Every day, thousands of Palm Beach County residents rely on medical professionals to provide quality medical care to help people with their health problems. Unfortunately, medical professionals often fail to do that and patients die or suffer severe injuries as a result.
If you suffered a personal injury or lost a loved one because of medical negligence, you may be able to file a West Palm Beach medical malpractice lawsuit to obtain compensation. The West Palm Beach medical malpractice attorneys at Gordon & Doner have recovered fair compensation for many victims of negligence, including a $3.6 million settlement for someone who suffered brain damage during hip replacement surgery. Several of our attorneys are members of the Palm Beach County Bar Association and some of the most prestigious legal organizations in the nation, including the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the American Association for Justice.
We charge no upfront fees for our services and recover compensation only if there is a favorable resolution of your claim.
Contact us today to schedule a free, no obligation consultation. Complete a Free Case Evaluation form.
Why Hire a West Palm Beach Medical Malpractice Lawyer?
If you believe that you or a loved one has been the victim of medical negligence, do not delay in contacting one of our West Palm Beach medical malpractice attorneys. We can carefully review your situation in a free, no obligation legal consultation to determine if you have a legitimate case.
If you have a case and decide to proceed, we will begin a comprehensive investigation to collect evidence to support your claim, including:
Medical Treatment Records
We will obtain copies of all medical documentation relevant to your claim, including:
- Doctor's notes
- Laboratory test results (X-rays, blood tests, CT scans)
- Hospital admission and discharge forms
We will work to collect records of the incident or incidents that gave rise to your malpractice claim, which will help us prove that the medical professionals who treated you failed in their legal obligation to provide quality care.
We will also obtain records from before your injury or medical condition developed. This will help us disprove claims from the defense that your injury was the result of a preexisting medical issue and not the actions of your doctor.
Our West Palm Beach medical malpractice lawyers also have access to medical experts who can help us review your records to determine all the instances when medical professionals provided substandard care and how that caused your medical issues.
The medical negligence attorneys at our firm can also obtain records from the hospital or facility where you received substandard medical treatment. We will look for past instances of malpractice at the facility to help establish a pattern of negligence.
We will review the history of the doctor or medical professional who provided negligent care to search for other instances of similar malpractice.
Bills and Receipts
Our medical negligence attorneys will work with you to gather all receipts and bills for expenses you have incurred as a result of your medical issues, including co-pays, hospital bills and lost wages. This will allow us to determine how much compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Personal Accounts of Your Injuries
If you have not already done so, our attorneys may advise you to keep a daily journal about the struggles you are experiencing because of your medical issues, such as pain and suffering you are dealing with, struggles with daily activities, and any loss of enjoyment of different aspects of your life. This will help us determine all of the forms of compensation you may be entitled.
Interviews with Witnesses
We will seek out any eyewitnesses to the incident or series of incidents that led to your injuries. This could be key evidence as we attempt to settle your claim or litigate your case in the courtroom.
Gordon & Doner's experienced medical malpractice attorneys have in-depth knowledge of Florida medical malpractice laws and how to apply them to individual cases. We know which experts to consult and what questions to ask to build a solid case.
We are well-versed in every step of the legal process and can manage every aspect of your claim. We know you are dealing with serious medical issues and we want you to be able to focus on your recovery.
Our West Palm Beach medical malpractice attorneys are always available to assist you in your fight for justice. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation.
Gordon & Doner's West Palm Beach Office is located just 10 minutes away from Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center.
Will My Case go to Trial?
This is a frequently asked question about medical malpractice cases. Many people are afraid to contact a personal injury lawyer because they are afraid they will have to go through a lengthy, stressful trial.
However, most personal injury cases, including medical malpractice claims, are settled out of court. Defendants usually do not want to go through the time and expense of a trial. They also want to avoid the possibility of public scrutiny of their actions.
However, if we are unable to settle your claim out of court, we are fully prepared to go to trial to achieve the justice you deserve. We can help reduce your stress and anxiety about a trial by managing every detail for you.
Our West Palm Beach medical malpractice lawyers are ready to help you. Call 1 (855) 722-2552 today.
Common Examples of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice occurs in a wide variety of situations throughout a patient's treatment, including appointments with primary care doctors, medical procedures and hospital stays. Malpractice is also committed by a variety of medical professionals, including doctors, surgeons, nurses, hospital staff, dentists, anesthesiologists and pharmacists.
Gordon & Doner's West Palm Beach medical malpractice lawyers are prepared to represent clients in a variety of medical negligence cases.
