medical injury claim lawyer in Florida

Have You or a Loved One Been the Victim of Medical Malpractice?

Medical Malpractice involves improper treatment or negligence on the part of a doctor or other medical professional that causes injury, harm, or death to the patient. This may result from inaccurate diagnosis, wrong medication, errors in surgery, or inadequate aftercare. Medical malpractice can be the cause of various physical injuries as well as emotional pain and suffering, and the doctor or hospital concerned can be sued for the damages. However, not all medical errors are considered medical malpractice. Usually, you are required to seek help from another medical expert to confirm malpractice.

Florida’s Medical Malpractice Laws Can Be Confusing

Florida’s medical malpractice laws are more complex than those of most other states. It has also proven to be much easier on doctors and hospitals than it is on patients.

All states have different time limits for a patient to file a medical malpractice suit, referred to as the statute of limitations. In Florida, the statute of limitations is two years from the date that the patient discovered or should have discovered that he or she suffered harm due to medical malpractice.

Apart from the statute of limitations, Florida has a harsher rule, known as the statute of repose. According to this rule, in no circumstances (apart from fraud, destruction of evidence, or covering-up mistakes) shall a medical professional be sued after more than four years from the date that the malpractice took place, regardless of when it was discovered. Further, your entire claim will expire with whatever statute expires first, irrespective of the fact that the other statute may or may not have expired yet. This means that a medical malpractice case must be filed within four years of the date that the malpractice occurred, otherwise the claim is considered invalid. However, in cases of a fraud, a cover-up, or other such severe cases of malpractice, the statute is seven years.

Florida’s Laws Concerning Birth-Related Medical Malpractice

Under Florida law, birth-related medical malpractice occurs when the negligence of a doctor, hospital, or other medical professional causes any of the following:

  • Injuries to the mother, infant, or both
  • Wrongful birth, meaning cases where incomplete information or no information is provided to the parents about complications in the pregnancy, where the parents might have chosen to end the pregnancy if they had all of the information.
  • Wrongful pregnancy, meaning cases where a woman can avoid or end a pregnancy to avoid complications, but the doctor/hospital/medical professional fails to do so.

Damages You Can Recover in a Florida Medical Malpractice Claim

If you have suffered through any of the above medical malpractice situations, there are several  forms of damages that you can claim to compensate your injuries and suffering. In Florida, you can claim economic damages as well as non-economic damages. Economic damages include hospital bills, other medical expenses, lost wages, etc. Non-economic damages include distress, trauma, pain and suffering and other similar damages that are not financial in nature.

In the case of birth injuries, once there is evidence that the infant was harmed during the delivery, you can file a lawsuit on behalf of the infant, acting as the infant’s guardian. The hospital or doctor can be sued for the damages caused to the infant as well as the emotional suffering inflicted upon you.

Birth-related injuries are complex and differ from case to case. In cases of injury to the infant, it can be difficult to determine if the damage is a birth injury or birth defect. A birth injury is when the baby is harmed during the delivery, whereas a baby may have a birth defect even before it is born. Birth injuries include cerebral palsy, broken or dislocated bones, injury to the spinal cord, and so forth.

In case of injury to the mother, which may include hemorrhaging during delivery, administering the wrong medications or the wrong dosage, with harmful effects, you may claim damages for the cost of healing and any other medical complications that may arise from it.

In cases of wrongful birth, where if provided with the necessary information, you would have chosen to end the pregnancy to avoid any defects, the hospital or doctor may have to compensate for any emotional trauma caused to you as well incur all medical expenses that stem from the child’s disorder.

In cases of wrongful pregnancy, you may have tried to avoid the pregnancy by sterilization or might have chosen to end the pregnancy completely, but negligence on part of the doctor or hospital may have caused the procedure to fail. The damages in a wrongful pregnancy case are debatable, and depend on several factors: Are you incapable of caring for the child? Do you have extreme financial constraints? Was the sterilization performed incorrectly by the doctor? It is known that there is a small percentage of failure in sterilization procedures, so not all of these cases can be successful.

If you prevail in a wrongful pregnancy case, there are many forms of damages that you can claim, including the cost for the failed sterilization, the cost for termination, the cost of childbirth and childcare, and compensation for any wages that the pregnancy may have caused you to lose.

