24/7 800-323-1243
Proudly serving
Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Marion, Orange, and Sumter counties

Common Questions About Medical Malpractice

Free Case Consultation

What is medical malpractice?

Medical malpractice is negligence by a health care professional who offered treatments that were substandard. Due to the professional's actions, inactions or treatment plan, the patient was caused harm, injury or even death.

Return to top

What are examples of medical malpractice?

Medical malpractice includes a significant injury to the patient. It can also include situations where the hospital, or one of its staff members, acted in a way that wasn't in a manner of expected care. It can also include a medical mistake such as an overdose of medication or operations where gauze or tools were left inside an incision and/or wound. The field of medical malpractice is vast, which is why it is important to have an attorney review the facts of your situation to see if you have a case.

Return to top

Is misdiagnosis considered malpractice?

Typically, a misdiagnosis is not grounds for a medical malpractice case. This is a gray area due to the fact that not all diseases and conditions present with obvious signs. However, if there is proof that a medical professional was negligent in making a diagnosis because of his or her substandard care, you may have a case. A doctor is not expected to be accurate 100 percent of the time, but he or she is expected to follow appropriate diagnostic standards of care.

Return to top

Can you sue the doctor that misdiagnosed you?

Doctors are not always going to be 100 percent correct. In order for you to be able to sue a doctor that misdiagnosed you, you will need to prove that they were negligent in their diagnosis.

Return to top

How do I know if medical malpractice has occurred?

Malpractice is a danger to the health and safety of others through the negligence of the medical staff. If a physician has needlessly endangered a patient and because of his or her actions, a patient was injured, you need legal help. Our personal injury attorneys will review the circumstances and advise you on how to proceed.

Return to top

Are medical malpractice cases common?

Hundreds of thousands of people die each year nationwide due to medical malpractice. Though our medical malpractice lawyers would like to think that it doesn't happen so often, the reality is that injuries from malpractice are quite common. Medical staffs work long hours that add to increased number of human errors.

Return to top

What do I do if I suspect medical malpractice?

The most important thing is never to accuse a doctor or hospital staff of malpractice. You need to gather all the facts and call our law office immediately. One of our personal injury lawyers will go over your case and see if you have grounds for a suit.

Return to top

What's the medical malpractice "standard of care"?

The "standard of care" is a threshold for what comprises carelessness in a medical malpractice claim.

Return to top

What must be proved in a medical malpractice case?

Four things must be established to solidify a malpractice case: Establish a Legal Duty, Prove Breach of Duty, Causation and Damages. You must be able to prove that a member of a medical professional team acted in negligence that caused the injury.

Return to top

How long does a medical malpractice case take?

There is no definitive answer, as all cases are different. There are a number of factors that can affect the timelines. First, a case that has multiple parties involved will require much more investigation than a single case. There are depositions, a commitment of experts and the court's schedule to consider. In addition, the insurance company may settle without going to court or the company may try to postpone a court date as long as possible.

Return to top

What expenses are involved in a medical malpractice case?

A personal injury lawyer may work on contingency, which means he or she doesn't get paid unless you win your case. However, if our law firm is unable to get a successful outcome in your case, you don't owe us for our work.

Return to top

Who can I sue for medical malpractice?

A medical malpractice case can be brought to a hospital or medical center, a specific doctor or nurse, or a pharmaceutical company. The action is brought against the person who commits the negligence.

Return to top

Who is liable for medical malpractice?

Medical professionals as well as medical centers carry malpractice insurance. When a claim is made, the insurance companies are responsible for paying the claim if it is successful. The doctor won't pay out of pocket, as he or she pays insurance premiums for protection from malpractice claims.

Return to top

Is there a statute of limitations on a medical malpractice claim?

In the state of Florida, you must file your medical malpractice suit within two years of the date the incident occurred. However, there is also a blanket deadline of four years. These deadlines are firm unless the victim is under the age of 8 or there is fraud involved with the malpractice.

Return to top

Are nursing home cases considered medical malpractice?

Yes, nursing homes are filled with nurses, doctors, therapists and other medical professionals. As a medical facility where treatments take place, any incidents that occur at the facility are grounds for a malpractice claim.

Return to top

Can a case be reopened after it is settled?

Once a case has been decided, it is a rare occasion that it would be reopened. If you feel hesitant about accepting a settlement, don't sign off until you're sure - and always consult an attorney.

Return to top

Can I sue my doctor for releasing my records to my employer?

Releasing records to an unauthorized party is a violation of HIPAA laws. Make sure that you didn't sign any releases to your employer or at the doctor's office that allow disclosure. Though not grounds for a lawsuit in general, a HIPAA violation can be filed against the clinic that released the records.

Return to top

Can I file malpractice against someone other than a doctor?

Yes, malpractice can be committed by anyone who is serving you as a patient. For example, it can be hospital negligence and also the negligence of pharmaceutical companies.

Return to top

Can you sue for what might have happened?

No, you can only sue for a malpractice case if there is an injury caused by negligence. If there are ethical or safety reasons that leave you concerned, you can simply contact the medical facility and discuss your concerns.

Return to top

How can I find out if a doctor has been previously sued for malpractice?

Any cases of this nature are a matter of public record. You can check with the Florida Board of Medical Examiners or with the courthouse in the location where the doctor resides.

