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Medical malpractice cases in Florida: Standards for recovery

Medical malpractice cases include some of the most difficult and complex claims, and revolve around some of the most emotional components. We all have basic trust in our health care providers because we usually don't have much choice. Most patients don't have the diagnostic, treatment or technological knowledge to know otherwise. Sometimes, circumstances go wrong. Whether it is an honest mistake or negligence doesn't make too much difference to the injured person or the family dealing with the loss of a loved one.

Florida statutes provide detailed requirements and standards when medical negligence is alleged. It's the burden of the one making the claim to prove by a greater weight of evidence that the health care provider in question breached the proper standard of care in some way, which resulted in the loss being claimed.

The standard is based upon the prevailing and accepted standards recognized by similar health care providers. Basically, health care providers are expected to meet basic care requirements, and those requirements are, in part, defined within the industry itself. Expert witnesses in support of a claim must also meet stringent criteria defined by law.

There are many different types of medical malpractice. They include mistakes on the operating table, infants hurt during a birthing procedure, medication errors and failure to diagnosis a life-threatening illness. Serious injuries can result from any errors made by clinical staff. Costly long-term medical care, income loss and even loss of companionship or quality of life are serious consequences that deserve very careful consideration when brought forward as a personal injury claim.

Source: Florida Statutes, "Medical negligence; standards of recovery; expert witness" Dec. 04, 2014

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