March 3, 2024

Tampa Medical Malpractice Lawyers

Medical malpractice is a deeply concerning issue for anyone seeking medical treatment. In Tampa, Florida, where the healthcare sector is robust and diverse, the chances of encountering medical negligence, unfortunately, exist.

Navigating the aftermath of such an experience can be daunting, which is why the role of a Tampa medical malpractice lawyer becomes crucial.

These legal professionals are not just attorneys; they are advocates for patient rights and safety. They help navigate the complex web of medical and legal jargon to bring justice and compensation to those wronged by medical errors.

Whether it’s a case of delayed diagnosis, surgical errors, or wrongful death, an experienced medical malpractice lawyer in Tampa can guide you through the intricate process of filing and winning a medical malpractice claim.

This article aims to introduce you to some of the top Tampa medical malpractice lawyers, delve into Florida’s medical malpractice laws, and answer frequently asked questions to empower you with knowledge and direction.

Detailed Overview of Top 5 Tampa Medical Malpractice Lawyers:

  1. Henry E. Valenzuela – Valenzuela Law Firm, P.A.
    • Expertise: Specializes in medical malpractice cases, providing seasoned guidance through the complexities of such claims.
    • Experience: Adept at handling a wide range of medical malpractice scenarios, including surgical errors, misdiagnoses, and birth injuries.
    • Approach: Known for his meticulous attention to detail and compassionate approach to client representation.
    • Background: Henry’s extensive experience in medical malpractice law has established him as a go-to advocate for those seeking justice in the Tampa area.
  2. Weston F. Smith – Weston Smith Law, PLLC
    • Specialization: Focuses on Florida medical malpractice cases, offering tailored legal representation.
    • Skills: Renowned for his ability to handle complex legal issues, particularly in cases involving healthcare provider negligence.
    • Client Advocacy: Committed to securing fair compensation, Weston F. Smith employs a client-centric approach, ensuring personalized legal strategies.
    • Reputation: His dedication and legal acumen have earned him a reputation as a reliable advocate for injured patients in Tampa.
  3. Jessica E. Shahady – The Ruth Law Team
    • Legal Services: Provides comprehensive legal assistance to Tampa residents facing medical malpractice challenges.
    • Expertise: Skilled in unpacking the nuances of Florida medical malpractice law, Jessica effectively guides her clients through each case.
    • Client Focus: Known for her empathetic approach, ensuring clients’ needs and concerns are at the forefront of her legal strategy.
    • Professional Insight: Her involvement in various medical malpractice cases has honed her ability to navigate these often complex legal waters with finesse.
  4. Mitchell Lloyd Feldman Esq.
    • Litigation Experience: Brings over two decades of experience in civil litigation, including a strong focus on medical malpractice.
    • Diverse Legal Background: His practice areas extend beyond medical malpractice to personal injury and employment claims, providing a broad perspective on legal issues.
    • Client Representation: Mitchell’s robust litigation experience equips him to effectively represent clients in high-stakes medical malpractice cases.
    • Education: A graduate of Emory University School of Law, his academic background underpins his practical legal skills.
  5. Catherine McWilliam Rinaldo – Rinaldo Law Group
    • Veteran Experience: With 38 years in the legal field, Catherine brings a wealth of experience to her medical malpractice cases.
    • Specialization: Focuses on personal injury and wrongful death arising from medical negligence, with a track record of securing significant verdicts and settlements.
    • Client Advocacy: Known for her commitment to client rights and obtaining fair compensation for medical malpractice victims.
    • Legal Expertise: Her extensive experience and deep understanding of medical malpractice law make her a formidable presence in the Tampa legal community.

Understanding Medical Malpractice Laws in Florida

1. Definition of Medical Malpractice:

In Florida, medical malpractice pertains to instances where a healthcare provider, such as a doctor or nurse, deviates from the expected standard of care within the medical community, resulting in injury or death to the patient. This breach of duty is a crucial element in establishing a medical malpractice claim.

2. Statute of Limitations:

Florida law stipulates that medical malpractice lawsuits must be filed within two years from the date the patient, family member, or guardian discovered or should have reasonably discovered the injury. Exceptions exist, potentially extending this period, emphasizing the importance of timely action.

