Medical Malpractice Lawyer Orlando
After you’ve been injured by a healthcare professional, retaining a medical malpractice lawyer in Orlando from Needle & Ellenberg, P.A. who is trusted by this community is very important. If you believe malpractice has occurred, there is no time to waste. These types of personal injury claims have statute of limitations to file a claim. If you miss this deadline, your case could be dismissed by the court. For an immediate consultation with a medical malpractice lawyer, call our law office now.
We know that nearly 250,000 people die from medical errors every year, according to Johns Hopkins University. Other studies estimate it could be as high as 440,000. This does account for the hundreds of thousands of people who suffer injury from an avoidable medical mistake.
Our firm strongly believes that the safety and wellbeing of every American should come first. When negligent medical care happens, and leads to harm, permanent injury, or death, patients and consumers deserve full access to a legal system that serves their benefits and needs. Our medical malpractice lawyers are ready to give victims legal advocacy and guidance when they need it most. For an immediate consultation with a lawyer, call Law Offices of Needle & Ellenberg, P.A.
How Is Medical Malpractice Proven in Florida?
Because medical malpractice cases are complex, you need to have a lawyer who will sit down and find the facts in your case—they’ll speak to you in detail, hoping to obtain your side of the story, and a timeline of events. If medical malpractice has ended in death, then the lawyer will speak to the decedent’s family members about their case. Once they have your (or your family’s) timeline and view of events, the lawyer will then launch into your or your loved one’s medical files.
Malpractice must be shown through the medical charts, otherwise it’s just a “he-said, she-said” argument between the plaintiff and defendant, and you get nothing but arguing in court—no settlement or closure. By proving that medical malpractice was in the charts, you avoid arguments.
However, your lawyer may have a lot of red tape to go around with you to get your medical records. There’s a lot of pros, cons, pitfalls and even other hurdles that can slow you down and get you into trouble if the process isn’t done correctly. So when having your lawyer work to get your medical records, make sure that you’ve done your part in allowing them access, so that nobody gets in trouble.
After you have obtained your medical records with your lawyer, and your lawyer has looked them over, the next step is to find a qualified medical expert—who is qualified in Florida—to do an independent review of the medical records. This expert has to share the specialty as the defendant, so if your defendant is an emergency room doctor, then the specialist must work as an emergency room doctor too. Otherwise, they’re a specialist but not relevant to the trial case.
The two key questions your medical specialist will need to determine: first is, did the victim receive care that deviated from the national standard for care; the second is a bit more difficult to determine, and that is whether the care caused the injuries.
It doesn’t matter if a doctor provided care that deviated from standards, if nobody was injured—or if that deviation did not cause the injury or death. If the medical expert you’ve brought on can determine that there was a deviation in standard of care and that the injury or death would have been avoided, there’s a case. There’s a 90-day period where the health care provider may conduct their own “good faith” investigation to determine if any deviations occurred. After those 90 days, the health care provider can offer money to settle the case, deny the claim, or do nothing in regards to the claim.
At this point, your lawyer will legally file the lawsuit—if there’s one to be made. Be aware that there is a statute of limitations of filing personal injury cases in Florida—of four years. For medical malpractice, that is only two years. If you do not act before the statute is up, you cannot recover the damages you lost.
A Malpractice Suit Isn’t Your Typical Injury Case. Here’s Why
Victims of car crashes and workplace injuries often choose to pursue compensation on there own terms. While this is not the case for everyone, there are people who take on the task of battling insurance adjusters and liable parties without the aid of an attorney. Medical Malpractice lawsuits are different though. If you have suffered an injury while under the care of a physican, you may have a valid malpractice claim. However, unlike other forms of injury it is totally unwise to proceed without consulting a medical malpractice lawyer in Orlando.
Burden of Proof
Needle & Ellenburg, P.A. has decades of experience representing clients who have suffered injuries due to the negligence of others. They’d likely advise you that Medical Malpractice claims are harder to prove than your typical WC or slip and fall case. Take car accidents for example. In a car crash, there only needs to be proof that the victim was injured due to the at-fault party’s failure to adhere to traffic laws. Similarly, if one was to slip and fall on a wet floor without a wet floor sign, liability is pretty easy to establish.
On the other hand, Medical Malpractice lawsuits carry a much higher burden of proof. It is imperative that you work with a medical malpractice lawyer in Orlando because they understand the system and what must be proven. Malpractice lawsuits will typically require research and the testimony of a medical expert. It can bevery difficult to arrange something of this sort on your own.
