Florida Medical Malpractice Lawyer

At Zervos & Calta, PLLC, our law firm represents victims of medical malpractice by bringing claims against professionals in the health care industry including hospitals, nursing homes, dentists, and doctors, where mistakes or negligence have potentially caused an injury, worsening of an illness, or the death of a family member. Medical mistakes disable or kill tens of thousands Americans each year and many more cases often go unreported. Most of these mistakes are preventable.

What is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice is generally considered to occur when a certain standard of care has not been met by a health care provider, so that the patient suffers injury or death.

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What does “Standard of Care” mean?

“Standard of care” is not a medical term, but rather a legal term generally used by a medical malpractice lawyer, not by doctors. It refers to the standards or customary care that the average doctor would provide under the same circumstances. In Florida, an expert is needed to state what the standard of care is and whether it has been breached.

Most medical malpractice claims involve the health care provider – doctor, dentist, nurse, staff member – and the facility where they work. However, any health care provider can be named in a medical malpractice lawsuit if they breach the normal standard of care and a patient under their care is injured as a result. Most common types of health care providers named in malpractice suits include:

  • Nurses
  • Anesthesiologists
  • Pharmacists
  • Optometrists
  • Dentists
  • Chiropractors
  • Physical therapists
  • Psychologists.

Any patient who has been a victim of medical malpractice by a medical provider has the right to file a claim. Parents may file a claim for their child if the patient is a minor, and in the case of a death due to medical malpractice, the patient’s children or spouse have the right to bring a malpractice or wrongful death claim against the provider.

At Zervos & Calta, PLLC, we can help determine if you have grounds for a valid medical malpractice claim or if a different type of claim should be filed against a non-medical professional. For example, if you were implanted with a defective medical device that caused problems, or you were prescribed an incorrect prescription drug or dosage that caused injury or worsening of an illness, a product liability lawsuit would be better suited than a medical malpractice claim.

What constitutes a medical malpractice claim

When considering whether there is merit to a malpractice claim, an experienced medical malpractice lawyer at Zervos & Calta, PLLC will evaluate whether the person involved suffered permanent or serious injury as a direct result of inappropriate or substandard care provided by health care providers, a medical expert, or a medical facility. A few examples of inappropriate or substandard care include:

    • Sponge being left inside a person during surgery
    • Wrong part of the body being operated on
    • Incorrect drug being prescribed or given to the patient
    • Any birth injury or brain injury caused by negligence
    • Failure to diagnose a fatal disease
    • Operations that are unnecessary
    • Defective product or implant
    • Problems with cosmetic implants
    • Nursing home abuse
    • hospital negligence

In addition to the list above, administering too much anesthesia, failure to do something deemed medically necessary, or performing a procedure improperly are all types of negligence. Surgery on the wrong part of the body, leaving objects inside the patient, errors in medication, and failing to correctly diagnose a potentially fatal illness are all considered to be medical malpractice.

If you think that you or your loved one has suffered medical trauma as a result of malpractice, our medical malpractice attorney is available to talk with you about the case at no charge.

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Common examples of medical malpractice 

  • Surgical injuries
  • Medication errors
  • Failure to diagnose or treat timely
  • Anesthesia errors
  • Surgical errors
  • Labor and delivery
  • Emergency room malpractice

What may NOT be a medical malpractice case?

Not having the desired result from a surgery does not amount to malpractice. For instance, not having enough pain relief following a surgery or if the results following plastic surgery were not as good as one hoped they would be. Most, if not all, surgical procedures or medications have known and accepted risks. Sometimes people suffer complications or side effects that have become accepted or known risks in the medical community.  When this happens, the patient often does not have any recourse for a claim, as it cannot be proved that malpractice occurred.

What should I do if I think I have a medical malpractice claim?

If you think that you or someone you love may suffered because of a malpractice issue, please come to Zervos & Calta, PLLC for help as quickly as possible. A medical malpractice lawyer will sit down with you to find out the details, make an early assessment to see if you have a claim, and answer your questions.
To prepare for a consultation with us or any other personal injury attorney, there are a couple of things that would be very helpful for you to do.

  1. Make a summary of your case. Take some time and write down everything you can remember about what happened, with as many details as you can. What was the main injury or illness that caused you or a loved one to seek medical care? Who provided the treatment, and at what facility was the treatment received? What harm did you suffer and when did it first start? You’ll find that writing the information down while it is still fresh in your mind will help preserve the details.
  2. Collect medical records/documents. Although it isn’t necessary to request a copy of your medical records before meeting with a personal injury law firm, they can be very helpful at the initial consultation. Other documents that are helpful to bring are a list of any prescriptions, along with all itemized medical bills. These are things our law firm will need to start our investigation of your case.

