Miami Medical Malpractice Lawyer
It only takes one negligent action or small mistake by a healthcare professional to forever alter your life. Unfortunately, some of these mistakes may even be fatal and result in the wrongful death of an innocent person. This is troubling because we depend on our doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers to give us the medical care we need and deserve. Sadly, far too many healthcare providers take advantage of that trust by acting recklessly, careless, or downright negligently in caring for us. While our medical malpractice attorney that a doctor can never guarantee a particular result from treatment or surgery, the law does not allow this to mean a doctor could act negligently or improperly. With preventable medical errors being the third-leading cause of death in the United States, it is clear that this does not always happen.
Injured by the Reckless or Careless Medical Care of a Doctor or Hospital?
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured due to the improper actions or omissions of a healthcare provider in Miami, Florida, call for a FREE consultation to learn how we can help protect your rights to compensation under the law. Our experienced Miami medical malpractice lawyer has dedicated his career to ensuring victims of medical negligence get their fair day in court. We will work with your treating physicians and leading experts to help prove your damages and liability against a defendant. Learn more by calling (305) 694-2676 to schedule your free case evaluation.
Medical Malpractice Cases are Not Like Regular Personal Injury Cases
The first thing to realize about medical malpractice cases is that they are not like other types of personal injury cases such as car accidents, slip and falls, or dog bites. To win this type of case, your lawyer will need to have a superior command of both the law and the medicine. This is because the defendant is likely a sophisticated physician who has spent over a decade studying at top universities, followed by years of training and experience in their field.
Medical malpractice cases almost always require expert testimony, meaning you and the other side(s) will need to retain medical experts to explain the medicine. A lawyer needs to know how to understand what the expert is testifying about in order to cross-examine and poke holes in the defense’s arguments.
In addition, medical malpractice cases require a substantial understanding. Unlike the defendant, a plaintiff (the victim of medical malpractice) is not a medical professional and must hire at least one medical professional to make claims against the defendant’s negligent medical conduct. Hiring a medical expert right from the start of a case can be very expensive. Having a lawyer on your side that can shoulder this initial cost to bring your claim is essential.
Medical malpractice cases are also not like other types of personal injury cases because most defendants—doctors—are not willing to admit they were wrong or that they made a mistake. As a result, these types of cases are less likely to settle and more likely to be hotly contested with heavy motion practice, intense depositions, and aggressive trial tactics.
These are just some of the reasons why a victim of a healthcare provider’s mistakes must look for more than just a personal injury lawyer, but retain a lawyer who regularly handles medical malpractice cases in Florida.
Why We Are Different
We understand just how difficult it is to deal with the consequences of a medical error that could have been prevented and understand the challenges you may face now and in the future as a result of that medical error. We have the experience, skill, and resources necessary to hold negligent healthcare providers accountable for their actions. We have a proven track record of success against medical providers, including doctors, nurses, hospitals, and other healthcare professionals or businesses.
Most importantly, we have a comprehensive understanding of medicine and anatomy. This is essential to being able to establish what went wrong, how the defendant was negligent in causing the injuries, and what your damages are now and in the future. We are proven in trial and have gone against some of the largest insurance carriers and defense law firms in Florida, if not the United States.
If you may have a claim against a reckless or negligent medical provider, the Law Offices of Prosper Shaked is where you need to go to get the help you deserve.
Understanding Medical Malpractice in Florida
Personal injury cases like medical malpractice are usually based on negligence. Negligence has roots in British law and is based on decisional law, or judge-made common law. A party is negligent when he, she, or it (a business could be negligent too) fails to exercise the same reasonable care that a reasonably prudent person would have in similar circumstances.
In a medical malpractice case, the Florida Legislature has codified the common-law under Florida Law section 766.102 (1), which provides that “[t]he prevailing professional standard of care for a given health care provider shall be that level of care, skill, and treatment which, in light of all relevant surrounding circumstances, is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent similar health care providers.” This is an expansion of the common-law that applies directly to healthcare professionals.
Proving the Elements of Negligence
Since medical malpractice cases are premised on negligence, a plaintiff must establish the four different elements of medical malpractice. These four elements include the following:
1) Was a duty of care owed to you, the patient? (What was the prevailing standard of care?)
2) Did the healthcare provider fail to meet the standard of care? (Breach or deviation from the prevailing standard of care)
3) Did their failure to provide you the standard of care result in injury? (Damages)
4) Was the injury or damage causally related to the medical provider’s breach of care? (Causation)
Each of these elements must be established in order to recover compensation in a medical malpractice lawsuit. There are many ways that this could happen, including many common errors, mistakes, or outright negligent actions that could lead to patient harm.
Do I Need to Prove My Medical Malpractice Case “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt?”
