The vast majority of physicians, nurses and health care providers are caring professionals who take great care to diagnose, treat and heal their patients. Unfortunately, even well intentioned care can lead to catastrophic results. Care that is sloppy, uninformed or even careless will almost always lead to catastrophe. It is for these reasons that the old axiom that “mistakes happen” and the attitude of tolerance that derives from the axiom should not ever be applied to the practice of medicine. It has been said that health care professionals are people too and that people can and do make mistakes. While that is certainly true, in very few human endeavors is a simple mistake so likely to lead to a significant injury.
There are a few words and phrases used for bad medical care we have all heard. Medical malpractice and medical negligence are the main two terms used. They are one in the same. They are derived from the idea that the science of medicine has evolved such that medicine is no longer a mere art form to be “practiced” but rather a specific science where much of the knowledge is now known to all. As such physicians and nurses receive specific training on how to make a diagnosis, what the diagnosis means and how to best treat the patient for their diagnosis. This knowledge is universally taught. Thus, the training that health care professionals receive has led to the existence of what has become known as the Standard of Care. The standard of care is defined generally as what a reasonable prudent physician would do under like or similar circumstances. Thus, there is a proscribed set of actions that health care providers are trained to take when confronted with a given set of circumstances. If they do not take actions then they have breached the standard of care. They are Medically Negligent or have committed Medical Malpractice.
In Florida, Medical Malpractice cases are governed by a very specific set of laws and regulations. Links to those actual laws are set forth herein and can also be found on our resources page. Florida Statute 766 is the principle law that governs medical malpractice cases in the state of Florida. It sets forth the rules and regulations of how and under what circumstance a medical malpractice case may be brought. Another critical statute is Florida Statute 95.11. This is the statute that controls when a case may be brought. Put another way, it sets the the time frame within which the case MUST be brought. If this time frame is not met, the person will lose their ability to ever bring their case. The calculation of the statute of limitations is very complex under Florida Law. Many courts have issued legal opinions, called case law, as to when the statute of limitations begins to run. Given the complex nature of the analysis, a legal professional should always be consulted. Finally, there is interplay between Florida Statute 766 and Florida Statute 768. Florida Statute 768 is Florida’s general negligence statute. However, contained in Florida Statute 768 are provisions for wrongful death and sovereign immunity, both of which have interplay with the medical malpractice laws.
If you believe that you or a loved one have been the victim of medical malpractice contact an attorney immediately as the time for bringing such a cause of action is very short. At Bounds Law Group, we devote a substantial portion of our professional practice to the representation of victims of medical negligence. We would be very happy to speak to you about your case.