Medical Malpractice Defense in Florida - Federal Lawyer
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Medical Malpractice Defense in Florida

Florida address – by appointment only:
2250 Southwest 3rd Ave, 4th Floor
Miami, FL 33129
305-928-8505
Lynette Byrd
Attorney Lynette Byrd
Florida Medical Malpractice Defense Team Lead
Former DOJ Attorney envelope icon Contact Lynette
Nick Oberheiden
Attorney Nick Oberheiden
Florida Medical Malpractice Defense Team Lead envelope icon Contact Nick
Linda Julin McNamara
Attorney Linda Julin McNamara
Florida Medical Malpractice Defense Team Lead
Federal Appeals Attorney
Jennifer W. Corinis
Jennifer W. Corinis
Florida Medical Malpractice Defense Team Lead
Litigation Counsel

Florida healthcare professionals and the companies that employ them can face civil lawsuits for their alleged medical malpractice. These lawsuit pose a huge threat to your finances, professional future, and to your reputation as a good doctor, surgeon, hospital, or other healthcare provider.

The medical malpractice defense lawyers at the national law firm Oberheiden P.C. have 12 law offices scattered across the state of Florida, from Miami to Tampa to Orlando to Tallahassee. From these locations, our medical malpractice defense lawyers have extensive experience providing effective and convenient legal representation to health care professionals and entities across the state of Florida.

We Defend a Wide Array of Medical Professionals and Healthcare Providers

Oberheiden P.C.’s medical malpractice defense attorneys represent clients that are both individual healthcare professionals as well as healthcare entities, companies, and corporations.

Both individual health care providers and entities can be accused of medical malpractice in a medical malpractice claim.

Some of the individual healthcare professionals in the medical community that Oberheiden P.C. has represented in the past have been:

  • Doctors and physicians, including both general practitioners as well as specialists
  • Physician assistants
  • Surgeons
  • Registered nurses
  • Nurses
  • Pharmacists
  • Lab technicians
  • Dentists
  • Dental hygienists
  • Veterinarians
  • Physical and occupational therapists
  • Psychologists, psychiatrists, and other mental health therapists

Even though medical malpractice is an act of negligence that can only be done by a person, healthcare companies can be sued for it under the legal doctrine of respondeat superior. This doctrine holds employers vicariously liable for the negligence of their employees if it happens within the scope of their employment. As a result, the following kinds of healthcare companies can be included in a lawsuit for medical malpractice:

  • Clinics
  • Doctors’ offices
  • Hospitals
  • Medical schools
  • Pharmacies
  • Dental offices
  • Surgical facilities
  • Laboratories
  • Nursing homes
  • Veterinary clinics
  • Urgent care centers and emergency rooms

Many of these healthcare companies have taken risk management measures to insulate themselves from these medical malpractice claims, often by hiring healthcare professionals as independent contractors rather than as employees. If you are interested in doing the same for your healthcare facility, the healthcare defense and compliance attorneys at Oberheiden P.C. can help.

Put our highly experienced team on your side

Dr. Nick Oberheiden
Dr. Nick Oberheiden

Founder

Attorney-at-Law

Lynette S. Byrd
Lynette S. Byrd

Former DOJ Trial Attorney

Partner

Brian J. Kuester
Brian J. Kuester

Former U.S. Attorney

Amanda Marshall
Amanda Marshall

Former U.S. Attorney

Local Counsel

Joe Brown
Joe Brown

Former U.S. Attorney

Local Counsel

John W. Sellers
John W. Sellers

Former Senior DOJ Trial Attorney

Linda Julin McNamara
Linda Julin McNamara

Federal Appeals Attorney

Aaron L. Wiley
Aaron L. Wiley

Former DOJ attorney

Local Counsel

Roger Bach
Roger Bach

Former Special Agent (DOJ)

Chris Quick
Chris J. Quick

Former Special Agent (FBI & IRS-CI)

Michael S. Koslow
Michael S. Koslow

Former Supervisory Special Agent (DOD-OIG)

Ray Yuen
Ray Yuen

Former Supervisory Special Agent (FBI)

Medical Malpractice Law in Florida

A medical malpractice lawsuit is a type of personal injury claim. All personal injury claims require the plaintiff, the alleged victim, to prove three things in order to establish legal liability on the defendant, the party that they are claiming hurt them. Those three things are:

  1. The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care
  2. The defendant breached it
  3. That breach caused the plaintiff’s injuries and the other losses associated with them

Medical malpractice claims focus heavily on the duty of care aspect and, more specifically, on the standard of care that the health care professional owed to the plaintiff.

In other personal injury claims, like car crashes, the standard of care is that of a reasonably prudent person in similar circumstances. Not acting like a reasonable person amounts to negligence, and if that negligence caused someone else’s injuries then you are legally liable for them and can be made to compensate the victim.

Healthcare professionals acting within the scope of their job, however, are held to a higher standard of care: That of a reasonably skilled and competent healthcare professional with a similar level of expertise in their field. Failing to act like such a healthcare professional is malpractice if it causes someone else’s injuries, even if that failure was unintentional.

What, exactly, a reasonably skilled and competent healthcare professional with a similar level of expertise would do in a particular situation is often the crux of the complex litigation of a medical malpractice lawsuit. It is generally established through expert testimony. Note that your level of expertise matters: Specialists are held to a higher standard of care than general practitioners, at least when they are operating in their area of specialty. Once the standard of care is established, it is often pretty clear whether you failed to uphold it.

