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Best Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Miami, Florida
As the third leading cause of death in the United States, more than 250,000 people die each year because of an act of medical malpractice. The rash of preventable fatalities is an especially prevalent problem in Florida, which attracts seniors from all over the United States to bask in the sunny glow of retirement. Medical malpractice represents a type of personal injury law, and as with other types of personal injury cases, a victim of medical malpractice has the right to file a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages.
The key to winning a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages involves demonstrating another party committed at least one act of medical negligence. Personal injury law in Florida requires a plaintiff’s attorney to prove the presence of the four elements of negligence to win a favorable award issued by a civil court judge or jury. The four elements of proving negligence include a duty of care, breaching the duty of care doctrine, causation, and financial losses. If you expect to win a civil lawsuit for a medical malpractice case, you must hire one of the best medical practice lawyers in Miami, Florida who has considerable experience litigating medical malpractice lawsuits.
At Morgan and Morgan, our team of personal injury attorneys has recovered more than $14 billion in monetary damages for clients since we opened our first office in 1988. A significant chunk of the compensation we have won for our clients came from medical malpractice lawsuits. If you or a loved one sustained one or more injuries as a result of an act of medical negligence, schedule a free case evaluation today with one of the Florida-licensed personal injury attorneys at Morgan and Morgan.
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What Are the Most Common Types of Medical Malpractice Claims?
Although proving medical negligence represents the heart of winning a medical malpractice case, the personal injury lawyer that you work with from Morgan and Morgan must first determine the type of medical malpractice action that harmed you or a loved one.
Healthcare providers determine how to proceed with patients by conducting diagnostic tests that reveal the type of medical condition. An incorrect diagnosis leads to a treatment program that does much more harm than good. Misdiagnosis can include a failure to recognize the signs and symptoms of an illness or injury. When a physician fails to order additional diagnostic tests to verify a diagnosis, the physician has committed a medical error.
About one-third of all medical malpractice claims filed between 2013 and 2017 concerned a misdiagnosis or a delayed diagnosis.
Failing to Treat a Patient
Getting a diagnosis correct does not mean a patient receives the correct type of treatment. As a frequent type of medical malpractice case, failure to treat a patient includes releasing a patient too soon after a medical procedure. This is an especially common problem in an era when insurance companies insist on taking more of a home care approach to a patient’s recovery. Failing to provide follow-up instructions is another example of failing to treat a patient. When a physician does not order the right type of medical tests, the physician has breached the duty of care doctrine.
Prescription Medication Mistakes
Prescribing the wrong drugs can be a minor mistake that produces a mild allergic reaction or it can turn into a life-threatening dilemma. The most common type of prescription drug error concerns prescribing the incorrect medication for a certain diagnosed medical condition. Prescribing a drug in the wrong dosage, whether it is too many or too few pills, can do a considerable amount of physical damage to the body. Physicians have the duty of care to ensure patients do not suffer from potentially deadly drug interactions, as well as recognize the warning signs of developing an addictive habit.
This type of medical malpractice is the one that receives the most publicity in the mainstream media. Performing a surgical procedure on the wrong part of the body is a common type of surgery error. Completing a surgical procedure on the wrong patient can lead to life-threatening injuries. Stories of medical devices left in patients receive plenty of media scrutiny, as do the negative and sometimes fatal reactions patients have to anesthesia.
Surgeons must follow a large number of procedural protocols that when ignored or violated, can significantly injure a patient.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim in Florida?
One of the important roles assumed by one of the best medical malpractice lawyers in Miami, Florida from Morgan and Morgan is to file a civil lawsuit long before the expiration of the statute of limitations. Every state has established a deadline for the filing of personal injury lawsuits, including medical malpractice cases. Most states have set a deadline for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit between two and four years. The remaining states go as high as six years and as low as one year for establishing a deadline. Florida provides plaintiffs with a two-year window to file a medical malpractice claim that seeks monetary damages. The clock starts ticking for your medical malpractice lawsuit on the day when a healthcare provider committed at least one act of medical negligence.
