Florida Nursing Malpractice Attorneys
In hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare facilities, nurses are the primary providers of everyday patient care. They have to assess and monitor patients’ conditions, report promptly on those conditions, use medical and technological equipment to support patient care, and administer medication as prescribed. When nurses are negligent and do not fulfill these responsibilities appropriately, patients can suffer life-threatening or fatal injuries.
Under Florida law, nurses have a duty to provide patient care that meets the prevalent
standard of care for nurses in their position. That is, nurses need to provide the same level of care, skill and treatment that other reasonably prudent nurses would provide in the same circumstances. When a patient is injured because a nurse breached that duty of care and was negligent, the patient has the right to hold the nurse liable for negligence and take legal action to recover compensatory damages.
If you or a member of your family has been harmed by negligent nursing care, you may be able to hold the negligent nurse(s) liable for negligence and the harm it caused. With a Florida medical malpractice claim, you could potentially obtain substantial compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, pain, suffering, and other damages resulting from the nursing malpractice.
Paul Knopf Bigger attorneys are dedicated to achieving justice for victims of nursing malpractice. We have many years of successful trial experience as Florida medical malpractice attorneys and have won numerous multi-million-dollar settlements and awards for the families whom we have had the privilege of representing. We look forward to hearing about your potential Florida medical malpractice claim and answering any questions you may have about the legal claims process.
Factors Contributing to Nursing Negligence and Malpractice
While the nursing profession as a whole has advanced in training, level of responsibility and patient care in the past twenty years, some of the changes in nursing roles and healthcare in general have had unfortunate consequences for patients. Among these changes are:
- Increased autonomy and responsibility of hospital nurses – Nurses with advanced nursing skills now have more autonomy and responsibility in the roles they fill in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. When these nurses are rushed, stressed or burned out, serious lapses and errors in patient care can occur.
- Advances in technology – Advances in medical technology have led to better outcomes for patients. However, using technological devices and equipment requires knowledge of their capabilities and safety features. When nurses aren’t trained adequately, dangerous errors in patient care can occur.
- Delegation of responsibilities – Cost-containment efforts in hospitals and other facilities have led nurses to delegate more of their tasks to staff who may not have the appropriate education and experience for fulfilling the designated responsibilities. Undereducated or untrained staff can make serious mistakes in caring for patients.
- Understaffed hospitals – If hospital units are understaffed, nurses may have unmanageable workloads. If they have to care for too many patients, they may be hurried and prone to make mistakes, with devastating consequences for patients.
- Early discharge – Due to insurance and hospital regulations, patients are being discharged from hospitals at earlier stages of recovery. If nurses do not provide adequate care before patients are discharged or do not communicate appropriate care and referral recommendations to patients being discharged, the patients could suffer the consequences after leaving the hospital.
Examples of Nurse Malpractice
Whatever factors contribute to negligent nursing care, the fact remains that patients are the ones who suffer the consequences. Problems relating to patient assessment, monitoring, medication, communication and use of equipment can all result in negligent care and harm to patients.
When patients are harmed by negligent care, they may be the victims of nurse malpractice. Examples of potential nurse malpractice include:
- Failure to communicate adequate information to the physician, which leads to a serious error in patient care and harm to the patient.
- Inadequate patient assessment, which results in not detecting a problem and treating it in a timely manner.
- Inadequate documentation, which leads to a harmful error in patient care.
- Not following the appropriate standard of care, which leads to infections, falls, lack of necessary interventions, etc.
- Medication errors, which cause serious medical problems.
- Unsafe or improper use of equipment, which can have life-threatening consequences.
Florida Nursing Malpractice Claims
Negligence is usually defined as the failure to exercise the standard of care that a reasonably prudent nurse with the same professional background would exercise, given the same set of circumstances. According to the Florida Nurse Practice Act, in terms of patient care, professional nurses are responsible for observing, assessing, diagnosing (within their roles as nurses), planning, intervention, and evaluating care, as well as administering prescribed medications and treatments.
If they are negligent in fulfilling these responsibilities and their negligence results in injury to a patient, the patient may be able to hold the nurse liable for nursing malpractice. The injured patient may be able to file a medical malpractice claim against the negligent nurse to recover compensatory damages for:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost income and diminished earning capacity
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Diminished capacity for enjoying life
- Other damages recoverable under Florida law
Malpractice claims for injuries caused by nurse negligence and errors can be very complex. To establish a nursing malpractice claim, attorneys must show that:
- The nurse had an obligation to the patient.
- The appropriate standard of care was not met.
- The breach in the standard of care led to the patient’s injury.
- The injury resulted in specific damages (e.g., medical expenses, pain and suffering).
Proving that the nurse breached her duty and that the breach led to a patient being injured requires a thorough investigation into all the details of the case, a comprehensive understanding of all the facts, high quality expert testimony and skill as a trial lawyer. The Paul Knopf Bigger medical malpractice attorneys have the experience and skill necessary to win large settlements and jury awards for their clients who have been seriously injured by nurses’ negligence. We are skilled trial attorneys who work together to give clients the benefits of our combined knowledge, skills and substantial resources to achieve justice and full compensation.
Statute of Limitations for Florida Hospital Malpractice Cases
The Florida statute of limitations for all medical malpractice lawsuits is ordinarily two years from the date the malpractice occurred, was discovered or should have been discovered. The latest deadline allowed for discovering malpractice is four years from the date the initial medical error or negligent event occurred. Therefore, it is important to get advice from an experienced Florida medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.
Proven, Trusted Florida Nurse Malpractice Attorneys
Successful nurse malpractice cases require the skill and knowledge of experienced trial attorneys and the resources of a successful law firm. The Florida medical malpractice attorneys of Paul Knopf Bigger have won many multi-million-dollar settlements and awards and have the experience, skill and resources you can depend on for your nurse malpractice case.
Attorneys across the state and country trust us to successfully handle their clients’ complex Florida medical malpractice claims. If you or a family member has been harmed by nurse malpractice, we are the law firm you too can trust to provide the superior representation, personal attention and results you want.
Call us at 800-673-9585 or submit the “Free Case Evaluation” form on our website to discuss your case for free with an experienced Florida medical malpractice attorney you can trust for excellence in the pursuit of justice.