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Medical Malpractice

Abbott Law Group, P.A. > Medical Malpractice

Jacksonville Medical Malpractice Lawyers

When illness or injury forces you to see a doctor or go to the hospital, you put your trust in medical professionals to give you the best possible treatment and do what is necessary to improve your health. However, medical professionals are only human, and sometimes they make mistakes; they get tired; they’re too busy; they misdiagnose; or they over-medicate.

The Institute of Medicine estimates that between 44,000 and 98,000 people die in hospitals annually each year due to preventable medical errors. The attorneys at Abbott Law Group, P.A. believe it is important that the healthcare profession be held accountable when their actions result in unnecessary harm to their patients. Medical malpractice lawsuits are one way of ensuring that when a doctor, a nurse, or other medical caregiver, at a hospital, a clinic, or a nursing home, does cause someone harm, that he or she is justly compensated.

Medical malpractice cases arise when a medical patient has been injured or killed as a result of the improper action, inaction or other negligence of a healthcare professional or medical facility. Medical malpractice is also often committed by a doctor or hospital’s lack of action, such as failure to prescribe a necessary test or otherwise performing an incomplete evaluation. However, simply because there was a poor result does not mean that malpractice occurred.


Was Your Doctor Negligent?

When determining whether a medical professional has been negligent, his or her practice or conduct is judged at a level of competency and professionalism consistent with the specialized training, experience, and care of a “reasonably prudent” physician in the same or similar circumstances. This judgment constitutes the “standard of care” or professional “duty” that a physician owes to each of his or her patients. If a physician breaches the standard of care and the patient suffers accordingly, there may be actionable medical malpractice.

If negligent care by a doctor or nurse results in injury or death of a patient, a lawsuit for medical malpractice may be filed against:

  • The hospital for improper care, inadequate training of staff, improper administering of medication, contamination, or sanitation
  • Private or public government agencies that operate or run the hospital and its facilities
  • The Physician, doctor, or surgeon, if they failed to provide generally accepted standards of practice or care

Negligence or Medical malpractice can happen in a wide variety of ways, including misdiagnosis, late diagnosis, surgical mistakes, child birth injuries, fetal death, prescription errors or other medication errors, anesthesia error, negligence resulting in brain injury, paralysis or wrongful death, post-operative care malpractice, failure to follow-up with treatment, misdiagnosis or late diagnosis of cancer, staff negligence causing harm, or any other form of medical negligence resulting in harm.

One legal remedy for a medical malpractice case is to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor, hospital or medical professional responsible. These lawsuits are notoriously difficult and expensive to prosecute, so it’s important to discuss your case first with an experienced trial attorney. Our firm has 34 years of experience trying personal injury (including medical malpractice) claims in Florida, and securing justice for clients who have been wrongfully injured by negligent medical professionals.

Beyond our extensive personal trial experience, Abbott Law Group, P.A. has another unique advantage in handling complex “med mal” cases: a full-time certified legal nurse consultant on staff. With more than 20 years of hospital nursing experience, Beverly Thomas has invaluable skills for and expertise in identifying, assessing, and assisting with medical negligence cases.


Medical Malpractice Trial Experts

Although there are times where medical malpractice may be obvious, the majority of cases involve complex medical issues which need to be thoroughly evaluated by a knowledgeable medical professional. Medical malpractice may not be recognized by an attorney because they lack the expertise or fail to consult with the appropriate medical experts. Abbott Law Group, P.A. has the legal experience as well as the knowledge and resources necessary to handle even the most complex medical malpractice lawsuits.

We are dedicated to helping victims and their families deal with the pain and losses associated with medical errors resulting in serious injury. If you are dealing with serious loss or injury due to medical negligence, contact our attorneys for a free analysis of your case by a lawyer who fully understands the standards by which medicine ought to be practiced.

Hospital Negligence

Where is hospital negligence most likely to occur?

Emergency Rooms – Hospitals often rush patients in and out of the ER to treat higher numbers of patients and to keep costs down. This may lead to a lack of quality care or a misdiagnosis which may leave a patient’s health and safety at risk.

Inpatient care – When a patient has been admitted to the hospital, they are under inpatient care.

Outpatient care – When a patient arrives to the hospital and is referred to another doctor to treat their problem outside the hospital. The hospital may not consult with a specialist at the time of diagnosis and sent the patient home without treating the illness

Types of Medical Errors related to Hospital Negligence

Surgical Errors make up for nearly 34% of inpatient medical malpractice claims

  • Mistakes or errors made during surgery resulting in damage to nearby organs or tissue – This may happen when the surgeon is cutting with a scalpel, laser, or other sharp instrument. A catastrophic injury could result if the surgical tool punctures or perforation into vital organs.
  • Surgery performed wrong site – While it is extremely rare, wrong site surgery does happen. When a procedure is performed on one side when the problem is on the other, this could lead to serious health and safety problems for the patient.
  • Surgery performed on the wrong patient – Wrong patient surgery is most likely to happen due to human error where there is a mix up of names or medical charts. This could also lead to serious health consequences and quality of life issues for the patient.
  • Unnecessary surgery or performed without consent – If a doctor performs surgery on a patient that was unnecessary due to a misdiagnosis or other reason without the patient’s consent, the hospital may be liable for negligence.
  • Foreign objects left in patient after surgery – There have been nearly 800 incident reports from patients in the last 10 years who have had surgical instruments left inside of them after surgery resulting in 16 deaths.

