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Tampa Medical Malpractice Attorneys


A United States government report issued more than a decade ago estimated that 98,000 people were killed each year due to medical malpractice. A recent study by the American Medical Association found that those figures have more than doubled in recent years currently totaling more than 225,000 deaths per year. Today medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the United States.

Despite these alarming statistics, many personal injury lawyers do not handle medical malpractice cases due to their complexity and high costs to prosecute. With nearly 25 years of experience, our Tampa medical malpractice attorneys at the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys have the knowledge and trial skills to get you the recovery you deserve. However, the time to act is very limited by the Florida statute of limitations. If you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice, please contact us today for a free comprehensive review of your case, before it is too late.

Recognized Tampa Medical Malpractice Lawyers

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Frank F. Fernandez, III and Jennifer Gentry Fernandez have been nationally recognized as leaders in their field by their peers and numerous professional organizations and publications throughout their legal careers. Most recently, Tampa Bay Magazine named attorney Frank Fernandez and Jennifer Fernandez as Top Attorneys in Tampa Bay for 2017 and 2018.

Florida Trend Magazine has also named Tampa malpractice attorney Frank Fernandez to its list of “Florida Legal Elite.” Attorney Jennifer Gentry Fernandez has also been honored with inclusion on the National Register’s “Who’s Who Among Business and Professional Achievers.”

Medical Malpractice in Tampa?

Medical malpractice is defined by Florida statute as negligent conduct by a health care provider — whether a doctor, nurse, dentist, hospital or other provider — resulting in harm or injury to the patient. It can — and often is — the result of a lack of skill, training or competence on the part of the health care provider to meet the prevailing professional standard of care.

Despite difficult laws which favor the healthcare profession, at the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys our experienced team of Tampa medical malpractice lawyers remains dedicated to protecting the rights of those injured by negligent doctors, nurses and healthcare providers — and will do so until the Florida Legislature nails the courthouse doors shut. Our attorneys regularly handle medical malpractice claims state-wide and have, over the past several years, obtained outstanding trial results and negotiated settlements on behalf of our injured clients’ including:

$36.7 Million Verdict on behalf of a catastrophically-injured child who suffered birth-related brain injuries due to the medical negligence of an Orlando, physician. This verdict was upheld on Appeal (January 2013).

$2.6 Million Verdict against a speech therapist in St. Petersburg, Florida, whose medical negligence and carelessness contributed to the wrongful death of a young, single mother. This verdict followed pretrial settlements with several other healthcare providers totaling an additional $550,000.00.

$1.8 Million Excess Settlement for a young wife and mother who suffered severe nerve damage and RSD when a negligent physician sutured through a nerve during hip surgery. Like many Florida doctors, the negligent surgeon had only $250,000 in medical malpractice insurance coverage.

$600,000 Statutorily Capped Settlement recovered against a Tampa area hospital whose negligent nursing staff caused the wrongful death of a child following a routine appendectomy.

Medical Malpractice Cases We Handle

The Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys is an experienced personal injury firm with over $100 million in jury verdicts and negotiated settlement. We handle a wide variety of medical malpractice cases in this highly specialized field of the law, which includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Anesthesia Mistakes
  • Bedsores or Pressure Sores
  • Birth/Brain Injury
  • Brachial Plexus Injury
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Cosmetic Surgery Malpractice
  • Erbs Palsy
  • ER Negligence
  • Failure to Diagnose Cancer
  • Infections
  • Heart Attacks
  • Hospital Negligence
  • Misdiagnosis
  • Nerve Injuries
  • Nursing Negligence
  • Prescription Errors
  • Pulmonary Embolism
  • Strokes
  • Surgical Errors
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Wrongful Death

Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys Medical Malpractice Lawyers

At the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys, you have our promise that you will work directly with a firm partner — not an associate attorney or legal assistant — who has years of experience handling medical malpractice cases and knows your case inside and out.

Medical malpractice cases can result from healthcare scenarios in which a patient suffered neglect at the hands of their healthcare team. At The Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys, we understand the difficulties malpractice victims face and can help you seek the compensation you deserve for many incidences of medical malpractice.