3. Pre-Suit Investigation:

Before filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in Florida, a mandatory pre-suit investigation is required. This involves notifying potential defendants and providing a list of all healthcare providers seen by the plaintiff for the claimed injuries.

This process aims to assess the validity of the claim before formal legal proceedings.

4. Expert Witness Requirement:

To substantiate a medical malpractice claim in Florida, a qualified expert witness is essential. This witness must testify that the healthcare provider deviated from the standard of care.

The expert should either practice in the same field as the defendant or possess comparable experience, ensuring credibility in the evaluation.

5. Damage Caps:

Florida’s medical malpractice laws changed caps on non-economic damages, including pain and suffering. As of the last update, the Florida Supreme Court ruled certain caps unconstitutional in medical malpractice wrongful death cases.

This implies that there may not be strict limits on non-economic damages in these instances, allowing for more comprehensive compensation considerations.

6. Informed Consent Requirements:

Florida’s medical malpractice laws emphasize the importance of informed consent. Healthcare providers are obligated to inform patients of potential risks and alternatives before obtaining consent for medical procedures. Failure to adequately communicate these aspects may lead to claims of medical negligence.

7. Good Samaritan Law:

Florida’s Good Samaritan law provides legal protection to individuals who voluntarily provide emergency medical care at the scene of an accident or during an emergency.

This law encourages bystanders to assist without fear of liability, fostering a prompt and helpful response in critical situations. Understanding the scope and limitations of this law is crucial for both healthcare providers and the general public.

How a Tampa Medical Malpractice Lawyer Can Help

In a case of medical error, our legal team could pursue an investigation into the negligent act. Medical malpractice occurs when the care of a medical patient falls outside the normal standards of care of this patient and you are at risk of injury or death.

If a medical professional does not act similarly to others who have similar training they may have to pay compensation for the injury and damage incurred. These medical errors can happen when you are suffering injuries from an on-the-job accident.

Elements of a Florida Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

Florida law regarding medical malpractice is incorporated under Section 866 of the Florida Statutes. According to this law, it is necessary to prove multiple things to receive compensation.

In a medical malpractice lawsuit, you cannot recover money if the provider acted contrary to the rules or standards of care.

Standard of Care – When Does Medical Malpractice Occur?

The defendant has to prove the negligence or negligence acts of the doctor in establishing the medical malpractice.

According to Florida law governing medical malpractice: the prevailing professional standard of care for any health care provider shall be that degree of care, skill, and treatment which is considered acceptable and appropriate by the reasonably prudent similar health care provider.”

Medical negligence occurs when doctors or healthcare professionals fail to maintain standards and cause injuries to their customers.

Florida Medical Malpractice Laws

The Florida physician must adhere to the medical guidelines established in all specialties and comply with such regulations.

In cases in which there have been medical malpractices alleged, the state may take disciplinary actions against medical professionals who are deemed to be responsible for the alleged medical negligence in the state.

The state law governing the state-wide medical malpractice litigation in Florida includes the three strikes law as well as the statute of limitations for medical malpractice.

Damages Awarded In Medical Malpractice Cases

In some cases, medical malpractice has devastating effects on one’s livelihood. Medical malpractice cases allow victims who have incurred damages in their lives from medical errors to recover damages.

These can be economic—for instance medical bills—or noneconomic, for example, mental or physical pain. Amounts awarded to injured patients are compensatory or punitive.

Fighting for the rights of injured patients all over the Tampa, Clearwater, and St. Petersburg area

It only takes an errant mistake to change someone’s life forever. Health professionals are also humans, so we are as sensitive to accidents. Those who have been injured in a catastrophic accident should not be held responsible for a wrongful death claim if it has been made.

Lorenzo & Lorenzo lawyers have the knowledge, experience, and expertise needed to make sure you receive legal representation and compensation that meets your needs.

Our experienced medical malpractice lawyer has been convicted in cases around Tampa and has a strong knowledge of the personal injury industry.

Why You Need an Experienced Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Florida

The legal system is proving a rocky one. There are some issues in finding out whether someone has taken an action. What’s wrong with the doctors and their patients? We can assist you in finding the cause of the malpractice lawsuit.

Secondly, Florida has one of many claims for medical negligence that requires filing. You should take these simple steps carefully. When something goes wrong you have to pay a huge amount of time. Our attorneys know the Florida Medical Malpractice Claims Procedure.