The elements of a medical malpractice case must be proven by the relevant “burden of proof.” The burden of proof, or burden of persuasion, is the level of confidence you must bring out in the judge or jury that your claims are correct. The most famous burden of proof is the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard. This requires a plaintiff to prove a case by a 98-100% certainty.
Fortunately, that is only the standard in criminal cases and rare civil claims/counterclaims. Rather, the burden of proof in a medical malpractice case is “by a preponderance of the evidence.” This standard requires proving that your claim is more likely than not correct, or 51%. While this is a lower burden to meet, unfortunately it means that the defendant only needs to prove a defense by 50% or more. This is why it is imperative to retain an experienced and competent medical malpractice lawyer in Florida.
Common Causes of Medical Malpractice in Florida
Unfortunately, there are many causes of medical malpractice that lead to patient harm or even wrongful death. Most cases of medical malpractice are due to pure negligence or recklessness. Additionally, medical malpractice can result from inexperienced medical professionals who are not provided enough oversight when providing care for patients.
Some of the most common causes of medical malpractice occurring in Florida that we can assist you with include the following:
- Failure to diagnose cancer
- Surgical errors
- Anesthesia mistakes
- Failure to order proper testing (i.e. imaging, blood work, etc.)
- Emergency room delays
- Failure to refer to an appropriate specialist
- Failure to recognize that symptoms could be indicative of a particular illness
- Failure to inform patient of known procedural or medication risks
- Failure to obtain patient consent prior to a procedure
- Misinterpretation of test results
- Mixing up of different patients test results
- Failure to diagnose a stroke
- Wrong site surgery
- Wrong patient surgery
- Administering unnecessary medication
- Failure to diagnose a heart attack, aortic dissection, or A-Fib
- Performing an unnecessary surgery
- Medication errors or prescription errors (i.e. wrong route, wrong dose, wrong frequency, etc.)
- Hospital acquired infections (HAI, such as the “Superbug” MRSA)
- Nursing home bedsores resulting from inadequate care
- Discharging a patient before they are medically ready, leading to patient harm
- Birth injuries like kernicterus, cerebral palsy, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy
- Unnecessary treatment delays
- Burns from surgeries or physical therapy treatments
- Unnecessary delays in diagnosis
- Dental complications due to preventable infections, bridges, or dental crowns
- Inadequate follow-up care
- Failure to provide adequate discharge instructions
- Vaginal delivery of a baby that is breech or transverse
- Failure to perform a c-section when indicated, and
- Many other common examples of Florida medical malpractice that our experienced lawyer could review and handle for you.
Among all of these common causes, the most common types of medical malpractice cases in Florida include surgical errors, birth injuries, anesthesia errors, and delays in diagnosing a condition—particularly cancer.
When a person hears about medical malpractice, surgical errors are one of the most common examples that come to mind, such as the slip of a scalpel. While every surgery comes with risks, there are some risks that can be reduced or eliminated entirely. If a patient suffers significant harm from surgery with a risk that is not known to that procedure, it should be investigated to determine if negligence played a part in the injury.
Additionally, any time that the wrong patient is operated on, the wrong site (i.e. left arm instead of right arm) or the wrong procedure, it is almost always a result of medical malpractice and even gross negligence. Another typical example of surgical medical malpractice resulting in patient harm is when a surgeon leaves tools or sponges inside the body during the surgery without removal before the surgery is completed.
Birth Injuries Due to Negligence
Birth injuries, unfortunately, happen all too often as a result of medical malpractice in Florida. While it is important to note that not all birth injuries are due to negligence, it is wise to speak to a medical malpractice attorney if your child suffered from a birth injury. There is a possibility that the injury could have been entirely avoided. A few examples of birth injuries that can be due to medical malpractice include the following:
Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) – This birth injury is often due to medical malpractice. Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, or HIE, results in damage to the brain because it was not getting enough oxygenated blood flow. This results in lesions or damage to the brain. HIE is one of the common causes of cerebral palsy, or CP. With avoidance of risks (i.e. opting for a c-section instead of a vaginal birth if a vaginal birth is contraindicated) as well as proper fetal monitoring, HIE can often be avoided.
Cerebral Palsy – Cerebral palsy is a term that refers to movement disorders that are caused by damage to parts of the brain. CP generally happens at birth or when the brain is still developing, and is a result of the brain being deprived of oxygen. Unfortunately, there is no cure for cerebral palsy, and children will live with these deficits for their lifetime. Cerebral palsy can cause difficulties with walking, talking, feeding, and performing activities of daily living. If your child was diagnosed with cerebral palsy due to a birth injury or something that occurred prenatally, you should call our medical malpractice attorney in Florida today. Caring for a child with cerebral palsy is costly, and if your child’s CP was caused by a negligent healthcare provider you may be eligible for compensation that can cover the costs of care that your child will need for their lifetime.
