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Did you or a loved one suffer great harm and consequences, such as a serious injury, long-term suffering, or even death? If you’re considering filing a medical malpractice claim to recover damages from a medical accident such as a misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, surgical error, unnecessary surgery, or other similar incident, a leading Florida medical malpractice lawyer at Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath can help you get all of the compensation you are entitled to by law.

We have served clients with a wide range of medical malpractice lawsuits. Let us help you win justice in your medical malpractice case. You don’t pay us until we win for you.


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Our Recent Settlements

 

$35,000,000

A Broward County jury awarded Denise and David Brown $35 million in a case against North Broward Hospital District, doing business at Broward General Hospital.

$11,000,000

A catastrophic injury case resolved in less than 10 months for more than the insurance company’s policy limits.

$11,000,000

A product liability and wrongful death case involving a defect in a tire causing a catastrophic car accident.

Medical malpractice occurs when a health professional or institution fails to provide reasonable care by committing a negligent act and causes their patient harm. Legally, “reasonable care” refers to the degree of care that a prudent or reasonable person would exercise under the same or similar circumstances.

If a reasonably prudent doctor would have made the same decision under similar circumstances, you can say that the first doctor acted with reasonable care. If a reasonably prudent doctor would not have made the same decision, you can say that the first doctor was not acting with reasonable care.

Doctors and other health professionals take an oath to treat their patients to the best of their ability and to do no harm in the process. Unfortunately, not all doctors live up to the promises they made, causing harm to their patients through medical malpractice.

If you or a loved one were injured due to a medical professional’s negligence, you deserve justice and maximum compensation. Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath have more than 35 years of experience representing victims of medical malpractice.

We’ll fight to get you the money you need after suffering an injury at the hands of a medical professional. Call a medical malpractice attorney in Boca Raton at (561) 655-1990 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.

What are examples of medical malpractice?

Our practice has identified the following as common reasons to look into filing a medical malpractice claim.

Failure to diagnose

Failure to diagnose must result in a patient’s worsened condition to be actionable. For example, a doctor may fail to test for a possible medical condition, or they may conduct the test or interpret the results incorrectly, letting their patient’s condition deteriorate without proper intervention.

Misdiagnosis

Misdiagnosis is common in medical malpractice claims. An example of misdiagnosis is when a doctor diagnoses a patient with heartburn when their symptoms are actually the first signs of a heart attack.

Misreading or ignoring laboratory results

Laboratory testing is one of the greatest diagnostic tools of the medical community, but only when done correctly. Inexperienced lab technicians or doctors unfamiliar with a certain condition may misread test results. However, unfamiliarity is not an excuse, and the doctor should refer the patient to another doctor with appropriate experience.

Failure to order proper testing

An example of failing to order proper testing is if an orthopedic doctor fails to order an X-ray for a patient reporting symptoms of bone cancer.

Ordering or performing unnecessary surgery

Sometimes, surgery is the only option, but there are plenty of instances where a nonsurgical treatment would work just as well, if not better. Unfortunately, some doctors will convince their patients that they need surgery to make more money.

Surgical errors or wrong-site surgery

Few medical errors are as terrifying and grossly negligent as wrong-site, wrong-procedure, and wrong-patient surgery. An example of wrong-site surgery is when a surgeon operates on the wrong level of a patient’s spine.

Improper medication or dosage

Pharmaceuticals are another great invention of the modern era, but they can cause serious injury if dosed or used incorrectly. Negligent actions that may constitute a medication-related medical malpractice claim include mishandling or omitting patient history, confusing drugs with similar names, and writing inappropriate pharmaceutical abbreviations.

Poor follow-up or aftercare

A medical professional’s job isn’t over when the procedure ends. Doctors must check in with their patients frequently to ensure the procedure or treatment went well. If there were complications during the procedure or treatment, proper aftercare will help identify and remedy them.

Premature discharge

Premature discharge is when a hospital or doctor’s office releases a patient before the appropriate time. This is dangerous, especially for people who have undergone a surgical procedure, as doctors must monitor their patient’s condition to ensure there are no complications.