The Process of Proving Your Medical Malpractice Claim

There are several things that could go wrong with a pregnancy, and the resulting circumstances can be traumatic and overwhelming. If you have been subjected to injuries during pregnancy, wrongful birth, or wrongful pregnancy, it can be devastating. However, in cases of medical malpractice, it is necessary to act logically and rationally to obtain some semblance of justice through a lawsuit.

Even so, birth-related medical malpractice can be tricky to prove. Under Florida law, there is a general standard of medical care which is expected from all medical professionals and hospitals. In court, your attorney will have to establish that your doctor or hospital failed to act according to this general standard of care, thus leading to damage or injury caused to you or your child or both.

If you have reason to believe that the doctor, hospital, or other medical professional was responsible for any birth-related injury or damage caused to you, your child, or both, then you must seek legal help. You will need to gather all possible evidence, including hospital bills, medical records, and prescriptions, to prepare for your lawsuit. Your attorney will have to prove that the medical professional failed to give you or your child the necessary medical attention and advice. Your attorney may rely on the opinion of another expert medical professional to prove that the damage caused was due to malpractice.

If you have reasonable cause to believe that you have been subjected to medical malpractice in Florida, contact a determined Ft. Lauderdale, FL medical malpractice lawyer at Madalon Law for a free consultation as soon as possible.

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When Misdiagnosis Results in Harm to Medical Patients in Florida

Diagnosis is the first and most important step towards recovery. However, at times, the illness is misdiagnosed, diagnosed when it’s too late, or never diagnosed at all. Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis can prove to be extremely dangerous and may lead to severe injuries or even death. A small illness may manifest into something much bigger and life threatening, if not diagnosed correctly.

We trust our doctors with every minor and major illness, yet negligence may cause them to take incorrect decisions, leading to catastrophic results. Under Florida law, if you or someone you know was harmed due to negligence in a case of misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis by a doctor or other medical professional, you have a claim against the concerned medical provider and can sue for damages.

How Can You Prove Misdiagnosis in a Medical Malpractice Claim?

According to Florida law, you cannot sue a medical provider solely on the basis of a diagnostic error. It is possible for skillful and experienced doctors to make honest mistakes, too. This does not mean that the care offered to you was inadequate. The doctor may have done everything that he or she could to diagnose and treat your illness, but failed despite their best efforts.

It is unreasonable for every diagnostic error to be taken to court, especially if it was not the result of negligence. Thus, to prove medical malpractice, you must prove that the diagnostic error occurred due to the medical provider’s negligence, and that the care offered to you was below the general standard of medical care. The general standard of medical care is a legal obligation that medical professionals owe to their patients, and any deviation from this can be considered as medical malpractice.

You will also need to prove that the diagnostic error caused some harm to you. In some cases, misdiagnosis may not cause any serious injury to the person. However, sometimes, the harm caused can be as severe as death. For example, if due to negligence, a doctor fails to diagnose cancer on time, it may reach the next stage, which may be even more difficult to treat, or may be untreatable. In such cases, a medical malpractice lawsuit can be filed.

Further, to prove medical malpractice, the opinion of another expert medical professional may be required. If other doctors could have diagnosed the same illness, under the same circumstances, by using the correct diagnostic techniques, but your doctor failed to do so, due to negligence, then your doctor can be held liable for the damage caused in a medical malpractice claim.

Establishing Whether or Not Negligence Played a Role in Your Case

How can you determine whether or not your medical provider was negligent? One way of knowing that your doctor acted competently is by assessing the methods that he or she used to arrive at a diagnosis. Apart from asking the patient detailed questions about their illness and studying their medical history, a process known as “differential diagnosis” is generally used by doctors to arrive at a diagnostic conclusion. This process involves making a list of possible diagnoses and running tests for each one of them, thus eliminating them, one by one, and finally reaching a diagnosis that fits.

If the doctor failed to do some tests that later prove to have been essential, then the doctor was negligent. For example, if a blood test could have revealed some important information about your illness, but the doctor decides that the blood test is unnecessary and goes on to diagnose your illness incorrectly, then the doctor did not act with reasonable care.

Thus, if your doctor did not attempt to reach an in depth understanding of your illness by applying the correct methods to reach a diagnosis, then it can be considered medical malpractice due to negligence.