Anesthesia Mistakes

If you suffered an injury due to the negligence of a provider in the administration of anesthesia, such as in the preoperative instructions, evaluation of your medical history, intubation/extubation, or error in dosage or monitoring of your vitals during a surgery or procedure, you may have a malpractice case and could recover compensation.

Bedsore or Pressure Sores

Sores of this nature are almost always preventable and are often a sign of negligence on the part of a healthcare provider. If you develop bed or pressure sores, you suffer unnecessary pain, discomfort, and are more susceptible to serious infection. Bedsores are a common basis for medical malpractice lawsuits.

Birth Injuries

If your newborn baby suffered an avoidable injury caused by the negligent actions or inaction of the medical team in charge of your care, you may file a medical malpractice claim on behalf of your child.

Brain Injuries

A lack of oxygen during labor and delivery can lead to devastating effects on a newborn. If delays or errors on the part of your doctor caused your infant to suffer hypoxia, you could be eligible to seek compensation for the damages suffered by you and your child.

Brachial Plexus Injury

This nerve injury can sometimes result in lifelong damage and is often caused during vaginal birth when too much pressure or force is placed on a newborn baby as they pass through the birth canal. Malpractice cases related to brachial plexus injuries in childbirth commonly involve excessive force by a delivery doctor or the improper use of devices such as forceps or a vacuum during birth.

Cerebral Palsy

Oxygen deprivation during birth is a common cause of cerebral palsy in infants. If your medical provider acted negligently during your labor and caused the prolonged lack of oxygen to your child, you may file a malpractice lawsuit against those responsible.

Cosmetic Surgery Malpractice

If you have suffered an injury after a cosmetic procedure, you could have a case for malpractice against your doctor. Disfigurement, nerve damage, scarring, discoloration, paralysis, secondary infections, reactions to anesthesia, or pneumonia after cosmetic surgery, are potential indicators that negligence may have occurred during your services and care.

Erbs Palsy

Excessive pulling or force on your newborn during birth by the doctor delivering your baby could result in nerve damage leading to an Erb’s palsy diagnosis in your child. In many of these injuries, medical malpractice may affect your child and family for a lifetime.

E.R. Negligence

Emergency rooms are busy and chaotic, but each patient is entitled to the best possible care by their medical team. Errors in evaluation, diagnosis, medications, or other failures by providers during an emergency visit that leads to an injury or worsening of your condition could allow you to file a malpractice claim against the parties responsible.

Failure to Diagnose Cancer

If you voiced your concerns about a worrying symptom or exhibited symptoms of cancer but a provider turned you away or misdiagnosed you, and you were ultimately diagnosed with cancer afterward, you could sue the doctor who failed to diagnose you for medical malpractice.

Infections

Secondary infections are often linked to the malpractice of a medical care team in charge of monitoring your care after a procedure or during treatment for another condition while in a hospital. If you suffered an infection caused by neglect on the part of your medical team or failures of the medical facility to maintain a clean and hygienic environment, you could have a viable lawsuit for malpractice to seek recovery for your losses.

Heart Attacks

Patients suffering from an impending heart attack require prompt evaluation and diagnosis to initiate life-saving procedures. If you were left unattended for a prolonged period in a hospital’s waiting room or were misdiagnosed by an emergency physician when you exhibited possible signs of a heart attack, you may file a lawsuit against the providers.

Hospital Negligence

Systemic or procedural failures, lack of staff or equipment, errors or omissions in medical records, and improper hiring are all examples of areas within a hospital’s control that could cause injuries to unsuspecting patients. If the negligence of a hospital injured you, you could file a lawsuit against the organization responsible.

Misdiagnosis

The diagnosis of symptoms is critical to a patient’s care, but when a doctor fails to recognize symptoms of a condition and you suffer injuries, you could file a malpractice action against them. You may pursue compensation against any medical personnel, including doctors who specialize in a field or emergency physicians, who misdiagnosed you.

