No Recovery, You Owe Us Nothing
Medical malpractice is alarmingly common. According to data reported by Hofstra University’s Maurice A. Deane School of Law, one in 10 deaths in the United States can be attributed to medical negligence. The same report identifies Florida as one of the four states in the country with the highest number of medical malpractice cases. If you believe that you or a family member may be a victim of medical error, it is important that you speak with a Pensacola medical malpractice attorney promptly.
At Searcy Denney, we help individuals and families who are suffering due to their doctors’ and other health care providers’ mistakes. We handle all types of medical malpractice claims, from negligence resulting in birth injuries to failure to diagnose cancer. With offices in the Florida Panhandle, we handle claims against health care providers throughout Florida, and we represent local residents as well as patients who live elsewhere and received negligent medical treatment in Pensacola.
What, exactly, is malpractice? Broadly speaking, it is any form of medical treatment that falls below the accepted standard of care. All health care providers in Florida have an obligation to treat their patients with the care that patients deserve; and, when they fall short of this obligation, they can – and should – be held accountable.
Our Pensacola medical malpractice attorney handles all types of negligence-based claims against doctors, physician assistants, nurses, hospitals, clinics, and other providers and facilities. This includes, but is by no means limited to, claims involving:
Florida law allows victims of medical malpractice to recover full compensation for the costs of their injuries. This includes financial and non-financial costs (i.e. pain and suffering), and it covers all costs the victim can reasonably be expected to incur during his or her lifetime.
It would be a mistake to assume that only doctors can be negligent or be liable for medical malpractice. In some instances, you can pursue a claim against the hospital or other medical facility if you’ve suffered as a result of medical malpractice.
It’s important first to note that hospitals cannot typically be held responsible for the actions of the doctors who work there. That’s because many doctors are not employees of the hospital, even though they work there. As a result, it’s important to understand the relationship between the doctor and the hospital to determine who may be responsible for your injuries.
That said, medical malpractice encompasses more than mistakes made by doctors. Nurses, medical technicians, and other staff can also make mistakes. Generally speaking, hospitals are liable for the actions of their employees. If a nurse gave you the wrong medication, for example, the hospital may be responsible for any harm you may have suffered.
Determining who may be liable in a medical malpractice case is extraordinarily complicated. Some malpractice cases are the culmination of errors made by several different people, in which case you may have a claim against the doctor and the hospital. On the other hand, the hospital may be absolved of liability if, for example, the nurse who made a mistake was acting according to a non-employee doctor’s instructions. If you were harmed while receiving treatment at a hospital, a Pensacola medical malpractice attorney can help you determine who should be held accountable.
In any medical malpractice case, you have to prove that the doctor or hospital failed to meet the standard of care. The standard of care is what would be provided in similar cases or circumstances by a medical professional with the same amount of training and experience. Establishing the standard of care is important because it will determine whether you are the victim of medical malpractice.
The standard of care in the emergency room will be lower than if you were receiving care from a specialist. Emergency room physicians may not have the specific training they need to diagnose your illness or prescribe the right treatment correctly. They are primarily focused on providing critical care in an emergency. However, that does not mean that they are immune from medical malpractice claims. Failing to take a complete history, ignoring symptoms, or providing treatment without the proper training is still negligent. An experienced Pensacola medical malpractice attorney can review your case and identify whether you have a claim for medical malpractice.
In Florida, any adult patient who believes they have received substandard medical care can file a claim for medical malpractice. Parents can also file medical malpractice claims on behalf of their children, and guardians and other eligible loved ones can seek compensation on behalf of aging adults who cannot pursue claims on their own. In cases involving fatal medical mistakes, the victim’s personal representative can file a claim to recover compensation on behalf of eligible beneficiaries—including the victim’s spouse, children, parents, and other relatives.
In Florida, you have a case for medical malpractice if your (or a loved one’s) health care provider made a mistake that fell below the generally accepted standard of care. This applies to all types of healthcare providers—doctors, nurses, clinics, hospitals, and other professionals and facilities. To determine if you have a case, you will need to discuss the circumstances of your (or your loved one’s) care with an experienced Pensacola medical malpractice attorney.
It costs nothing out of pocket to hire a Pensacola medical malpractice attorney. Malpractice attorneys handle cases on a contingency-fee basis. This means that your attorney’s legal fees will be calculated as a percentage of your compensation award if your case is successful. The costs of pursuing your claim (i.e., filing fees and expert witness fees) will be deducted from your settlement or verdict as well. If your case is not successful for any reason, then you will pay nothing.
If you have any reason to suspect medical malpractice, then you should schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney right away. It will be important to investigate promptly, and getting started quickly will help ensure that you can receive just compensation as soon as possible.
In most cases, you have two years from the date of the malpractice to file a lawsuit under Florida’s statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims. However, waiting any longer than necessary can make it more challenging to prove your claim, and we strongly recommend that you schedule a free initial consultation right away. If it has been longer than two years, you may be protected by Florida’s “statute of repose,” so you should still consult with an attorney about your legal rights.
The amount you can recover for medical malpractice depends on the specific circumstances of your case. From the financial costs you incur to the extent of your pain and suffering, all of the details matter. In medical malpractice cases, you can seek just compensation for your current and future losses, and it will be important for you to work with an experienced attorney who can accurately calculate the damages you are entitled to recover.
Do you have concerns that you or a family member may be a victim of medical malpractice? If so, we encourage you to speak with a Pensacola medical malpractice attorney to find out if you have a claim. For a free, no-obligation consultation about your rights under Florida law, please call 800-780-8607 or get in touch with us online today.