When you or a loved one needs medical treatment, there is an expectation that you can trust medical professionals to provide a high level of responsible care. Sometimes doctors and other medical professionals fail to meet this standard.
Negligence in the medical world can mean life or death. If you or a loved one has been impacted by a medical error, your best option for compensation is through the help of a Pensacola medical malpractice lawyer.
Medical Malpractice Statistics
There are a lot of different numbers floating around that pertain to the number of malpractice cases and deaths. The exact medical malpractice statistics for Florida and the United States strongly depend on the way researchers categorize the cases. Here are some reputable statistics and facts:
- National Practitioner Data Bank states that there were 883 Florida malpractice cases reported in 2020. It is worth mentioning that there were fewer elective surgeries in 2020 when compared to 2019, which had 1197 malpractice cases.
- A 2016 study by Johns Hopkins University found that more than 250,000 people in the U.S. die every year from medical errors and negligence. According to this study, medical malpractice is the third-leading cause of death in the United States.
- According to NPDB data, New York had the largest amount of medical malpractice reports from 2000 to 2020, followed by California and Florida.
- Florida ranked as the sixth highest state for medical malpractice lawsuits according to the 2019 Medscape Malpractice Report.
Regardless of the exact statistics, medical malpractice is a prevalent issue and one that no one ever hopes to experience.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is a legal cause of action that you can pursue when a medical professional has failed to do their duty to an acceptable standard of care. Medical malpractice pertains to all healthcare providers such as doctors, nurses, pharmacies, hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities.
Proving Malpractice in Florida
Just because a doctor made a mistake or their treatment did not have the intended result does not mean there is a case for malpractice. To prove that medical malpractice occurred, a person must show:
- A standard of care was owed and that standard was breached;
- The breach of care was the proximate cause of the injury; and
- Actual damages were caused by the breach.
Some of these elements can be very difficult to prove and will require an in-depth investigation into medical records and standard practices.
Common Reasons for Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
There are a lot of things that can go wrong when it comes to medical treatments, diagnoses, and procedures. A 2019 Medscape Malpractice Report found that medical malpractice fell into the following categories (some malpractice involved more than one category):
- 33% – Failure to diagnose/delayed diagnosis;
- 29% – Complications from treatment/surgery;
- 26% – Poor outcome/disease progression;
- 18% – Failure to treat/delayed treatment;
- 16% – Wrongful death;
- 11% – Abnormal injury;
- 4% – Poor documentation of patient instructions/education;
- 3% – Errors in medical administration;
- 2% – Failure to follow safety procedures;
- 1% – Improperly obtaining/lack of informed consent; and
- 11% – Other medical errors.
Medical malpractice can occur in a number of different ways. If you think that your medical provider has made an error in your care or the care of a loved one, you should contact a Pensacola medical malpractice lawyer.
Compensation for Medical Malpractice
Damages available for a successful medical malpractice lawsuit are similar to those awarded in other personal injury cases.
Economic damages may be awarded to cover the actual expenses associated with the damage caused by malpractice. These may include medical costs, lost wages, physical therapy, and other relevant costs.
Non-economic relief is available for damage that does not come with a clear price tag.
Compensation for pain and suffering, loss of consortium, post-traumatic stress, anxiety, and other hardships that stem from the malpractice fall under non-economic damages. Non-economic damages for medical malpractice in Florida may not exceed $500,000 in most cases.
To receive punitive damages, it must be determined that the act of the healthcare provider was intentional or displayed reckless disregard for the patient’s safety. If awarded, punitive damages can be three times the amount of compensatory damages.
Choosing a Pensacola Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured, you need a Pensacola medical malpractice lawyer who is experienced and knowledgeable about Florida malpractice law.
The legal team at Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon is committed to helping you navigate the complexities of the Florida legal system through compassionate legal representation.
Contact us today to have your case reviewed and start on the path to substantial recovery.