Doctors and other healthcare providers commit their professional lives to helping others. Everyone wants to trust and rely on these professionals, but they, too, are human and can make mistakes. The costs of these mistakes can be grave. According to U.S. News and World Report roughly 10 percent of all U.S. deaths are a result of medical malpractice. Unfortunately, the leading four states where medical malpractice cases occur is California, Texas, New York and Florida. Not all personal injury lawyers are medical malpractice lawyers, but at Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh we handle all personal injury cases including medical malpractice injuries.
CAN YOU SUE YOUR DOCTOR FOR MEDICAL MALPRACTICE?
Yes, if they failed to use reasonable care in their treatment of you, which injured you. Reasonable care is the level of care, skill and treatment, which in light of the surrounding circumstances, is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by similar and reasonable careful providers.
When determining whether the doctor breached the standard of care, we consult with other medical doctors in the same field. If the expert believes the doctor committed negligence, then they sign an affidavit. We use this along with your medical records as the basis of filing a lawsuit.
WHO ARE CONSIDERED HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS?
A healthcare provider under the medical malpractice statutes includes people in additional to medical doctors. It includes:
There are scenarios where multiple parties can commit medical malpractice. For instance, there are cases where both doctors and nurse commit medical malpractice.
HOW LONG DOES A MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CASE LAST?
It varies on a case by case basis. Generally medical malpractice cases last between 12 and 18 months, but complex cases that involve multiple healthcare providers can last longer. Generally, if a medical malpractice case settles, it will be shorter than if the case goes to a jury trial.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU ARE THE VICTIM OF MEDICAL MALPRACTICE?
This can be tricky as medicine is not an exact science, and there is no one size fits all rule book. There are guidelines and resources that treatment providers refer to, but at the end of the day they rely on their education and experience in choosing the best treatment for you. Bad outcomes do not always equate to medical negligence. It is our job to determine if there was a violation of the medical standard of care.
We can examine if you are the victim of medical malpractice by examining your medical records, asking a series of specific questions, and consulting with other medical experts. We then compare the facts of your case to the legal elements of a medical malpractice claim, which are:
Duty – standard of medical care
Breach of Duty – breach of the standard of medical care
Causation – did the providers action cause the damages
Damages – Injury
WHAT TYPES OF MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CASES ARE THERE?
Failure to Monitor Septic Shock/Sepsis – This is when a patient has an infection and it worsens out of control. There are subtle signs that the infection a has gotten out of control if close attention is not paid to these signs. These warning signs included increased breathing rate, increased heart rate
Bed Sores/Decubitus Ulcers – These are injuries to the underlying skin and tissue as a result of from prolonged pressure to the skin. These occur when a patient lies in a position for an extended period and the treatment provider does not move the patient. These ulcers occur and become worse as a direct result of the inaction of medical treatment providers.
Delay in Treatment
A report came out in December 2022 about the top 5 ER misdiagnosis. Their research found that the most common misdiagnosis are:
Spinal cord compression/injury
Failure to Gather a Full Medical History
Part of a medical treatment provider’s job is to document the medical history of any patient. When the medical history of the patient is not properly taken or documented, dire consequences may result. For example, a patient may be given medication that they are allergic to if their medical history does not list their known allergies.
Failure to Communicate
When doctors do not properly communicate between each other and staff(nurses), the patient suffers the consequences. The nurses are the eyes and ears of the patient and proper communication between doctors and nurses is essential.
HOW MUCH IS YOUR MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CASE WORTH?
Every medical malpractice case is unique and different. The value of your medical malpractice case depends on a variety of factors. Some of these factors include the cost of past medical bills, the cost of any future medical bills, the extent of any injury caused by the malpractice, the permanency of any injury caused by malpractice, and any lost wages.
Another important factor that goes into the value of a medical malpractice case is the age of the victim. The younger the victim, typically the higher the values of the case. This does not mean if you are older your medical malpractice case is less valuable. However, the younger a victim is, the longer life their expectancy, which tends to increase the lost future wages and future medical bills.
Lastly, we examine the extent of the malpractice as a factor into determining the value of your medical malpractice case. For example, a surgeon that leaves equipment inside a patient is clear and evident malpractice.
At Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh, we evaluate and handle each case individually. We identify and magnify the positive factors of each individual case, and we do everything we can to maximize the value of your case. Contact us for a free case evaluation to help determine the value of your case.
WHO CAN SUE WHEN MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CAUSES DEATH?
Florida Statute 768.16, the Wrongful Death Act, governs who can sue when there is a death. The people that can bring a wrongful death action include surviving spouses, minor children (this includes children under the age of 25), parents, and other blood relatives who are dependent on the decedent and the estate of the decedent. Contact us at Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh to see if you can make a recovery in these tragic situations.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOUR DOCTOR COMMITTED MEDICAL MALPRACTICE?
You may not necessarily know if a doctor committed medical malpractice. Certainly, a doctor or other medical professional is not going to admit to anyone that they made a mistake and committed malpractice. In many cases, the medical professional may not even know that they committed malpractice.
YOUR LOVED ONE DIED. HOW DO YOU KNOW IF DOCTOR MESSED UP?
You very well may not know whether your doctor messed up. In most cases your doctor will not admit even if they know that they messed up. However, your medical records do not lie. In medical malpractice cases your medical records are the best evidence of your medical treatment because they memorialize all your treatment while it is occurring. Most patients and their doctors do not remember the entirety of the treatment. Again, illustrating medical records are often the best evidence of medical malpractice. We carefully review and analyze your medical records to determine what is missing from the medical records, notes, and administration of medications.
YOUR LOVED ONE DIED. HOW DO YOU KNOW IF THE HOSPITAL MADE A MISTAKE?
Losing a loved one is never easy. If you lost a loved one as a result of the negligence of another, the people at fault should be held accountable. It is a natural reaction to be sad and have anger when a loved one passes. Our job as medical malpractice attorneys is to offer solace in this difficult time while objectively analyzing the case to verify if your loved one suffered as a result of medical malpractice.
CAN YOU SUE IF YOU WERE GIVEN THE WRONG MEDICATION?
Yes, if you were given the wrong medication and you are injured from it, it is a clear case of medical malpractice. Whenever liability is clear in a medical malpractice case the question turns to damages. What are the damages as a result of the wrong medications? Putting a value on the amount of damages is subjective in nature. It is our job as attorneys to zealously advocate and fight for you to get you the largest recovery possible. Let us help guide you through this trauma and hardship. We can’t bring back your loved one, but we can help attain the closure your family deserves.
WHAT SHOULD YOU LOOK FOR WHEN HIRING A MEDICAL MALPRACTICE LAWYER?
Experience and trials. There are thousands of attorneys that have been practicing for numerous years, but you want an attorney that is battle-tested. It is important to know how many trials your attorney has had. If push comes to shove and your case does not settle and goes to a jury trial, you deserve and need an attorney that has been there before. Trial work is a skill that is honed by repetition. There is no substitute for an attorney trying cases to a jury. At Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh, we are former prosecutors that have tried hundreds of trials.
Look at what former clients say about the lawyer. Read any reviews left by clients. Nobody will know better on a lawyer’s representation than a former client. See what our former clients say about us here.