Although two years appears to be more than enough time to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, you should act with a sense of urgency by filing your lawsuit as quickly as possible after a medical malpractice incident. The best medical malpractice lawyers in Miami, Florida, act quickly to help clients recover quickly from financial losses. At Morgan and Morgan, our medical malpractice attorneys want to move fast to obtain the most accurate accounts from witnesses. The longer a lawyer waits to speak with a witness, the less accurate the information is from the witness.
If you fail to meet the deadline to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Florida, you can expect the court clerk to dismiss your case.
What Are the Four Elements of Medical Negligence?
The best medical malpractice lawyers in Miami, Florida know how to prove each element of medical negligence.
Duty of Care
Because of the oath taken by a vast majority of healthcare providers, proving the element called duty of care is easy to do for medical malpractice cases. Healthcare providers assume a duty of care to ensure patients receive the best medical care regardless of the type of medical condition and the procedure followed to treat the medical condition.
Breaching Duty of Care
The second element requires the medical malpractice attorney that you hire from Morgan and Morgan to submit overwhelmingly persuasive evidence that a healthcare provider violated the duty of care doctrine. Let’s use the misdiagnosis example for a type of medical malpractice case. A healthcare provider assumed a duty of care to conduct correct and accurate diagnostic tests. If a healthcare provider misdiagnosed your medical condition, the healthcare provider breached the duty of care doctrine.
Any breach in the duty of care doctrine must have caused you harm. For instance, if a prescription error caused extensive internal bleeding, your attorney can demonstrate the drug error caused you harm. Expect the lawyer representing the defendant to claim your illness or injuries came from another source. The best medical malpractice lawyers in Miami, Florida counteract a claim like that by gathering and submitting medical records.
After proving the third element of medical negligence, all that is left for your legal counsel to do involves linking your illness or injuries with financial losses. Copies of bank records and wage statements provide the judge hearing your case with plenty of evidence to prove the existence of the fourth element of medical negligence.
What Are the Types of Monetary Damages for Medical Malpractice Cases?
The primary goal of a medical malpractice attorney representing Morgan and Morgan is to help clients recover from financial losses. When you file a civil lawsuit for a medical malpractice case, you have the right to seek three types of monetary damages.
Economic damages represent the tangible financial losses you suffered because of medical negligence. You have the right to seek compensation to pay off medical bills, including the medical bills that you rack up in the future. After an act of medical negligence, a patient has to go through the diagnostic process again, as well as complete a different treatment regimen. You also have the right to sue for the recovery of lost wages. An act of medical negligence can prevent you from working for months, if not years. The plaintiff should be held legally responsible for filling in the substantial wage gap.
Victims of medical malpractice also receive wrongful death payments to cover the costs that are associated with the funeral and burial of a loved one.
Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages do not come with a price tag. These are intangible expenses such as pain and suffering that describe the mental and emotional distress symptoms triggered because you or a loved one fell victim to an act of medical malpractice. The best medical malpractice lawyers in Miami, Florida calculate a reasonable value for non-economic damages by referring to a formula that accounts for the value of economic damages in the equation. Non-economic damages also include loss of consortium.
Punitive damages do not cover the costs associated with an act of medical malpractice. Instead, punitive damages punish the defendant for harming a patient by committing at least one act of negligence. Because of the emotional toll a medical malpractice case takes on victims, judges and juries typically award generous values for punitive damages. Judges and juries also award substantial values for punitive damages to encourage the defendant to follow correct medical protocols.
Hire One of the Best Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Miami, Florida
At Morgan and Morgan, we have more than 30 years of experience winning civil lawsuits that helped our clients recover from financial losses. We fight back against the most powerful healthcare institutions in South Florida in support of our clients. Read the positive reviews we have received on sites such as Yelp and Google to see why Morgan and Morgan is the go-to medical malpractice law firm in Miami, Florida.
Schedule a free case evaluation to determine whether you have a strong enough case to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.