Blogs By K Ryan

Pregnant woman hospitalized holds her stomach apprehensively.

How common are pregnancy-related deaths?

Unfortunately, over 700 women die annually due to pregnancy-related complications in the United States. This statistic shows that it is far too common in our society.

Pregnancy is a time of change for women’s bodies. Most of these changes are normal and completely healthy. However, some changes can be important to note as they can be signs of complications in the pregnancy.

Pregnancy-related deaths can occur while a woman is pregnant or up to one year from giving birth if it is due to a complication from pregnancy or an aggravated condition as a result of a pregnancy that leads to death.

If your loved one has passed away from a pregnancy-related death, you should consider her medical treatment. In some cases, medical malpractice causes these deaths that could have been avoided with proper care.

United States Statistics on Pregnancy-Related Deaths

  • 30.5% of pregnancy-related deaths occur before birth.
  • 700-900 women die every year in the United States due to a pregnancy-related death.
  • The maternal mortality rate in the US is difficult to track, but it has at least doubled in the last 25 years.
  • In 2015, the US maternal mortality rate was higher than that of Iran, Libya, and Turkey. It is also at least 15 points higher than other developed countries like Australia and Canada.
  • Cardiovascular conditions were the leading cause of pregnancy-related death from 2014-2017.
  • 6.7% of pregnancy-related deaths are from unknown causes.
  • Black Americans are the most at-risk ethnic group to suffer a pregnancy-related death. Over 41% of pregnancy-related deaths in 2017 were of black Americans.
  • Women in America are three times more likely to die a pregnancy-related death than a woman in Canada.

Causes of Pregnancy-Related Deaths

There are many potential causes of death among maternal women. They vary based on the age, ethnicity, and social class of the mothers. However, there are some common causes of pregnancy-related deaths that occur amongst all demographics:

  • Bleeding and hemorrhages
  • Heart conditions and heart attacks
  • Infection or sepsis, especially following C-sections
  • Heart failure or pulmonary embolism
  • Blood clots or embolisms
  • Preeclampsia or eclampsia and other hypertensive disorders
  • Mental health conditions, such as pre or post-partum depression
  • Cerebrovascular accidents
  • Anesthesia complication

Women are at higher risk if they have any of the following conditions:

  • Diabetes
  • Existing chronic heart disease
  • Existing chronic health conditions such as hypertension
  • Over the age of 40
  • Existing mental illness
  • High blood pressure

By doing the following, women can decrease their risk of pregnancy-related death:

  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Maintain a healthy weight or lose weight if clinically obese
  • Be physically active, within reason
  • Quit smoking, drinking, and any other substance abuse
  • Avoid injuries as best they can
  • Have regular doctor’s visits to get appropriate medical advice

Medical Malpractice and Pregnancy-Related Deaths

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 60% of pregnancy-related deaths are preventable. Pregnant women trust their doctors to care for them and provide adequate medical treatment throughout their pregnancy and postpartum. When a doctor does not live up to this expectation, they put the woman’s life at risk.

Medical errors and negligence are leading causes of pregnancy-related deaths. Medical malpractice can exacerbate dangerous conditions. Some conditions that could have been prevented, left untreated, can result in death.

The leading types of medical malpractice that cause pregnancy-related death are:

  • Delays in diagnosis
  • Misses diagnosis
  • Improper policies and procedures
  • Inappropriate treatment or mistreatment
  • Lack of knowledge
  • Failure to educate patients on warning signs
  • Unavailability of medical staff
  • Lack of coordination of care
  • Improper assessment and analysis of symptoms
  • Not listening to a patient’s symptoms
  • Inadequate training
  • Failure to seek specialist consultation
  • Inadequate communication
  • Lack of outreach and support

What to Do When Negligence Leads to Pregnancy-Related Death

It is clear that medical professionals in the United States need to do better for their maternal patients. With other developed countries having significantly lower pregnancy-related death rates, it is clear that the preventable deaths in the US are too high.

Examinations by Stanford University have found that when medical professionals have adequate tools, education, and communication skills, the maternal mortality rate drops significantly.

If you have lost a loved one due to pregnancy-related death, you may have a claim for medical malpractice.

Filing a medical malpractice claim is challenging. You will be taking on a hospital that has a large legal defense team in place. However, if you have a claim for damages, you deserve to be heard. That’s why Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath are the right legal team for you. Our experienced medical malpractice lawyers won’t rest until they get you the damages you deserve.

We will handle the complicated process of determining fault, collecting evidence, and getting you maximum compensation. All you have to do is grieve in peace while we do the hard work.