Disregarding or failing to take appropriate patient history

Thorough patient history is crucial for effective clinical decision-making and a trusting physician-patient relationship. Failure to take appropriate and thorough patient history can result in prescribing drugs with dangerous interactions and not recognizing hereditary problems.

Common Issues Caused by Medical Malpractice

We trust doctors to treat their patients using discretion and reasonable care, but unfortunately, even doctors make negligent errors. When a patient’s life is quite literally in the doctor’s hands, they must act with prudence and the utmost care, but one mistake on their part can cause devastating injury or even death.

The list below highlights some of the most common issues caused by medical malpractice. If you or a loved one suffered one of these injuries, a medical malpractice attorney in Boca Raton can help you obtain justice and compensation to help you and your family move forward.

Birth Injury

Of every 1,000 infants born in the United States, six to eight of them are born with a birth injury. That’s 28,000 birth injuries per year, 2,333 per month, 538 by week, 76 per day, and three birth injuries per hour. Some of these injuries can be treated fairly easily, but others will affect the child for their entire life.

Cerebral Palsy

The most common motor disability in childhood, cerebral palsy affects the development of a baby’s brain. A common example of birth-related brain damage is when the infant is deprived of oxygen during the birthing process, which can occur due to improper medical care.

This condition can cause stiff muscles, uncontrollable movements, difficulty walking, eating, and picking up on fine motor skills, and delays in reaching motor skills milestones.

Erb’s Palsy (brachial plexus palsy)

Erb’s palsy is paralysis of the arm caused by injury or trauma to the upper group of the arm’s main nerves. The likelihood that a child will have permanent impairment is 3-25%, but complete recovery is unlikely if the child’s condition fails to improve within the first two weeks of life.

Erb’s palsy causes weakness, loss of feeling, and partial or total paralysis of the affected arm.

Careless and Negligent Errors

Careless and negligent errors during the birthing process include delayed C-section, oxygen deprivation, failure to monitor, wrongful birth, and wrongful pregnancy.

Anesthesia Errors

In addition to vaccines, anesthesia is one of the greatest achievements in the medical field. Although it facilitates surgery and prevents patients from feeling pain, anesthesiology is inherently dangerous and comes with serious risks, including death.

Anesthesia errors can occur for several reasons. A patient can be seriously harmed if a doctor administers too much or too little anesthesia or waits too long to administer the drug. Injury or death may also occur if the doctor fails to prevent an adverse reaction from combining anesthesia and another medication, administers the wrong type of anesthesia, fails to properly monitor the patient during a surgical procedure, or uses defective equipment or medical devices during anesthesia.

Emergency Room Errors

Emergency rooms are chaotic and stressful places, and with some ERs being severely understaffed and ill-equipped, they can cause injuries and in some cases, death.

Due to the nature of the emergency room, these physicians have more leeway than hospitals or office physicians. However, negligence is never excusable, and one negligent or careless mistake on the part of an ER physician can be due to:

  • Diagnosis errors
  • Errors in conducting or reading CT scans, MRIs, and X-rays
  • Medication or prescription errors
  • Failing to diagnose heart attacks or strokes
  • Discharging patients when they need continued care

Just because the ER has more leeway doesn’t mean you can’t hold the negligent physician responsible. Call a medical malpractice attorney in Boca Raton at Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath to learn how your case could qualify.

Hospital Malpractice

Nurses, medical technicians, and other individuals employed by the hospital can be held directly liable if you or a loved one were injured while receiving treatment.

Most doctors are not employed by the hospital, as they are independent contractors in the eyes of the law. That means the hospital cannot be held liable even though the malpractice occurred on their property.

As you can imagine, hospital malpractice is complicated. If you or a loved one were injured, you deserve justice. An experienced medical malpractice attorney in Boca Raton will work hard to prove liability, no matter how complicated the case. Contact Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath today for more information.