Return to top

How can I research a doctor before becoming a patient?

Thanks to the power of the Internet, finding information about a doctor is pretty easy these days. The Medical Board can give you some information, as can the facility for which he or she works. Typically, medical review websites have background information and allow patients to leave comments.

Return to top

How do I know if I have a medical malpractice case?

If you think you have a medical malpractice case, you need to set up an appointment to speak with a personal injury attorney. After reviewing all the facts, we can advise you on how to proceed. Not every injury is grounds for a legal case.

Return to top

Is a misdiagnosis malpractice?

In most cases a misdiagnosis is not grounds for a legal case. However, if you can prove that the misdiagnosis was out of negligence, then you may have a legal case. An attorney would need to review the circumstances.

Return to top

What does "preponderance of evidence" mean?

This is a term used in legal proceedings that means "more likely than not." When it comes to medical malpractice, it means that more likely than not, negligence has occurred.

Return to top

What is "contributory negligence"?

Contributory negligence is one of the three forms of comparative fault that an attorney uses. It is a legal method of determining the responsibility of an accident, based on the proportion of fault. Conversely, there are numerous forms of comparative fault in use in Florida and the entire country.

Return to top

What is "informed consent"?

Informed consent is when a patient is advised of his or her procedure or care and the risks involved, but signs a waiver consent anyway. A waiver of consent is a document hospitals use to try to sidestep legal issues that may arise.

Return to top

What is "subrogation"?

Subrogation is a term that refers to an insurance company looking for repayment from the person or unit lawfully accountable for an accident. This is done after the insurer has paid out money on behalf of the insured.

Return to top

What is a subrogation interest or subrogation lien?

A third-party insurance company may foot the bill for a medical malpractice case. Using a subrogation lien, the company recoups its loss.

Return to top

Why do I need experts for my medical malpractice claim?

A personal injury attorney is well-versed in medical testimony, but he or she is a legal expert. Medical experts can attest to how the procedure or incident should have been conducted and why it was performed incorrectly.

Return to top

What kinds of experts will I need for my medical malpractice claim?

The types of experts used will be determined by the type of injury that occurred. If it is a surgical malpractice case, then a surgical expert will be brought in to explain in detail the procedure and what went wrong. Other experts may be used to corroborate the mishap.

Return to top

How can I avoid prescription errors?

Always check your prescription before you leave the pharmacy. Make sure that you have the right dosage and the pills match the description of what should be inside the container. Also, researching the medication you've been prescribed can help you identify prescription errors before you are harmed.

Return to top

Who is responsible for my safety and well-being in a hospital?

Each patient has a charge nurse, a doctor, and some have a nurse's aide who assists in recovery. The first person to call when you feel something is amiss is your nurse. Nurses relay any messages to the doctor. Overall, the hospital is responsible for the actions of their staff members.

Return to top

What should I do when being discharged from a hospital or doctor's care?

When you are being discharged, make sure that you feel well enough to go home. If you don't feel that you are ready to be without the care of a doctor; make sure to voice your opinion. Communication with your doctor is vital.

Return to top

How do I monitor a loved one's medical treatment?

Due to HIPAA laws, it may be difficult to monitor a treatment plan without a Power of Attorney form on file. If a relative wants and needs you to be active in a treatment plan, he or she will need to give permission to the medical staff.

Return to top

Can a general practice lawyer represent me in a medical malpractice case?

In principle, there are no laws that limit a general practitioner from representing someone in a medical case. However, these cases are very complex and the use of a personal injury attorney with experience specifically handling malpractice cases is advisable.

Return to top

What is a consent form and does signing one release the physician from liability for negligence?

A consent form allows the hospital/doctor to perform certain procedures and to treat their patients. While it does release them from some legalities, if they act in negligence and it can be proven, you can still take them to court.

Return to top

Who is responsible when a piece of medical equipment fails during surgery and causes harm to a patient?

If a piece of machinery fails during an operation, the doctor is not at fault unless they knew the machine was faulty and proceeded anyhow. There are several people or entities who could be to blame from the incident including the manufacturer of the equipment. One of our personal injury lawyers can advise you on any possible claim based on the details.

Return to top

What are different types of damages in a medical malpractice case?

In general, pain and suffering, as well as time off from work and loss of income are considered the damages that are sought for compensation in a medical malpractice case.

Return to top

Do your firm's successes mean you will win my case?

At Law Offices of Brent C. Miller, P.A., we have an excellent reputation of winning over the past 25 years. There is no way to determine the outcome of a case, as each is unique. However, having a knowledgeable attorney on your side only helps your outcome.

Return to top

Will I have to go to court?

Many cases are settled before you go to trial. If the insurance company offers a fair settlement and you accept, you won't have to go to court. However, if there is no agreement reached before the hearing date, the court trial will continue. You will need to be present at the trial.

Return to top

Free Case Consultation

Tavares Office
205 E Burleigh Blvd Tavares, FL 32778
Phone: (352) 343-7400
Inverness Office
508 W Main St #101 Inverness, FL 34450
Phone: (352) 637-3900
The Villages Office
8564 Co Rd 466 #204A
The Villages, FL 32162
Phone: (352) 753-2833
Clermont Office
Clermont Office Address Clermont Office Address
Phone: (352) 394-1312