As a patient, you depend on hospitals and other healthcare facilities to provide proper treatment for your injury or illness. Whether it’s an outpatient procedure, inpatient surgery, or emergency room visit — you place your trust in the medical professionals employed by or practicing at that location. They must offer quality medical treatment, medications, clean environments, sterile tools, and functioning equipment. Moreover, hospitals, medical centers, urgent care centers, and even diagnostic centers are responsible for hiring qualified staff with the proper credentials and training as well as ensuring that they are well staffed to meet the demands of adequately caring for patients. Unfortunately, negligence and medical malpractice occur far too often. As licensed, local attorneys in Miami, we know how devastating this can be to members of our community, both young and old.
From surgical errors and misdiagnosis to birth injuries, our hospital negligence and medical malpractice lawyers have extensive understanding and experience regarding all kinds of medical procedures, regulations, pathologies, and treatments that are involved in filing a lawsuit for the injury or harm caused by healthcare providers and hospitals that deviate from accepted standards of care.
Panter, Panter & Sampedro has a distinguished reputation for securing favorable verdicts and multi-million-dollar settlements for victims of hospital negligence and other forms of medical malpractice.
A medical mistake can be so very costly, for you and your family. Let us obtain the compensation you may be entitled to under the law to improve your quality of life.
Call us today at 305-662-6178 for a FREE case review.
Suing a Hospital for Negligence
According to research done by Purdue University, there are as many as 251,000 deaths every single year in the United States. Doctors and other healthcare practitioners are trained professionals, but the worst can happen. Even if an accident does not result in someone passing on, it can still lead to serious, chronic ailments.
That is where we step in. We understand that if you or a loved one is in the hospital, you can reasonably expect that the staff there will take care of you. But mistakes can happen. And it is emotionally devastating when you expect to get better, but instead you get worse.
Our experienced team has helped many people around Miami, and in the entire state of Florida. Read more to learn what we can do for you.
What Kind of Lawyer Do You Need to Sue a Hospital?
If you are looking to sue a hospital, you need a good medical negligence attorney. As part of that, it is worthwhile to look for someone who has experience, someone who has already won many of these cases and gotten fair settlements for people.
In these sorts of cases, there is a temptation to balk at the price tag. While it is understandable, you really are getting what you pay for when you go bargain basement with your case. There are consequences of negligence that can last for your whole life, and most people want to make sure that they will be taken care of. That means that you need a lawyer who will fight for you to help get the compensation you need.
Reasons to Sue a Hospital
When it comes to examples of negligence in a hospital setting, there are many different situations that can lead to a lawsuit. The following is not meant to be a comprehensive list. There are a myriad of ways that serious injury or death can occur as result of hospital negligence. These may include, but are not limited to:
- Surgical errors
- Medication errors (i.e. wrong medication, incorrect dosage)
- Medical device errors or equipment failures
- Wrong diagnosis or misdiagnosis
- Delayed diagnosis
- Misread patient charts, diagnostic tests (x-rays, MRIs, ultrasounds, etc.)
- Improperly documenting critical facts
- Ignoring serious symptoms
- Not ordering the correct tests
- Failure to sanitize equipment or surrounding environment
- Infections arising from improper cleaning of wounds
- Slip and falls in common areas or patient rooms
How Do You Know If You Have A Medical Malpractice Case?
In order to know when you might have a medical malpractice case, we need to understand when you do not have a medical malpractice case. If a patient’s condition gets worse, that is not always a sign that there is grounds for a case. As long as the doctor acted with reasonable care and skill in how they treated the patient, then you may not have a case. There is no guarantee that every patient will respond to proper treatment the same way.
In addition, if the patient’s case is untreatable, the hospital is not liable if they correctly diagnose the problem and make reasonable decisions with how they take care of the patient. There are not any medical malpractice laws in place to help those who have a terminal illness, when the doctor does everything else correctly.
Now we are going to turn our attention to what may be considered medical malpractice. When a medical professional provides substandard care, then it may be considered medical negligence. In other words, when a health care provider does not provide the level and type of care that a similarly skilled and educated professional should. This can take many different forms. In order to prove this, both parties usually rely on an expert witness.
In addition, in some cases the healthcare professional may have done something reckless. These cases are incredibly rare. For example, if a surgeon performs while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, then they may have acted recklessly. While that is an extreme example, it is sufficient to show that proving recklessness is a high bar to clear.
Medical Malpractice Case Damages and Compensation
If you have been hurt by a medical professional, there is room for you to get compensated according to the law. There are special damages, general damages, and punitive damages.
Special damages cover certain expenses such as medical bills and missed past work. These are more exact than general or punitive damages, but they can involve some guesswork especially as it relates to future medical expenses. Having documentation here can really help you out.
General damages come from the patient’s suffering. Pain and suffering is very much real, but it can be more abstract and harder to quantify. The most common examples of this are the loss of enjoyment of life, loss of future earning capacity, and physical and mental pain. To arrive at a dollar value, the patient and others need to give evidence about the pain and suffering the patient experienced. In addition, an expert may come in to testify about how to evaluate future lost earning capacity.
In some cases, there may also be punitive damages. This is when the actions of the healthcare professional were especially egregious, where they knew that they were behaving in a harmful manner. A judge or jury may want to punish this behavior to discourage similar behavior in the future. The exact amount is decided by the court.