A Medical Malpractice Lawyer Can Help

When you or a loved one are harmed by your medical caretaker, your losses are significant. You lose trust in the healthcare professionals in our country. You lose a family member and the mother of a new child. You’ll also suffer financial losses with medical bills and funeral expenses.

Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath believe in holding the responsible party accountable. They are liable for your loved one’s death, so they should carry the burden of your losses, not you.

Call us today to speak with a Florida medical malpractice lawyer. We’ll discuss the next steps and how we intend to get you justice.

doctor examines patient chest x-ray

Misdiagnosis: Can you sue?

When it comes to medical advice or care, we usually trust the professionals. But what happens when the professionals get it wrong? Unfortunately, doctors and other medical professionals are capable of making dangerous mistakes such as misdiagnoses.

If you or your loved one has been negatively impacted by such malpractice, you may find yourself asking if you can sue a doctor for misdiagnosis. The answer is a bit complicated as not every medical error leads to a valid claim. Let’s break this down.

What is medical malpractice?

According to Florida law, injury or death resulting from medical negligence is considered to be medical malpractice. That means you can sue a doctor for misdiagnosis if the error was due to the doctor’s negligence.

Misdiagnosis is just one of the many types of medical malpractice. Similarly common are medical malpractice lawsuits involving surgical or medication errors.

When can you take a medical mistake to court?

A valid medical malpractice claim for misdiagnosis requires the plaintiff to prove three main points:

– The misdiagnosis was due to negligence

– The care you received was below general standards

– The misdiagnosis resulted in injury

While the latter point may be relatively simple for a plaintiff to prove with medical records, those seeking compensation for medical malpractice must work with a Florida lawyer who has experience with the other two.

Without access to a Florida medical malpractice lawyer’s expertise and professional network, winning a medical malpractice lawsuit can be a Sisyphean task.

Why is misdiagnosis considered medical malpractice?

A misdiagnosis can result in delayed treatment and unnecessary medical expenses, procedures, and medications. It also can lead to the condition worsening, potentially increasing the risk for pain, suffering, additional treatments, and medical debt.

In extreme cases, misdiagnosis can result in death. And, in addition to the accompanying physical stress and side effects, misdiagnosis can cause immense emotional stress, mental anguish, and financial precarity.

If you’re not convinced you should sue a doctor for misdiagnosis, keep reading.

Why should I sue for misdiagnosis?

Suing a doctor for misdiagnosis could lead to compensation that can help pay for medical bills, loss of income, mental anguish, and pain and suffering.

In Florida, medical malpractice lawsuits make it possible for plaintiffs to recover compensatory, non-economic, and punitive damages.

Compensatory damages cover items with clear costs, such as lost income and medical treatments.

Non-economic damages include hard-to-price areas of loss, such as emotional suffering.

The final category, punitive damages, doesn’t apply to most medical malpractice lawsuits. It requires the behavior that led to the misdiagnosis and injury to have been grossly negligent or intentional.

You should sue a doctor for misdiagnosis because misdiagnosis can cost you a lot. It costs you time, money, energy, and, ultimately, your health. You deserve to be compensated for what this negligence took from you.

Who can I sue for misdiagnosis?

Medical malpractice lawsuits can be filed against any entity, whether a person or corporation, involved in the negligence. It’s important to note that Florida law does not require doctors to have medical malpractice insurance, which could affect the payout schedule of any settlements or verdicts.

Are you struggling with an injury caused by misdiagnosis?

Contact a Florida Medical Malpractice Lawyer today.

Can you sue a doctor for misdiagnosis? Sometimes. That’s the type of answer that makes it all the more important that you work with an experienced Florida medical malpractice lawyer. Florida law limits how long you have to file a medical malpractice claim; you have four years from the date of the malpractice. We strongly suggest you pursue legal action as soon as practical.

At Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath, we handle every medical malpractice case with care and compassion. We know that you deserve to have been treated competently by your doctor and receive the best health outcomes possible. Let us help you get compensation so you can get the quality medical care you need.

Contact us today for a free, no-obligation medical malpractice case consultation with a specialist. Schedule your consultation now by calling us at 561-655-1990 or visiting our website.

dental malpractice lawsuits

5 Common Dental Malpractice Lawsuits

Feared by children and avoided by many adults, dentists get a bad rap. Just like other medical professionals, dentists provide necessary and sometimes life-changing services. 

Unfortunately, just as in other medical fields, dental work is accompanied by inherent risks and additional risks created through error and malpractice. Those who have been hurt at the hands of a dentist or dental practice may be entitled to compensation through dental malpractice lawsuits.

