Pediatric Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Children are vulnerable to a wide range of health conditions and medical issues which may result in serious risk of permanent disability or death. When parents entrust medical professionals to ensure the well-being of their child, a reasonable standard of care is expected. If your child’s doctor acted negligently and his or her actions — or inactions — jeopardized your child’s life, contact a child injury lawyer with The Galione Law Firm, P.A. Our attorneys are experienced in all facets of Florida medical malpractice and they can provide you with comprehensive counsel for seeking compensatory damages on the behalf of your child.
Defining Malpractice Under Florida Law
Under Florida State Code: Chapter 766, medical professionals, such as pediatricians and pediatric surgeons, owe a substantial duty of care to the children they treat. This high duty of care requires medical professionals who treat children to meet the required standards of their profession and to act in a reasonable manner regarding each and every aspects of patient care.
The failure to meet one or more of these standards may constitute pediatric negligence if there is proof that the individual failed to act in a reasonable and a prudent manner, from which the child suffered harm. Lawsuits filed with a child injury law firm on behalf of a child by a parent regarding negligence and mistakes by medical professionals is termed medical malpractice.
Common Types Of Pediatric Malpractice
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, one of the most common types of medical malpractice suits filed against medical professionals is pediatric malpractice. Due to the vulnerable nature of children, the causes of medical negligence regarding children vary widely. The following comprise the most common types of pediatric malpractice. For more information or to discuss your case for pediatric malpractice, contact our child accident attorneys today.
- Negligence during recovery
- Nursing errors
- Prescription medication errors
- Surgical complications
Among the most common forms of pediatric malpractice, birth injuries are a primary cause for which parents consult a birth injury lawyer regarding malpractice. Birthing injuries may include injuries to the child’s skull; irreversible brain damage; cerebral palsy; hypoxia; failure to diagnose; and wrongful death of a child at the time of or immediately following birth.
When Does Medical Negligence Occur?
A pediatrician — or any other type of medical professional for children — acts negligently when he or she fails to provide treatment which meets the level of competence or skill that the majority of medical professionals would have provided while under similar circumstances. A significant portion of instances of malpractice and negligence occur due to understaffing within a hospital or medical building. There may also be circumstances in which general pediatric practitioners have inadequate training but are assigned to treat ill children, resulting in a lack of necessary care to the patient. In addition, nurses may also have inadequate training regarding being able to recognize the symptoms of an impending medical issue, which opens a critical window of missed opportunity to prevent illness, permanent disability or death.
Standard Of Proof For Pediatric Negligence
Parents who file pediatric malpractice lawsuits on behalf of their children must prove two things in order to effectively demonstrate negligence — the existing standard of care and the manner in which the medical professional failed to meet or breach that standard of care. The standard of care typically varies from case to case. In cases of medical negligence during childbirth and within other types of pediatric malpractice cases, the standard of care may require the presiding medical professional or medical facility to properly diagnose a medical illness promptly following the time in which the patient initially experiences symptoms. Doctors and hospitals may also be required to provide the proper dose of the proper medication at the proper time.
Four Elements Of Pediatric Negligence
The viability of a pediatric negligence case primarily depends upon four elements — duty, breach, causation and damages. To determine whether your pediatric medical malpractice case meets the elements for medical malpractice, contact our pediatric malpractice lawyers.
1. Duty Of Care
In the majority of pediatric malpractice cases, proving the duty, or standard, of care requires expert testimony from a qualified witness who reports a medical opinion regarding the quality of care that most pediatricians would have provided in similar circumstances. The witness must offer his or her professional opinion regarding the expected treatment that would be provided by a reasonably skilled and competent medical professional in a similar situation.
2. Breach To Standard Of Care
Establishing the breach of the standard of care requires proving the ways in which the medical professional or the medical facility was negligent in caring for and providing treatment to the injured child. As with the initial element, this step also requires the use of a qualified, or expert, witness — he or she will show methodically how the conduct of the presiding pediatric doctor fell short of the expected standard of care to the child in question.
3. Causation Of Injuries
The third element of pediatric negligence requires the parent of the patient to prove that the doctor’s negligence was a direct result of foreseeable harm. Harm may comprise pain and suffering as well as financial costs of former, current, and future medical treatment required as a result of the harm. The critical issue regarding this element is proving whether the negligence was the overarching cause of the harm suffered by the child.
Florida courts deem insufficient proof indicating that a patient suffered harm only after the mistake occurred. There must be sufficient proof to demonstrate that the harm and losses in question could have been avoided if the presiding pediatrician or medical professional had recognized the condition promptly and treated the illness both quickly and competently.
4. Damages For Injuries
The final element in which a suit for pediatric medical malpractice must meet is damages for injuries suffered. The injuries suffered by the child must be eligible for compensation by financial damages through legal action. If the injuries suffered by the patient cannot be compensated through payment for previous, current, and expected harm and suffering, the case may vulnerable to a loss of the lawsuit. The best way to ensure that a claim of pediatric malpractice comprises all of the elements required for achieving a successful outcome is to consult the legal expertise of the child injury lawyers with The Galione Law Firm, P.A. Contact our firm today.