Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

Opened First Aid Kit

If you were injured as a result of the negligence of a doctor or other medical professional, you may be able file a medical malpractice lawsuit to receive compensation for your injuries. While the damages you can receive can be substantial, the actual legal process is fraught with red tape and complications designed to discourage people from pursuing this type of litigation. While the hurdles are numerous, you deserve compensation for the many complications that result from medical malpractice and should seek all legal remedies. If you were injured or lost a loved one due to medical malpractice, contact a Miami Medical Malpractice Attorney today.

Statute of Limitations

Far too often, our Miami personal injury attorneys read about a prescription drug causing serious, life-threatening side effects. Unfortunately, Xarelto continues this disturbing trend. Xarelto, manufactured by Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals, is a blood-thinning drug approved by the FDA in July 2011. Xarelto is a new type of anticoagulant drug that has captured the US drug market in recent years. Drugs like Xarelto were originally designed as an alternative to Warfarin, a similar blood-thinning medicine that has been in the market since the 1950s. However, recent research shows that Xarelto too, is coming with its fair share of problems.

Xarelto has led to an increased danger of blood clotting related injuries like gastrointestinal bleeding and severe internal hemorrhaging, especially during surgeries or following accidents. Two FDA “boxed warnings” (also known as “black box” warnings) have been prominently included on the drug’s box. One warning informs patients that stopping Xarelto early can increase the danger of building more blood clots. The other warning label states that Xarelto can add to serious head and spinal injuries (epidural and spinal hematoma).  

Xarelto manufacturers have been sued by numerous patients who suffered strokes, pneumonic embolisms, deep vein thrombosis, and heart attacks. Adverse Xarelto side effects can result in extensive hospitalization, lengthy medical bills and considerable time off from work. These damages are recoverable by victim who suffered Xarelto side effects or by the family of a loved one who lost their life due to Xarelto.

When a law changes, the question often arises as to when it is actually effective and whether it can affect or change the rights of parties that may have filed a lawsuit when the old laws were in effect. A new case discusses this principle in the context of medical malpractice.

Law Changes and Retroactivity

It is generally accepted that when a law changes that affects substantive rights, the law change is not retroactive. If the law changed to say that you could only own two dogs, for example, and you already owned three, the change would not apply to you. Law changes that only change procedure (such as how the courts operate), however, generally are retroactive.

One of the most frightening scenarios for patients who undergo a surgical procedure in a hospital is the possibility of having a foreign object left inside of them. A recent case discusses how and when the law protects those who fall victim to this kind of negligence.

Man Has Object Left Inside of Him

Recently, a man underwent a surgical procedure in a hospital, and a drain was inserted into him, a common procedure to allow drainage of excess fluids. A nurse eventually removed the drain. The man began experiencing intense pain for days afterward. What he didn’t know then, but eventually learned, was that a portion of the drainage tube had dislodged, and remained inside of his body.

When we think of medical errors, we usually think of medical malpractice, or errors by other medical providers or facilities. We don’t often think of pharmacists. But where a medication creates an adverse effect—including death—it’s important for someone who is injured to consider the liability that a pharmacist may have.

When Pharmacists are Liable

Suits against pharmacist may include:

We’ve written in the past about the importance of understanding what kind of cases are medical malpractice, and what kind are general negligence or products liability. A recent case has again discussed the difference, this time in a products liability context.

Why The Difference Matters

The difference is important because of the mandatory medical malpractice pre-suit requirements. Florida law puts significant requirements on a plaintiff suing for medical malpractice that aren’t required for ordinary negligence or products liability.

If you are injured as a result of medical malpractice, you probably have the expectation that you’ll get your day in court, the chance to tell your story to a jury of your peers, and the opportunity to confront those who have wronged you.

More and more, however, doctors are trying to use forced, compelled arbitration to deny you that right. It’s a practice that is very harmful to Florida patients and consumers, and unfortunately, the law is very unclear whether these arbitration agreements are permissible or not.

What is Arbitration?

Florida law has a very complex and often expensive pre-suit process for anyone who seeks to sue for medical malpractice. The pre-suit requirements are mandatory, and must be strictly complied with. But in many cases, it may not be so clear whether an injury was caused by medical malpractice or not. If that question is answered incorrectly, the result can be devastating for a case.

The Pre-Suit Requirements

If someone believes they have been a victim of medical malpractice, notice to all prospective defendants must be sent, describing the nature of the claim and the injuries. The potential defendants can then reject the claim, offer to settle it, or request the claim go to arbitration.

Normally in a jury trial involving personal injuries, a jury is free to award as damages whatever amount they see just and fit, based upon the evidence presented. Traditionally there has been no cap or maximum on an amount that can be awarded, again, so long as the award is supported by the evidence presented.

However, with the push of doctor and insurance lobbyists, a few years ago, Florida passed a cap on certain damages that could be recovered by victims and their families in a medical malpractice claim.

About the Cap

A recent article from Forbes discussed the topic of medical malpractice lawsuits, particularly, how the motivation in filing a malpractice lawsuit is not always about a monetary damage award. Although many areas of personal injury law have emotional aspects to them which go beyond monetary awards, medical malpractice lawsuits and the emotion involved in them can be especially motivated by more than simply a damage award. It is critical to secure the services of a skilled Miami malpractice attorney to succeed in your case.

Recent Case of Malpractice

The Forbes article discussed a daughter whose mother was in a hospital. The mother was not doing well, and the patient’s daughter called the treating doctor to change medications. She was met with a refusal to even respond, with the treating doctor saying that it was a weekend and he needed a break. The mother eventually did survive, but the daughter, upset with the standard of care, and wanting to effect a change, opted to file a formal complaint with the governing medical board as opposed to filing a lawsuit.

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