Lakeland Medical Malpractice Lawyer
When you go to the doctor, whether it’s for a routine check-up or a medical emergency, you expect that you’ll receive an accurate diagnosis and the right treatment for your pain or injury.
However, like all of us, doctors are human and sometimes make mistakes. Unfortunately, these mistakes could include misdiagnosing your condition or even medical malpractice.
If you had incorrect or unnecessary medical procedures performed or didn’t receive proper treatment because of a misdiagnosis of your condition, you may have experienced medical malpractice.
Victims of medical misdiagnosis and malpractice often face life-changing consequences, which can affect their mobility and overall health or even be fatal.
If doctors or other medical professionals harmed you, we can help. The Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys is an experienced team of Lakeland medical malpractice attorneys who can help you file a compensation claim.
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Situated between Tampa and Orlando on the I-4, the beautiful city of Lakeland, Florida, consists of 100,000 or more residents. Lakeland boasts 38 beautiful lakes and houses tons of fine dining options, pubs, craft breweries, a historic Munn Park town square, and historical sites. Citizens and guests will find plenty of fun activities to enjoy, from art museums to classic car shows.
Lakeland also serves as a big commercial center in Florida. Lakeland sits as the corporate home of Publix Supermarkets and Saddle Creek Logistics. Lakeland also stands as the site of distribution centers or regional hubs for several large businesses, including Amazon, GEICO Insurance, Advance Auto Parts, and more.
Despite its many attractions, Lakeland remains a place for many citizens who struggle with medical issues. At least 22 percent of Lakeland’s population is 65 years and older, while nearly 10 percent of those under age 65 have a medical disability.
With so many elderly and disabled residents, Lakeland has many medical malpractice accidents. In addition, the high percentage of workers in dangerous industries has often led to serious injuries that require medical attention. Though doctors may do their best, they don’t always get everything right. To ensure that injured patients have access to the legal representation that they need, Frank and Jennifer Fernandez established Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys in the Lakeland area. We want to help you find protection and justice after serious medical accidents.
Lakeland Medical Malpractice Areas
Lakeland boasts many high-quality hospitals and medical facilities. Lakeland Regional Health serves as one of the area’s most popular hospitals; in fact, U.S. News & World Report rated it as one of the top hospitals in the Lakeland area. In addition to its main campus, Lakeland Regional Health has many facilities around Polk County. This facility treats all kinds of health conditions, from emergencies to surgeries to long-term care.
Watson Clinic Main enjoys a close relationship with Lakeland Regional Health. This clinic has a huge facility that offers emergency, surgery, and long-term treatment options.
St. Joseph’s Children’s Specialty Center and Johns Hopkins All Children’s Outpatient Care in Lakeland provide extensive specialty and involved care for children with health issues, diseases, and disabilities.
Each of these hospitals enjoys an established reputation in Lakeland, with plenty of high ratings and good reviews. However, no hospital has a perfect track record. At the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys, Frank and Jennifer Fernandez understand that even the best hospitals can make mistakes. No matter how illustrious a reputation a hospital enjoys, we will still help you seek justice if you sustain injuries due to the inadequate care of a medical professional at any facility in the Lakeland area.
What Are Common Medical Malpractice Cases?
The American Board of Professional Liability Lawyers defines medical malpractice as: “when a hospital, doctor or other health care professional, through a negligent act or omission, causes an injury to a patient. The negligence might be the result of errors in diagnosis, treatment, aftercare or health management.”
Medical malpractice may include many different types of accidents. For example, a medical malpractice case might involve:
- Misdiagnosis or a delayed diagnosis. In this instance, a doctor or other professional will ignore or miss important information and fail to make a diagnosis in a proper and timely manner.
- Medication errors. Sometimes, doctors may prescribe improper types or dosages of medication. Patients may suffer from overdoses, allergic reactions, or other medicine-related complications.