At times, your doctor might rely on inaccurate tests from pathology labs or radiology labs and diagnose the illness based on those tests. The inaccuracy of the tests could have arisen from faulty lab equipment or errors made by the lab staff. In such cases, the doctor is not at fault, since he or she followed the correct procedure for diagnosis. Although the doctor is not liable for the damage caused to you in this kind of case, someone else is. It might be the lab, the lab technician, or the staff who was responsible for the error. You may have a claim against another party, in such cases, though this too must be proven as an act of negligence in order for your claim to be successful.

Seeking Legal Guidance in a Florida Medical Malpractice Claim

Errors in diagnosis can not only prove harmful, but often result in fatal consequences for the patient. Every medical provider has a legal obligation to their patients to act according to the general standard of medical care. If there is any deviation from this general standard of care that results in some kind of harm to the patient, then the medical provider can be held liable.

Thus, If you or a loved one were harmed due to a medical provider’s negligence and failure to diagnose the illness correctly, then the concerned medical provider can be sued for medical malpractice. However, a lawsuit for medical malpractice can be very complex and difficult to prove. You will certainly benefit from legal assistance to understand all aspects of the case. The medical provider is also likely to have their own legal representation, in the form of attorneys who will do all they can to prove that no medical malpractice actually occurred. Without your own attorney, the claim could easily be lost.

As far as the statute of limitations for Florida medical malpractice claims, you only have two years from the date on which you discovered or should have discovered that you were a victim of malpractice. Beyond this, you cannot file a case at all if more than four years from the date of the malpractice has passed, except in cases of fraud or concealment. This is why it is so important to contact an attorney as soon as you suspect that you were diagnosed incorrectly due to negligence.

The skilled Florida medical malpractice attorneys at Madalon Law are here for you, and we are happy to provide a free consultation to help you better understand the process and the circumstances of your own claim.

car crash injury claim lawyer in Miami FL

Common Causes of Car Crashes

Car crashes are common in the United States.  Usually, these accidents are minor, but sometimes car crashes result in serious injury or even death. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a report on motor vehicle safety, which states that approximately 90 people die in car crashes each day.  There are a number of common causes of car crashes, most of which could be avoided by exercising due care.

Drunk Driving 

Drunk driving continues to be a major factor in car crashes.  Some estimate there are approximately 300,000 drunk driving incidents every day; however only about 3,200 people are arrested for drunk driving on a given day.  

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving has been the leading cause of car crashes for the past decade.  According to the CDC, on average approximately eight people are killed and 1,161 are injured every day in this country in car crashes involving distracted driving.  Anything that distracts the driver while driving must be eliminated.  Phone calls should not be made while driving.  Texting while driving is also extremely dangerous.  Friends or children in the car can also be a source of distraction.


Speeding is the second most common cause of car crashes.  Other drivers have an expectation drivers around them will be driving at approximately the same speed.  Certainly, drivers have a reasonable expectation other drivers will observe the speed limit.  When a driver is speeding, this decreases the amount of time it takes to encounter an obstacle, and increases the amount of time necessary to stop.

Disobeying Red Lights

All too often, drivers will speed up when approaching an intersection with a yellow light.  Sometimes, the driver makes it into the intersection on the yellow. Unfortunately, sometimes, the light turns red before the driver enters the intersection, but the driver proceeds anyway (perhaps because at this point, they can’t stop before the intersection).  While entering an intersection on a yellow light is permissible, entering on a red light is not.  Because drivers traveling in the other direction expect traffic to stop, they may proceed through the green light, and a crash can occur.

Disobeying Stop Signs

Running stop signs is just as dangerous as running a red light. Drivers need to come to a full stop at stop signs.  Drivers should also be aware that other drivers, (particularly if they are distracted, drunk, or speeding) may not stop as directed.

Drowsy Driving

There is a growing awareness of the dangers of driving tired, also known as drowsy driving.  According to the CDC report on drowsy driving, the effects of drowsy driving are comparable to the effects of consuming alcohol and driving.  Falling asleep at the wheel is the obvious danger.  But drowsy driving can also slow reaction time, affect a driver’s decision making, and make it difficult for a driver to pay attention to their driving.  Adults need at least seven hours of sleep a night and teens need at least eight hours of sleep.  Any less and it may not be safe to drive.


