Four Elements of a Medical Negligence Claim
If you are like most residents of the Sunshine State, you don’t pay much attention to the medical malpractice unless you’ve found yourself or a loved one the victim of healthcare negligence. A 10-year study revealed that Florida had the third highest medical malpractice rate in the United States. During that 10-year time period, medical malpractice claims in the top three states broke down as follows:
- New York – 16,668
- California – 13, 157
- Florida – 10, 788
If medical negligence is classified along with diseases, conditions, and illnesses, it ranks as one of the most common causes of injury and death in Florida and across the United States.
Armed with the knowledge that Florida medical malpractice is a widespread issue, it’s important that you are armed with an essential understanding of the four primary elements of a medical malpractice claim:
- Duty of care
- Breach of duty care
- Injury arising from breach of duty
- Actual injury
Duty of Care
The first element of a Florida medical malpractice case is to demonstrate the existence of a duty of a care. The bottom line is that if a doctor has accepted you as a patient, that physician has a legal duty to provide care to you in a reasonably appropriate manner. The doctor must provide services to you in a manner in which a similarly situated, capable doctor would do in the same general situation.
Breach of Duty of Care
A medical malpractice claim is based upon a breach of that duty of care. In other words, a doctor or other healthcare provider deviates from what a reasonable medical professional would do in the same or similar circumstances.
Injury Arising from Breach of Duty
The injury, damages, and losses sustained by a patient must be connected to and arise from the breach of a doctor or other healthcare provider’s duty of case. For example, a patient experiences an unnecessary progression of an otherwise treatable form of cancer because a doctor failed to make a proper diagnosis of the disease in a reasonably timely manner.
Finally, in order for a medical malpractice claim in Florida to be successful, a patient must be able to demonstrate that he or she has sustained actual injuries. Injuries cannot be hypothetical or merely a possibility. They must actually exist. Actual injuries also encompass that prospect that identifiable injuries today might become progressively worse into the future as a result of the alleged medical negligence.
Your Legal Rights as a Victim of Medical Negligence
If you’ve been injured as a result of medical negligence, or if you’ve lost a family member as a result of healthcare negligence, the experienced, compassionate legal team at the Florida Doan Law Firm is here for you. You can connect with a dedicated Florida medical malpractice attorney at any one of our five offices in the state:
- Jacksonville – (904) 901-0000
- Orlando – (407) 289-0000
- Miami – (786) 671-0000
- Tallahassee – (850) 601-0000
- Tampa – (813) 609-0000
Our phone lines are staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year, including major holidays. We can schedule an initial consultation with a Florida medical malpractice lawyer at our offices, your home, the hospital, or any location that works for you. A virtual case evaluation can be arranged with a Florida medical malpractice attorney online as well.
If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of healthcare negligence, you are well-served seeking assistance from a seasoned Florida medical malpractice attorney in a proactive manner. You should not submit to questioning by a doctor or hospital’s medical malpractice insurance provider without first consulting with legal counsel. Answering such questions without legal representation oftentimes has seriously negative consequences for an injured person.
If you are contacted by a medical malpractice insurance company, you should advise the representative that you either have or will soon be retaining legal counsel. Advise the representative of the insurance company that your attorney will be in contact with them as soon as possible.
There is no charge for an initial consultation with a Florida medical malpractice lawyer from our firm. In fact, The Doan Law Firm never charges an attorney fee unless we win your case for you.