What is dental malpractice?

Just as with general medical malpractice, Florida law defines dental malpractice as injury or death caused by the negligence of a medical provider. Medical malpractice cases that involve death morph into wrongful death lawsuits. 

 

Wrongful, Delayed, or Failed Diagnosis

One of the most common types of dental malpractice lawsuits involves the wrongful or delayed diagnosis of a patient. In such cases, these delayed or erroneous diagnoses can lead to injury, unnecessary treatments and medical expenses, and death. 

In addition, a dentist who overlooks obvious oral health issues or fails to diagnose such an issue may be held liable for resulting injuries or health issues. A dental practitioner has a duty of care toward their patients. This duty of care is undermined when the practitioner acts in any way that’s considered negligent or appears to disregard the life and health of their patient.

 

Unnecessary or Improper Procedures

Despite the inherent duty of care and respect required by medical professionals, not every practitioner adheres or upholds those standards.

There have been cases in which dentists were found to have performed unnecessary or improper procedures. In one Florida case, a dentist was accused of extracting the teeth of his minor patients without just cause. More than 130 patients accused him of cruel behavior and child abuse that spanned decades.

Types of improper procedures vary, but one of the most common is orthodontic treatments performed on a patient with active periodontal disease. The disease is a type of gum infection that can lead to tooth loss. If the bacteria from the infection enter your bloodstream, they can cause health issues such as respiratory and coronary artery disease.

 

Treatment Delay

Similar to improper procedures, another common type of dental malpractice is the delay of necessary treatment. A delay in treatment for a serious dental issue such as active periodontal disease can cause a host of other health issues that can be chronic or fatal.

Just as how the bacteria from the untreated aforementioned disease can weave their way through the body and cause havoc, so can other oral health issues, regardless of how benign or slight they seem. Even tooth decay, an extremely common issue, can be fatal when untreated. 

 

Nerve and Muscle Injuries

A slip of a dental tool can mean suffering severe and chronic nerve or muscle damage. Your jaw is home to a slew of complex nerve and muscle webbings that allow you to open and close your mouth, speak, and swallow. Losing the ability to freely perform any of those activities without pain can severely affect your quality of life. Repairing or reconditioning those areas can be expensive, if not impossible.

 

Anesthesia Errors or Abuse

Too much anesthesia can lead to serious injuries and death. Anesthesia, even used properly, carries its own risks, both short and long-term. 

Aside from erroneous measurements or exposure, anesthesia also has been abused by medical professionals. In one case, a dentist was accused of using anesthesia to knock patients out so he could sexually abuse them. The allegations span decades.

 

What should I do if I’ve suffered from dental malpractice?

Oral hygiene can strongly affect your overall health. If you’ve suffered malpractice at the hands of a dentist, you deserve to be compensated for your pain and suffering. 

You entrusted your body and life to a medical professional who failed you due to negligence or general lack of care. Whether you are now dealing with chronic pain, loss of jaw movement, or another issue, you also have the invisible scars and trauma that come with losing trust in experts meant to care for you.

Pursuing a dental malpractice lawsuit means fighting for compensation for medical bills, loss of income, and the mental anguish and pain you’re suffering.

 

Contact a Dental Malpractice Lawyer Today

In Florida, dental malpractice lawsuits can be filed up until two years from the date of the incident. Though it may seem overwhelming or expensive to pursue legal action amid a medical crisis, a dental malpractice lawsuit can help you to pay for ongoing medical treatments, therapy, medication, and more. You don’t need to suffer in silence.

Let Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath help you get the compensation you need and the treatment you deserve. Contact us today for a free, no-risk consultation with an expert dental malpractice lawyer. Call us now at 561-867-4117 or visit our website to get your free consultation. 

 

Doctor is worried and stressed after wrongful death suit.

Wrongful Death: Hospital Liability

Though surgeries and medical treatments come with inherent risks, it’s still a shock if a loved one dies in the care of qualified medical professionals.

In Florida, the death of a loved one entrusted to the care of medical professionals and entities can be met with a wrongful death claim. But just how liable are entities like hospitals in wrongful death cases?

What is wrongful death?

In Florida, a wrongful death is a death caused by another person or entity’s negligence, default, breach of contract or warranty, or a wrongful act.

There are several types of wrongful death claims. The type most relevant to hospital liability is medical malpractice and negligence.

What constitutes medical malpractice?

Medical malpractice is what happens when an injury or death is caused by a medical provider, which can be a health care practitioner or entity.

