Medical malpractice occurs when a patient is harmed because of a mistake made by a provider of medical treatment. This includes nurses, doctors, anesthesiologists, and other hospital and medical center personnel. Annually in the United States, nearly 100,000 individuals die because of medical mistakes.
Not every negative outcome or side effect from treatment, surgery, or medication is a result of medical malpractice. All treatment providers have a duty to provide medical care on par with the accepted community standards. When determining if a doctor or nurse breached their duty, both the community standards in the field of practice and in the geographic region are taken into consideration. In some circumstances, such as surgery or experimental medication, certain risks are unavoidable, and patients must sign an “informed consent” form that releases the care provider from liability. However, even if gave your informed consent, the doctors and nurses are still required to meet the standard of care required. If they did not and you were harmed as a result, they may not be immune from liability. The courts have held that doctors have some leeway in deciding between treatment options. However, if the treatment plan prescribed by the doctor is unusually dangerous or harmful in comparison to other treatment options and common practices among other doctors with similar patients with similar ailments, the doctor could be liable for medical malpractice.
In Florida, the statute of limitations for a medical malpractice action, in most cases, is two years from the date the negligent treatment was administered. Other states have different “time limits” in which a claim must be filed. If you or someone you love was injured in Florida from the negligent behavior of a medical provider, you are strongly encouraged to speak to a qualified attorney such as Jim Jenkins as soon as possible to avoid the expiration of your claim.
Call us at (850) 434-9304 or contact us online to discuss your legal options. Mr. Jenkins can be reached after hours at his home office at (850) 474-4182.