When a Doctor’s Error is Not Medical Malpractice in Florida
Many patients assume that their doctor can be sued for medical malpractice any time an error occurs or any time they are harmed by their physician. However, in reality, you can sue your doctor for medical malpractice only if you can prove that their professional conduct fell below the reasonable standard of care.
Contrary to popular belief, not all medical mistakes give grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. In fact, you cannot sue your doctor for medical malpractice every time they make an error. In most cases, it is vital to consult with a skilled medical malpractice attorney in Florida to review your unique situation and determine whether you have grounds for filing a lawsuit against your doctor.
How Does Florida Law Define Medical Malpractice?
Under the Florida Statutes Section 766.102, a patient may have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit against a healthcare provider if they can prove that their doctor breached “the prevailing professional standard of care for that healthcare provider.” In other words, the plaintiff must be able to demonstrate evidence that another reasonably prudent doctor would not have made the same error in the same situation.
In most cases, the plaintiff must find a medical expert practicing in the same field as the doctor who allegedly committed medical malpractice to testify in court and prove that the defendant breached the accepted standard of care.
When a Doctor’s Error Doesn’t Constitute Medical Malpractice
Thus, it is fair to say that not all medical errors would constitute medical malpractice. The following are examples when a doctor’s mistake may not give rise to a medical malpractice lawsuit:
- You were warned of the risks and complications of the procedure. When your doctor warned you of the inherent risks and complications associated with your treatment or surgery, you may not be able to sue them for medical malpractice simply because you were harmed. You may only sue your doctor if they breached a standard of care when providing treatment.
- The doctor’s error did not cause any injuries. Sometimes, doctors make mistakes that do not result in any harm to the patient. Thus, if your doctor made an error in diagnosis or treatment, but it did not lead to any physical, emotional, psychological, or any other injury, you may not have a valid medical malpractice claim.
- You were harmed due to general negligence. Sometimes, patients are harmed by their doctor’s negligent acts that have nothing to do with medical care. For example, if you slip and fall in a doctor’s office because the physician failed to warn you of the wet floor, you may not be able to sue them for medical malpractice. In order to sue a doctor for medical malpractice, they must have been negligent in connection with your diagnosis or treatment.
As you can see, not all doctor’s errors may give rise to a medical malpractice lawsuit in Florida. For this reason, it is important to discuss your case with a Miami medical malpractice attorney to determine whether you have a valid claim against your doctor. Call at 305-670-2889 to schedule a case review.