Common types of medical malpractice include wrong or delayed diagnoses, medication errors, and surgical errors.

Liability of Healthcare Facilities and Hospitals

According to state law, hospitals are responsible for comprehensive risk management and staff competence.

How does this factor into suing a hospital for wrongful death? Hospitals are liable for the damages that ensue when these duties aren’t met. This means they are liable for instances of personnel or provider negligence or malpractice that causes injury or death when that personnel or provider is an employee of the hospital.

The potential for hospital liability wanes if the negligent provider wasn’t a hospital employee.

Hospitals are also required to have the following:

  • Written procedures for the selection of staff members
  • Ongoing and routine review of medical care provided by every staff member
  • Supervision of medical staff and hospital personnel that ensures the review and risk management processes are executed correctly

This isn’t a comprehensive list of hospital responsibilities. A Florida wrongful death attorney will let you know the options available to you when it comes to suing a hospital for wrongful death.

State law says the ability for a hospital to be held liable for a death changes if the death happened during emergency treatment or care. But the limited liability granted by the above statement is undermined if the death results “from providing, or failing to provide, medical care or treatment under circumstances demonstrating a reckless disregard for the consequences so as to affect the life or health of another.”

In such a case, a valid wrongful death claim arises.

Can I file a wrongful death claim?

In general, immediate family can seek compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit.

Depending on the age of the decedent, eligible survivors may include the decedent’s spouse, minor children, parents, and any blood or adoptive immediate relatives who were wholly or partially dependent on the deceased.

However, there are some cases in which Florida law creates strict limits on who is legally considered a “survivor” with the right to file a wrongful death claim.

In instances in which the deceased is at least 25 years old, unmarried, and without children, their relatives cannot sue for wrongful death. The same is true if the deceased was an unmarried or widowed person with children who are at least 25 years old.

In addition, the law specifies that children born out of wedlock can sue for the wrongful death of their mother, but they cannot sue for the wrongful death of their father unless the father “recognized a responsibility for the child’s support.”

There are exceptions to these limitations, such as in cases in which there are few, if any, minor or immediate surviving relatives of the decedent. Consult with a Florida wrongful death attorney to hear what options are available to you. Contact Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath today for a risk-free consultation.

How to Sue a Hospital for Wrongful Death

In the aftermath of a loved one’s unexpected death during surgery or other treatment at a hospital, taking legal action to hold those involved responsible may seem overwhelming. However, Florida law limits how long you have to seek compensation for the wrongful death of your loved one; You have only two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death claim, though there are rare exceptions to this limit.

Working with the experienced Florida wrongful death attorneys at Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath will let you grieve without having to worry about legal complexities. Contact us today for a free wrongful death case consultation.

Surgeons operate on wrong side of Florida patient

Surgical Errors and Medical Malpractice

All surgery comes with inherent risks, but some risks should never come into play. Florida medical providers have performed surgery on the wrong patient, on the wrong body part, or even on the wrong side of the right patient’s body.

These types of surgical errors are obvious instances of medical malpractice.

Other instances of medical malpractice surgical errors include leaving behind surgical tools and materials, puncturing organs, and causing nerve damage unrelated to the intended surgery. Suffering from any of these medical malpractice surgical errors means you’re entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering.

If you believe that you were injured by a medical malpractice surgical error, contact Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath today for a free consultation with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer.

What is medical malpractice?

Florida law defines medical malpractice as death or injury caused by the negligence of a health care provider, which can be a person or entity. According to state code, medical malpractice is no different from medical negligence.

As a patient, you are owed a certain level of care and consideration by medical providers. Medical malpractice surgical errors mean that the medical provider neglected to act according to that duty of care.

In instances where a medical malpractice surgical error is believed to be purposeful, medical providers are not just at risk of a civil lawsuit. They may also face charges in criminal court.

Main Evidence Required to Prove Medical Malpractice

For an injury caused by a medical practitioner to be considered medical malpractice, the plaintiff (which would be you in this case) needs to prove that:

  • The medical practitioner was negligent in the patient care or services provided or omitted
  • The patient’s injury was a direct result of that negligence

What if I wasn’t technically injured, but I don’t like the results of my surgery?

Under current law, subpar surgery results usually aren’t enough to qualify for medical malpractice on their own. But in cases in which a medical provider guaranteed specific results and failed to provide those results, you may be able to sue for breach of contract or warranty. This is a form of medical malpractice when conducted by a medical provider.

An example of this type of medical malpractice surgical error is if you underwent breast augmentation surgery and awoke to find that the doctor had implanted a different size or type than agreed upon. This breach of warranty could lead to additional surgery and risks, and the provider failed to meet the required duty of care.