- Surgical mistakes. If a doctor performs surgery on a patient, the doctor must take special care to do things right. Sometimes, doctors may make a mistake in where they operate, how they maneuver within a person’s body, how they use anesthesia, and more. Any of these mistakes can cause serious pain, infection, or death for the patient.
- Failure to disclose risks. If a doctor or medical professional starts on a treatment option without gaining official consent from the patient and/or the patient’s guardian, the doctor has failed in his or her duty to properly warn of risks. These medical professionals can face responsibility if serious side effects occur of which the patient had no warning.
- Birth injuries. Childbirth can prove a dangerous process. Sometimes, medical providers make mistakes while delivering babies, causing complications for the mother and/or the child.
- Hospital infections. A long hospital stay may expose you to many infections. Doctors and other medical professionals who work with these types of facilities must maintain a safe and sanitary environment for all patients. If you get an infection from unsanitary equipment or bacteria in your surgical wounds, for example, you could hold the hospital and workers there responsible.
- Bedsores or pressure sores. These injuries often result when a patient has to lie in a bed for too long without switching positions. Doctors and nurses must move patients regularly to help prevent these sores, and failure to do so constitutes malpractice.
- Poor follow-up or aftercare. If a doctor discharges you and forgets to provide you with essential aftercare to ensure your full recovery, the doctor may bear liability if your condition worsens or changes.
These constitute just a few of the most common medical malpractice incidents that could occur while you undergo treatment. Many other instances exist where a doctor or other medical provider could cause you serious harm by mishandling your medical care.
Proving That Medical Malpractice Occurred
No matter how serious of an injury you suffer in a medical malpractice incident, you will still have to find help to prove that the doctor or medical facility bears liability for your injury. This can prove difficult, especially if the medical providers have good insurance and lawyers. To ensure your best chance of success, you should find a strong medical malpractice lawyer to help you with your case.
You must prove all four elements of medical malpractice to have a successful case:
- The doctor owed you a specific standard of care. In medical malpractice cases, this doesn’t usually prove difficult to establish. Medical professionals take on a duty to care for you as soon as you seek their help. They must perform the standard duties that any reasonable, well-trained medical professional would when you seek out their services.
- The doctor violated this standard of care. You have to prove that your doctor or provider did not protect you with the full, reasonable standard of care that one would expect in similar circumstances.
- The doctor’s failure to uphold the standard of care caused your injury. In any situation, you must prove that not only did your provider violate his or her duty to take care of you but also that the violation led to serious pain and injury for you. You must prove that the injury you suffered would not have occurred if the provider had met the standard of care required in the situation.
- The injury resulted in serious and significant damage. You must prove that you suffered serious damage to succeed in a medical malpractice claim. This includes great pain, long-term effects, unreasonable medical costs, and more. You must prove that your injury caused this damage and that financial compensation would help make you whole again.
In Florida, you don’t have to prove that you had no fault for the accident. In most medical malpractice cases, the victim has nothing to do with the injury. However, if for some reason you played a part in it, a court or insurance company may reduce the amount of compensation you can recover by the percentage of fault that you blame.
At Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys, we will help you pursue the highest amount of compensation that you can recover. We know that you didn’t want this injury to happen, but because it did, we want to help you get started on the road to recovery as fast as possible.
The Standard Procedure in a Medical Malpractice Case
Florida law lays out specific procedures that all plaintiffs must follow in pursuit of a medical malpractice case.
- The plaintiff (often through a medical malpractice attorney) will notify all defendants of the claims made against them. Plaintiffs must send this initial complaint by certified mail, and it must contain a list of all medical providers who saw the patient during treatment.
- The plaintiff must present the complaint to the Department of Health and, if applicable, to the Agency for Health Care Administration. These agencies will review the complaints and determine if they warrant disciplinary action against the defendants.
- For 90 days, the defendants will have time to investigate the claim and determine what happened and if the defendants bear liability for the injury. The defendant’s insurer will likely take control of this investigation and may require the plaintiff to undergo a medical examination to determine the full extent of the injuries.
