If you have come to this page, the chances are you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice. Whether it happened in Tampa or any other Florida city, we can help. You may be wondering:
- Can I hold the healthcare provider responsible for the damages they have caused?
- How can I help stop this from happening to someone else?
- How will I make up for the money that I have lost?
- Will I be able to take care of myself in the future?
- How do I find the best medical malpractice attorney for my case?
The most important thing you need to know is that medical malpractice is a very specialized area of law. You should only consider hiring a Tampa medical malpractice lawyer with substantial experience handling medical malpractice cases. If that’s what you’re looking for, you’ve come to the right place. Scott Distasio has been handling medical malpractice cases for over 28 years.
If we agree to take your case at Distasio Law Firm, our dedicated personal injury attorneys will do everything possible to answer your questions, hold the negligent health care provider accountable, and get you compensated. The sooner you call us, the sooner we can help.
The Distasio Law Firm Difference
How do you know if you have hired the best medical malpractice lawyer in Tampa? The simplest way to know is to find a lawyer with all the characteristics below.
Knowledge and Experience Handling Medical Malpractice Cases
Your lawyer should not only know Florida medical malpractice law, but they should also have years of experience handling malpractice cases. Scott Distasio has been handling medical malpractice cases for over 28 years. His years of experience investigating, negotiating, settling, filing lawsuits, taking depositions, and going to trial can make a difference in your case.
Independent Verification of the Lawyer’s Ability
All attorneys claim they know what they are doing. Their marketing materials may also be persuasive. But you will only know the truth about that lawyer if respected, independent non-biased rating systems rate the lawyer. Scott Distasio has an AV rating by Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory.
This is the highest rating an attorney can receive for both ability and ethics. Scott Distasio is also Board Certified by the Florida Bar in Trial law. To achieve this accomplishment, a lawyer must have tried a minimum number of cases to a jury and pass a competency exam. Less than 1% of all Florida lawyers are Board Certified.
Willingness and Ability to Go to Trial
Not all medical malpractice cases go to trial. The truth is most cases settle. But if your case needs to go to trial, it’s important to hire a law firm with the experience, resources, and ability to try your case.
This is especially true in medical malpractice cases because health care providers win upwards of 70% of the time. Scott Distasio is a board-certified civil trial lawyer. This gives him the right to call himself an expert trial lawyer.
Florida Legislators Have Created Special Protections for Health Care Providers
The health care industry is very powerful in Florida. They have spent lots of money on lobbyists and political donations that have influenced the Florida legislature to pass special laws to protect health care providers from malpractice lawsuits. These special laws are contained in Chapter 766 of the Florida Statutes.
A well-practiced Tampa medical malpractice attorneys knows and understands these special laws. For example, in Florida, you cannot sue a hospital, doctor, or nurse unless you can find an independent health care provider to review your medical records and publicly state on the record that medical malpractice has occurred.
This can be very difficult for many reasons. First, the healthcare industry is a closed community that is very protective. There are very few in the community willing to go on record criticizing their colleagues. Second, the ones that will review a case on behalf of injured patients are very expensive. The initial review alone can cost thousands of dollars.
At Distasio Law Firm, we understand these special laws and have a proven track record of overcoming them. If we decide to take your case, we will find the right medical experts to review your case and pay them to render an opinion. If we cannot prove your case, you owe us nothing. In fact, you only pay us if we prove your case.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Not all bad outcomes are considered medical malpractice. In some cases, medicine has not figured out a way to cure a particular disease or injury. In other cases, doctors and hospitals do everything right and the patient still doesn’t get a desirable result. The bad outcome alone is not enough to pursue a case.
To pursue a case, you must prove medical malpractice occurred. Unfortunately, Florida law makes this simple concept sound complicated.
Florida statutes and Florida courts have concluded that medical malpractice occurs when a health care provider is negligent and causes injury and/or death. In other words, you must prove two things.
First, you must prove the health care provider did something wrong. Second, you must prove what was done wrong is the thing that caused the injury or death.
What Is Medical Negligence?
The negligence part is what the healthcare provider did wrong. So, then the question is “What is negligence?” Florida jury instructions define negligence as the failure to use reasonable care. Reasonable care on the part of a health care provider is that level of care, skill, and treatment which, considering all relevant surrounding circumstances, is recognized as acceptable and appropriate.
Negligence on the part of a health care provider is doing something that a reasonably careful health care provider would not do under like circumstances. It is also failing to do something that a reasonably careful healthcare provider would do under like circumstances.
In its simplest terms, it just means the health care provider made a mistake that other healthcare providers would not make.
Medicine is a specialized field that can take years of studying to understand. As a result, non-medically trained people often wrongly believe a mistake has occurred. What a non-medical person believes is a medical mistake may not be. As a result, Florida courts have concluded it does not matter that you and I believe a medical mistake occurred.