Medical Device Errors

Defective or erroneous medical devices have a high potential to cause severe injury and death.

These are some medical devices with the highest defect rates:

  • Dialysis filtering devices
  • Implants
  • Pacemakers
  • Shunts
  • Stents
  • Ventilators

You can hold the hospital, manufacturer, or distributor of a defective medical device responsible for your or your loved one’s injury. Contact a medical malpractice lawyer in Boca Raton at Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath to learn more.

Misdiagnosis & Delayed Diagnosis

We trust that doctors and other medical professionals have the knowledge and experience to correctly diagnose their patients and the integrity to refer cases to other physicians when they cannot.

Each year in the United States, around 12 million people are affected by medical diagnostic errors, including misdiagnosis. Anywhere from 40,000 to 80,000 of them die from complications related to the misdiagnosis.

Misdiagnosis could make your current condition worse, as well as delaying the correct diagnosis that could save your life. In some cases, misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis result in death.

If you believe you or a loved one were wrongly diagnosed or diagnosed too late, speak with a medical malpractice attorney in Boca Raton at Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath.

Medication Errors

Medication errors are one of the more terrifying examples of medical malpractice. As modern medications become stronger and more available than ever before, the risk of injury and death also increases.

Medications are only effective if the doctor or medical professional prescribes the correct medication and dosage. Unfortunately, some doctors and pharmacists make negligent mistakes in prescribing and filling medications. Some of the most common types of medication errors include:

  • Failing to warn the patient of the potential side effects of the medication
  • Mislabeling the medication
  • Prescribing the wrong type or dosage of medication
  • Prescribing a medication that has adverse effects when combined with other medications that the patient is taking

Anyone in the chain of prescribing medication – doctors, nurses, hospitals, pharmacies, and manufacturers – can be held liable for any injury or death that occurs due to a medication error.

These errors are serious, and the responsible party should be held accountable for their wrongdoing. If you or a loved one suffered injuries or death from a wrongly prescribed medication, contact a medical malpractice lawyer in Boca Raton now. Call Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath at (561) 655-1990 today.

How is medical malpractice proven?

To prove that your doctor committed medical malpractice, you and your attorney will have to establish that they failed to provide treatment in line with applicable legal standards and that you suffered harm (injury) as a result.

Here are the four steps you and your medical malpractice lawyer in Boca Raton must prove for your case to be successful:

  1. A provider-patient relationship existed.

You won’t have a viable malpractice case if you overheard a doctor giving medical advice at a party and, deciding to follow that advice, suffered an injury.

This requirement is usually fairly easy to establish with the help of medical records, bills, and other documents proving that the doctor agreed to take you on as a patient and that you received some kind of treatment, consultation, or procedure.

A ruling in the 2006 case of QT, Inc. v. Mayo Clinic of Jacksonville states that a consensual provider-patient relationship is one in which “the patient knowingly seeks the physician’s assistance and in which the physician knowingly accepts the person as a patient.”

  1. The doctor violated the medical standard of care.

Remember our discussion of reasonable care? This is an element you and your attorney must prove for your medical malpractice case to be successful.

You’ll have to prove that the doctor or medical professional who treated you failed to act with the care and skill that a similarly-trained and educated doctor or medical professional would have demonstrated under the same circumstances.

The negligent doctor’s (defendant’s) actions will be compared to those of professionals in the same field under similar circumstances. Usually, expert medical witnesses will testify about what a skilled, competent doctor would have done in the same or similar situation.

  1. A clear link exists between the doctor’s negligence and your injury.

Legally, it’s not enough to show that your provider made a mistake that another doctor wouldn’t have made. You and your attorney have to prove that that mistake caused you direct harm or made your existing condition worse.

This is the tricky part – you’ll have to prove that your injury is due not to an underlying condition, but rather the substandard care that you received.

You’ll probably have to use expert testimony to establish this part of your case. Luckily, a medical malpractice attorney in Boca Raton will have connections with the best medical experts to testify on your behalf.

Contact Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath today to learn more and to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.

