Medical malpractice or medical negligence refers to medical care or services that fall below the standard of care, which in turn cause harm or injury to the patient. The term “standard of care” is defined in Florida law as “that level of care, skill, and treatment which, in light of all relevant surrounding circumstances, is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent similar health care providers.” Fla. Stat. §766.102(1). This means that in order to have a viable claim for medical malpractice the complained of medical injury needs to be the result of a medical care, clinical decision-making, medical techniques etc. which are subpar and would generally be considered unacceptable by doctors or other medical providers in the same field.
From a practical perspective, this means that not all cases in which someone suffers a medical injury constitutes malpractice. How do you know if it was simply a bad medical outcome, or if you actually are the victim of malpractice? A bad outcome means that you suffered some sort of complication or medical injury, but that such injury or outcome was not caused by anyone’s mistake. Medical malpractice on the other hand is always caused by some sort of mistake or misstep, whether that be a failure to diagnose, treat correctly, supervise, or any number of other errors. The biggest difference between a bad outcome and malpractice, hinges on the definition of standard of care quoted above. Medical malpractice always involves actions below the medical standard or care which cause injury, whereas bad outcomes involve medical injuries which although caused by medical treatment are not related to treatment or medical care that was below the standard of care.
At the Law Office of Robert N. Pelier, P.A. we take pride in serving our local South Florida community and providing experienced, and knowledgeable legal services. Medical negligence cases can be very emotional, complex and time consuming; we strive to offer our clients the best possible outcome and to be in their corner every step of the way. We have decades of experience civil cases of all kinds, including breach of contract, medical malpractice, insurance disputes, business disputes, personal injury, crime victim advocacy and much more. Our experience helping and advocating for our clients in South Florida can help you.