A failed promise of post-surgery results is enough to bring a breach of contract lawsuit against a medical provider. In one such case, a boy with an injured hand sought treatment from a doctor who promised to provide him with “a hundred percent perfect hand.”

The boy had skin taken from his chest and grafted onto his hand. Years later, this resulted in a hairy hand that didn’t meet the medical provider’s promise of “a hundred percent perfect hand.” The court ultimately ruled in the plaintiff’s favor.

What if I was injured by a surgical error I believe was medical malpractice?

Contact an experienced Florida medical malpractice lawyer right away. According to Florida law, you only have two years to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, though there are some exceptions.

Filing a medical malpractice surgical error lawsuit in Florida isn’t quick or easy. Taking your time, even to deal with the fallout of serious injury, could mean missing the statute of limitation deadline.The state requires the plaintiff to conduct a pre-suit investigation and notify all defendants in writing of their intent to sue. The notification launches a 90-day period during which the lawsuit cannot be filed while the defendants have time to investigate the plaintiff’s claims.

In some cases, the defendants will reach out with a settlement offer during this time. If this happens, work with a Florida medical malpractice lawyer to ensure that you’re getting a fair offer and aren’t being cheated out of potentially necessary compensation. If the case reaches filing, then Florida requires an attempt of mediation before the case can go to court.

A skilled Florida medical malpractice lawyer knows how to navigate the nuanced and sensitive requirements of state medical malpractice law. At Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath, we have years of experience handling such complex cases. Let us help you handle the fallout of your medical malpractice surgical error and fight for the compensation and treatment you deserve.

Contact us at 561-867-4117 or foryourrights.com for a free consultation with a medical malpractice lawyer.

 

What is a breach of doctor-patient confidentiality?

Doctor-Patient ConfidentialityWhen you enter a professional relationship with a medical provider, they automatically agree to avoid any unnecessary disclosures of your medical and patient records. That agreement is known as doctor-patient confidentiality. 

But sometimes, patient information is mishandled, creating a breach of doctor-patient confidentiality. 

 

What is protected under doctor-patient confidentiality?

In Florida, your medical information has two main layers of legal protection.

 

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

This 1996 federal act known as HIPAA protects the privacy of all identifying health information. 

This includes information in your medical records, conversations between your medical providers, and medical billing information.

This law’s privacy rule requires healthcare providers and organizations to develop and maintain practices that protect your healthcare information. 

The three main types of entities required to abide by HIPAA include most healthcare providers, healthcare insurance agencies, and healthcare clearinghouses. Any subcontracted third-parties or business associates granted access to your medical records by these entities also must abide by HIPPA.

HIPAA gives you the ability to provide your medical information to whomever you wish, providing you consent to the release of your records. Once you consent to share that information with your selected parties, your medical providers can’t be held responsible if those parties share your information. HIPAA limits who can access your information without your consent to entities such as law enforcement agencies. 

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services states that this law covers all communications of protected medical information, whether that communication is oral, electronic, or written. Medical or patient information that cannot be used to identify you, also called “de-identified” information, isn’t protected under HIPAA.

 

Florida State Statutes

Several Florida statutes guard your right to medical and patient privacy. 

Some of the protections include:

  • Prohibiting the sharing of patient records to parties other than the patient, their healthcare providers, and their legal representatives without written consent
  • Requiring patient notifications of breaches or court-ordered releases of their medical and mental health information
  • Prohibiting patient information from being used for marketing or solicitation purposes without written release and permission

 

There are exceptions to general protections, such as the statute that requires designated mental health treatment or receiving facilities to share patient information with members of Florida’s statewide or local advocacy councils. 

Other exemptions include the release of medical records related to infectious diseases, the use of “de-identified” information for scientific or general health purposes, and the disclosure of mental health information if a patient threatens to harm themselves or others.

 

Can I sue for a breach of doctor-patient confidentiality?

Unfortunately, you can’t sue over HIPAA violations. Instead, you must file a complaint with the appropriate federal agency, usually within 180 days of learning about the violation. The agency will investigate the claim; If the accused party is found guilty of violating HIPAA, they may be subject to fines or jail time.

However, you can sue for a breach of doctor-patient confidentiality under Florida law. Such violations are considered medical malpractice, and you may be able to recover damages including emotional pain and suffering.

If you’re confused about whether a breach of doctor-patient confidentiality can be the basis of a lawsuit, contact an experienced Florida medical malpractice lawyer. A lawyer will know what legal options are available to you.

