Jelly MDHV

When you receive medical treatment or undergo a surgical procedure, you expect to recover and get better, not worse. Unfortunately, some patients end up worse due to a doctor or nurse’s carelessness or negligence.

fort lauderdale medical malpractice attorney

If you or someone you love were harmed by a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional, you need the help of a highly experienced Fort Lauderdale medical malpractice attorney. A lawyer from Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath will put their experience to work for you in an effort to obtain full compensation.

To schedule your free consultation, please contact us online or call (561) 655-1990.

Steps to take after experiencing malpractice

1. Seek medical attention to correct the mistake

Speak with another doctor as soon as you can to get a second opinion and to see what can be done to correct the error. The new doctor will thoroughly review your medical records and might be able to help verify that malpractice has occurred.

2. Obtain a copy of your medical records

Ask for a full and complete copy of your medical records, including all lab reports, imaging, scans, doctor and staff notes, and a log of when your file was accessed and by whom, for both your paper and electronic file. Make the request in writing so that you have a paper trail of what you requested and when it was requested, and so that you can compare what documents were provided to those that you requested.

3. Keep a daily log of symptoms

After the initial incident or when you start to believe that the care you received was harmful rather than helpful, keep a daily log of the symptoms you’re experiencing and the effect they’ve had on your life. Although it’s very easy to keep these notes in a handwritten journal, as an extra precaution, either email yourself photos of the journal pages or make an email thread to yourself of these notes so that it’s more easily accessible and more protected.

4. Hire an attorney

Contact a Fort Lauderdale malpractice attorney immediately after any serious medical issues resulting from the malpractice have been addressed and treated. Medical malpractice is a complex area of law, and your attorney will want to begin their investigation and preserve evidence right away.

Types of medical malpractice 

Here’s a quick look at some of the more common forms of medical malpractice.

Diagnosis errors

A doctor might misdiagnose a patient, or they took longer than they should have to diagnose a health issue. Either type of error can result in a potentially life-threatening situation and could lead to a patient receiving the wrong type of medication or treatment.

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Medication errors

Taking the wrong kind of medicine could result in severe complications or even death. Medication errors in medical malpractice include prescribing the wrong medication, not considering the side effects of medication and how they might affect you, or ignoring potentially dangerous interactions with other medications. For example, administering a paralytic agent rather than a sedative in surgery would be a medication error.

Surgical mistakes

There are many different kinds of errors that can happen during surgery. A doctor may leave a tool or a sponge inside a patient’s body, which can remain there for years and lead to excruciating pain and other problems. Surgeons can also mistakenly damage perfectly healthy organs, or even operate on the wrong part of a patient’s body. Unnecessary surgery may also be considered malpractice in certain situations.

Birth injuries

These are among the most heartbreaking of medical mistakes, sometimes causing life-altering issues that a baby may have to deal with for decades to come. Sadly, in many instances, birth injuries can be fatal but were preventable.

Don’t wait to file a claim

Florida has a two-year statute of limitations for medical malpractice victims. This means that you must file your claim within two years of either the date of the injury or from the first day they realized they’ve suffered harm due to medical negligence. If the statute of limitations expires, you’ll no longer be able to take legal action.

Although two years seems like a long time, you shouldn’t delay in filing your claim – in fact, you should act as quickly as possible. Attorneys need time to perform a detailed investigation, gather evidence, and identify liable parties.

Potential damages to claim

When you file a medical malpractice lawsuit with the assistance of a Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer, you’re doing it to recover the financial losses you’ve incurred due to the injury caused by the medical error. The two main categories are economic and non-economic damages. 

Economic damages

These are tangible losses that are fairly simple to calculate. Two of the most common are medical expenses and lost wages.

Medical expenses

Your injury is likely to lead to a lot of medical bills. In fact, they’ve probably already started to come in. A medical malpractice lawsuit may not only provide you compensation for your current bills, but also any bills you may accumulate for additional treatment.

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Self-represented litigants often underestimate the cost of their medical expenses and they don’t really know what type of future medical care they’ll need. This is one of the most important reasons to hire a medical malpractice attorney from Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath.

We have the experience and resources available, including medical experts, to determine the care you’ll need and the damages you should seek for your current and future medical expenses. 

Lost wages

If you can’t work because of your malpractice-related injury, you’re going to lose income, and benefits you would’ve accrued had you been at work, you might miss out on a promotion or pay raise due to your absence, and your injury might prevent you from doing the same job or from working altogether.

Your attorney can help you recover your current lost wages and benefits, but also any others you might lose in the future if your injury has substantially impacted your ability to work.

Non-economic damages

These are more difficult to calculate because they don’t necessarily come with a bill or invoice. Only a skilled, experienced Fort Lauderdale medical malpractice attorney will know what they’re worth and how to calculate them. Non-economic damages include the following.

Emotional and psychological distress

You’re not only going through a great deal of physical pain, but you’re likely also suffering emotionally. You might be angry due to your debilitation, or you’re experiencing a great deal of anxiety because you’re unsure about your financial future. Your attorney will take this into account when demanding compensation from the defendant’s insurance provider.

Diminished quality of life

If you’ve suffered a particularly severe injury due to the medical professional’s negligence, you might be unable to do the things you once enjoyed.

For example, you might have been an avid runner, but you’ve suffered permanent nerve damage to your leg due to a botched surgery, making it very unlikely that you’ll ever be able to run again. This can lead to profound depression. You’re entitled to compensation for that depression, and your attorney will work very hard to help you get it. 

We’ll work to obtain maximum compensation in your case

Don’t settle for an attorney who’s “good enough” – for the best outcome, you need an experienced attorney who’s respected in the community. Attorneys at Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath have a deep understanding of this area of the law and a substantial successful track record of obtaining settlements and awards for our clients. 

Although no amount of money will make up for the suffering you’ve been forced to endure, equitable compensation will help provide financial security and will hold those medical professionals accountable for their mistakes, hopefully preventing them from making those mistakes in the future.

Multiple parties may be liable for your injury

Another reason a medical malpractice case can be very difficult to navigate is that there might be more than one liable party. The doctor, nurses, and other personnel could be held liable for the harm that was caused.

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You may also be able to sue the hospital or clinic where you were treated, as well as any drug or equipment manufacturers who may have contributed to your suffering. These details will be uncovered by your attorney as they conduct their investigation and work through the discovery process.

How our attorneys prove medical malpractice

The importance of a detailed investigation by your attorney can’t be overstated. Part of this investigation will likely include a discussion with a medical expert in the same field of care you received. If, for example, a surgeon botched your heart surgery, that expert will also be a heart surgeon and will look at the standard of care you received.

If the expert feels the surgeon didn’t uphold the appropriate standard of care that another doctor – one with the same or similar training – would have provided, then you will likely have a valid malpractice claim. The expert will spell out their findings in a legal document known as an affidavit, which will then be presented to the negligent doctor’s insurance company. 

There are many other ways medical malpractice can be proven, however, it depends on the facts of your unique case.

Cost of hiring a Fort Lauderdale medical malpractice attorney

When you choose Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath to represent you through this difficult time, you won’t pay a dime unless we win your case. So, don’t worry about the out-of-pocket costs associated with the lawsuit because there won’t be any.

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We might even be able to arrange treatment with medical providers who will provide treatment using an attorney’s lien. This means they’ll defer collecting payment until your case has been resolved via settlement or jury verdict.

Our Fort Lauderdale medical malpractice attorneys are ready to help

To learn more about how we may be able to help you or a loved one who’s suffered as a result of a medical professional’s negligence, contact a Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney with Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath. Simply fill out the online contact form or call (561) 655-1990.

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