  1. There is quantifiable proof of damages.

The last thing that you and your medical malpractice attorney must prove is that the doctor’s negligent actions caused you quantifiable (measurable) harm, or damages in legal terms. Damages might include the cost of treatment to remedy the harm done, or it could be income that you lost while you were injured and unable to work.

Victims of medical malpractice may also be able to claim pain and suffering as a result of the doctor’s negligent actions.

Can I afford a medical malpractice attorney?

You can absolutely afford a medical malpractice attorney.

The medical malpractice lawyers at Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath work on a contingency fee basis, meaning we only get paid when you are awarded a settlement or verdict. We’ll even pay court fines and related expenses – we’re that confident in our ability to get you the money you need.

For any questions regarding fees, call us at (561) 655-1990.

How long do I have to file a lawsuit after a medical malpractice injury?

In Florida, you must file a medical malpractice lawsuit within two years of your discovery of the medical error, or after you should have discovered it through “due diligence.” This deadline is known as a statute of limitations, and it’s important to follow if you plan to hold the doctor liable for your injuries.

The vast majority of Florida medical malpractice cases fall within the two-year statute of limitations, but there are very specific exceptions to the rule.

For example, if a medical provider committed fraud, concealment, or intentional misrepresentation that prevented you from discovering the negligent error, the statute of limitations will be extended two years from the time you finally learned of the error. At the latest, this law will cover you for seven years after the incident.

A medical malpractice claim may also be filed after the expiration of the four-year deadline (or the seven-year deadline for fraud) as long as the claim is filed before the child’s 8th birthday.

Results

We can talk all day about how we win for our clients, but without evidence, those are just empty claims. Here are some of our most notable settlements and verdicts that we’ve won on behalf of our clients in medical malpractice claims:

  • $35,000,000 settlement for a Palm Beach County birth injury case
  • $1,250,000 settlement for a Palm Beach County failure to timely diagnose case
  • $950,000 settlement for a St. Lucie County failure to diagnose case
  • $900,000 settlement for a Palm Beach County failure to diagnose case
  • $500,000 settlement for a Palm Beach County botched surgery/retained medical device case.

Of course, every case is different and case results will vary based on the facts and circumstances of the case. If you’d like to know the potential value of your case, contact our office at (561) 655-1990.

Contact a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Boca Raton Today

As a law firm, Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath is about holding negligent medical professionals accountable. As people, we are compassionate and understanding, working closely with our clients and their families to obtain the best possible outcome.

With more than 30 years of experience handling Florida’s toughest personal injury and medical malpractice claims, you can trust us to get you the money you need. Call us at (561) 655-1990 today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.

Medical Malpractice Questions and Answers

Who can be held liable for my medical malpractice injury?

Doctors aren’t the only ones who can be held liable in a medical malpractice case. There are a number of medical professionals against whom you may have a viable case. Some of those medical professionals include:

  • Radiologists – A doctor can order all the appropriate tests to make a correct diagnosis, but the entire treatment process can be ruined if a radiologist misinterprets or miscommunicates the test results.
  • Nurses – Nurses have plenty of responsibilities, including the insertion and maintenance of IVs and the intubation of patients. However, a busy ward is no excuse for negligent mistakes such as giving a patient the wrong medication, exposing them to unnecessary dangerous hazards, or leaving them unattended for hours.
  • Pharmacists – A pharmacist can be held liable if they fill the wrong prescription. For example, they could fill the wrong dose of the medication or the wrong medication altogether.
  • Hospitals, urgent care centers, clinics, etc. – These parties may be held liable if there was proof of widespread hazardous or unsanitary conditions. They may also be responsible for hiring unqualified or incompetent staff members.
  • Anesthesiologists – A patient can suffer serious long-term consequences, such as brain damage, or even death if anesthesia is administered improperly. Common examples of anesthesia malpractice include giving a patient the wrong dosage or wrong type of drug. Patients may even wake up in the middle of a painful, invasive procedure if they are given the wrong amount or type of anesthesia.

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