Nerve Injuries

During the administration of anesthesia or surgery, doctors can injure nerves, resulting in pain, discomfort, and permanent damage. Nerve damage resulting from a medical procedure can be considered negligent and the basis for a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Prescription Errors

Medications are necessary to manage a wide range of medical conditions; however, improperly prescribed medication can have dangerous and disastrous results for a patient. Over dosages, wrong medications, failure to communicate effects, allergic reactions, or errors in administrations of prescriptions can all contribute to patient injuries which can be considered acts of medical malpractice.

Pulmonary Embolism

Blood clots are a dangerous condition that can lead to a life-threatening pulmonary embolism. When a pulmonary embolism occurs, symptoms are often clear and treatment is required immediately. You can sue a doctor who fails to recognize a pulmonary embolism and fails to react accordingly for malpractice.

Stroke

The most common circumstances of medical malpractice in stroke cases occur during diagnosis. When it comes to a stroke, time is of the essence, and any delays in diagnosing this condition can have fatal consequences. When a doctor fails to treat a patient for a stroke or delays treatment unnecessarily, they commit medical malpractice.

Surgical Errors

Surgical procedures are a hotbed for negligence errors caused by a surgeon or care team. Examples of negligence include organ damage, nerve damage, a complication from anesthesia, missing instruments or supplies, or operation on the wrong area of the body. If the medical team injures you during surgery, you may have a malpractice case.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Brain injuries can occur for several reasons during medical treatment or procedures. The most common cause of brain injuries in a healthcare setting is the deprivation of oxygen to the brain during surgeries, a stroke, heart attack, childbirth, pulmonary embolism, loss of blood, or anesthesia. A brain injury that occurs while under a doctor’s care could constitute negligence and medical malpractice.

If you feel a healthcare provider injured you or a loved one, contact an attorney at the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys today to discuss your case and to explore your legal options.

Differentiating Between Types of Negligence

Tampa Medical Malpractice AttorneysTo show that you have grounds for a personal injury claim, most often, you will need to establish that someone committed an act of negligence against you.

For patients who suffer bedsores or other medical negligence injuries, for example, compensation through a personal injury claim can prove essential to receiving the treatment you need and finding a caregiver who can provide a higher standard of care in the future. However, to pursue a personal injury claim, you may need to know who specifically committed that act of negligence against you, and how the type of negligence committed impacts your right to compensation.

Types of Negligence

Negligence, in the case of bedsores and other injuries due to a direct act of neglect on the part of a caregiver, generally falls into one of three categories.

Medical Malpractice. Federal law defines medical malpractice as an act or omission by a medical care provider during the treatment of a patient that does not fit treatment norms established by the medical community as a whole, and which causes injury to the patient in some way.

Take the bedsore case, for example. In a medical malpractice claim, a doctor might not have left orders to move the patient regularly while recovering from serious injuries. If the doctor or staff noted the bedsore starting to develop, inadequate treatment may result in more substantial injury as the bedsore grows and the patient’s symptoms worsen.

Nursing Home Negligence. Nursing home negligence occurs when a nursing home, with which the resident has a contractual relationship and which, therefore, bears a high duty of care to the resident, fails to provide the standard of care that the resident needs to avoid injury.

A nursing home, on accepting a patient, accepts responsibility for not only taking care of the patient’s basic medical needs, but for ensuring that the patient receives help with basic hygiene, toilet needs, and the tasks of daily living. For bed-bound patients who cannot move on their own, that may mean regularly assisting them to move and reducing the odds that they will sustain bedsores.

In that bedsore case, if the nursing home staff does not take adequate care of the patient, the nursing home may bear liability for the bedsores the patient develops. In particular, the nursing home may bear liability for failing to seek adequate medical care for the patient or for allowing the patient to continue to suffer unnecessarily after a bedsore diagnosis.

General Negligence. General negligence involves people who do not have a medical or contractual relationship with the individual. In the case of bedsores and other injuries developed from negligent caregiving, you might have grounds for a general negligence claim against a personal caregiver or an in-home caregiver who fails to adequately clean a patient, keep an eye out for bedsores, or report those sores if they do develop.