What matters is that similarly trained health care providers believe a mistake has occurred. These medical experts will define the standard of medical care and render an opinion about whether the standard of care was breached. A skilled Tampa medical malpractice attorney with the experience to navigate this complicated area of the law can help you.
Negligence Alone Is Not Enough to Pursue a Medical Malpractice Case
Even if a doctor or hospital did something wrong, it may not be enough to pursue a case. Often, showing that the health care provider was negligent is the easy part. In addition to proving the health care provider was negligent, you also must show that the negligence was the cause of injury or death. Once again, Florida law makes this simple concept sound complicated.
Florida standard jury instruction states that negligence is a legal cause if it directly produces or contributes substantially to producing damage. If it weren’t for negligence, the damage would not have occurred. Distasio Law Firm has the experience necessary to figure this out.
Examples of Medical Malpractice
Year in and year out, medical researchers conclude that medical errors are a frequent occurrence. The latest studies suggest that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States. Medical malpractice is as common in Tampa as in other Florida cities. On the other hand, the number of medical malpractice lawsuits brought is consistently low.
At Distasio Law Firm, our medical malpractice lawyers have experience in the representation of victims of all types of medical malpractice, including:
- Surgical Error
- Emergency Room Error
- Anesthesia Error
- Failure to Diagnose
- Delayed Diagnosis
- Dental Malpractice
- Nursing home Malpractice
- Birth Injuries
- Brain Injuries
- Wrongful Death
- Failure to Request Necessary Tests
- Failure to Perform Proper Follow-Up Care
Statute of Limitations for a Florida Medical Malpractice Case
There is a certain amount of time the law allots to bringing a lawsuit. This time period is called the statute of limitations. If you do not bring your case within the statute of limitations, your case will be forever barred. In Florida, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice is two years from when you knew or should have known that malpractice has occurred, but no more than for years from when the event occurred.
This sounds like a lot of time. But in reality, it is not.
People are usually not ready to move forward with a case immediately after a tragedy. Once they are ready, it takes time to find the right lawyer. It takes even more time to gather all the records and get them to a medical expert for review. Don’t let so much time go by that it is too late to pursue a case. If you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice, call Distasio Law Firm right away, so we can ensure the case is brought within the statute of limitations.
What to Expect From the Medical Malpractice Claims Process
For the vast majority of medical malpractice claims, you can expect to deal with an insurance company. Most health care providers are protected by some type of malpractice insurance coverage. Here, the insurance company will be required to compensate you for certain types and amounts of damages based on the limits of the policyholder‘s policy.
It is important to remember that the insurance company is not required to pay out beyond these policy limits. If your damages exceed these limits, instead of going after the insurance company, you will need to pursue your case in the Tampa civil court system.
Here, you can file a case against the liable party and anyone else who may have facilitated the medical malpractice that caused your injuries. It is also important to remember that the insurance company is not on your side. They will lose money by paying out on your claim.
For this reason, you can expect them to push back and do everything in their power to pay out as little as possible in your medical malpractice insurance settlement. You can have your attorney step in and handle the insurance negotiations process on your behalf. It may be necessary to bring your case to court if you can’t recover the compensation you are entitled to through an insurance company.
Recovering Damages in a Tampa Medical Malpractice Claim
When your health care provider’s negligence or misconduct causes you significant injury or illness, you have the right to be compensated for every loss. You might assume you can only recover compensation for your medical bills and perhaps your loss of income. But there are many other damages you may also be entitled to. Let’s take a closer look at economic and non-economic damages in Tampa medical malpractice claims:
Economic damages are the most common type of loss. This is because financial damages often have the most glaring impact on your life, at least initially. Some of the more common types of economic damages that can be awarded in Tampa medical malpractice claims include:
- Coverage of your medical expenses and ongoing healthcare fees
- Lost income
- Diminished earning capacity, including contributions to your 401(k) or other retirement savings program, salary bonuses, wage increases, and other benefits
- Cost of unexpected childcare
- Household maintenance and upkeep fees
- Costs of increased insurance premiums
Economic damages may be more well-known, there are a variety of non-economic damages you may also be entitled to. Non-economic damages encompass the ways your life has been affected by not only your injuries but the accident itself. Some of the more common types of non-economic damages awarded in medical malpractice claims in Tampa include:
- Reputational damage
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Diminished quality of life
- Disfigurement and skin scarring
Work With a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Tampa from Distasio Law Firm
If you or someone you love has fallen victim to medical malpractice, we can help you take the appropriate legal action to address your case. We know this is a frightening, overwhelming, and beyond stressful time for you. We want you to know that you’re not alone in these matters. When you choose a committed Tampa medical malpractice lawyer at Distasio Law Firm, you can rely on our relentless efforts to build the strongest case possible.
Connect with a diligent attorney at our firm today.