witnesses and what is required for a doctor to be a medical malpractice expert witness?
When it comes to serving as an expert witness in a medical malpractice or negligence case, the doctor that you are considering has to specialize in the same specialty as the provider they are looking at from a professional point of view. So again, this means that if you were injured by a cardiologist, only a cardiologist can serve as an expert witness and testify for you on the stand. Your expert witness must have spent professional time during the last three years devoted to active clinical practice, consulting in the same specialty is the one they’re talking about, teaching student of an accredited health professional school or residency program, or in a clinical research program that is heavily tied to their specialty that they are talking about on the stand.
All of those are requirements because you need to make sure this expert is an actively practicing person in this field, otherwise they might be unaware of changes to the standard of care in their field.