A Lawyer Can Help You Meet The Burden of Proof
From your perspective, your doctor may be clearly liable. Needle & Ellenburg, P.A. will take your word every step of the way, while understanding that your case must be proven to the court. More importantly, it must be proven while the opposing side does everything in its power to discredit your case. There are 5 criteria that must be met in order to prove a malpractice claim:
- Duty to Patient
- Breach of Duty
- Violation of Standards
Needle & Ellenburg, P.A. have the knowledge and experience to make a strong case on your behalf. It can be incredibly difficult for someone to argue that a care provider has violated the accepted standard of care without some outside help. Not only will a good attorney know the law, they’ll also know how to find the right voices to validate your claims.
FAQs About Wrongful Death in Medical Malpractice Cases
Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death?
If your loved one has died, you may decide to sue the doctors who were treating her. Sometimes. that’s a reasonable course of action to take. The only problem? You’re her niece. Only immediate family members can bring wrongful death claims: spouses, children, and parents of the deceased.
Are Wrongful Death Payments Taxable or Garnishable?
Wrongful death payments are not considered income and, as such, are not taxable. However, they could be subject to garnishment, both for medical costs incurred while your loved one was still alive and for child support. A medical malpractice lawyer in Orlando from Needle & Ellenburg, P.A. can advise you on what garnishment may look like for you.
How Do You File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
The first thing to do is have an initial consultation with an attorney who is well-versed in wrongful death and medical malpractice cases. Your lawyer will draw up papers for you to sign, which they’ll take to the doctor’s insurance company to open negotiations on a settlement. Don’t worry, though. Your medical malpractice lawyer in Orlando won’t let you settle for less than you deserve.
Is Wrongful Death a Criminal Matter?
Wrongful death is generally a civil matter. Trials in civil court have one major benefit over criminal court proceedings: when it comes to the burden of proof. In a criminal trial, the jury must find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In civil cases, the jury finds the defendant liable by a preponderance of the evidence. If a juror is more than 50% sure that the death occurred because of medical malpractice, they cast their vote for liability.
What Does “Loss of Consortium” Mean?
You may have heard the term “loss of consortium” bandied about. It refers to the effect of the loss of one spouse on the other and includes things such as loss of companionship, loss of sex or loss of the ability to have children.
Can You Sue for a Wrongful Death in Hospice Care?
Patients are in hospice care because they’re dealing with a terminal illness. That being said, a hospice worker can do something that brought about your loved one’s death more quickly than if nature had run its course. Your medical malpractice lawyer in Orlando from Needle & Ellenburg, P.A. can help you file one of these claims.
What’s a “Survival Action”?
A survival action is a claim that goes along with wrongful deaths where your loved one didn’t die immediately from the injury that ultimately took his or her life. It allows you to collect economic damages such as medical bills and lost wages and non-economic damages including pain and suffering.
Let Us Help You Understand Your Rights
In Florida, medical professionals such as doctors, nurses, assistants, technicians, and other staff are required to follow the medical standards of care. This includes providing treatment in such a way that a similarly licensed professional would do in a similar situation. When these standards and practices are not followed, it may be considered medical malpractice. Examples of medical malpractice includes:
- Delay or failure in diagnosing a medical condition, illness, or disease
- Making a surgical mistake during an operation
- Administering the wrong amount of anesthesia
- Failure to gain consent of the patient
- Failing to provide proper treatment
- Misusing a medical device
- Misusing a prescription
- Amputation of the wrong limb
- Birth injury
If any of the above happened to you or someone you love, you could have the right to pursue compensation for medical malpractice. It is very important to consult a lawyer as soon as possible to avoid any possible setbacks or loss of evidence.
Let Us Help You with Your Case
In medical malpractice cases, you will need to demonstrate:
- There was a patient-doctor relationship;
- The medical professional failed to act reasonably, and in a manner that a professional in the same field would have done in similar circumstances; and,
- You were injured because of the careless act.
A result that you are not satisfied with is generally not enough to file a medical malpractice claim. If you’re unsure about whether or not you have a claim, the best decision you can make is to ask a medical malpractice lawyer during a confidential consultation. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Why Choose Us
Medical malpractice is a complex legal matter that involves a multitude of state and federal legislation that is frequently amended. It is highly recommended to choose a lawyer who has experience in handling these types of claims, and who also understands the basics of healthcare. There are many benefits to choosing a lawyer from our law office, such as:
- We have a combined experience of over 50 years
- Our firm has recovered millions of dollars in damages
- You can count on us for honesty and due diligence
- We are well versed in the most up to date medical malpractice legislation.
- We have built a solid reputation backed by 100s of successful recoveries
- Our lawyers are smart, clever, and strategic
- We will go to trial
- We have a network of expert witnesses to call upon including doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals.
