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.

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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.

personal injury attorney in Ft. Lauderdale Florida

Filing Suit for Birth Injuries in Florida

One of the most joyful life events is the birth of a child. Happy parents clutch their newborns and eagerly, counting their fingers and toes, making sure all is well and intact. But sometimes a problem occurs during the delivery and the child is harmed as a result of accident or negligence. The parents are devastated and seek answers to their questions about how the injuries to their baby could have occurred and who’s responsible.

Birth injuries occur when the tissues and organs of a newly delivered child are damaged during childbirth, often caused by physical pressure or trauma. Also, they can happen as a result of improper prenatal care. The injuries can have long-term effects on the child’s cognitive ability. Negligent or incorrect medical care during childbirth may cause a birth injury. During birth, an infant can sustain broken bones, brain damage, or nerve damage.

Medical doctors are not the only health care providers who can cause or contribute to a birth injury. Nurses, health care facilities, pharmaceutical companies, and other health care services also can be liable.

Common birth injuries include:

Cerebral palsy: A condition caused by brain damage that occurs while a child’s brain is still developing, before birth, during birth, or immediately after birth.
Erb’s Palsy and other nerve injuries: Erb’s palsy is a form of brachial plexus marked by the nerves of the upper arm being affected, usually after a birth injury. Loss of feeling and weakness in the arm are common symptoms of Erb’s palsy.
Brain injuries.
Spinal injuries.
Broken bones.
Complications associated with shoulder dystocia, which occurs when an infant’s head and shoulders get trapped behind the mother’s pelvic bone during delivery. Complications from this injury can be severe. The baby may experience a collarbone fracture, difficulties when breathing, a brachial plexus fracture, or death.
Bruising and forceps marks.
Subconjunctival hemorrhage.
Caput succedaneum.
Facial paralysis.
Fractured bones.

Birth injuries can be the result of circumstances such as breech or otherwise difficult delivery, the size of the infant, and the narrowness of the mother’s pelvis. But the following medical errors also can contribute to the incidence of injury:

Failing to foresee birth complications when the baby is large or the mother has health issues;
Not ordering cesarean section when medically necessary;
Misusing forceps or a vacuum extractor;
Improperly using Pitocin to induce or accelerate up labor;
Failing to properly stem bleeding;
Failing to correct a trapped umbilical cord; and
Failure to respond irregularities in the fetal heartbeat or other signs of distress.

Doctor, Nurse Malpractice

Parents of a child who is injured during birth due to medical error or negligence can file a medical malpractice lawsuit again the physician, medical facility, and staff. Doctors commit malpractice when they cause injury to a patient through negligence. Malpractice can occur in the doctor’s office during consultation, examination, and treatment, or in the surgery.

Common forms of medical malpractice include:

Misdiagnosis of the patient’s condition;
Prescription error – the doctor prescribes the wrong medication or fails to advise the patient of the risks or fails to consider possible drug interactions; and
Damage or injury during surgery.

Doctors are expected to treat patients with a certain standard of care. If treatment fails to meet the standard, the doctor may be liable and have to compensate a patient.

Like doctors, nurses are responsible to their patients and must exercise a standard of care to ensure patients are treated properly and without injury.

Qualified nurses are in high demand today, and the need exceeds the supply. Nurses are required to work long shifts and work many days before getting time off. Also, medical facilities may have to hire nurses with less training and experience because their budgets only can afford these nurses’ lower wages.

As a result, the incidence of nurse malpractice is on the rise. The most common areas of nurse malpractice are failure to:

Minister the correct drug or dosage;
Properly supervise a patient;
Properly monitor a patient’s condition;
Follow the doctor’s orders; and
Use certain medical procedures.

Filing a Lawsuit

If your baby was injured as a result of negligence by your doctor, nurse, hospital or other service provider, contact an attorney soon. State laws impose a limited period during which you can make a claim for your injuries. These statute of limitations typically run one to three years from either the date of the injury or the date when the injury should have been discovered.

Before filing a claim for birth injuries, consult with a lawyer to ensure that you have a viable case. Ask whether:

You had an established doctor/patient relationship established when the injury took place – if the physician delivered your baby, then a doctor/patient relationship was established;
The doctor was medically negligent while treating you; and
The negligence resulted in the birth injuries

Establishing medical malpractice involves proving complex medical and legal issues, which likely will require the consultation and testimony of expert witnesses. An attorney experienced in medical malpractice cases can arrange for expert evaluation of your condition and testimony on your behalf.

Florida Statute of Limitations

In Florida, the statute of limitations for birth injury cases is two years from the time of the injury or within two years of the time the injury reasonably should have been discovered. At the utmost, you must file your birth injury lawsuit within four years of the injury no matter the circumstances. A lawsuit for infant wrongful death must be filed within two years of the date of death.

If the lawsuit is successful, you may be awarded compensatory damages that include payment of all medical expenses, pain and suffering, disability and disfigurement, loss of a normal life and loss of future earnings.

An attorney can work with you to investigate the circumstances of your case and help you document the injuries and their effects. A lawyer can ensure your child receives the competent medical attention he or she needs.

If your baby has suffered birth injuries, call us today for a free consultation with the personal injury attorneys at Madalon Law. The attorneys at Madalon Law are experienced Ft. Lauderdale medical malpractice attorneys who handle birth injury compensation claims and will put forth the best case for you. We are based in Fort Lauderdale and serve clients throughout Florida.

Hospital Infections Could Be Cause for Medical Malpractice / Negligence Lawsuits


The risk of contracting an infection while you are hospitalized is indisputable: One in every 25 hospital patients in the United States contract an infection while they are there. This used to be accepted as a “given.” It seemed logical that – with so many illnesses and infectious agents gathered in one place, and patients’ systems already stressed by illness or injury – infection was an inevitable risk. This view is now changing, though, with compelling new evidence that shows a protocol of low-cost infection prevention measures can prevent nearly all hospital infections.

The assumed inevitability of hospital infection has shielded hospitals and physicians from liability in the past. With the new evidence of preventability – and the rising number of dangerous drug-resistant bacteria – victims of such infections can often pursue a medical malpractice case based on negligence. As the pool of knowledge concerning infection prevention in hospital settings grows, it has become an expectation that medical institutions will strictly adhere to more aggressive prevention protocols – and they can be held liable for damages that result from failing to do so.
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