Failure to Obtain Patient Information
One of the most important parts of treatment is obtaining information from the patient. When doctors do not obtain all the necessary information, they can put their patients at risk of serious harm. Examples of this form of negligence include failing to:
- Obtain consent from the patient
- Take a patient's medical history, including allergies to medications
- Listen to the patient
Minor errors with the use of anesthesia can result in death, brain damage or permanent injury. Anesthesia negligence can include:
- Giving a patient too much anesthesia
- Failing to monitor the patient's vital signs when he or she is under anesthesia
- Failing to properly intubate a patient
- Failing to inform the patient of necessary procedures, like not eating for a certain period of time before surgery
Prescription medications can be the key to managing or overcoming an illness. However, medication errors can put a patient's health and life at risk. Medication errors include:
- Prescribing the incorrect dosage of a medication
- Prescribing a drug for a purpose that is not on the drug's label or packaging
- Prescribing the wrong medication
- Prescribing a dangerous combination of drugs
- Prescribing a drug to which the patient is allergic
The birth of a child is supposed to be a joyous occasion. Unfortunately, medical professionals often make poor decisions or fail to take appropriate actions and babies are born with severe birth injuries. Examples of birth injury negligence include:
- Failing to notice and respond to signs of fetal distress
- Taking insufficient action to deal with fetal distress
- Failing to perform a C-section at the appropriate time
- Failing to properly monitor the mother and baby for signs of trouble
- Failing to detect problems with the baby's oxygen supply
- Improper use of tools to aid in the delivery
One of the primary responsibilities of doctors and other specialists is to identify patients' health problems. Unfortunately, errors often occur, including:
- Failing to diagnose a patient's illness
- Diagnosing a patient with the wrong illness
- Delaying diagnosis of a health problem
- Misinterpreting test results
Errors during surgery can include negligence during or after elective and medically necessary procedures, such as:
- Failing to give patients proper instructions for postoperative recovery
- Operating without a surgical plan
- Causing dangerous infections
- Operating on the wrong body part
- Damaging tissues, organs or blood vessels around a surgical site
- Leaving surgical tools and instruments inside patients
- Cosmetic surgery negligence
- Carelessness when installing a medical device
- Operating with unsanitary tools or in an unsanitary environment
If you have been a victim of any of these, or other forms of medical malpractice, you have rights. Our West Palm Beach medical malpractice lawyers can help defend your rights and pursue fair compensation for damages.
Statute of Limitations for Medical Negligence Claims
If you believe you are a victim of medical negligence, there are many reasons why you should not hesitate to contact a West Palm Beach medical malpractice attorney:
- If you wait you might forget crucial details about your claim that could be the key to establishing liability and allowing you to recover compensation.
- Medical malpractice cases already take a long time. If you wait to contact us, you will only be prolonging your wait for compensation for damages.
However, the most important reason not to wait is that there is a deadline for filing a claim. This deadline is also known as the statute of limitations.
A statute of limitations sets a time limit for someone wishing to file a legal action. In Florida, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims is two years from the date of the incident giving rise to your claim or two years from the time the incident is discovered or should have been discovered with the exercise of due diligence.
However, under no circumstances can you file a claim more than four years after the incident that allegedly caused your injuries. This means that, for example, if you discovered the incident three years and six months after it happened, you would only have six more months to file a claim.
The West Palm Beach medical malpractice lawyers at our firm can ensure your claim is filed before the statute of limitations expires.
Fill out a Free Case Evaluation form.
Steps Before Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Filing a medical malpractice claim in Florida is a complicated and lengthy process.
Under Florida law, you cannot file a medical malpractice lawsuit until you notify all prospective defendants by certified mail, return receipt requested, of your intent to file a lawsuit (Florida Statutes Title XLV Chapter 766.106). This is also called a notice of intent to initiate litigation.
Your notice of intent to initiate litigation must include:
- A list of all known healthcare providers who provided treatment for injuries you had after the alleged act of malpractice
- All known healthcare providers who treated you during the two years prior to the alleged negligence
- Copies of all medical records relevant to the claim
- A written opinion from a verified medical expert stating that there are reasonable grounds to believe the defendant engaged in negligence, which led to your injuries (Florida Statutes Title XLV Chapter 766.203)
The defendant has 90 days to respond to your notice of intent. During that time, the defendant or the defendant's insurance company will conduct an investigation to determine liability for your injuries. The investigation should include one or more of these activities:
- Internal review by a qualified claims adjuster
- Creating a panel with an attorney experienced in medical negligence claims, a healthcare provider in a specialty similar to the prospective defendant and a claims adjuster
- A contract with a state or local professional society of healthcare providers that has a medical review committee
Before the 90 days are up, the defendant will issue a response:
- Rejecting the claim
- Offering a settlement
- Offering to engage in arbitration to agree on a settlement
When our West Palm Beach medical malpractice lawyers receive the response, we will review it with you in detail. Our lawyers will explain:
- The terms of a settlement offer, including admission of liability
- The legal and financial consequences of accepting or rejecting a settlement offer or admission of liability
- How long a lawsuit would take and the likelihood of success at trial
- The approximate amount of attorneys’ fees if we go to trial
Our West Palm Beach medical malpractice lawyers will advise you if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit or accept a settlement offer.