- After 90 days, the defendant will have to make a response, either offering a settlement, rejecting the entire claim, or seeking arbitration.
- If the parties cannot settle, the plaintiff can file a lawsuit against the responsible party.
- Following the suit, both parties will engage in discovery. In this process, the lawyers will gather written and verbal statements, medical examinations, pertinent records, and other important evidence to build a strong case.
- Finally, the case will go to court, and a judge and jury will decide the verdict.
Pursuing a medical malpractice case can take a long time. Most cases take several months even to get started, and litigation can last for several more months and even up to a few years.
Lakeland Medical Malpractice Claims and Results
Lakeland courts handle many medical malpractice cases. Frank and Jennifer Fernandez have successfully fought many such cases throughout their legal careers.
At Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys, our case results speak for themselves. In one of the biggest medical malpractice cases we have encountered, we helped our client recover $36,700,000 after a doctor’s careless actions seriously injured a child’s brain. After a woman suffered permanent nerve damage due to a surgery gone wrong, we helped her recover $1,800,000 in compensation above her insurance coverage.
Both Frank and Jennifer Fernandez have pursued many similar cases throughout the years. Some medical malpractice incidents resulted in wrongful deaths, and some stemmed from nursing home abuse, a serious misuse of medical authority. In each case, Jennifer and Frank Fernandez fought for the victims until achieving justice.
If medical malpractice in Lakeland, Florida, injured you or a loved one, don’t hesitate to seek our help. We know that fighting to recover from serious injuries can prove stressful and expensive. If someone else’s negligence caused the injury, you should pursue compensation to help you pay for the time and money you have lost.
At the Fernandez Firm, Frank and Jennifer Fernandez will take on the fight for you. We will take over all negotiations and the process of gathering evidence, so you can focus on what matters most: recovering from your injuries as much as possible. We stand ready to help you get back on your feet as soon as possible, and we won’t take payment unless and until you win your case! Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a free consultation at (863) 230-8361 so you can get back to living the life you love.
Medical Misdiagnosis in Lakeland, FL
Medical malpractice often starts with misdiagnosis and can cause serious harm. You may miss early treatment options because the physician didn’t accurately diagnose your condition. Or doctors may treat you for a disease you don’t have, subjecting you to invasive and uncomfortable procedures that don’t address your condition.
You may hold the physician and the medical facility where you receive treatment liable for your injuries.
Medical errors and misdiagnoses can happen if:
- Incorrect tests were ordered, which failed to rule out causes for your symptoms
- Necessary treatment was delayed or not given, based on test results
- The doctor did not understand or listen to your explanation of your symptoms
- The doctor failed to note how complications of your underlying medical condition could affect your current illness
- You were given a drug with unexplained side effects
- You have or doctors issued you a defective medical device (including implanted devices)
These are common examples of medical misdiagnosis and malpractice, but by no means is this a complete list.
Your Lakeland medical malpractice lawyer considers your medical records and how your treatment led to debilitating or long-lasting physical, mental, and emotional health effects.
Furthermore, misdiagnosis and the subsequent unnecessary procedures can be costly, and many people pay out-of-pocket for those services. Part of a medical malpractice settlement can include compensation for the money you spent on unneeded medical bills.
How Does Medical Misdiagnosis Become Malpractice?
Medical misdiagnosis falls under the umbrella of medical malpractice. It occurs when your treating physician fails to diagnose your condition like other doctors would have done under similar circumstances.
This includes failing to test for different conditions or not asking more questions about your medical history or lifestyle that would have led to an accurate diagnosis of what’s causing your symptoms.
If the misdiagnosis reached the point where it caused harm to the patient, or if the doctor breached the standard duty of care required by a medical professional, then the misdiagnosis could be considered malpractice and grounds for a lawsuit for damages.
Damages from a medical malpractice suit can include covering the cost of the medical treatment you need and helping you recoup costs for the treatment you didn’t need.
