Sarasota Bradenton Medical Malpractice Attorney
Recent reports reveal that medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the United States, just behind heart disease and cancer. Of the staggering 225,000 deaths caused each year by medical mistakes in the U.S, 12,000 people die from unnecessary surgery; 7,000 die from medication errors, and 80,000 die from infections acquired in hospitals. Countless more are injured to varying degrees by medical negligence. Almost all of these errors could be prevented, often with simple measures such as better patient identification protocols and more effective cleaning of hospital surfaces and equipment.
At The Nurse Attorney, P.A. with offices in the Bradenton / Sarasota and central Florida areas, our Sarasota Bradenton medical malpractice attorneys are especially adept at representing patients and their surviving family members in Florida medical malpractice cases. With more than 30 years of combined medical and legal experience, Marjorie Chalfant knows what goes on “behind the scenes” in hospitals and is extremely comfortable and capable when it comes to reviewing and understanding whether the appropriate standard of care in a given instance was violated.
Our team represents patients and their families who have been harmed by medical malpractice in many different ways, including:
- Misdiagnosis of Cancer
- Birth Injuries
- Surgical Errors
- Medication Errors
- Hospital-Acquired Infections
- Blood and Platelet Transfusions
- Pulmonary Embolism
Dedicated and committed to learning the true facts about your case
Not all negative outcomes in a hospital are the result of malpractice. Medicine is a highly-specialized field, and outsiders are not likely to know whether a bad result or worsening condition was caused by medical error or not. Doctors and hospitals know this and may offer excuses about the cause of a particular condition. Medical errors are often not reported, and in some cases they are intentionally hidden from disclosure. The Nurse Attorney, P.A. offers a unique combination of knowledge and experience to go behind the scenes and uncover the facts behind a patient’s injury or illness.
Florida Medical Malpractice FAQ
How You Can Tell If You Have A Medical Malpractice Claim?
Successful medical malpractice claims require proof of all four elements:
- A duty was owed: a legal duty exists whenever a hospital or health care provider undertakes care or treatment of a patient;
- A duty was breached: the provider failed to conform to the relevant standard care;
- The breach caused an injury: the breach of duty was a proximate/direct cause of the injury; and
- Damage: Without damage (harms and losses which may be financial and/or emotional), there is no basis for a claim, regardless of whether the medical provider was negligent; likewise, damage can occur without negligence (for example, when someone dies from a fatal disease).
What To Do if You’re a Victim of Medical Malpractice
Ask the physician or care provider what happened, and don’t give up until you’re satisfied that all your questions have been fully answered. You’re entitled to complete disclosure and access to all of your health records, and the caregiver has an ethical duty to tell you the truth. You have a right to a complete explanation about any treatment or care provided, as well as a right to be properly informed in advance of all the risks and benefits of any procedure. These conversations can be referenced later in official court proceedings.
How To Get Your Medical Records
Get a complete copy of your entire medical record immediately, and demand certification or an affidavit from the records custodian that nothing has been omitted or removed from the chart. Many times, care providers will only give you selected “abstracts” of your medical chart, which often don’t include Physician’s Orders, Nursing Notes, Progress Notes, Flow Sheets, hand-written entries, and other important records. The sooner you obtain your records, the less likely “after-the-fact” alterations or additions can be made in an attempt to cover up what really happened.
It’s extremely helpful to make notes of the events and document as much detail as possible. Detailed documentation should include things such as dates and times of events; names and physical descriptions of doctors, nurses, and other allied medical care providers; specific statements made by any and all medical care providers with as much detail as possible regarding conversations between care providers and the patient, and/or family members; and any other important facts you’re aware or which you think may be important to your case. In certain circumstances, documentation of important facts may be used as evidence, in spite of hearsay evidence rules that usually don’t allow out-of-court statements. Further, documentation of events made at or around the time of the incident are presumably more accurate than trying to recall details months or years later, and can likewise refresh your recollection of events for deposition or trial testimony. It’s also helpful to document your injuries and symptoms, such as daily pain or limited mobility, and how and in what manner the malpractice has affected your life.
Why Photos are So Important
Although it may be emotional and difficult to do, taking photographs of visible injuries is critical (it’s true: “a picture is worth a 1,000 words”). It may be several years before your case goes to trial, and by then, visual evidence of injuries may have faded. Even worse, if the victim dies before trial, the visual evidence may be gone forever. In cases where the injury has caused impairment with mobility or activities of daily living, videos demonstrating these impairments are extremely helpful and persuasive, especially where the jury may not be able to appreciate the impairment in a courtroom setting.
Why You Should Never Go it Alone
Your case is too important to take risks or delay taking action. You should retain a highly qualified attorney to investigate your claim as soon as you suspect malpractice has occurred. Make sure you choose an attorney who has been the lead counsel for medical malpractice jury trials. Ask specific questions about the medical aspects of your case. Have the lawyer explain what went wrong in your case, and what should have been done differently to prevent the bad outcome. Find out how much the lawyer knows about medicine and the standards of care required. If a lawyer needs to rely on someone else to review and “interpret” the medical records, critical facts and evidence can be overlooked or misunderstood. It pays to hire a lawyer who knows the law and the medicine!
We urge you to contact us immediately if you suspect medical malpractice has caused serious injury or death. Marjorie Chalfant’s legal knowledge and experience, combined with her extensive nursing background and medical expertise, has proven to be a successful combination for winning.
Get Immediate Assistance with Medical Malpractice Claims throughout Florida
If you or a loved one has been harmed by malpractice by any hospital, doctor or clinic in Florida, call The Nurse Attorney, P.A. for a free evaluation of your case. We have represented patients and their family members in cases against HCA hospitals (Hospital Corporation of America), Florida Hospital / Adventist Health System, BayCare Health System, Bayfront Health, Martin Health System, Delray Medical Center, IASIS Healthcare, All Children’s Hospital / Johns Hopkins, Central Florida Health Alliance, Baptist Health / Baptist Medical Center, and many other in-patient and outpatient treatment centers, clinics, home health care agencies, physicians, and other medical groups.
Location is never an issue for us, and in fact, we represent clients throughout Florida and we co-counsel with attorneys in other states. Contact our Sarasota Bradenton medical malpractice attorney today, we can help.