 

What should I do if my doctor-patient confidentiality was violated?

If you believe your medical information was wrongfully shared with someone or that your medical record privacy rights were violated, contact a Florida medical malpractice lawyer right away. State law limits how long you have to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, so consult with an expert as soon as you can.

You have a right to privacy, especially when it comes to what happens between you and your medical providers. You shouldn’t have to be afraid of disclosing sensitive information to your doctors, something that could lead to self-censorship, delays in treatment, or misdiagnosis.

Let us help. Contact Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath today for a free medical malpractice case evaluation.

 

Do I have a case for medical malpractice?

At Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath, we handle a wide variety of cases and seek justice for victims of elder abuse, premises liability, and car accidents, to name a few. We also represent victims of medical malpractice who have suffered at the hands of negligent doctors, nurses, and other medical staff.

One of the most commonly heard questions our medical malpractice lawyers receive is, “Do I have a case for medical malpractice?” It’s a good question to ask, and not always easy to answer.

The Presuit Process

Unlike other personal injury cases such as auto accidents or slip-and-fall injuries, the state of Florida requires medical malpractice victims to go through a “presuit process” as outlined in Florida Statutes Chapter 766 Section 106. 

The presuit process requires the following:

  1. Conduct a presuit investigation that includes expert witness interviews
  2. Notify each prospective defendant by certified mail of the intent to sue for medical negligence that includes (if available) the following:
  • A list of all known health care providers seen by the victim for the injuries complained of subsequent to the alleged act of negligence
  • All known health care providers during the two-year period prior to the alleged act of negligence who treated or evaluated the claimant
  • Copies of all of the medical records relied upon by the expert in signing the affidavit
  • The executed authorization form

3. A presuit investigation by the prospective defendant

Before you and your medical malpractice lawyer can file suit, the prospective defendant has 90 days to investigate the claim.

When pursuing a Florida medical malpractice lawsuit, you must have a highly skilled lawyer who is familiar and knowledgeable in the presuit process.

How to Establish Medical Malpractice

Once we’ve cleared the first hurdle which is the presuit process, our medical malpractice lawyers will take steps to establish the following:

  1. You were in the care of a doctor or another medical professional that owed you a duty of care
  2. The medical professional’s actions were negligent or wrongful and breached their duty of care
  3. The medical professional’s negligent or wrongful actions caused your injury or the death of a loved one
  4. The injury sustained resulted in damages that can be recovered in a court of law

Proof of these four elements is required in a successful medical malpractice case.

Do I have a case for medical malpractice?

If you are unsure of whether or not you have a case for medical malpractice, don’t hesitate to speak with an attorney. The best thing you can do for yourself after being victimized by a medical professional’s negligence is consult with a leading medical malpractice lawyer.

By waiting or seeking the guidance of a less experienced lawyer, you run the risk of the statute of limitations expiring or receiving an incorrect evaluation of the case.

Speak with a Skilled Florida Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today

As a victim of medical malpractice, it is your right to pursue legal action to recover damages for your injury. However, you’ll need the help of an experienced and highly qualified Florida medical malpractice lawyer to navigate the presuit process and prove breach of duty on the doctor’s part.

At Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath, we pride ourselves on aggressively seeking justice on behalf of our clients. Call us today at 561-655-1990 to schedule your risk-free case evaluation. We look forward to hearing from you.

What are common birth injuries in newborns?

woman worrying about types of birth injuriesIt’s devastating and frightening when a newborn suffers one of the many types of birth injuries. There may be life-long consequences for the baby and a heavy financial burden for the baby’s parents. However, when a birth injury occurs as a result of a medical professional’s negligence, the family may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. 

There is a high standard of care expected from professionals in the healthcare community. A failure to meet that standard of care can have severe repercussions for the newborn and their family. If you believe your child’s birth injury resulted from medical negligence, contact our experienced birth injury lawyers today. 

 

Common types of birth injuries and conditions

Our legal team has worked with clients whose babies have suffered from various birth injuries. Some common types of birth injuries include:

  • Brain damage
  • Bleeding between the scalp and skull (cephalohematoma) 
  • Head trauma
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Erb’s palsy
  • Facial nerve injury 
  • Spinal cord injury  
  • Klumpke’s palsy 
  • Perinatal asphyxia 
  • Brachial plexus palsy
  • Shoulder dislocation 
  • Fracture of the collarbone

These injuries can lead to long-lasting consequences for the infant and a world of stress and worry for their parents. The parents will also have to face hospital expenses, treatment, therapy, and special equipment to care for the baby. 