Under Florida law, a lawsuit must be filed within 60 days of receiving the defendant's response or before the statute of limitations expires, whichever deadline is later.
Contact Gordon & Doner's West Palm Beach medical malpractice lawyers right now. 1 (855) 722-2552
How Do I Prove Medical Malpractice?
If you file a medical malpractice lawsuit, there are five things you need to prove to achieve a favorable outcome:
You must prove that you agreed to be treated by the medical professional you are accusing of malpractice. The doctor-patient relationship is also established if you received treatment, absent an agreement between yourself and the medical professional in question.
Duty/Standard of Care
Once the doctor-patient relationship is established, a duty of care is established as well. The duty of care is a legal obligation to provide care that meets accepted standards in the medical community, given the medical professional's area of practice and expertise.
Another way of explaining the duty of care is to say that medical professionals are obligated to provide the same level and type of care that a similarly-trained medical professional would provide if he or she were in a similar situation.
Breach of the Duty of Care
Once you establish what the duty of care was for your situation, you must prove that the medical professional did not meet this obligation.
The Breach was the Primary Cause of Injury
This is often the most difficult aspect of any medical malpractice case. Your West Palm Beach medical malpractice lawyer will have to use medical records and expert testimony to prove that your injuries were primarily caused by the breach of the duty of care and not some other factor. The defense will try to say that you had a preexisting medical condition or that the injury occurred after your medical treatment and is unrelated.
This is where it helps to have an experienced West Palm Beach medical malpractice lawyer at your side.
Your Injury Caused Damages
This simply means that your injuries resulted in medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other side effects. You will need medical and employment records, along with doctor's notes and your personal account of the effects of your injuries to prove damages.
Our West Palm Beach medical malpractice lawyers have decades of combined experience proving negligence. We have a detailed understanding of each aspect of negligence and how to compile evidence to show that negligence occurred.
Medical Negligence Compensation
If you have suffered due to medical negligence, a West Palm Beach medical malpractice attorney may be able to help you recover the compensation you need and deserve. Compensation recovered through a medical malpractice lawsuit may include:
This covers all damages that have a specific monetary value, such as:
- Past, current and future medical expenses
- Home healthcare expenses
- Lost earning capacity and/or lost wages
- Durable medical equipment
These are things that do not have an exact dollar amount:
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of quality of life
- Pain and suffering, including physical pain and psychological issues, like anxiety, depression and emotional distress
At Gordon & Doner, our West Palm Beach medical malpractice lawyers know that nothing can take away the terrible consequences of what you have experienced. Let our lawyers fight for your justice and hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions.
Call our attorneys right now at 1 (855) 722-2552.
Are There Limits on the Amount of Compensation?
The State of Florida caps noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases at $500,000. However, the cap goes up to $1,000,000 in cases where:
- Medical malpractice caused death or left someone in a permanent vegetative state
- The court determines that it would be an injustice not to award up to $1 million in noneconomic damages because there are special circumstances and the victim sustained a catastrophic injury
The State of Florida defines a catastrophic injury as one that causes a permanent impairment. Examples include:
- Spinal cord injuries causing severe paralysis in the arms, legs or trunk
- Amputation of a hand, foot or leg, which causes a loss of use of the appendage
- Loss of reproductive organs
- Second-degree or third-degree burns over more than 25 percent of the body, or third-degree burns to five percent or more of the face and hands
- Total blindness
- Severe brain injuries
What is Contributory Fault?
Some states have adopted comparative or contributory fault laws. These laws acknowledge that claimants sometimes play a role in their injuries, even though the defendant bears most of the responsibility.
Florida's contributory fault laws state that a claimant's compensation award will be reduced according to his or her percentage of fault for his or her injuries. This means that if you were 20 percent at fault for your injuries, your compensation amount will be reduced by 20 percent.
Do Not Delay Your Medical Malpractice Claim
If you have been the victim of medical negligence, contact a medical malpractice attorney at Gordon & Doner right away.
Our West Palm Beach medical malpractice lawyers have the experience and depth of legal knowledge you need to have a chance of success in your claim.
We know how damaging medical malpractice can be to your health and well-being both now and for years to come. We are committed to working tirelessly to recover all of the compensation you deserve.
Call 1 (855) 722-2552 to speak to a West Palm Beach medical malpractice lawyer.