What You Need to Know About Medical Malpractice

A medical provider who allows a bedsore to develop falls into the category of medical malpractice. Medical malpractice has unique requirements and statutes.

Who counts as a medical care provider for the sake of medical malpractice claims? In general, medical care providers, and those who receive coverage through medical malpractice insurance, include those who directly practice medicine.

Medical care providers might include:

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Chiropractors
  • Hospital staff members who assist in providing care for the patient
  • Ambulatory surgery centers
  • Health maintenance organizations
  • Medical facilities in general, including any facility that has the primary purpose of delivering human medical diagnostic services or treatment

In addition to for-profit medical care organizations, medical care providers may include those who provide nonprofit care.

A successful medical malpractice claim requires a direct doctor/patient relationship with the medical provider, and the medical provider must, in some way, neglect to provide the standard of care common across the industry.

Keep in mind that a doctor that does not know about specific symptoms, including developing bedsores, may not bear liability: for example, if you see an allergist, and do not report those symptoms to your allergist, the allergist does not bear liability for your bedsores. However, if you see a general practice doctor, who conducts a full examination but does not offer treatment for your bedsores, that doctor may bear liability for further injuries.

What is the statute of limitations on medical malpractice claims? This depends on the state. In Florida, for example, you must file a medical malpractice claim within two years after discovering the act of medical malpractice. In some cases, that discovery may occur well after the initial injury that led to your suffering. For example, you may not discover the full extent of the damages you suffered because of bedsores immediately after your interaction with the doctor. You then may have until two years after discovering your injuries and those damages to file a claim.

In many medical malpractice claims, starting the statute of limitations with the discovery of the injuries can extend the time you may have to file a legal claim.

How are medical malpractice claims different? Medical malpractice claims have some key differences when compared to other types of personal injury claims.

Primarily, they almost always require an expert witness to confirm the violation of the duty of care. To establish that the care provider failed to provide adequate care, you will need an expert witness to discuss the care that the doctor should have provided and how providing that care would have decreased the injuries sustained by you, as the patient.

If your attorney cannot prove medical negligence—that the care provider failed to provide the medical care you should have expected, based on professional standards—then you may not have grounds for a medical malpractice claim.

Understanding Nursing Home Negligence Claims

If a patient in a nursing home develops a bedsore due to the negligence of an employee who does not fall into the category of a medical provider, you may have a nursing home negligence claim under Florida nursing home negligence statutes.

How are nursing homes defined for the sake of a nursing home negligence claim? Nursing homes provide care for individuals who do not require hospital-level care, but who can no longer receive the high standard of care they need at home. In many cases, seniors choose to move into a nursing home or must move into a nursing home, as their ability to care for themselves deteriorates or their overall physical health starts to decline.

In addition to traditional nursing homes, where patients may receive higher-level medical care along with general assistance with daily activities of living, nursing homes may include assisted living facilities, especially those where patients may receive stepped-up levels of care as they continue to age.

Nursing homes may also include temporary care facilities where people can live and receive care while recovering from serious injuries. While they do not have a long-term caregiver relationship with the patient, those facilities act as caregivers during the patient’s overall recovery.

What is the statute of limitations on nursing home negligence claims? Nursing home negligence claims have a two-year statute of limitation in Florida. That means that you have two years after discovering the negligence, or two years after you should have discovered the negligence, to file a nursing home negligence claim in Florida.

How are nursing home negligence claims different? Nursing home negligence claims usually involve a pattern of substandard care. Nursing homes usually have a closer relationship with the patient than doctors. While doctors may see patients only briefly, and make up a relatively low percentage of the patient’s overall care, nursing home care providers often spend every day with the patient.

Nursing homes need to monitor the patient’s ongoing status, provide care, and assist in the activities of daily living. Sometimes, nursing homes actually provide a higher standard of personal care than hospitals and other medical care facilities.