Your medical malpractice attorney may also ask for compensation for the pain and suffering of those treatments and the emotional trauma you experienced due to the misdiagnosis.
Proving Medical Malpractice Transpired
No matter how obvious the injury you suffered was, a court will still require proof that medical malpractice occurred and that the doctor, medical center, or hospital is liable for your injuries.
Hospitals don’t typically like to admit mistakes. Comprehensive insurance and a legal team often cover their errors. To ensure the best chance for your lawsuit’s success, you need a strong medical malpractice lawyer to represent your interests.
Medical malpractice cases have four elements, which your medical malpractice attorney must prove:
- First, the physician owed you a duty of care. As soon as you receive help or treatment from a medical professional, they take on a specific duty of care, which includes performing duties that any reasonable and properly trained medical professional would complete if treating someone in similar circumstances.
- The second element is whether the doctor violated this duty of care and that you did not receive the full standard of care that one would expect under the same conditions. Your medical malpractice lawyer will often have expert witnesses in the field who can testify to what a reasonable medical care provider would have done.
- Next, your lawyer must connect your injury or progressive illness and the lack of proper medical care. This includes proving that you would not have sustained the injury or had your condition worsen if you’d received proper and prompt medical attention adhering to the professional standard of care.
- Finally, your medical malpractice attorney will prove that the damage you sustained from the misdiagnosis and malpractice resulted in serious damage. This can include great pain during the procedure or chronic pain.
Long-term effects can also include permanent or temporary loss of mobility, unreasonable medical costs, and emotional pain, including developing PTSD or another trauma-related condition.
Florida law states that you don’t have to prove that you had no fault in the incident, and in most medical malpractice cases, the victim has little to do with their injury.
However, if you shared blame—if you deliberately failed to disclose an underlying medical condition or use of drugs or alcohol that could have affected the treatment outcome—the court may reduce your compensation award.
At Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys, our team will seek the highest compensation you can recover, allowing you the means to recover as quickly as possible.
Lakeland Facts About Medical Misdiagnosis and Malpractice
Although Lakeland is a beautiful home for many, it’s also a place where many people struggle with medical concerns and health issues, especially senior citizens. About 22 percent of Lakeland’s population is aged 65 and older. Furthermore, about 10 percent of people under 65 have a diagnosed medical disability.
These statistics suggest many opportunities for medical misdiagnosis or malpractice.
Lakeland is also home to several industries and employers, such as Amazon, GEICO Insurance, and Advance Auto Parts construction sites and distribution centers.
These jobs are very physically demanding, and workplace injuries are common. Sometimes, the difference between full recovery from a catastrophic work-related injury and permanent disability is quick, accurate medical attention.
Although doctors in Lakeland may do their best, they don’t always get everything correct concerning patient treatment. To ensure that injured patients just like you receive the legal representation you need, Frank and Jennifer Fernandez established Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys in Lakeland.
Our team of medical malpractice attorneys can help you find justice and protection after a serious medical accident.
What Are Common Medical Malpractice Conditions?
Medical malpractice is when a doctor, hospital, or other healthcare provider injures a patient through omission or a negligent act. Negligence generally results from errors in diagnosis, treatment, health management, and aftercare.
Medical malpractice can affect anyone, from an infant to an elderly person.
Common medical malpractice accidents include:
- Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, where the doctor didn’t diagnose the condition promptly enough for treatment
- Medication errors, in which doctors or pharmacists gave the patient an incorrect medication, which can cause complications including accidental overdose, an allergic reaction, or incompatibility with other medications
- Surgical errors, including problems with the operation and the anesthesia
- Failure to disclose risks of a procedure or treatment, which the patient would not have consented to if they’d been aware of the risks
- Injuries during childbirth for mother, baby, or both
- Hospital infections from an unsafe or unsanitary treatment center, including bacterial infections and MRSA
- Bedsores, also called pressure ulcers, when a medical facility leaves a patient in one position for too long—a common occurrence for infirm and immobile patients
- Failure to prepare proper aftercare and follow-up, including ensuring patients understand discharge instructions
These are just some of the most common reasons your medical malpractice lawyer from the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys has sued on behalf of our clients.
