Articles Tagged with florida-medical-malpractice

A new study by a panel of independent medical experts offers troubling news about missed, delayed and wrong diagnoses in this country: Most Americans will get one at least one time in their lives. Sometimes, the outcome is devastating, resulting in the loss of precious time necessary to treat aggressive conditions. microbiologist

Further, it turns this type of health care mistake is much more common than other types of medical errors, such as medication slip-ups or surgical blunders. Even so, this is an area of study that, until the Institute of Medicine’s most recent report, has been given far less attention than other issues of patient safety.

That’s largely because most research has focused on issues pertaining to health care that happens in hospitals. So things like hospital-acquired infections, mistakes during surgery or errors doling out medication have been high on the priority list of researchers. Diagnosis problems, meanwhile, often happen at outpatient centers, doctors’ offices and surgical centers. There are of course issues in hospital emergency rooms and in other hospital settings, but the new research indicates this is system-wide problem that is going to require a multi-pronged approach to address.

The medical community has always been quick to blame those of us in the legal sphere for rising insurance costs. They assert that because of litigious patients looking for an easy payout, they are forced to order extra – sometimes unnecessary – tests or procedures or compel patients to have more office visits. If they don’t, they alleged, the risk of a lawsuit goes up.stethascope8

But in fact, research has shown that is not the case. In fact, when Florida researchers took on the issue in a study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, they found lawsuits do not occur at random to good doctors. Rather, in an analysis of lawsuits against obstetricians, 70 percent of all filings in a five-year time frame were made against 6 percent of doctors.

That 6 percent did not just have a run of bad luck. There is undoubtedly something that sets them apart from their fellow physicians.

In filing a medical  malpractice lawsuit in Naples, proof will require the unwavering and convincing testimony of an expert witness who will help you establish that:

  • The medical staff responsible for your care were negligent;
  • That negligence resulted in an injury to you;
  • That injury sustained entitles you to receive damages. nurse1

In order to be considered an “expert” witness in a medical malpractice case, it’s not enough that someone holds a doctorate degree. In fact, the state of Florida lays forth very specific criteria for who may testify in medical malpractice case.

In fact, it’s been quite a contentious issue here, with the Florida Supreme Court in December refusing to adopt a part of state law that creates restrictions on which doctors can testify during medical malpractice trials. As the Insurance Journal recently reported, the law, designed to help doctors better defend themselves in malpractice cases, would limit expert witnesses called to testify against physician defendants to only those individuals who practice the exact same kinds of medicine as the defendant. The law barred those in similar fields from acting as expert witnesses. The Florida Supreme Court determined this would have a chilling effect on the ability of people to find witnesses in Florida medical malpractice cases. In fact, the Florida Bar Board of Governor’s voted 34-5 to recommend the court reject the law, calling it unconstitutional.