Tampa Anesthesia Injuries Lawyer
When you go under anesthesia for any reason, there is always a risk of injury or death. However, anesthesia is often unavoidable when doctors need to perform surgery. The anesthesiologist must determine the proper dosage to keep you unconscious during the procedure but not enough to stop your lungs and heart.
Because this is such a fine line, it’s easy to make errors—and the patient or the patient’s family are the ones who suffer.
The Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys handle anesthesia injury cases so you can recover the compensation you deserve if you suffer injuries or lose a loved one due to negligence.
If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one due to anesthesia injuries, contact anesthesia injuries lawyer at Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys in Tampa for a free case evaluation.
Why Choose Us
Frank and Jennifer Fernandez were admitted to the Florida Bar in 1994, giving them decades of experience settling and litigating cases. In 2017 and 2018, Mrs. Fernandez’s peers selected her as one of Tampa Bay Magazine’s Top Attorneys, and Mr. Fernandez was on the Florida Super Lawyers List for “excellence in law practice.” They currently have offices in Tampa and Lakeland and handle cases throughout Middle Florida, including Orlando.
The firm has won many cases, including $36.7 million for a child who suffered catastrophic brain injuries that resulted in cerebral palsy, blindness, and severe physical and mental disabilities because of a doctor’s negligence, $3,570,000 in a hospital negligence case, and $2.6 million for a medical-related wrongful death case in St. Petersburg.
While Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys cannot guarantee any amount of recovery in your case, they can help value your injuries and losses to ensure any compensation offered is fair.
Types of Anesthesia Injuries
Anesthesia injuries have several typical causes, including equipment failure, patient comorbidities, and human error. Any of these issues can cause many types of injuries or death. If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one due to anesthesia injuries, never assume that it was part of the inherent risk of going under anesthesia.
An anesthesia injury lawyer can investigate the case to determine whether your injuries and losses are due to equipment failure or the anesthesiologist’s negligence.
The general public holds anesthesiologists to a higher standard of care because of their extensive schooling and experience.
However, they can still err for many reasons, including:
- Poor decision-making skills;
- Poor situational awareness;
- Poor communication with other doctors and medical professionals in the room;
- Being overloaded with work and personal issues;
- Poor workload management;
- Poor clinical leadership;
- Poor relationships with coworkers;
- Not enough training;
- Poor patient preparation; and
- Challenging working conditions.
When an anesthesiologist errs, it is often negligence. Equipment failure can also cause injuries. In some cases, equipment failure could be the fault of the manufacturer, and in other cases, the fault of the anesthesiologist who did not check gas supplies, airway devices, breathing systems, and infusion pumps to see if they were working properly.
Types of Anesthesia Injuries
The types of anesthesia injuries you might sustain include:
- Airway injuries
- Soft tissue injuries, such as to the tongue and lips
- Dental injuries, including fractured teeth
- Eye injuries, including corneal abrasion and blindness
- Nerve injuries
- Muscle and skin injuries, including pressure ulcers
- Compartment syndrome
- Tourniquet injuries
- Burn injuries such as those from alcohol (skin preparation) and warming devices
Working With Insurance Companies
Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys can help you work with insurance companies during settlement negotiations. If the insurance company refuses a fair and reasonable offer, they already have much of the facts to draft the complaint for a lawsuit.
Insurance companies will try anything to deny a claim or offer a pittance. They use many tricks but are less likely to use those tricks when experienced attorneys represent you during settlement negotiations.
Some of the tricks and sneaky tactics insurance companies use include:
- Twisting what you say to blame for the incident on your shoulders
- Ignoring you until the insurance company’s deadlines and the state’s statute of limitations to file a lawsuit runs
- Causing delays by not investigating the incident
- Causing delays by telling you your claim is in progress when it’s not in progress
- Agreeing that the insurance company’s client is at fault and telling you that the most they can pay is the paltry amount they offer you; this is almost always a lie
Insurance companies have many more tricks up their sleeves. They are in business to make money; every claim they must pay means less money in their pockets. Even your own insurance company can use these tricks.
Instead of being taken by an anesthesiologist’s insurance company, the Fernandez Firm can write a demand letter to open settlement negotiations. The demand letter includes the facts, a description of your injuries, compensation request, and a reply-by date, among other information.
