About Medical Malpractice
Lakeland Medical Malpractice Lawyer Dean Burnetti provides professional Medical Malpractice Attorney legal services in Polk County, including: Lakeland, Auburndale, Bartow, Davenport, Dundee, Eagle Lake, Fort Meade, Frostproof, Haines City, Highland Park, Hillcrest Heights, Lake Alfred, Lake Hamilton, Lake Wales, Mulberry, Polk City, and Winter Haven; in Highlands County, including: Avon Park, Lake Placid, Lorida, Sebring, Venus, Placid Lake, and Sylvan Shores; and in Hardee County, including: Bowling Green, Ona, Wauchula, Zolfo Springs, Gardner, and Limestone; and all of the Greater Central Florida Area.
Medical malpractice and medical negligence can occur in hospitals, doctors’ offices, surgical centers, as well as in any medical setting. Furthermore, malpractice can involve physicians, surgeons, chiropractors, psychiatrics, nursing homes, or other professionals involved in medical treatment, care, and testing.
What is Medical Malpractice?
All doctors must adhere to a prescribed duty of care. When they fail to do so and the result is that the patient is harmed (or dies), this is malpractice. Oftentimes, people confuse medical malpractice with the more common medical negligence. Malpractice has element of “intent” that negligence does not. However, this legal definition of “intent” is (usually) not malicious intent solely meant to harm the patient.
“Intent” in medical malpractice means that the medical provider knew certain measures should be taken to treat their patient; furthermore, without those measures, they knew the patient could potentially suffer adverse consequences. However, despite this knowledge, the provider still fails to provide those extra measures.
An example of this is when a provider fails to provide costly diagnostic tests because the patient doesn’t have health coverage. i.e., An uninsured woman complains of a lump in her breast. Her doctor then feels the lump and diagnoses it as a benign calcification. The woman does not get a mammogram or biopsy because she can’t afford these tests. She ignores the growing lump, unaware that it is cancerous until it metathesizes into other areas of her body. In less than two years, she dies.
Medical negligence has nothing to do with intent. As the name implies, medical negligence occurs when a medical provider causes harm to a patient by errors in medical judgment, omissions, or mistakes.
An example of this is when a provider assumes a level of underlying health when they make a diagnosis. i.e., A healthy teenage boy is tackled during a football game and visits the emergency room for chest pain. The doctor diagnoses the boy as having bruised ribs. The boy then goes home and dies from a pulmonary embolism.
Additionally, medical negligence includes misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis. It also encompasses errors in anesthesia administration, prescribing incorrect medication, and prescribing an incorrect dosage of medication. Furthermore, it involves negligent prenatal care and negligent care during childbirth. Finally, medical negligence encompasses surgical mistakes. Such errors include puncturing or nicking another organ during surgery or leaving a surgical tool inside the patient. Further surgical errors include failing to follow post-op protocol to avoid infection.
Not Medical Malpractice
While the above describes what medical malpractice and medical negligence is, many people often believe malpractice equates to rudeness. A doctor’s poor behavior can be aggravating, especially when you don’t feel your best. However, their rudeness, tardiness, or lack of bedside manner, do not, in themselves, constitute medical malpractice, negligence, or legal wrongdoing.
It’s also equally important to understand that all medical mishaps or negative outcomes do not equate to malpractice or negligence. The practice of medicine is not an exact science. A “routine” surgery may not go routinely through no fault of the surgeon; but because the doctor found more wrong than expected after they opened the patient.
What Does the Law Say?
In order to pursue a medical malpractice or medical negligence claim against a medical provider or facility, the facts must meet the threshold points prescribed by Florida law.
Very few medical malpractice claims ever make it out of the gate. Medical malpractice and medical negligence lawsuits are complex and expensive to pursue.
One of the costlier aspects of medical malpractice and medical negligence cases is selecting and hiring an “expert witness.” In this case, an expert witness is another doctor with similar credentials and experience as the provider in question. The expert first studies all the pertinent medical records. If they determine that a wrongdoing was actually committed, the attorney will then forge forward with the case.
Dean Burnetti Law Can Help...
No matter how you were injured or if a loved one was killed in a medical malpractice incident and you aren’t sure what your options are, the attorneys and staff at Dean Burnetti Law are familiar with every aspect of your case. They are eager to navigate the legal system for you as you travel down the road to physical and financial recovery. Call Dean Burnetti Law at 863-287-6388 today to schedule your free and confidential consultation.
The attorneys and staff at Dean Burnetti Law are familiar with every aspect of Medical Malpractice Injuries, including amputation injuries, birth injuries, plastic and cosmetic surgery injuries, anesthesia complications, nerve damage, organ damage, complications from hospital acquired infection, and even death. Our team is highly qualified and waiting to serve you.
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Lakeland: (863) 287-6388