95% of patients who needed to have the foreign object removed required a longer recovery period than originally planned.

Foreign objects left inside the patient after surgery could include: surgical instruments, needles, retractors, sponges, towels, and other small fragments or pieces of surgical equipment.

Emergency Room Errors

Where is hospital negligence most likely to occur?

Emergency Rooms – Hospitals often rush patients in and out of the ER to treat higher numbers of patients and to keep costs down. This may lead to a lack of quality care or a misdiagnosis which may leave a patient’s health and safety at risk.

Inpatient care – When a patient has been admitted to the hospital, they are under inpatient care.

Outpatient care – When a patient arrives to the hospital and is referred to another doctor to treat their problem outside the hospital. The hospital may not consult with a specialist at the time of diagnosis and sent the patient home without treating the illness

Surgical Errors

Types of Medical Errors related to Hospital Negligence

Surgical Errors make up for nearly 34% of inpatient medical malpractice claims

  • Mistakes or errors made during surgery resulting in damage to nearby organs or tissue – This may happen when the surgeon is cutting with a scalpel, laser, or other sharp instrument. A catastrophic injury could result if the surgical tool punctures or perforation into vital organs.
  • Surgery performed wrong site – While it is extremely rare, wrong site surgery does happen. When a procedure is performed on one side when the problem is on the other, this could lead to serious health and safety problems for the patient.
  • Surgery performed on the wrong patient – Wrong patient surgery is most likely to happen due to human error where there is a mix up of names or medical charts. This could also lead to serious health consequences and quality of life issues for the patient.
  • Unnecessary surgery or performed without consent – If a doctor performs surgery on a patient that was unnecessary due to a misdiagnosis or other reason without the patient’s consent, the hospital may be liable for negligence.
  • Foreign objects left in patient after surgery – There have been nearly 800 incident reports from patients in the last 10 years who have had surgical instruments left inside of them after surgery resulting in 16 deaths.

95% of patients who needed to have the foreign object removed required a longer recovery period than originally planned.

Foreign objects left inside the patient after surgery could include: surgical instruments, needles, retractors, sponges, towels, and other small fragments or pieces of surgical equipment.

Misdiagnosis and Treatment Errors

Misdiagnosis and Treatment Errors account for nearly 46% of medical malpractice claims according to a study from JAMA. These medical errors may include:

  • Proper diagnosis and wrong treatment – Doctor may properly diagnose the medical issue but the medical staff fails to carry out his orders causing a delay in care and possible other complications.
  • Proper treatment for a misdiagnosis – Doctor misdiagnoses the medical issue and the staff carries out the treatment for the misdiagnosis further complicating or prolonging the original issue.
  • Failure to monitor a patient’s health – If the patient is left for too long without quality care, and the patient’s health declines due to bedsores, dehydration, malnourishment, unchanged bandages, or something which would ordinarily be preventable, the hospital may be held responsible for damages.
  • Failure to seek help from a specialist – If the doctor fails to consult with a specialist to treat the medical issue that they are not familiar with, it may result in prolonging the injury or possibly risking the health and safety of the patient.
  • Failure to properly use a medical device – Hospitals are required to make sure their medical staff are trained and know how to use the medical devices that are used for patient care. If a staff member improperly uses a medical device and injures a patient which was found out to be due to insufficient training, the hospital may be held liable for hospital negligence.
  • Failure or delay in treatment of a medical issue – If the patient of the hospital is not treated in a timely fashion, or the patient has to wait for a delay in treatment which results in a decline in health or a worsening of condition of the patient, the hospital may be responsible for the lack of care.

Pharmacy Errors

  • Patient receives the wrong dose of medication for treatment
  • Patient receives wrong medication and suffers an adverse event or allergic reaction
  • Nurse or pump fails to administer the correct amount of anesthesia and the patient suffers nerve damage or worse as a result

Unsterile Medical Conditions

  • Infections due to unsterile room or environment – All surfaces in the hospital should be wiped down and sanitized to stop the spread of infection and disease. If the hospital fails to keep each area clean such as an operating table, and an infection is spread through contact, the hospital could be held responsible for negligence.
  • Infections due to unsterile medical device – medical devices such as a camera used for upper and lower G.I. examinations may be difficult to clean and could be responsible for transmitting patient to patient diseases. Bacteria left on medical devices could also lead to a serious infection or a superbug.

Types of compensation which may be sought by a medical malpractice lawyer

  • Pain And Suffering – It is difficult to calculate the amount of pain and suffering one goes through after being the victim of hospital negligence. The amount awarded for pain and suffering may depend upon how greatly the person and their quality of life has been affected.
  • Medical Bills and cost of treatment – The financial burden as a result of the hospital negligence may also be included as damages as well as the cost of future treatments. .
  • Loss of Income or support – If a person loses time from work, or a person loses the ability to work and becomes disabled due to the negligence of the hospital, they may seek compensation for the lost earnings.

When should I contact a lawyer?

If you believe that you or a loved one may be the victim of medical malpractice you should call our Jacksonville medical malpractice lawyers right away for a free consultation. The Abbott Law Group lawyers specialize in trials, and if we accept your case we will fight for the maximum compensation you may be legally eligible to receive.

We have been representing the seriously injured for over 30 years, and if you have been the victim of medical malpractice we would like to speak with you about your legal rights.