To file a nursing home negligence claim, you will need to establish that the nursing home has a caregiver relationship with the patient and that the patient has the right to expect a specific standard of care from that establishment as a caregiver. You may also need to establish that the nursing home violated that standard of care and that the violation led to the patient’s injuries.

For example, if the patient suffers a bedsore from negligent nursing home care, an attorney may need to prove that the nursing home failed to help the patient move or get pressure off the affected area, or that nursing home caregivers failed to note the injury and provide appropriate, timely treatment.

What You Need to Know About General Negligence Claims in Tampa

General negligence claims involve someone who does not have a direct nursing home or medical care provider relationship with the person who has suffered injury from an act of negligence.

Pharmacists, for example, do not fall into the category of either nursing home providers or medical care providers. This means that if a pharmacist injures a patient, including by failing to check allergies against a prescription medication, providing the wrong dose of a medication, or putting the wrong medication in a patient’s bottle, the patient would need to file a general negligence claim against the pharmacist, not a medical malpractice claim.

What is the statute of limitations on general negligence claims? Florida law actually allows more time for general negligence claims than it does for either nursing home negligence or medical malpractice. Under a general negligence claim, you have until four years after the date of the incident to file a lawsuit in Florida civil court.

However, note that, while you may have up to four years to file a claim, you may have just four years after the actual incident, not just four years after you uncovered those injuries. Talk to an attorney about how allowing time to pass after an act of negligence against you can impact your right to file for compensation and how long you may have to file a claim if you have discovered those injuries later than anticipated.

How are general negligence claims different? General negligence claims cover a wide range of potential negligence, and you may not need to provide the same expert testimony in a general negligence claim that you would in a medical malpractice claim or nursing home negligence claim. You will, however, need to establish negligence.

General negligence claims tend to ask three key questions.

First, they seek to establish who bore a duty of care to the injured party at the time of the incident. A pharmacist, for example, bears a high duty of care to ensure that patients receive the right medications on time.

Next, a general negligence claim will establish that the entity violated that duty of care in some way: a pharmacist who, perhaps, failed to fill a prescription correctly, whether due to grabbing the wrong medication bottle or failing to check a patient’s allergies or other challenges before filling a prescription.

Finally, to file a claim, your lawyer will need to establish that negligence caused an injury in some way. If you caught the error before taking the pills, you may have suffered no injury and have no grounds for a personal injury claim. On the other hand, if you took the medication and suffered substantial consequences, you may have grounds for a general negligence claim.

Any time you suffer injuries due to the negligence of another party, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim. Whether you suffered from nursing home negligence, medical malpractice, or general negligence, an attorney can help you understand your rights.

Tampa Medical Malpractice FAQs

Tampa Medical Malpractice FAQsAccording to U.S. News & World Report, the best hospital in the Tampa metro area is Tampa General, which is ranked as one of the top 50 hospitals in the nation in five medical specialties: diabetes and endocrinology; gastroenterology and GI surgery; nephrology; orthopedics; and urology. Despite state and national recognition,  our firm has current and former clients who were patients of Tampa General — as well as the other hospitals, clinics and doctor’s offices around Florida — who experienced negligence at the hands of their healthcare providers.

If you or a loved one has been injured due to a medical error, you already know the hardship and loss of trust patients experience when they discover the doctor they turned to for treatment failed to provide adequate care. What we can do is guide you through the complex legal process by which you can seek compensation for the injuries caused by the medical malpractice.

Here are some questions clients ask the Tampa medical malpractice attorneys at Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys most often. For answers to questions about your specific case, contact us for a free case evaluation.

What is medical malpractice in Tampa?

Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider’s actions fall below the  “standard of care” and harms a patient. The standard of care is how a reasonable healthcare provider should act in a specific set of circumstances. Medical malpractice is often called “medical error.” However, not all errors by health care providers constitute medical malpractice.

