When you entrust your health—and, sometimes, your life—to a healthcare professional, you expect them to be competent and provide you with safe and reasonable care. Unfortunately, mistakes are common among care professionals.
Even the smallest error could result in serious consequences, including severe and even life-threatening injuries. If you or your loved one was injured while under the care of a doctor, physician, nurse, or another medical professional, you should not have to pay the resulting costs alone.
Unfortunately, pursuing compensation is often complex and overwhelming, especially for underprepared claimants. However, by reaching out to a Pinellas County medical malpractice lawyer, you could have help with each step.
How is Medical Malpractice Defined?
Malpractice arises when a healthcare professional is negligent by failing to provide the recognized standard of care in the medical community, causing a person to suffer injuries or a worsened condition. This standard of care is judged based on how a reasonably prudent provider would have acted in the same or similar circumstances.
Under this definition, a claim might be built around a doctor’s actions or inaction, depending on the circumstances, and might arise from both inpatient and outpatient care. A Pinellas County lawyer who is familiar with medical malpractice cases could help to determine if a potential plaintiff’s circumstances warrant a claim.
Common Causes of Malpractice in Pinellas County
An injured person might have a cause of action for malpractice when the medical professional breaches the duty of care owed to them as a patient. Common types of circumstances that give rise to these claims include:
- Neglect to diagnosis
- A wrongful diagnosis
- Errors in the prescribing of medication
- Medication administration mistakes
- Surgical errors—such as procedures performed on the wrong patient or wrong location on the body, leaving behind instruments or other foreign objects, or damage to the nerves or organs
- Anesthesia mistakes that can cause brain damage or even death
- Birth injuries caused by mistakes made during pregnancy or delivery, such as failure to identify or respond to complications, or improper use of forceps
Available Damages in Medical Malpractice Cases
A plaintiff who is injured due to a medical mistake might be able to sue the at-fault party for compensatory damages. There are two primary types of damages that might be requested, which include:
- Economic damages—these might include compensation for medical bills, rehabilitation costs, physical therapy expenses, missed work, and future lost earning capacity, among others
- Non-economic damages—these may be requested for pain and suffering, disfigurement, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life
While some damages might have a definitive price tag, others might be more difficult to calculate. A detail-oriented Pinellas County medical malpractice lawyer could help an injured claimant to assess the full extent of their losses for a claim.
Furthermore, in certain malpractice cases, the defendant might also be given punitive damages, which are intended to punish the defendant for their behavior. Under the Florida Statutes §768.72, punitive damages are usually awarded for cases where the defendant was guilty of intentional misconduct or gross negligence.
Talk to a Pinellas County Medical Malpractice Attorney Today
If you or a loved one was injured while under the care of a healthcare provider, you might benefit from speaking with a Pinellas County medical malpractice lawyer.
Depending on your circumstances, you might be able to recover compensation for numerous losses, which might help you to move past your injuries and on with your life.
A seasoned attorney could help to assess your situation and work tirelessly to gather evidence and file a claim. To learn more, call a legal professional today.