Kernicterus – Kernicterus is a condition that results from uncontrolled hyperbilirubinemia. Jaundice at birth is quite common and treatable. However, if a healthcare provider fails to diagnose or properly treat jaundice, it can lead to kernicterus which refers to brain damage due to an excess level of untreated bilirubin. Children with Kerniecterus will often suffer from significant neurological damage, and the condition is generally always due to medical malpractice.
Anesthesia is often necessary for many procedures and surgeries. While anesthesia does carry risks even if administered properly, there are some people that suffer severe harm, including death due to a mistake made by an anesthesiologist or other medical professional. If you suffered any of the following anesthesia errors, you will want to contact our medical malpractice attorneys at the Law Offices of Prosper Shaked:
- Errors with intubation
- Failure to appropriately monitor while the patient is under anesthesia
- Not enough medication was administered
- Too much medication was administered
- Improper use or administration of nerve blocks, leading to permanent or long term nerve damage
- Failure to appropriately monitor the airway
- Malfunctions with PCA pumps
Failure to Diagnose and Misdiagnosis
The failure to diagnose a condition could be catastrophic. This is particularly true if a healthcare provider fails to diagnose a condition such as a stroke, heart attack, pulmonary embolism, a-fib, aortic dissection, or any type of cancer. All of these conditions are dangerous, and you do not need a medical degree to know that.
Even if one of these conditions were misdiagnosed and the patient survived by making a recovery, there still could be underlying risks and damages due to the delay in treatment. For example, even if a patient survives a delayed cancer diagnosis, the length of the delay could have resulted in an increased risk that 1) the cancer will return in the future, and 2) the cancer will have a higher mortality rate because it will be more aggressive. These are damages that a victim may recover in a lawsuit.
Common Injuries Sustained by Victims of Negligent Healthcare Professionals
There are many different injuries that can occur as a result of negligence or medical malpractice. It is important that a medical malpractice lawyer reviews any person’s case that resulted in serious personal injuries or wrongful death. No individual should have to suffer consequences due to a medical provider’s error.
Your medical malpractice lawyer at the Law Offices of Prosper Shaked is ready and able to represent you for injuries sustained as a result of medical malpractice in Florida, including the following:
- Unnecessary amputation
- Long-term effects or wrongful death due to a heart attack or stroke that were preventable, were not timely diagnosed, or were not treated appropriately and in a timely manner
- Anesthesia errors resulting in patient harm due to an overdose or complication
- Hospital-acquired infections (HAI)
- Sepsis due to failure to treat an infection in a timely manner or failure to provide proper wound care or care of a catheter
- Kernicterus (brain damage due to untreated hyperbilirubinemia at birth)
- Cerebral palsy at birth
- Brain damage
- Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy – A catastrophic birth injury resulting from a lack of oxygen or blood flow to the brain
- Organ damage or failure
- Nursing home injuries such as falls or pressure ulcers (also known as bedsores)
- Surgical errors such as operating on the wrong body part
- Medication errors resulting in patient harm
- Quadriplegia or paraplegia due to preventable spinal cord injuries
- Labor and delivery injuries such as umbilical cord prolapse, placental rupture,
- Nerve damage from improper surgical positioning or cutting, tearing, or damaging during a procedure
- Unnecessary treatment administered
- Burn injuries from chemicals, surgical fires, or mechanical friction (i.e., drilling against skin)
- Broken bones or torn ligaments
- Wrongful death, and
- Any other type of serious personal injuries that were proximately caused by the negligent actions or inactions of a healthcare provider.
Were You Injured Due to the Negligence of a Healthcare Professional? We Can Help
If you suffered from any adverse result of medical treatment, you might have a medical malpractice claim under Florida law for damages. Unfortunately, most victims of medical malpractice do not realize they only have a limited two-year time period to bring a claim known. This two-year time period is known as the statute of limitations period.
As with most personal injury attorneys in Florida, we work on a contingency fee. We understand that a personal injury is an unexpected cost to your family, and we offer free consultations, pay the upfront costs of a lawsuit, and only get our attorney’s fees paid after we recover compensation for you. This means there is no upfront cost or financial risk to working with us.
Adding to the confusion of when and how to file a claim is that most medical providers who made a mistake will tell a victim that it was a normal risk of the procedure or an unavoidable consequence. While that may be true in some instances, this is often a common way for a healthcare provider to try to hide from liability.
If you or a loved one suffered serious injuries or died due to negligent medical treatment, call Prosper Shaked for a FREE consultation by dialing (305) 694-2676. Although our office is in Miami, we successfully represent clients throughout the State of Florida. During your free case evaluation, we will thoroughly review the facts and circumstances of your case and provide you with valuable insight regardless of whether you decide to hire our law firm. We stand committed to protecting residents of Florida who have been wronged by healthcare providers. Learn how we can dedicate our attention and years of experience to you and your family today.