Rain can cause slick, dangerous driving conditions.  This is especially true when the rain first starts and mixes with the oil on the roads.  If driving in the rain, drivers should pull over if visibility becomes too bad and wait for the storm to pass.

Driving Recklessly

Driving aggressively, quickly changing lanes and driving over the speed limit can result in car crashes.  Road rage is also cited as a common source of car crashes.

Driving at Night

Driving at night reduces visibility and makes seeing hazards more difficult.  It is important to be extra alert while driving on the streets at night.  Pedestrians can be particularly difficult to see at night.

Teen Drivers

Teen drivers are in a difficult position.  Their lack of experience puts them at greater risk for an accident, but the only way to get that experience is by driving, placing themselves and others at risk.  Defensive driving courses are available for teen drivers.  Limiting the number of passengers they are allowed can help reduce distractions.  Teens should be told repeatedly that cell phone use, whether to make a call, send or read a text, or playing a game, is not appropriate while driving.

Construction Zones

Construction zones can be extremely confusing, especially at night.  Consequently, this is a common area where car crashes occur.  Speed limits are commonly lower in construction zones for this purpose, as well as for the safety of the workers.


Both illegal drugs and prescription medications can result in car crashes.  It is critical that people taking a new prescription determine the effect the prescription has on an individual.  Even if taken as prescribed, a car crash due to prescription drug use can result in criminal and civil charges.


Following another car too closely is dangerous.  It presumes an ability to stop that may not be justified.  It also makes the other driver nervous, and can lead to them making poor choices.  Allowing a reasonable amount of space between cars reduces the possibility of a car crash.


Potholes can present multiple problems.  Nobody wants to drive over a pothole and risk damaging their car.  Drivers often veer around potholes to avoid them.  If the driver is not aware of other surrounding cars, a car crash can result.

Improper Turns

Improper turns lead to crashes.  Improper turns include turns from the wrong lane, turns at intersections where such turns are prohibited, and turns that the driver failed to signal.  Because the turns are not anticipated by other drivers, crashes can occur.

Driving on Curvy Roads

Driving on curvy roads can be very dangerous, especially for drivers not familiar with the road.  It is critical that drivers respect the posted speed limit.  One never knows what is around the next curve.

Contact the Attorneys at Madalon Law

If you have been injured in a car crash, you may be entitled to damages for your injuries.  Contact the skilled auto accident attorneys in Florida at Madalon Law for a free consultation.

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Contaminated Drinking Water and the State of Florida

Flint, Michigan has been the news in recent months for the horrible drinking water problems it is experiencing.  While Flint may be getting the headlines, it is not the only area with contaminated drinking water – we have our own contaminated water problems right here in the state of Florida.

History of Contamination in Florida

Extensive groundwater continuation was discovered in wells in Florida in the early 1980s.  Specifically, the wells were contaminated with the chemical ethylene dibromide (EDB).  This led to widespread public attention to issues surrounding the quality of water in Florida’s private wells.  The Florida Department of Health (DOH) investigates wells and other areas that may be at risk following a chemical spill.  If the water level is found to be contaminated above an acceptable level, DOH will provide an alternative water source.  These levels are referred to as the Maximum Contamination Level (MCL) or Health Advisory Level (HAL).

Private Wells In the State of Florida

Approximately 20 percent of Florida’s residents receive their water from private wells.  In the state of Florida, all public water systems must conduct routine testing to determine if that water meets the state’s drinking water system.  However, private well owners are responsible for ensuring the quality of their own drinking water.

Contaminated drinking water causes thousands of cases of illness annually according to the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  It causes a number of diseases and can even be fatal.  Two of the most common contaminants are nitrate and microbes.

Water contaminated by high levels of nitrate in drinking water is particularly dangerous to infant children.  If the baby consumes the contaminated water, it reacts with the baby’s hemoglobin in the blood.  It then causes an anemic condition referred to as the “blue baby syndrome.”

Microbes, or bacteria, are frequently not harmful.  However, their presence may be an indication that other parasites, viruses or harmful bacteria are also present.  The most common symptoms caused by harmful bacteria in drinking water are nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Private well owners must properly maintain their well and water system.  This includes performing regular water quality testing.  Take the steps necessary so your private water supply remains healthy and safe.