If the insurance company ignores the demand letter, they know that your attorney can file a lawsuit.
The other options:
- Responding with a claim denial. Your case could go to trial, which means the insurance company could end up paying much more than if it were to settle.
- Accepting the amount in the demand letter, though this is rare.
- Responding with a counteroffer. You can accept the counteroffer or submit your own counteroffer to the insurance company.
Anesthesia Injuries Compensation
Injuries from an anesthesiologist’s negligence could cause long-term or permanent disabilities, including those caused by traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries from airway and nerve damage. You could recover two types of damages: Compensatory damages and punitive damages.
The court awards compensatory damages to make you whole again. It orders punitive damages to punish the defendant’s grossly negligent actions or inactions. While it is difficult to recover punitive damages, it is worth it if your injuries cause long-term or permanent disabilities.
Compensatory damages have two categories: Economic damages and non-economic damages. Most people who can prove the anesthesiologist caused their injuries can recover compensatory damages.
In most cases, only those who lose a loved one or suffer from long-term or permanent disabilities can recover non-economic damages. While each insurance company may have its definition of long-term or permanent damages, the Social Security Administration defines them as disabilities resulting in your death or lasting longer than 12 months.
Sometimes referred to as special damages, economic damages have a monetary value and include:
Depending on the severity and type of injuries you suffer from, medical expenses might include:
- Doctor’s appointments, surgeries, follow-up appointments, prescriptions, over-the-counter medications and equipment, and ambulatory aids
- Accessibility aids for your vehicle, including but not limited to wheelchair ramps and lifts and hand controls
- Accessibility aids for your home, including but not limited to wheelchair ramps, widened doorways, handrails, and grab bars
- Physical therapy appointments
- Occupational therapy appointments
- Psychological therapy appointments
- Cognitive therapy appointments
- Home health care
- Nursing home and rehabilitative home care
Injuries caused by an anesthesiologist could cause you to be out of work for a few days, weeks, months, or even for the rest of your life. You could recover compensation for the work you missed.
If your injuries caused long-term or permanent disabilities, you could recover loss of future earning capacity. If your disabilities allow you to work full-time but force you to take a job that pays less than your previous position, or if they force you to take a part-time job, you could still recover the partial loss of future earning capacity. Your attorney can compute how much time you have left until retirement at your previous salary to determine your losses.
If you lost a loved one due to an anesthesiologist’s negligence, you could recover funeral expenses, burial expenses, cremation expenses, certain probate court fees, and probate attorney’s fees and costs.
Sometimes referred to as general damages, non-economic damages do not have a set monetary value and include:
- Pain and suffering, including emotional distress
- Loss of quality of life if you have to make lifelong changes such as taking prescription drugs or using ambulatory aids
- Loss of companionship if you can no longer enjoy time with your family or attend family activities and events
- Loss of consortium if you can no longer enjoy a physical relationship with your spouse
- Loss of use of a body part, such as a leg or arm
- Loss of bodily function use, such as your eyesight or bladder
- Inconvenience if you have to hire someone to do the chores you usually do, including but not limited to lawn maintenance, home repair and maintenance, grocery shopping, and house cleaning.
- Amputation of a digit or limb
- Excessive scarring and disfigurement
While punitive damages are difficult to recover, it is sometimes worth the extra effort. First, the court must order the defendant to pay compensatory damages. Then, you must prove the defendant’s actions or inactions were grossly negligent or intentional.
Florida Statutes §768.73 limits punitive damages to three times the compensatory damages awarded in the case. However, the statutes provide a provision that states that if the defendant’s gross negligence was for “unreasonable financial gain,” the punitive damage award may be four times the amount of compensatory damages. If the court determines that a defendant’s behavior was intentional, the law does not cap punitive damages.
Contact the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys
After suffering injuries or losing a loved one because of an anesthesiologist’s negligence, you could sustain catastrophic injuries. You and your family must endure the pain and suffering of dealing with those injuries or the death of a loved one. A Tampa medical malpractice attorney experienced in anesthesiology injuries can help you recover the compensation you deserve.
While the compensation does not bring back a loved one or eradicate your injuries, pain, and suffering, the money reduces the significant financial stress on you and your family.
The Fernandez Firm – Tampa Office
2503 W Swann Ave #100,
Tampa, FL 33609
Phone: (813) 278-1032