Not to mention, parents may also experience pain and suffering and possibly lost wages from missing work to care for their child.

 

What causes birth injuries in newborns?

When a child suffers a birth injury resulting from medical negligence, there could be a variety of causes. Some common causes include:

Hypoxia: 

Hypoxia occurs when a baby’s brain is not receiving enough oxygen. During childbirth, hypoxia can be caused by a damaged or infected placenta or when an umbilical cord gets tangled around the baby’s neck. When hypoxia goes unnoticed or unaddressed, the baby can develop severe disabilities. 

 

Improper forceps use: 

Several types of birth injuries, such as cerebral palsy, nerve damage to the baby’s neck, and fetal distress, are caused by improper use of forceps. If doctors aren’t extraordinarily careful, their use of forceps could lead to severe injuries.

 

Delaying a c-section: 

When a baby suffers from fetal distress, the doctor will often order an emergency C-section. When a doctor or other medical professional fails to recognize the urgent need for a C-section, their lack of attention may cause injuries to both the infant and mother. 

 

Failure to properly conduct prenatal testing: 

Even before a mother heads to the delivery room, a doctor’s negligence to properly conduct prenatal testing means they could miss a serious condition in the fetus that could lead to other injuries. 

While giving birth to a child should be one of the happiest days of a parent’s life, it can quickly turn into a traumatic event when a birth injury occurs. There is a wide range of causes of newborn birth injuries; all too often, these injuries happen because of a healthcare provider’s negligence. 

 

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Florida Birth Injury Lawyer Today

The experienced Florida birth injury lawyers at Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath understand the enduring physical, emotional, and financial trauma that a birth injury causes a newborn and their parents. When a birth injury occurs due to negligence or wrongdoing, the family deserves justice through financial compensation.

Numerous costs come with caring for a child who has suffered a birth injury. Our lawyers can assess your situation and determine whether your doctor or healthcare provider took the necessary steps to protect your child. If not, you may be able to recover damages from a birth injury lawsuit. 

Call our experienced lawyers today at 561-655-1990 to schedule a risk-free case evaluation. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Improperly Informed: What To Do If The Risks Weren’t Fully Explained

informed consent claim

When Should You Make an Informed Consent Claim?

We trust medical professionals to inform us of the risks of medications, surgeries, and actions that affect our health. But what happens when our doctors, nurses, or pharmacists make a mistake that puts our lives at risk? In these cases, there can be significant impacts on our health and wellbeing. 

Are you or a loved one suffering from an injury that could have been avoided if you knew all the facts? Here’s how to decide whether you should make an informed consent claim when a medical professional fails to inform you about the risks of a medical procedure.

 

What is informed consent?

Informed consent occurs when your healthcare provider explains your illnesses, medical conditions, and treatment options to you. Since you base your decisions about treatments on this information, it is important that doctors and other medical professionals provide adequate detail. 

Without receiving information about your medical condition and treatment options, it is impossible to make informed decisions that can have long-lasting impacts on your health. If a physician fails to explain your conditions and the risks of specific treatment options, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice suit. However, not all failures to inform reach the level of medical malpractice.  

 

Do my physicians always need to provide informed consent?

Generally, physicians should always receive informed consent from their patients. However, the amount of information that someone needs to receive to give informed consent varies based on the procedure. 

For example, minor surgeries or common treatments that typically do not result in side effects usually require the least amount of information. On the other hand, major surgeries and operations, complex procedures, and even some tests may require a higher level of informed consent.

In addition, there are times where consent is not necessary or possible. This includes emergencies, where the physician must act quickly to preserve the life of their patient. Similarly, when a patient cannot understand their condition or the risks of a medical procedure, another decision-maker will need to decide on the patient’s behalf. It is important to understand the laws in your specific state when determining whether consent was necessary in your specific case.

 

How should medical professionals provide consent for specific treatments?

Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals typically receive consent in two ways. First, they explain the patient’s condition and treatment options verbally. After explaining treatment options and the risks that come with those treatments, a physician may ask whether the patient agrees to a specific form of treatment. This is generally for conditions and treatment options that do not carry significant risks.

But what happens if your conditions and treatment options are potentially life-altering? In these events, you typically must receive a written document and sign this paperwork to provide consent. 

And what happens if you move forward with a medical procedure without knowing about the potential complications? Here’s how to tell whether your physician’s failure to inform you about the risks lead to a case of medical malpractice.

