Your Legal Rights if You are harmed by medical malpractice

While the American medical system delivers miracles on a daily basis, it also is responsible for millions of mistakes each year.  These mistakes have real consequences – according to Johns Hopkins patient safety experts, 250,000 deaths each year.   The risk of serious injury and death is particularly grave for inpatient hospital admissions.  The causes of medical errors include negligence by medical providers, poor communication between medical staff, and medication errors.

                The legal system is the primary mechanism by which patients receive compensation for injuries and death caused by medical malpractice.  Medical malpractice cases are a type of personal injury law that concerns medical providers’ responsibility to treat patients according to a standard of care.

Under Florida’s medical malpractice laws, a patient can recover from a culpable medical provider both economic and non-economic damages.  Economic damages include the present and estimated future costs of medical treatments of the injury , as well as lost income and estimated loss of future income.  Non-economic damages include compensation for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and worsening of prior injuries. 

                In order for you to make a successful medical malpractice claim, you must show that a medical provider failed to diagnose or treat you according to the applicable standard of care.  Florida law defines the standard of care to be the level of care exercised by a reasonably prudent medical provider in the accused provider’s specialty.  There are inherent risks to all medical procedures.  Not every injury that results from a medical procedure qualifies as medical malpractice.

 If you feel that you have suffered an injury due to medical malpractice, contact us at (954) 556-8952 for a free consultation to assess your options.  John Clarke is an experienced medical malpractice lawyer in Fort Lauderdale.  


Most Common Medical Malpractice Claims:

 1.  Surgical Errors – surgeries are complex procedures in which decisions must often be made at the spur of the moment.  It is no surprise that errors frequently occur in this situation that cause  harm to the patient.  Common surgical errors include damage to tissues and organs adjacent to the surgical site, incision and/or surgery on the wrong site, and failure to remove surgical equipment from the site of surgery once the operation has ended.


2. Anesthesia Errors – anesthesia errors can cause serious harm and death.  Specific mistakes in the provision of anesthesia care include: failure to thoroughly investigate the patient’s medical history for potential anesthesia complications, failure to monitor the patient’s vital signs while under anesthesia, and improper intubation techniques.


3.  Failure to Diagnose or Misdiagnosis – A medical professional has the obligation to do a physical assessment, take your medical history, and make a reasonable diagnosis based on these factors.  It is not uncommon for a doctor to fail to diagnose a disease based on symptoms that usually indicate a benign situation.  For example, a mass is more often benign than cancerous, so a doctor may fail to diagnose cancer or order additional tests on this basis alone.    The diseases that are most often implicated in claims for failure to diagnose are heart disease and cancer.


4.  Medication errors -  Prescription medication errors are a huge problem both in the inpatient and outpatient settings.  According to the Food and Drug administration, errors in the prescription and administration of prescription drugs injure approximately 1.3 million people annually in the United States alone. 

                A doctor may be liable for prescribing the wrong drug, the wrong dose, or failing to check other drugs that a patient takes for possible interactions.  Doctors and nurses make medication errors when they administer a medication that wasn’t ordered, give an incorrect dose, or use an improper method of administration.  Classes of drugs that are most often involved in litigation tend to be those that have serious adverse effects such as blood thinners, antibiotics, and corticosteroids.

Proving Your Case

Most medical malpractice claims assert that a medical provider was negligent in the treatment he rendered. A plaintiff seeking to recover against a medical provider for negligence must show:

  1. The standard of care that the defendant medical provider was

    supposed to follow in treating the plaintiff.

  2. The defendant medical provider breached the standard of care.

  3. The defendant medical provider’s breach of the standard of care

    caused the plaintiff’s injuries.

  4. The plaintiff’s injuries resulted in compensable damages (medical

    treatment, property damage, pain and suffering).

 Contact a Medical Malpractice Attorney

Medical malpractice injuries can cause long-term hardship and emotional devastation to the victim and their loved ones. John Clarke is an  experienced Fort Lauderdale personal injury and medical malpractice attorney who helps injured people get justice and move on with their lives.   If you have suffered harm because of the negligence or misconduct of a medical professional, contact Clarke Law P.A. today at (954) 556-8952 for a free consultation!