Public Water Systems in the State of Florida

Public water systems are subject to the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).  This program is administered by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  In the state of Florida, the EPA has delegated this to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP).  The FDEP has entered into an agreement with the Florida Department of Health (FDOH).  The Public Drinking Water Systems Program is tasked with implementing the SDWA program in eight of the largest counties in Florida.  These counties include Miami-Dade, Lee, Polk, Sarasota, Broward, Volusia, Palm Beach and Hillsborough.

If you have concerns about the public water system affecting your home, first contact your public water utility.  If that does not resolve the issue you may contact the regulatory agency.  In the state of Florida, in most counties this would be the FDEP.  However, if you live in one of the eight counties listed about, that regulatory agency would be the FDOH.

New Rule?

A new water quality rule was approved by the governor’s Environmental Regulation Commission.  It passed with a 3-2 vote and has been controversial.

The new rule would update limits on 43 chemicals and impose limits on 39 additional toxins dumped into Florida’s streams, rivers and coastal waters.  This rule would update Florida’s the standards for water quality in Florida for the first time in the past 25 years.  It would allow for 23 toxins, 18 of which are carcinogenic, to be dumped into the waters.  The chemicals are released by agriculture, dry cleaners, wastewater treatment plants, pulp producers, paper producers, oil and gas drilling companies and electricity plants.

A minimum of 10 – and potentially more – of the chemicals will be allowed to be dumped into sources of drinking water in amounts over the levels of current standards for drinking water.  As a result, the water utility companies will have to remove the chemicals before supplying it to consumers.

The state of Florida allows industries to discharge toxins in bodies of water every day based on permits.  Those industries self-report to DEP if they are meeting allowed discharge goals.  DEP will order action for correction if it believes a company exceeded its allowed amounts of toxic discharge.  Regulators for the state of Florida test its bodies of water only once every five years.

Some have pointed out that the impact of the rule on private wells is unclear.  Water from wells is not cleaned by the water utilities.  Instead, it goes straight to the homeowners’ taps.

My Water Tastes Funny – Does That Mean It Is Contaminated?

Not necessarily.  People in Florida often complain that their water “tastes funny.”

Generally speaking, this bad flavor is a result of common contaminants found in Florida drinking water.  These contaminants are not harmful or toxic and therefore are not regulated.  The contaminants only affect the taste of the drinking water.

If your water tastes salty or bitter, that is probably a result of high amounts of minerals in Florida’s water.  These can include sodium, magnesium, calcium, carbonate, sulfate, hydrogen carbonate and nitrate anions. Many minerals are great for your health!

If your water tastes metallic it probably is from high levels of metal.  These can include iron, copper, manganese and zinc.  Metallic tasting water may indicate that you need new plumbing.

If your water tastes like bleach, it is probably the result of chloramine.  Chloramine is frequently used to clean water.

Reach Out to the Lawyers at Madalon Law About Your Contaminated Water Concerns

If you believe that your water may be contaminated, contact the lawyers at Madalon Law.  Our determined Florida personal injury attorneys are available to meet with you to discuss the specific facts and circumstances of your case.  If you are the victim of contaminated drinking water, you may be entitled to compensation.  The lawyers at Madalon Law can assist you in forging ahead with a suit or other action as may be appropriate to protect you and your children.

medical malpractice lawyer in Ft. Lauderdale FL

Medical Malpractice Claims

Medical malpractice claims arise when a doctor harms a patient by failing to perform his or her medical duties competently.  While the rules in medical malpractice cases vary state by state, some common elements exist.  In order to make a malpractice claim, you must be able to prove a number of things with the help of a qualified, experienced, personal injury attorney.

What are the Basic Requirements for a Medical Malpractice Case?

First, the plaintiff must prove that a relationship existed between themself and the doctor.  The plaintiff must show they hired the doctor and that the doctor agreed to treat them. Taking examples to the extreme, if the doctor starting seeing and treating someone, this is established.  On the other extreme, it is unlikely that a doctor-patient relationship can be established for following advice overheard at a family reunion.  Issues regarding the doctor-patient relationship most frequently arise in cases where a consulting physician did not treat the plaintiff directly.

