How common is medical malpractice?
Most people are shocked to discover that medical mistakes cause more than 250,000 deaths each year, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University. These researchers have said that preventable medical errors are now the third leading cause of death in the United States. Unfortunately, other studies suggest that millions of people sustain injuries and illnesses caused by medical mistakes each year and are left living with the consequences in the aftermath.
When most people think of medical malpractice, they think of doctors and surgeons. However, there are many other medical professionals that can make mistakes and be held accountable for their actions. This includes pharmacists, physician’s assistants, chiropractors, psychologists, psychiatric professionals, emergency medical professionals, nurses, dentists, ophthalmologists, and more.
What are the most common Tampa medical mistakes that occur?
Medical mistakes occur in a variety of ways, and it is important to point out that they are generally not caused by the intentional actions of a medical provider. Researchers to Johns Hopkins say that “most errors represent systemic problems, including poorly coordinated care, fragmented insurance networks, the absence or underuse of safety nets, and other protocols, in addition to unwarranted variation in physician practice patterns that lack accountability.”
Some of the most common preventable medical mistakes that occur in and around the Tampa area include the following:
- Misdiagnosis of a patient’s condition
- Failure to diagnose a condition
- Anesthesia mistakes
- Prescription medication errors
- Failure to obtain informed consent from a patient
- Surgical errors
- Obstetrical errors/birth injuries
- Healthcare-acquired infections
- Failure to prevent patient falls
Medical mistakes can lead to severe injuries for patients. This can include, but is not limited to, the following:
- Significant infections
- Internal organ damage or internal bleeding
- Organ failure
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Traumatic brain injury or hypoxia
- Allergic reactions
- Overdoses on medications
- Incisions at the wrong surgical site
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Significant illnesses going undiscovered and untreated
In addition to these traumatic injuries, victims of medical mistakes are also likely to incur significant emotional and psychological trauma as a result of the injuries and recovery. This will be particularly true for those who have sustained a long term disability due to the medical mistake.
What is necessary to prove medical malpractice in Tampa?
Proving a medical malpractice case can be difficult, and victims and their families should not try to do this by themselves. Tampa medical malpractice attorney Paul Rebein understands there are four basic elements that need to be present for a medical malpractice case to be successful:
- Duty. It needs to be proven that there was an established doctor-patient relationship between the alleged negligent party and the victim.
- Breach. After a duty of care has been established, it is to be shown that the medical provider failed their duty by not exercising the level of care or medical skill that a similarly trained medical professional would have provided in an equal situation.
- Causation. Just because a medical professional makes a mistake does not mean that it rises to the level of malpractice. To that end, there needs to be solid proof that the breach of duty by the medical professional directly caused a patient’s injury or illness.
- Damages. Finally, it needs to be proven that the patient sustained some sort of quantifiable monetary damages as a result of the breach of duty and their subsequent injuries or illness. This can include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Deadlines to file Tampa medical malpractice cases
Each state is responsible for setting a time limit, called the statute of limitations, for how long victims have to file medical malpractice claims. In Florida, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases two years from the date the medical mistake was discovered, or could reasonably have been discovered.
However, the two-year statute of limitations could be extended to four years if the medical mistake is not immediately discoverable. In Florida, victims of medical mistakes have up to four years from the initial medical error to file their claim if the injury was discovered past the initial two-year limitation.
What kind of compensation is available for a Tampa medical malpractice case?
If you or somebody you love has been injured due to the negligence of a medical professional, there may be various types of compensation available for your claim. Tampa medical malpractice attorney Paul Rebein has the experience you need to recover the following types of compensation:
- Coverage of all medical expenses caused by the mistake
- Coverage for any extended hospital or long-term care facility needs
- Coverage of any in-home medical care or physical therapy needed
- Lost income if a victim is unable to work while they recover
- General household out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering damages
- Loss of personal enjoyment damages
The total amount of compensation available for a Tampa medical malpractice case will vary depending on elements related to each particular situation. This could include the severity of the injuries caused by the mistake, whether a victim suffers from a disability due to the mistake, and how much long-term care will be needed.
Contact a Tampa medical malpractice attorney today
If you or somebody you love has been the victim of a mistake made by a medical professional, contact an attorney as soon as possible. You may be entitled to significant compensation, and Paul Rebein is ready to help. Our team will conduct a thorough investigation into your case in order to secure full compensation for your claim. Contact us today when you need a Tampa medical malpractice attorney.