To determine if a mistake rises to the level of malpractice, four elements—often referred to as the “four Ds”—must be present in your case:

  • Duty of care: A medical provider does not owe a duty of care to everyone. A healthcare provider’s legal duty of care extends only to the provider’s patients. Once a patient relationship is established, a duty of care exists.
  • Dereliction (failure) to fulfill the duty of care: The provider failed to provide care and treatment with a degree of skill and diligence that a reasonable provider in the same specialty would have provided in similar circumstances.
  • Direct cause: The provider’s failure to fulfill the duty of care was a direct (or “proximate”) cause of the harm the patient suffered.
  • Damages: Not only was the patient harmed by the provider’s failure to fulfill the duty of care, but that harm resulted in physical and emotional injury and impacted the patient’s finances and quality of life. 

What are some examples of Tampa medical malpractice?

Some common types of medical malpractice include:

  • Misdiagnosis, missed or delayed diagnosis: This involves a medical provider wrongly diagnosing or failing to diagnose a condition that he or she should have recognized based on the symptoms, patient history, or laboratory or diagnostic testing results.
  • Surgical errors: This includes errors such as wrong-site surgery, causing damage to other organs or tissues during surgery as the result of a mistake, mistakes made during the administration of anesthesia, unnecessary surgery, or even a foreign object such as a surgical sponge or drain left inside the body cavity after the surgery.
  • Medication errors: This type of malpractice involves prescribing the wrong dosage of medication, prescribing the wrong medication to treat the illness, or prescribing medication in the face of a known allergy or adverse reaction. 
  • Birth injuries: Medical errors occurring during or just after the birth process, where the malpractice results in injury to the mother or baby. Some common birth injuries that may lead to lifelong impairment for the baby include cerebral palsy, paralysis, nerve damage, developmental disorders, and bone fractures.
  • Failure to treat: Situations where a doctor has made the correct diagnosis for a patient, but fails to provide adequate treatment, resulting in worsening symptoms and even death.

Medical malpractice does not happen at good hospitals, does it?

Unfortunately, medical malpractice can occur at any hospital, clinic, private physician’s office, or other healthcare facility. While the Tampa Bay Area lays claim to facilities which U.S. News & World Report list as the best in the region — such as Tampa General Hospital, Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater, St. Joseph’s Hospital-Tampa, and Mease Countryside Hospital in Safety Harbor — we have represented clients who experienced medical/nursing negligence at each of these “good” hospitals. 

My Tampa doctor failed to warn me of the risks of my procedure. Can I sue them for medical malpractice?

It depends on several factors. Tampa medical malpractice law depends on the standard of care, which is how a reasonable doctor would respond given the same set of circumstances. Were the risks of your procedure so high that a reasonable doctor would have warned you of them? If the doctor disclosed the risks, would most reasonable patients have decided not to go through with the procedure? All of these factors, as well as expert opinion, must be taken into consideration to determine if different provider actions could have avoided the harm.

How do I recover damages in my Tampa medical malpractice case?

In Florida, before you are permitted to file a Tampa medical malpractice lawsuit, you must first present the healthcare provider with a Notice of Intent to sue, including an affidavit of merit from a qualified medical professional stating that you have a valid medical malpractice claim. This confidential Notice sets in motion a 90-day investigation process, during which the statute of limitations is tolled and the defendant may examine the merits of the case. This “pre-suit” investigatory process is extremely complicated and filled with pitfalls for the inexperienced. If you have been the victim of medical malpractice, contact Frank and Jennifer Fernandez at the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys to get started.

What damages could I recover from a Tampa medical malpractice lawsuit?

Florida allows individuals who were harmed by medical malpractice to seek both economic and non-economic damages. The term “damage” refers to compensation for harm caused by the malpractice. Economic damages is compensation for the financial impacts of the harm you experienced. 

Common expenses included in a medical malpractice economic damage claim include:

  • Wage loss if you can’t work because of the injury or must miss work to treat the injury.
  • Loss of future earning capacity, if the injury you experienced prevents you from returning to work or from earning in the same capacity as you did before the medical malpractice occurred.
  • Medical expenses incurred in the treatment of the injury caused by the error.

