Florida Pediatric Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Survey data from the American Academy of Pediatrics suggest that the frequency of malpractice claims against pediatricians has decreased in the past thirty years; however, there are still numerous instances of medical negligence and errors that cause serious injuries to children. These vulnerable patients can suffer permanent brain damage, life-threatening damage to their lungs and respiratory systems, infections, broken bones, and serious diseases.
Under Florida law, pediatricians and other healthcare providers have a duty to provide the prevailing accepted standard of care for the children in their care. In other words, they need to provide the same quality of care, skill and treatment that other reasonably prudent pediatricians and other healthcare providers would provide in the same circumstances. When a child is injured because a healthcare professional breached that duty of care and was negligent, the patient (and his family) has the right to hold the healthcare provider liable for negligence and take legal action to recover compensatory damages.
If your child has been harmed by negligent pediatric care, you may be able to hold the negligent physician and/or other healthcare providers liable for negligence and the harm it caused. With a Florida medical malpractice claim, you could potentially obtain substantial compensation for your child’s medical expenses, pain, suffering, and other damages resulting from the malpractice.
Paul Knopf Bigger attorneys are dedicated to achieving justice for victims of pediatric malpractice. We have many years of successful trial experience in all facets of Florida medical malpractice 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 pediatric malpractice claim and answering any questions you may have about the legal claims process.
Factors Contributing to Pediatric Malpractice
According to research on trends in pediatric malpractice, over 50% of pediatric malpractice cases involve two types of pediatric medical negligence: the physician’s failure to diagnose a condition correctly and inadequate communication between the physician and the patient/family. The major factors contributing to these and other types of pediatric medical negligence are widely recognized as being:
- Long work hours
- Lack of communication between healthcare providers
- Inadequate training
- New technology
Common Types of Pediatric Malpractice
Medical negligence and medical errors occur in all medical specialties, but among children the most common areas are obstetricians (in cases involving neonatal patients), pediatricians, orthopedic surgeons, emergency physicians and family medicine physicians, and the most common types of pediatric malpractice are:
- Failure to diagnose (delayed diagnosis, misdiagnosis of brain injuries, meningitis, childhood cancer, hydrocephalus, appendicitis, etc.).
- Medication errors
- Anesthesia errors
- Surgical errors
- Errors in selecting and managing the appropriate procedure for delivering babies
- Inadequate patient monitoring
- Inadequate communication with patient/family
- Inadequate patient assessments
Patient assessment issues can seem innocuous, but, in actuality, are particularly worrisome because they result in errors in decision-making that affects children’s health and well-being. For example, if neonatal weight is not assessed prior to delivery, the baby could suffer shoulder dystocia with brachial plexus injuries. If important medical information is not collected or considered when diagnosing a child’s medical problem, a serious condition could be misdiagnosed and not treated properly. In any case, when an inadequate assessment of your child’s health and condition results in harmful treatment or a harmful lack of proper treatment, you may be able to file a pediatric malpractice claim to hold the negligent healthcare provider(s) accountable and to obtain compensation for your child’s injury, pain, suffering and losses.
Florida Pediatric Malpractice Claims
To be viable, a pediatric malpractice claim must include four elements — duty, breach, causation and damages.
- Duty – You must be able to demonstrate that the negligent pediatrician or other healthcare provider had a duty to provide the standard of care a reasonably prudent practitioner of the same specialty area would have provided in similar circumstances. Usually this requires expert testimony from a qualified witness who provides 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.
- Breach – You must then show that the standard of care was breached. Typically, an expert witness will testify that the care provided by the pediatrician, medical facility and/or other healthcare provider fell short of the expected standard of care.
- Cause – Having demonstrated duty and breach of duty, you must then establish causation. That is, you must prove that the doctor or other healthcare provider or facility’s negligence was a direct cause of harm to your child. There must be sufficient proof that the harm and resulting damages could have been avoided if the healthcare professional had not been negligent.
- Damages – Finally, you must show that the injuries your child suffered because of medical negligence caused damages. These damages can be economic, as in previous, current and future medical expenses, and non-economic, as in pain, suffering and diminished capacity to enjoy life. If you can demonstrate, duty, breach of duty, cause of injuries and resulting damages, you may be able to obtain substantial compensation for the damages recoverable under Florida law.
Proving that the pediatrician or other healthcare provider breached his duty and that the breach led to your child being injured is a long, complicated process. It requires a thorough investigation into all the details of the case, a comprehensive understanding of all facts, high quality expert testimony and skill as a trial lawyer.
You can trust the proven medical malpractice attorneys of Paul Knopf Bigger to handle your child’s pediatric malpractice case with attention to detail, skill and knowledge necessary to win. At Paul Knopf Bigger, we have won many multi-million-dollar settlements and awards for our clients who have been injured by medical negligence and have the experience and skill you need to win your child’s case.
Statute of Limitations for Florida Pediatric Malpractice Cases
In Florida, the statute of limitations for all medical malpractice lawsuits is two years from the date the malpractice occurred, was discovered or should have been discovered. The latest deadline permitted for the discovery of malpractice is four years from the date the initial medical error or negligent event occurred. In the case of pediatric malpractice, however, the law allows a child to sue up until his or her eighth birthday as long as the parents were not expected to have known about the injury and the possibility that it was caused by medical malpractice.
Proven, Successful Florida Pediatric Malpractice Attorneys
Successful pediatric 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 the experience, skill and resources you can depend on to win your pediatric malpractice case.
Attorneys across Florida and the U.S. trust us to handle their clients’ complex Florida medical malpractice claims. If your child has been harmed by pediatric malpractice, we are the attorneys 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.