The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) states that medical negligence by doctors and health care providers is the third leading cause of death in the United States. This cause of death is only behind heart disease and cancer.  This statistic is shocking, and literally millions of dollars are spent with respect to medical malpractice lawsuits.  If you have been injured by a doctor or medical professional, you may have a valid medical malpractice case.

Strong Medical Malpractice Case

There are four elements that every personal injury case must have to file a valid lawsuit, including medical malpractice claims: duty, breach, causation, and damages.

  • Duty

A very specific relationship must exist between you and the doctor or medical care provider.  The health care provider must have been treating you for a medical condition in which he or she had a duty of care to provide adequate medical services.

  • Breach

The definition of negligence is the “failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances. The behavior usually consists of actions, but can also consist of omissions when there is some duty to act.”

You must prove that the doctor or medical professional had an absolute duty towards you with respect to health care and that he or she somehow breached that duty by acting negligently.  It is important to note that being unsatisfied with a medical procedure does not rise to the level of negligence.  As long as your doctor, nurse, or medical professional acted with a level of care established by the medical industry, you will not be able to prove negligence.

  • Causation

You must prove that your injuries are a direct result of the action or inaction of the doctor or health care provider.  Your doctor, nurse, or medical provider must have acted with negligence, intentional misconduct or recklessness.  If you already had a pre-existing condition, you can not claim causation against a doctor or medical professional as they did not directly cause your injury or pain.

  • Damages

You must have suffered actual damages.  In the case of medical malpractice, you must suffer damages either physically, emotionally, or financially directly as a cause of the doctor, nurse or health provider’s actions in order to establish a strong and valid medical malpractice lawsuit.

Statute of Limitations

Medical malpractice lawsuits must be brought within a certain period of time, called a Statute of Limitations. Florida has only a two-year statute of limitations for medical malpractice causes of action.  There are certain exceptions that include fraud, intentional misrepresentation,  concealment, or if there is a minor involved.

These laws are complex, and once the clock starts ticking, you only have a limited amount of time to obtain the compensation owed to you.

Contact an Attorney

Unfortunately, medical malpractice is a common occurrence.  If you, or someone you love, have been injured by a doctor, nurse or another health practitioner, it is important to contact an experienced  medical malpractice attorney at O’Donnell Law Offices, serving clients in Kingston, Wilkes-Barre, Hazleton and Pittston. Our team can work with you to ensure that you can build your claim and receive the compensation you deserve.  Call us today for a free consultation by dialing 570-821-5717 or by using our online case review form.


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