- We know how to navigate through the many hurdles that often arises in these claims
- We have the financial resources to build a strong defense
- We’re not afraid of insurance companies
- We don’t settle for less than maximum compensation
To talk with a medical malpractice lawyer who serves Orlando, please call us today for a free case review.
What kind of damages can a medical malpractice victim recover?
Our medical malpractice lawyer can help you recover your damages if you were significantly injured by a negligent healthcare professional. The laws surrounding medical malpractice are complex because incidents must meet a number of criteria to be eligible for compensation. A medical malpractice lawyer from Needle & Ellenberg can meet with you to determine if your case warrants compensation from the provider who injured you. Those which meet the standards may be entitled to a significant settlement, depending on the nature and severity of the injury that the patient suffered.
What are compensatory and punitive damages?
When a patient is eligible for recovering their damages with the help of a medical malpractice lawyer, the compensation they seek may fall into one or both of the following categories:
- Compensatory damages. This concerns financial losses. For example, the cost of medical care to treat the injury caused by the healthcare provider. During their recovery time, any income the patient is unable to earn can also be included in this category. Non-economic damages can also be considered. For instance, the permanent loss of bodily function such as eyesight or walking. Physical pain and psychological suffering are also recoverable damages.
Our medical malpractice lawyer will review all past, present, and future losses suffered by the patient in relation to the injury. We are very good at identifying damages that the victim might not recognize as recoverable. As a result, they may be eligible for a far larger settlement than they may realize.
- Punitive damages. This category of recoverable damages is much less common than compensatory damages. It is reserved for instances when the healthcare provider acted in a particularly egregious and willful way. Punitive damages are usually assessed in addition to compensatory damages when they are applicable.
What are examples of medical malpractice?
Some occasions of medical malpractice are more common than others, as our medical malpractice lawyer might tell you. Here are some of the most common examples:
- A healthcare provider’s failure to diagnose the patient’s condition or they provided a misdiagnosis.
- A healthcare provider performed the wrong type of surgery, or performed unnecessary surgery though they told the patient it was necessary.
- A healthcare provider prematurely discharged the patient from the hospital and/or from their care.
- A healthcare provider failed to order the diagnostic tests appropriate for their patient’s condition, or else they failed to appropriately act on the results of a diagnostic test.
- A healthcare provider prescribed the wrong type of medication, the wrong amount, or a type of medication that they should have known would cause a severe adverse reaction in the patient.
- A healthcare provider left a foreign object in the patient’s body after surgery because they did not notice it or forgot about it.
- A healthcare provider operated on the wrong part of the body, or removed the wrong body part.
- A healthcare provider does not take appropriate action after a patient develops an infection or adverse reaction.
- A healthcare provider or the healthcare facility did not follow acceptable protocols to eliminate the possibility of the patient developing a fatal or potentially fatal infection while in the healthcare facility.
- A healthcare provider fails to treat the patient for bedsores (pressure ulcers).
If you or a loved one has suffered or passed away due to the negligence of a healthcare provider, contact us to schedule a complimentary case review with our medical malpractice lawyer.
Dealing with Insurance Companies
Healthcare professionals are required to have extensive insurance companies in case an allegation of medical malpractice arises. These insurance companies typically have a team of skilled lawyers who are working for the benefit of the company rather than the victim. It is their objective to:
- Settle a claim as quickly, and for as little, as possible; or
- Deny a claim on the basis that medical malpractice did not occur.
There are many tactics that an insurance company might use to reach either of these objectives. An experienced medical malpractice lawyer will be able to anticipate the moves of the insurance company, and as in the game of chess, remain a few steps ahead. The lawyers from our firm have worked with countless insurance companies and are ready to refute their claims while adhering to our professionalism, honesty, and ethical standards.
If we’re unable to come to a settlement that is fair for you and your family, we will be ready to take a medical malpractice case to trial. This is the last thing an insurance company typically wants as the jury is almost never on their side.
In general you should avoid speaking to an insurance company before speaking to a medical malpractice lawyer. If you do end up in a conversation with an claims’ adjuster, you should say as little as possible. This is because whatever you say, even if your intentions were good, could be used against you. An experienced lawyer from Law Offices of Needle & Ellenberg, P.A. can take care of any conversation between your case and the insurance company so that you can focus on your recovery.
If you or your loved one has been injured in a medical malpractice case, it is important to have an experienced lawyer on your side. By contacting a lawyer that residents believe in, you will have a team fighting for the compensation you deserve. Contact Law Offices of Needle & Ellenberg, P.A. today to schedule a consultation.
3 Questions to Ask Before Taking Legal Action
A lot can go wrong with medical treatment. You may have complications, or your condition may worsen. If you come out of treatment worse than you went in, you may want to take legal action against your physician for medical malpractice. However, this may not be warranted.