Second, the plaintiff must prove that the doctor violated the duty of care owed to the patient through negligence. Being unhappy with the results of treatment does not necessarily mean the doctor was guilty of negligence or medical malpractice.  You and your attorney must be able to prove that the medical professional was negligent in treatment or diagnosis by acting in a manner that a reasonable professional in the same circumstance would not have.

You must also show that the medical professional harmed you in a way that a competent doctor in the same circumstances would not have.  The issue is not whether the doctor’s care was the best possible; instead the question is: “Was it reasonable, skillful, and careful?”  Plaintiffs are required to present a medical expert to testify about the appropriate medical standard of care and whether the medical professional deviated from that standard.

Third, the plaintiff must prove that the doctor’s negligence caused his or her injury.  Patients that see doctors are already sick or injured and it needs to be determined if the doctor actually caused the harm.  A plaintiff must show that it is more likely than not that the negligence of the doctor caused the harm.  For example, if the patient has lung cancer, it can be difficult to prove that a death was caused by a doctor’s negligence rather than the lung cancer.  Prior illness and injury adds to the confusion in a medical malpractice case.

Fourth, the plaintiff must prove that the injury caused by the doctor led to specific damages.  In other words, in addition to showing the doctor’s negligence, the plaintiff must also show that he or she suffered harm.  That harm can include lost work and earning capacity, medical bills, physical pain and mental anguish.

What Are the Most Common Types of Medical Malpractice Claims?

There are a wide variety of medical malpractice claims. Doctors may fail to tell a patient about side effects of a prescription, like heart failure.  Another example of medical malpractice could be a doctor leaving a foreign object inside a patient’s body during a surgery.  However, most medical malpractice claims fall into a few categories.

Failure by a Medical Professional to Diagnose

If a medical professional would have made a different diagnosis or discovered a patient’s illness and this would have led to a better outcome, you may have a medical malpractice claim.

Failure by a Medical Professional to Warn Patients of Known Risks

Medical professionals provide patients with a warning of the known risks of a treatment or procedure.  This is also known as the duty of informed consent. If a patient would not have gone through a procedure or treatment if they knew of the risks, and they are injured by the treatment or procedure, they may have a medical malpractice claim.

Improper Treatment by a Medical Professional

This can occur in two different ways.  One way improper treatment occurs is when the doctor selects the appropriate treatment, but does not administer it properly.  Another example is when a doctor treats the plaintiff in a way no competent medical professional would.

What are the Special Requirements in Medical Malpractice Cases?

Special state rules are important and need to be followed.

  • Timing. Medical malpractice cases need to be brought in a timely manner.  The time limit for bringing a lawsuit is called the statute of limitations.  Your case can be dismissed if not filed within the statute of limitations.  For this reason, consulting with an attorney as soon as possible may be critical to the success of your claim.
  • Presuit Investigations. In the state of Florida, prospective defendants in medical malpractice claims are notified of the potential for a suit prior to lawyers filing a suit.  Those subject to suit have 90 days to conduct a review to determine if they believe medical malpractice occurred.  This investigation may be done by one or more of the following:
  • An internal review by a claims adjuster qualified to perform such a review;
  • A panel including an attorney with an understanding of medical malpractice claims, a qualified claims adjuster, and a health care provider who performs work similar to the professional who may be sued;
  • A medical review committee; or
  • Or another similar procedure.

An insurer may require the claimant to appear in front of a medical review committee or pretrial screening panel.  The claimant can be required to submit to a physical examination in some cases.  However, the claimant is only required to submit to one physical examination, regardless of the number of potential defendants.

At the completion of the review, each prospective defendant must either reject the claim, make an offer for settlement, or admit liability and offer to submit to arbitration on the issue of damages.  Florida allows for “informal discovery” during this phase of the case.  This means, among other things, the parties may rely upon unsworn statements for the purpose of the presuit investigation.

Contact Madalon Law

Medical malpractice claims can be extremely difficult to prove.  It requires representation by an experienced and qualified attorney.  If you believe you have been injured due to medical malpractice, or if you lost a loved one, and believe medical malpractice is to blame, contact the determined Florida medical malpractice attorneys at Madalon Law to discuss your unique situation.