If you suspect you suffered further harm or injury due to negligence or omission from your healthcare provider, please contact us to discuss your case.
Unfortunately, cancer care is one of the most common misdiagnoses. Many people in Lakeland might have missed a window of opportunity for less invasive treatments or those with a greater chance of success if a physician did not diagnose their condition early.
If you have cancer and struggle to get a diagnosis or treatment plan for your condition, you may still have legal recourse.
Lakeland Centers for Medical Practice
Lakeland residents may choose from many high-quality hospitals, treatment centers, and specialist physicians. Lakeland Regional Health, one of the area’s busiest hospitals, was recently ranked in U.S. News & World Report as one of the top hospitals in the metro area.
Beyond its main hospital campus, Lakeland Regional Health has several affiliated care providers in facilities across the city, providing everything from routine surgery to emergency aid and long-term care.
Watson Clinic Main is closely affiliated with Lakeland Regional Health, although not a direct member of the clinical system. It’s a larger facility with surgery and emergency operating theaters and long-term care wards.
For children with diseases, disabilities, or other health concerns, Johns Hopkins All Children’s Outpatient Care and St. Joseph Children’s Specialty Center both offer pediatric care for Lakeland’s youngest residents.
These medical centers have good reputations in the Lakeland community, receiving positive reviews and high ratings from patients and their families.
However, no hospital has a 100 percent perfect record for patient care, and the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys legal team recognizes that even the best hospitals can make mistakes.
No matter how prestigious a reputation a hospital has, we’re not afraid to fight for you if you’ve been a victim of malpractice or received inadequate healthcare that worsened your medical condition.
How Are Doctors Liable for Misdiagnosis?
Proving medical misdiagnosis means meeting certain standards, including proving that you received harm from a healthcare provider’s omissions or errors and that these mistakes were the primary cause for your harm. Your malpractice lawyer will establish that other healthcare providers in similar situations would have acted more responsibly.
If your medical malpractice attorney decides you have a strong case against a Lakeland healthcare provider for misdiagnosis and malpractice, they will seek financial justice on your behalf.
Malpractice cases are civil court cases, not criminal ones, so the doctor will not go to jail. Malpractice lawsuits allow victims like yourself to receive justice, recoup financial losses, and get compensation for emotional damages.
Common damages in a medical malpractice case include:
- Future or ongoing medical costs
- Additional medical bills to have your diagnosis reviewed
- Time lost from work to recover from your illness or injury
- Reduced earning potential because your misdiagnosis affected your career
- Punitive damages against the hospital and care provider
Suppose that you received a defective medical device or implant or were given prescription drugs with undisclosed side effects. In that case, you may also pursue a case against the drug or device manufacturer in addition to the medical center and physician.
Do You Need a Lakeland Medical Malpractice Lawyer?
When you need professional medical malpractice representation in Lakeland, contact the legal team at Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys. We’ve successfully pursued cases for people like you against medical providers in the Lakeland area, and we’re ready to help you get the settlement you deserve. Contact us today at (863) 230-8361 for a free, confidential consultation about your case.
Contact our Lakeland Medical Malpractice Attorneys
At the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys, we have been helping victim’s for years.
There are no fees or costs to you unless we make a recovery for you. We Don’t Get Paid Unless We Win…and We Want to Win!
The Fernandez Firm – Lakeland
100 S Kentucky Ave #285
Lakeland, Florida, 33801
I was recently injured in an automobile accident. Contacting the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys was the wisest choice I made. They navigated me through the process from beginning to end. The outcome was positive and painless. I appreciate the hard work of your firm and highly recommend anyone else in a similar situation to contact you.