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Medical Malpractice: The Basics

A medical malpractice suit can follow when a patient is harmed by a doctor, physician or acting medical personnel who fails to competently perform their medical duties. States vary in their interpretation of the rules governing medical malpractice, but general principles stand out and apply to most malpractice cases.

Do I have a medical malpractice case?

You need to show three things to potentially win your malpractice case. The first is that a relationship between you as a patient and the particular doctor in question actually existed. You must also show that the doctor acted negligently, not just that you are unhappy with your treatment. You will likely need to produce another doctor or medical expert to testify to your doctor's shortcomings with the medical standard of care. Finally, you will need to show that the injury lead to specific damages.

Examples of such damages include:

  • Physical pain
  • Mental anguish
  • Lost work and lost earning potential
  • Additional medical bills

Common types of malpractice include a failure to diagnose a disease or other illness, improper treatment, or a failure to warn you as a patient of known risks of surgery or medication.

Each state has certain requirements involving medical malpractice suits. For instance, you have only two years from discovery of malpractice to bring a medical malpractice claim before a judge in Florida. After two years, the statute of limitations expires and the court will not likely hear your case.

In addition, you may be required to submit the claim to a malpractice review panel which will hear your arguments, review evidence and expert testimony, and then decide whether malpractice has taken place. The panel is not a forum for a lawsuit and cannot award compensation but a patient must see one first.

To see if you have a claim and to obtain representation, call a Ft. Lauderdale personal injury lawyer from Rosenberg & Rosenberg, PA. Receive your free consultation today!