Non-economic damages refer to compensation for the damage to your quality of life that you experienced because of your medical malpractice injuries, such as:

  • Physical pain and suffering.
  • Emotional distress.
  • Loss of the enjoyment of life.
  • Permanent disability.

In 2003, the Florida legislature imposed a “cap” on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases, meaning victims of negligent healthcare providers could not collect more than $500,000 for their physical and emotional pain and suffering — no matter how catastrophic the circumstances.  Thankfully, in 2017, the Florida Supreme Court ruled this arbitrary damages cap unconstitutional, overturning this unfair law which penalized this seriously injured victims of malpractice. 

I suffered an infection after surgery in Tampa. Is that considered medical malpractice?

Infection is a common surgical complication that occurs even without malpractice. Infection, standing alone, would not give rise to a medical malpractice claim. However, if the infection resulted from improper wound care practices, inadequate follow-up care, or if the doctor failed to treat an infection he knew or should have known existed, those circumstances may rise to the level of malpractice.

My spouse died as the result of a Tampa surgical error. Can I obtain compensation?

As the spouse of an individual who died from a medical error, you may pursue compensation through Florida’s Wrongful Death Act.

Under this state law, only certain individuals may recover damages in a medical malpractice wrongful death case, including:

  • Surviving children who are 25 years old or younger.
  • The surviving spouse.
  • Adult children who were dependent on the deceased for financial support.
  • Surviving parents, but only if the deceased was under 25 years old.

In addition to non-economic damages, such as the loss of companionship of your spouse, economic damages include:

  • Funeral and burial or cremation expenses.
  • The loss of earnings the deceased would have reasonably earned if he or she had survived.
  • Medical expenses related to the treatment of the injury the malpractice caused, before the death.

How are medical malpractice cases in Tampa different from other cases?

Florida medical malpractice claimants are required to undergo what is known as the “pre-suit process“ that requires obtaining an affidavit of merit from a medical professional and filing a notice of intent to sue. Slip and fall or car accident cases do not require this procedure.

How long do I have to file a Tampa medical malpractice lawsuit?

In Florida, plaintiffs must file medical malpractice cases within two years of the date on which they discovered or reasonably should have discovered the injury. Under no circumstance, can plaintiffs file the lawsuit more than four years after the malpractice occurred—except in cases involving fraud by the healthcare providers and/or injury to a child before his or her eighth birthday.

I cannot afford an attorney. Can I just handle my Tampa medical malpractice case on my own?

Medical malpractice cases are among the most complex areas of law, involving strict deadlines, expert corroboration, pre-suit notification and medical evidence. The requirements of medical malpractice litigation are often beyond the capabilities of lawyers who are not trained in this area of the law — not to mention a non-lawyer.  At the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys, we had decades of experience in the field of medical malpractice law and a thorough understanding of the evidence needed to successfully pursue your case.

Because it is so important for injured individuals to have access to legal counsel when pursuing this type of case, the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys offers two special services to ensure access, regardless of an individual’s financial status.

Those services include:

  • A free case evaluation: This is time for you to spend with one of our Tampa medical malpractice attorneys, obtaining answers to your questions and learning more about the legal process. It is also time for the attorney to learn more about your case to help you explore your legal options.
  • A contingent-fee payment plan: You don’t need to pay for your attorney’s legal services unless your lawyer recovers compensation for you.

From start to finish, Frank and Jennifer Fernandez at the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys pride themselves on fighting to help our Tampa medical malpractice clients obtain the compensation they deserve. Contact us for your free case evaluation today.

Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys Tampa Lawyer
Tampa Medical Malpractice Lawyer, Frank Fernandez

Free Malpractice Evaluations – Call Today!

If you suspect that you or someone you love has suffered injury or wrongful death due to medical malpractice, our Tampa attorneys are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and will be happy to review the details of your case. Please contact our office today at 1-800-222-8163.

Our experienced team of Tampa medical malpractice attorneys will evaluate the strength of your case for free and if there is no recovery there are no fees/costs due. At the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys, we don’t get paid unless we win!


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