In 2011 there were 758 paid medical malpractice cases in Florida, ranking it fourth among U.S. states, according to Kaiser State Health Facts. Only Pennsylvania, California and New York had more paid medical malpractice cases.
Because of this, it is important for patients in the state of Florida to be aware of what constitutes medical malpractice so that they may guard themselves with the assurance of legal action if medical professionals treat them negligently. Medical malpractice refers to professional negligence by a health care provider in which treatment provided was substandard and caused harm, injury or death to a patient.
By this definition, malpractice can mean giving the patient a wrong dosage or wrong medication, misdiagnosing the patient or even staph infections. However, there are a few tests to prove medical malpractice:
- Failure to provide a proper standard of care – Patients have an expectation of receiving good care from health care professionals.
- Injury caused by negligence – A patient must prove that their injury was a result of negligence. Being dissatisfied with the outcome of treatment is not enough to constitute malpractice.
- Catastrophic injury – In order for a malpractice lawsuit to succeed, the damages to the patient must be very serious, because if the patient’s injury is minor, more will be spent on the case than will be recovered.
If you have questions about a case that you believe could be considered medical malpractice, please contact us for a free consultation.