St. Petersburg Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Most medical professionals use great care when diagnosing, examining, and treating their patients. Unfortunately, mistakes can and do occur, and tragically, many errors could have been avoided, but for a doctor or nurse’s negligent or reckless conduct. In these situations, injured patients can hold the negligent physician accountable by filing a medical malpractice claim against that individual or his or her employer in court. These kinds of claims are often difficult to pursue, so if you or a loved one sustained an injury as a result of a medical professional’s negligence, it is important to contact an experienced St. Petersburg medical malpractice lawyer who can ensure that your rights and interests are protected.
What is the Professional Standard of Care?
In our day to day lives, we are required to use reasonable care in our dealings with other people. For instance, when driving, we are required to obey traffic laws and use ordinary care to avoid endangering others. Certain individuals, such as doctors and nurses, however, owe an even higher duty of care to their patients, as they must act in accordance with the applicable professional standard of care. This means that medical personnel must use the level of care, skill, and treatment that is generally accepted as appropriate by medical providers in the same area and in the same, or similar circumstances.
Defining a professional standard of care can be difficult. However, there are some circumstances, in which even a layman can recognize that a physician’s actions were negligent. If, for instance, a patient discovers that a sponge or clamp that was used during a surgical procedure, was left inside his or her body, courts will consider that prima facie evidence that the surgeon was negligent.
Types of Medical Malpractice Claims
While many people associate medical malpractice with surgical errors, such as leaving a surgical instrument inside a patient’s body, there are actually a number of different actions that qualify as medical malpractice, including:
- Failing to administer anesthesia properly;
- Causing an injury to a newborn or its mother during pregnancy or delivery, as a result of a failure to control blood loss or monitor oxygen levels;
- Misdiagnosing an illness due to a failure to conduct a thorough examination or to order appropriate tests, scans, and biopsies; and
- Making a medication error by failing to take a patient’s history, improperly entering patient information when ordering prescriptions, or failing to warn of a medication’s side effects.
It’s important to note that even when a medical professional does commit medical malpractice, an injured party cannot recover compensation for those actions unless he or she files a claim within two years of the date that the injury occurred, or the date that he or she should have known about the error.
Call a St. Petersburg Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today
To ensure that you file your own medical malpractice claim correctly and on time, please contact a member of the dedicated St. Petersburg medical malpractice legal team at Masterson, Hoag & Smith, P.A. by calling 727-325-2696 for a free case review.