Just a few examples of the types of medical malpractice or negligence that fall short of upholding the standard of care are:

  • Wrong-patient surgeries, where the correct surgery is performed, but on the wrong person
  • Wrong-site surgeries, where the surgery is performed on the wrong body part
  • Delayed diagnosis, or failing to diagnose a medical condition in spite of clear symptoms
  • Misdiagnosis, where the wrong diagnosis is made in spite of patent symptoms
  • Leaving a foreign object inside a patient during a surgical procedure
  • Mixing up the lab results for medical tests
  • Miscalculating how much anesthesia to use, leading to the patient waking up during a surgical procedure
  • Prescribing a pregnant woman medication that would harm the fetus
  • Filling out a prescription with the wrong medication

These are the sorts of medical mistakes that can lead to liability for malpractice.

The High Costs of Malpractice

Liability for medical malpractice can lead to massive verdicts or settlements, particularly if the malpractice led to a fatality and a wrongful death claim. It is not uncommon for malpractice claims to reach over a million dollars, particularly now that the Supreme Court of Florida declared the damage cap on these claims to be unconstitutional in 2017.

If you have medical malpractice insurance, your insurance company will cover the costs of the settlement or verdict. However, if the amount is higher than your policy limit, you may still be responsible for paying some of the money.

While it is easy to focus solely on the financial burden of the verdict or settlement from the medical malpractice lawsuit, though, it is important to remember that this is not the only way these cases can hurt you.

First, your medical malpractice insurance premiums will increase, as your insurer sees you as more of a risk to cover. This can cost a considerable amount over time, especially if you are just beginning your career in healthcare or your business just opened.

Second, the reputational harm that even a claim of medical malpractice can cause will be significant. It can be difficult to determine how much business you lose because of the malpractice claim, but it is often substantial.

Finally, healthcare professionals can see their medical license under threat, especially if the malpractice was egregious or they have had several allegations of malpractice in the past.

Some Legal Defenses to Medical Malpractice Allegations

Each claim of medical malpractice is different, and presents a new and unique set of facts. Needless to say, the defense strategy should be unique for each case.

However, some of the more common lines of defense in a medical malpractice case are:

  • You actually upheld your duty of care and did not commit malpractice
  • Malpractice did happen, but it was committed by someone else
  • Malpractice did happen, but it did not cause the plaintiff’s injuries
  • The statute of limitations has run out

Some Frequently Asked Questions About Medical Malpractice Laws in Florida and How Oberheiden P.C. is Different

Why Not Use the Defense Lawyer from My Medical Malpractice Insurance Company?

Florida healthcare professionals and providers who have medical malpractice insurance coverage can use the lawyer that their insurer offers. However, you need to remember that this lawyer will have the insurance company’s interests at heart, not your own. While your interests will generally align with your insurer’s, there are circumstances where they will not. This is especially common when the malpractice claim’s demands are higher than your insurance policy limit.

Only by hiring your own lawyer can you rest assured that your interests come first.

Are There Damage Caps in Florida?

Not since 2017, no.

Like many states, Florida enacted tort reform laws that capped the amount of noneconomic damages that medical malpractice claims could recover (Fla. Stat. § 766.118). Noneconomic damages are those that cannot be easily stated in a dollar amount, such as a victim’s pain and suffering or their loved ones’ loss of companionship. Because of that difficulty, they can vary widely in jury verdicts, increasing the risks of a massive jury award and, therefore, the costs of medical malpractice insurance.

Florida’s damage cap limited malpractice claims to $500,000 in noneconomic damages, or to $1,000,000 if the malpractice caused a fatality or left the victim in a permanently vegetative state.

However, in 2017, the Supreme Court of Florida ruled that this violated the state’s Equal Protection clause in the state constitution, which requires that everyone receive equal treatment under the law (North Broward Hospital District v. Kalitan, 219 So. 3d 49 (Fla. 2017)).

What is the Statute of Limitations?

Typically, medical malpractice lawsuits have to be filed within two years of the alleged malpractice. However, if the injury from the malpractice is not easily discoverable, this limitation is extended for another two years, up to four. (Fla. Stat. § 95.11(4)(b)).

The timeframe can be longer if the victim was a minor at the time of the malpractice, or if the malpractice was hidden through fraud or concealment.

How is Oberheiden P.C. Different from Other Medical Malpractice Defense Firms?

Oberheiden P.C. is different from other firms in several ways. Many of them stem from the fact that we only hire senior-level lawyers. Without junior associates, or even any paralegals or legal secretaries, at our firm you can rest assured that all of the work being done on your case is performed by a lawyer who has numerous years of experience handling similar ones in the past.

Why Doesn’t Oberheiden P.C. Call Itself the Best Medical Malpractice Defense Firm in Florida?

We would rather let our prior clients say these sorts of things in the testimonials that they leave about our firm.


The Medical Malpractice Defense Team at Oberheiden P.C.

If you are being sued for medical malpractice in Florida, you need a defense attorney with significant experience representing clients that actually has your best interests at heart. Call Oberheiden P.C.’s national intake line at (888) 680-1745 or contact us online.

Why Clients Trust Oberheiden P.C.

  • 2,000+ Cases Won
  • Available Nights & Weekends
  • Experienced Trial Attorneys
  • Former Department of Justice Trial Attorney
  • Former Federal Prosecutors, U.S. Attorney’s Office
  • Former Agents from FBI, OIG, DEA
  • Serving Clients Nationwide
Email Us 888-680-1745 866-781-9539
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