A negative outcome isn’t necessarily proof that malpractice has occurred. Essentially, medical malpractice occurs when the doctor did something he or she wasn’t supposed to, or didn’t do something he or she was supposed to, and you came to harm as a result. The following are questions to ask if you suspect medical malpractice. The answers can give you a better idea of whether you have a case.
- Have You Come to Harm?
This may seem so obvious that it hardly seems worth asking. However, it is crucial to the validity of your malpractice claim. If you have not suffered any significant and specific damages as a result of the treatment you received from the doctor, you do not have a case. Examples of harm include additional medical bills from fixing the doctor’s mistake, lost earning capacity due to an inability to work, physical pain, and mental anguish.
- Was There a Doctor-Patient Relationship?
You can only bring malpractice claims against doctors with whom you have a treating relationship. This may seem relatively straightforward, and it usually is. Most often, the difficulty arises when a doctor with whom you have a relationship consults with another who does something wrong. Since the consultant did not treat you directly, there is a legitimate question as to whether a doctor-patient relationship existed.
- Was the Doctor Reckless or Negligent?
Malpractice occurs when the doctor doesn’t perform according to the established standard of care. This can occur when the doctor is reckless or negligent. A doctor is reckless when he or she deliberately acts in a way that he or she knows could cause harm to a patient. Doctors have been trained to understand the consequences of their actions, so recklessness by a doctor is rare.
It is more common for a doctor to behave in a way that is negligent. In a case of negligence, there is no intent to behave in a way that could harm the patient, but the doctor’s behavior is inappropriate compared to what his or her peers would do in the same situation.
We’re on Your Side
It may be very obvious when a doctor’s behavior is reckless, but it may be more difficult to determine when it is negligent. One of our attorneys may be able to determine whether the treatment you received amounts to malpractice. To talk with an Orlando medical malpractice lawyer today, contact Law Offices of Needle & Ellenberg, P.A.
Medical Malpractice in the Delivery Room
Childbirth is a magical moment, but what happens if the staff in the delivery room are dangerously unprepared and untrained? A medical malpractice lawyer in Orlando, Florida, can help you and your child get the compensation you deserve. Read on to learn more about birth injuries and how a medical malpractice suit can help.
Delivery is different for everyone, and each case comes with its own set of complications. However, no matter the complications that come with your delivery, the medical staff in the delivery room should be well-trained and well-prepared for everything. Childbirth is a difficult, delicate process, and it requires specialists who know what they’re doing. Anything less than that is negligent and dangerous.
One of the more common complications in childbirth is solved with a relatively low-tech solution. Sometimes a baby needs a little extra encouragement, and doctors need to rely on forceps to assist the baby on his or her way out. Forceps look like an oversized pair of salad tongs, and are designed to fit around a baby’s head while a doctor slowly and safely pulls a baby in time with contractions.
Forceps have been around for a long time, and despite their rudimentary appearance, there’s still plenty of opportunity for misuse. When a doctor uses forceps, they have to be extra careful to avoid harming the baby, the mother, or both. Forceps deliveries require training, communication, and preparation, and a failure in either of these departments can lead to long-lasting health affects for you and your child.
Common Forceps Injuries
While forceps are reliable tools to assist with childbirth, they aren’t without risk. When used improperly, forceps can cause long-lasting injuries to mothers and their children. Your child may experience scratches and bruises to his or her face, and forceps can also cause eye damage. In more extreme cases, forceps can cause skull fractures, and may cause your child to experience seizures.
These injuries are unacceptable, and a medical malpractice lawyer in Orlando can help you get important financial compensation to help you and your child heal and move on. It’s important to know that your medical staff is competent and well-trained, but if they cause injury during the delivery of your child, it’s a betrayal of the trust you’ve placed in their abilities – and even worse, it’s causing injury to your newborn.
Delivery is a complicated process, and it doesn’t need to be any more challenging than it already is. When you have unprepared and incompetent medical staff in the delivery room, it means danger and injury for yourself, your child, and the countless other mothers and children who may be coming through those doors. If you and your child have been hurt by untrained delivery room staff, you can count on a lawyer to help sets things straight.
Reach out to Needle & Ellenberg, P.A.
At Needle & Ellenberg, P.A., we know that there are no do-overs for the birth of a child. It’s meant to be a magical experience – painful, challenging, and rewarding. However, incompetent medical staff can put a permanent stain on your memories of delivering your child. Hurting you and your child is unacceptable, and while no amount of money can give you that day back, it can give you valuable closure.
Reach out to Needle & Ellenberg, P.A. today, and see how a medical malpractice lawyer in Orlando, FL can help.