We count on medical professionals like doctors, nurses, and pharmacy personnel to provide us with knowledgeable and experienced advice and care. After all, our health – our very lives – depends on it. A doctor who misdiagnoses an illness or condition, or a pharmacist who neglects to notice that two drugs prescribed to an individual can often result in serious reactions if taken together, can lead to serious illness or death for the patient. We all understand that our healthcare providers are only human and mistakes, however tragic, are bound to happen. Even when exercising the utmost care, doctors may choose one course of treatment for a patient that ultimately does not work. But what happens when a healthcare provider renders poor care and advice? If you or a loved one suffered injury as a result, a professional negligence claim like a medical malpractice lawsuit may provide you with compensation for the harm caused to you. Considerations for Professional Negligence Claims A lawsuit brought against a professional such as a doctor or pharmacist in Tampa, Florida is not easy to prove or win. Typically, the law provides some measure of protection to these healthcare workers by requiring the injured plaintiff to show more than simple negligence or carelessness on the part of the provider. Instead, the injured patient must usually show that the level of care provided was below an “objective standard of reasonable care” given the community. If no reasonable doctor or pharmacist of a similar background and education would have engaged in the behavior or made the decision your doctor or pharmacist did, then compensation may be available. The law does not usually compensate injured patients whose doctors chose a reasonable, but ultimately unsuccessful, course of treatment. If reasonable medical minds could differ as to the appropriate course of treatment for your particular situation, the law will generally not impose liability on your healthcare provider. It is only when your provider’s actions and advice were objectively unreasonable that compensation may be available.
The injured patient must show that the level of care provided was below an “objective standard of reasonable care” given the community.
Florida has enacted certain reforms to its professional negligence claims statutes, most notably, by limiting the amount of “noneconomic” damages in certain cases like medical malpractice cases. This means that, unless certain exceptions apply, you are limited in the amount you can receive for losses such as pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. One final consideration: professional negligence claims often require the assistance and testimony of expert witnesses. Other doctors or pharmacists will need to be consulted and will need to testify concerning appropriate medical standards of care and whether these standards were violated in your case. Without this important information, your professional negligence claim may not succeed. Help for Injured Patients At Burnett Wilson Reeder, we have helped injured patients recover compensation for their injuries, additional treatment costs, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of chance of survival, and other losses following a Florida medical malpractice incident. We will evaluate your case and can advise you as to your rights to compensation through a professional negligence claim during your free initial consultation. Call our Tampa Personal Injury Lawyers today at (813) 221-5000.