How Zervos & Calta can help with your malpractice case

We can look at the facts of your case and make a determination of whether you have a valid malpractice case against a medical professional and/or facility. If you had a bad result or are in worse condition than before your treatment, there is certainly a possibility that medical negligence could have caused them. Our negligence lawyers will talk to you and your family and then decide if more investigation needed by looking into your medical records.

Once we have received your records our legal team, together with our personal injury lawyers, will analyze the information provided. Even though the events that led to the potential medical negligence won’t always be recorded in the medical records, we will look for any evidence to support a claim. When appropriate we will consult with a doctor with extensive experience in the appropriate field as a top rated medical expert to determine if medical malpractice happened and if your outcome could have been avoided.

When the determination has been made that negligence occurred, our experienced medical malpractice attorneys will call expert witnesses if needed, and work to obtain the fullest amount of compensation you or your loved one is entitled to.

Types of compensation in medical malpractice cases

In a medical malpractice case, “damages” is the legal word used to describe what the injured patient has lost because of their injury. Our civil system of justice uses money to compensate “what a patient has lost”, because there is no other way a suffered patient can be made whole. In a malpractice lawsuit, there are two types of damages awarded.

  • Damages that can be calculated exactly (called special or economic damages), and
  • Damages that cannot be calculated exactly (non-economic damages)

Damages that can be calculated

Economic damages, also called special damages, are lost wages and loss of earning capacity (which includes employment benefits), past and future medical bills, and other financial losses caused by the medical malpractice injury. This includes all the money that one has lost and is expected to lose in the future because of the injury. Other calculated damages include medical bills, the most significant of which are future medical bills.

Future Medical Bills. Often injuries are so severe in medical malpractice cases that they require medical care for the lifetime of the patient. The dollar amount of future medical care can sometimes exceed more than one million dollars, depending on the age of the patient. In these cases, personal injury lawyers should hire an expert specializing in calculating future medical bills, called a medical economist, to help a jury understand what these types of damages entail, to help get a better jury verdict.

Damages that cannot be calculated

Damages that are not economic are those that include pain, suffering, mental anguish, and sometimes loss of consortium. This is a subjective figure, meaning it is left to the jury to decide what they think is fair for non-economic damages. No guidelines or medical malpractice laws exist for arriving at a value of an injured person’s pain and suffering.

How pain and suffering is calculated for medical malpractice

Putting a monetary value on pain and suffering is not easy. Juries typically consider the following factors when arriving at a value to place on pain and suffering damages:

  • Does the plaintiff present as a good or bad witness
  • Does the jury like the plaintiff
  • Does the plaintiff seem to be honest and believable to the jury
  • Does the jury think that the defendant or defendant’s witness lied
  • Does the plaintiff have a criminal record
  • Are the plaintiff’s injuries easy for the jury to understand
  • Does the jury think that the plaintiff has suffered and will continue to suffer in the future

Loss of Consortium refers to the intangible benefits that the injured person provided to his/her spouse, or (in some states), children.

How much time do you have to file a malpractice case in Florida

The time permitted or deadline for a medical malpractice lawyer to file a lawsuit in Florida is called the “Statute of Limitations”. If the lawsuit is not filed before the statute of limitations expires, the case cannot survive and will be dismissed by the Court.

Every state decides what its limits are going to be for how long a patient can wait before filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. Florida has set the statute of limitations as two years, from when the patient knew or should have known that an injury occurred and that it was probably due to medical malpractice.

Florida Statute 95.11, specifically subsection 7, explains the Statute of Limitations for medical malpractice in Florida. There are often times exceptions to the time limit and calculating the two year deadline can sometimes be tricky. For this reason, it is best to consult a medical malpractice lawyer.

Fighting the insurance companies

Malpractice cases most often will go to trial because the insurance companies have a strong motivation to deny any claim. There is a lot of money at stake and they have large resources to fight to keep it. Our medical malpractice lawyer is not intimidated by these insurance companies and is experienced and successful in the courtroom. If you have suffered serious injury or harm as a result of medical malpractice, our negligence lawyer can help you pursue medical expenses and compensation for damages.

It’s important to start working with our medical malpractice attorneys as soon as possible after the incident has occurred. Call our law firm to find out what your legal rights are and if you have the basis for a medical malpractice claim.

Contact us by filling out the form on the right or call 727-937-3171 to talk to us. Your initial consultation at any of our offices is free.

Visit us in one of our four convenient Florida office locations in Spring Hill, Tarpon SpringsSt. Petersburg, and Clearwater. If you are unable to come to us, our top rated medical malpractice lawyer will come to you.

We also work with clients in Trinity, Safety Harbor, Oldsmar, Westchase, Hudson, Elfers, Holiday, Bayonet Point, and New Port Richey, Florida.