Thirdly, negligence can’t be proved. If your malpractice case involves medical malpractice in Florida, you must prove it.

6 additional aspects of medical malpractice laws in Florida medical malpractice lawyers

1. Affidavit of Merit Requirement:

  • Mandatory Affidavit: Florida law requires the filing of an affidavit of merit in medical malpractice cases.
  • Expert Verification: This affidavit must be signed by a medical expert, affirming that there is a reasonable basis for the malpractice claim.
  • Purpose: It acts as a preliminary check to discourage frivolous lawsuits and ensure that claims have a factual and medical basis.

2. Joint and Several Liability:

  • Shared Liability: In cases involving multiple defendants, Florida’s approach to joint and several liability may apply.
  • Proportionate Responsibility: Each defendant may be held responsible for their proportion of fault, influencing how damages are distributed among responsible parties.
  • Implications for Plaintiffs: Understanding how liability is apportioned is vital for plaintiffs in strategizing their lawsuits and seeking full compensation.

3. Wrongful Death Claims in Medical Malpractice:

  • Scope: When medical malpractice results in death, survivors can file a wrongful death claim.
  • Damages: These claims can include damages for lost support and services, loss of companionship, mental pain and suffering, and medical and funeral expenses.
  • Time Limits: Florida’s statute of limitations for wrongful death due to medical malpractice is generally two years from the date of death.

4. Standard of Care Determination:

  • Defining Standard of Care: The medical standard of care is defined as the level and type of care an ordinarily prudent healthcare professional would provide under similar circumstances.
  • Establishing Breach: Showing that a healthcare provider’s actions deviated from this standard is crucial in a malpractice claim.
  • Role of Medical Literature and Practice: Often, medical literature and standard practices in the field are used to establish what constitutes standard care.

5. Medical Malpractice Insurance Requirements:

  • Insurance Mandate: Florida requires certain healthcare providers to carry medical malpractice insurance or otherwise demonstrate financial responsibility.
  • Coverage Minimums: These requirements ensure that funds are available to compensate patients harmed by medical negligence.
  • Uninsured Practitioners: In cases involving uninsured practitioners, patients may face challenges in obtaining compensation.

6. Discovery Rule and Its Application:

  • Delayed Discovery: In some cases, the harm from medical malpractice is not immediately apparent.
  • Statute of Limitations Extension: The discovery rule can extend the statute of limitations, starting the clock when the patient discovers or should have discovered the injury.
  • Legal Nuances: Understanding the application of the discovery rule is critical in ensuring timely and valid legal action.

FAQs on Medical Malpractice Claims in Tampa, Florida

What constitutes medical malpractice in Florida?

Medical malpractice in Florida occurs when a healthcare provider deviates from the standard of care in the medical community and causes injury or death to a patient. This can include errors in diagnosis, treatment, aftercare, or health management.

How do I know if I have a valid medical malpractice claim?

To determine if you have a valid claim, consider whether a healthcare provider’s negligence directly caused your injury or worsened your condition. Consulting with a qualified Tampa medical malpractice lawyer can help clarify the validity of your claim.

What is the time limit for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in Florida?

In Florida, you generally have two years from the date you discovered or should have discovered the injury to file a lawsuit. However, this can vary based on specific circumstances, so it’s crucial to seek legal advice promptly.

What kind of compensation can I expect from a medical malpractice lawsuit?

Compensation can include medical expenses, lost wages, future medical costs, pain and suffering, and in some cases, punitive damages. The exact amount depends on the specifics of your case.

Do I need a medical expert to file a medical malpractice lawsuit?

Yes, Florida law requires a qualified medical expert to testify that the healthcare provider breached the standard of care and that this breach caused your injury.

Can I still sue if the medical error didn’t cause a significant injury?

To pursue a medical malpractice claim, the error must have caused significant harm. Minor errors without lasting effects often do not warrant a lawsuit.

How long does a medical malpractice lawsuit take in Florida?

The duration varies based on the complexity of the case, the willingness of parties to settle, and court schedules. It can range from months to several years.

Will my medical malpractice case go to trial?

Most medical malpractice cases are settled out of court. However, if a settlement cannot be reached, the case may go to trial.