Common Categories of Medical Negligence

A properly managed medical negligence case not only serves to assure that the victim and their loved ones are fairly compensated, but may also have far-reaching implications for other victims of medical malpractice. The recent case McCall v. The United States of America, involved the death of a young woman following childbirth and the aggressive pursuit of adequate compensation on behalf of her family. Influenced by this case, the Florida Supreme Court pushed to eliminate the state’s statutory cap on non-economic damages in wrongful death medical malpractice claims.

Devastating Harms Warrant High Payouts

Medical malpractice is one of our firm’s main areas of expertise, which means we know how to handle such cases with the utmost care. The following list demonstrates the most common types of medical negligence cases that we litigate regularly:

  • Brain injured infants caused by failure to recognize fetal distress.  Due to the horrific nature and extraordinary expenses that result from birth injuries, these cases tend to produce some of the largest monetary judgments and settlements.  However, they are also difficult to meet the burden of proof, in part because across the medical industry, fetal heart rate monitoring can be hard to interpret. It is therefore crucial to have direct access to experts in the field—experts that our firm has in-house.
  • Failure to diagnose various forms of cancer such as breast, lung, ovarian, cervical and skin. A poorly conducted physical exam, the failure to order a certain medical screening or test, misinterpreting a test result, misdiagnosing a tumor or other condition, insufficient follow-up care, delaying referral to a specialist, not paying attention to a patient’s complaint—failure-to-diagnose-cancer cases are not only highly complex and very difficult to prove, there are usually high financial stakes involved as well.
  • Failure to timely diagnose and/or treat stroke or heart attack. There are many different methods used by doctors to timely diagnose and treat a stroke or heart attack.  For a successful case, it is crucial to consult with lawyers and medical investigators who have a thorough understanding of the utility of these tests.
  • Surgical mistakes. Seemingly impossible medical mistakes, such as leaving a foreign object (towel, sponge) in  a patient’s body after surgery, performing the wrong procedure on a patient, and operating on the wrong part of the body have resulted in thousands of claims and $1.3 billion in judgments over the last 20 years.
  • Defective medical products and/or medications. We all know that FDA approval is no guarantee that a particular drug or medical device is safe.  In fact, serious damage resulting from defective medical products and medications is on the rise, often requiring more surgeries and treatments than the original problem. These highly specialized cases require extensive legal and medical knowledge and the resources to pursue what may become a class action lawsuit.
  • Emergency department errors. ERs are among the top hospital departments subject to malpractice lawsuits, with an estimated $1 billion paid out in 2009 alone.  For this reason, we have two nurse paralegals on staff, including a former critical care coordinator who was responsible for emergency room staffing and patient care at the University of Pennsylvania hospital prior to joining our firm.

Moving forward quickly and aggressively with your medical malpractice claim

Note that under Florida law, you have a very limited amount of time to bring a claim for medical malpractice.  Be sure to hire a law firm with the experience, knowledge, staff and financial resources you need to pursue a claim against a hospital and major insurance company.

If you have any questions on this blog or need information on other personal injury queries, please call the Law offices of Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath located in West Palm Beach at 1-800 4-RIGHTS  (1-800- 474-4487)  We welcome your call and look forward to helping you.