When you visit a doctor, you expect the physician to be competent. A misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, or failure to diagnose can be extremely detrimental to a person’s health. It can hamper the individual’s ability to seek timely treatment and worsen his or her condition. If you or a loved one has reason to believe that you were misdiagnosed or not diagnosed promptly, it is important to speak to a Miami medical malpractice lawyer.
Misdiagnosis involves diagnosing a disease that is not actually present or failing to diagnose a disease that is present. Delayed diagnosis takes place when the physician fails to diagnose the patient in a timely manner. Failure to diagnose occurs when the doctor fails to inform the patient of the condition altogether.
When an injury results from medical malpractice, Florida physicians may be liable. Consider the following example. A doctor fails to accurately diagnose cancer for several months. In that time, the cancer spreads and is no longer treatable. The patient soon dies from the cancer. This might be a case of delayed diagnosis. Perhaps a correct diagnosis could have allowed the patient to seek life-saving or life-extending treatment. In such a scenario, the patient’s estate might be able to file a medical negligence claim against the physician.
Under Florida law, a medical malpractice claim requires establishing the following elements: i) a physician-patient relationship existed at the time of the negligence; ii) the physician owed the patient a duty of care; iii) the physician breached the duty of care owed to the patient; and iv) the patient suffered harm and damages as a direct result of the physician’s breach. The duty of care refers to the obligation to act as a prudent physician would act in the same or similar circumstances.
If a plaintiff can establish medical negligence, he or she may be eligible for damages. The exact amount of damages will vary depending on the specific facts of the case. In general, however, a plaintiff may be able to recover past, present, and future medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, and more. Unless a medical professional acts with gross negligence, including willful or malicious acts, injured patients will not typically be entitled to punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended to punish the wrongdoer and deter others from engaging in similar conduct.
It is important to note that multiple parties may be liable in a particular medical negligence case, including the hospital. Thus, it is best to speak to an attorney who can identify each potential defendant in your case.
We trust health care providers to improve our health, not worsen it. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, our Miami medical malpractice attorneys have handled a variety of medical malpractice cases. We have a strong record of getting our clients the compensation they deserve for their harm. If you or someone close to you has been injured by a health care professional, call us at 1-877-499-HURT (4878) or contact us online today. We proudly represent clients throughout South Florida.
More Blog Posts:
Florida Supreme Court Clarifies the Collateral Source Rule, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, January 4, 2016
The “American Rule” in the Context of Florida Personal Injury Cases, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, December 24, 2015
Florida Appeals Court Resolves Summary Judgment Issue in Deadly Pedestrian Accident Case, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, December 24, 2015