 

Identifying Failure to Inform and Provide Express Informed Consent

Failure to receive consent only happens when specific events occur. To decide whether you were the victim of medical malpractice, these things must happen:

  1.  You have a doctor-patient relationship with the individual that did not explain all the risks of a condition or treatment.
  2. The doctor, nurse, or medical professional did not provide information on the risks of a procedure or test, which any competent professional with a similar background would normally provide. This is known as the medical standard of care rule.
  3. Because you were not informed of all the risks of a procedure, you suffered an injury. You must be able to show that there was negligence by your medical professional in either giving the treatment or informing you of the risks.
  4. Due to this negligence, you are suffering from quantifiable damages. This could be in the form of additional medical care, pain and suffering, or even loss of life.

 

What are your next steps for making an informed consent claim?

It is important to act immediately if you suffer an avoidable injury because a medical professional did not inform you of all the risks. At Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath, we will help you understand your rights involving your medical malpractice case. We will help you gather evidence, build your case, and argue the facts in court so that you receive justice. 

Use the live chat option on our website to speak with a representative or schedule your consultation by phone at (561) 655-1990. Our consultations are at no cost nor obligation to you and your family. Speak with us today.

Medical Liability & Your Rights

medical liabilityAs a patient, you expect that your doctor will provide you with a certain level of care. However, just like in any field, accidents can occur. But what can you do if your physician does not appropriately attend to your medical needs? And what steps should you or your loved ones take if your health treatment leads to an injury or death? Let’s discuss medical liability, also known as medical liability, and your rights as a patient.

Understanding this term will help you determine whether your doctor is liable for the injuries you have suffered after visiting a health care provider.

What are Medical Liability and Medical Malpractice?

Medical liability law helps patients who have not received the proper level of care recover damages from a doctor or health care provider. Medical malpractice occurs whenever a doctor fails to provide care that would be expected from another reasonable physician. If a doctor’s or medical provider’s failure to provide a standard of care results in your injury or death, then they are legally liable for their actions. 

However, if other doctors would provide a similar level of care, or you do not suffer injury because of the physician’s actions, malpractice has not occurred. Because negligence from a medical professional can have devastating consequences, medical malpractice lawsuits are some of the largest awarded personal injury cases.

Common Ways Medical Malpractice Occurs

There are many ways that a physician can commit medical malpractice. It’s important to note that these actions by themselves may not qualify as malpractice. However, if you can prove that a competent medical professional would have provided a higher level of care and the action or inaction caused you injury, then these events are considered malpractice. 

This list is not comprehensive and may not include your specific situation, but the most common forms of medical malpractice include:

  • Failing to identify an illness or misdiagnosing a patient. This can include receiving incorrect treatments to solve a health problem. Healthy patients receiving unnecessary treatment due to misdiagnosis is also considered medical malpractice.
  • Identifying an illness but failing to treat you adequately. Likewise, a doctor can diagnose your illness properly, but fail to treat it. Most often this occurs whenever a doctor is working with too many patients. Because they’re too busy to provide a standard level of care to their patient, they may forget to refer a patient to a specialist. Further, the doctor may not follow up or release their patients too soon, resulting in injury.
  • Making surgical errors. Some of the most well-known medical malpractice cases are due to surgical errors. There are significant problems that can occur during surgery, which can lead to many long-term health complications. Even if you sign a form stating that you understand the risks of having surgery, this does not mean that you cannot recover damages.

How To File a Medical Liability Lawsuit

If you have been injured by a medical professional because of their negligence, you should receive compensation for your suffering. Here is the process you should take to start a medical malpractice case.

  1. Consult an attorney. Medical malpractice law is complex and requires significant resources. Be sure to discuss your malpractice case with a reputable medical malpractice law firm with proven experience.
  2. Have your attorney start an investigation. This will include gathering evidence, depositions, and finding experts for trial.
  3. Settle or go to trial. Your attorney will work with the physician’s insurance company to fairly compensate you for your damages. If they cannot agree on a settlement, then the case outcome will be determined by a judge or jury.
  4. Follow all procedures for bringing forward your medical malpractice case. The steps your attorney follows will depend on the state you live in. Forgetting to file, failing to meet with a medical review board, or delaying the suit can result in your case being thrown out. For this reason, it is always best to work with an experienced West Palm Beach medical malpractice attorney.

Discuss Your Case With a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today

We trust medical professionals to provide adequate care for our illnesses. When you suffer an injury during medical treatment, the negligent party should be held accountable. 

If you suspect that you or a loved one has experienced medical liability and would like to know your rights, please contact us. Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath can advise you on which actions to take. Call us at (561) 655-1990 to receive your free medical malpractice suit consultation.