Florida Spinal Epidural Abscess Malpractice Attorneys
Helping People Harmed by Misdiagnosis of Spinal Epidural Abscess
A spinal epidural abscess is a serious infection that occurs between the spine and spinal cord lining. If the abscess is diagnosed early, it can usually be treated effectively with antibiotics. If, however, the infection is not identified correctly and treated promptly, it can cause serious complications and irreversible neurologic damage or death.
If you or a member of your family sought medical care and later suffered because a spinal epidural abscess was not diagnosed or treated effectively, you may be able to hold the doctor accountable for his 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 misdiagnosis.
The Florida medical malpractice attorneys of Paul Knopf Bigger are committed to holding the negligent doctors who misdiagnose spinal epidural abscesses accountable for the harm they cause patients and their families. Throughout our years as trial attorneys, we have successfully litigated numerous misdiagnosis cases, winning multi-million-dollar settlements and awards for the families whom we have had the privilege of representing.
We welcome the opportunity to talk with you about a potential Florida medical malpractice claim for spinal epidural abscess misdiagnosis. We will be glad to answer any questions you might have about the Florida medical malpractice claims process and advise you on your best course of action. At PKB, we are committed to excellence in the pursuit justice and look forward to putting our commitment and legal expertise to work for you.
Diagnosing Spinal Epidural Abscesses
The number of patients with spinal epidural abscesses has increased in the U.S. since the 1980s, possibly due to the increase in the number of spinal procedures performed, the number of people with compromised immune systems, intravenous drug use, or the increase in the age of the population. Physicians still misdiagnose the condition, however, if they do not order appropriate diagnostic laboratory and imaging tests.
Although early symptoms of a spinal epidural abscess can be nonspecific, doctors should suspect it in patients with persistent fever and back pain, especially if they have known risk factors, such as being immunodeficient or having had spinal surgery or a spinal trauma. The symptoms patients typically complain of include:
- General weakness in muscles
- Back pain
- Problems with coordination and movement
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
When a physician has conducted a thorough medical history and clinical evaluation, the persistence and intensity of some of these symptoms should be enough to warrant testing for a spinal epidural abscess. These tests include:
- Blood tests for infection
- A computed tomography (CT) scan
- A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan
- A neurological exam
After the diagnosis is confirmed, a fluid sample from the abscessed area should be tested to determine the exact cause of the infection so an effective treatment protocol can be developed.
Treating Spinal Epidural Abscesses
Once diagnosed, a spinal epidural abscess can usually be treated effectively with a long course of antibiotics in cases where the patient has minimal related neurological issues or is a poor candidate for surgery. Follow-up MRIs and neurologic examinations are crucial, however, to monitor the abscess to ensure it does not grow and require surgical intervention to prevent neurological damage.
If a patient has experienced problems moving or numbness in parts of the body, in addition to antibiotics, surgery may be necessary to drain or remove the abscess. Surgical decompression is an effective procedure, as are endoscopy-assisted surgery and percutaneous drainage.
The crucial element in treating a spinal epidural abscess is early detection and treatment. If treatment is initiated early, all modalities produce favorable outcomes. If, on the other hand, the condition is not diagnosed and treated, irreversible damage to the brain or nervous system, paralysis, sepsis and death can occur.
Florida Medical Malpractice Claims for Misdiagnosis of Spinal Epidural Abscess
If your doctor did not diagnose an epidural abscess and you or a family member was harmed because of that negligence, you may be able to take legal action to hold the doctor accountable and obtain substantial compensation for the damages you suffered because of the medical negligence. Damages may include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost income
- Diminished earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Diminished capacity for enjoying life
- Other damages recoverable under Florida law
Under Florida law, medical malpractice is defined as the failure of a health care provider to act in accordance with the accepted professional standard of care owed to their patients. In other words, when a doctor fails to act as a reasonably prudent medical provider of the same specialty would and causes a patient to suffer serious injury or wrongful death, the doctor may be held responsible for inflicting harm on his or her patients with a medical malpractice lawsuit.
These lawsuits can be very complicated and intense. Proving that a doctor breached the accepted professional standard of care by not diagnosing a spinal epidural abscess and that the breach seriously injured a patient requires a thorough investigation into the medical details of the case, complete understanding of all the facts, top quality expert testimony and expertise as a trial lawyer.
Paul Knopf Bigger attorneys bring the essential expertise, experience and skill to the table to successfully represent clients across the country who have been seriously injured by medical negligence and errors in Florida. We work as a team to leverage our combined knowledge, skills and substantial resources to achieve justice and full compensation for victims of medical malpractice.
Statute of Limitations for Florida Medical Malpractice Cases
Florida has a statute of limitations of two years for medical malpractice cases. That is, legal action against a healthcare provider for medical malpractice has to be initiated within two years of the date the malpractice occurred, was discovered or should have been discovered. The outer limit for the discovery of the malpractice is no later than four years from the date the negligent incident occurred.
People who have been injured because a physician misdiagnosed a spinal epidural abscess should not delay contacting an established Florida medical malpractice attorney. Preparing to file a medical malpractice claim takes a significant amount of time, since Florida law requires a thorough presuit investigation as part of the mandatory notice of intent to initiate litigation. Intended to ensure a claim is not frivolous, this notice of intent must comply with specific requirements, including having a review of the claim and a verified written medical expert opinion.
Proven and Trusted Florida Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Medical malpractice cases can be very complicated, demanding the expertise of accomplished trial attorneys and resources of a successful law firm. The Paul Knopf Bigger attorneys have achieved many multi-million-dollar settlements and awards and have the successful experience and resources you need to win your medical malpractice case.
Paul Knopf Bigger is the Florida medical malpractice law firm lawyers throughout the state and across the country trust to successfully handle their clients’ complex medical malpractice claims. If you or a family member has suffered due to a misdiagnosed spinal epidural abscess, we are the law firm you can trust to provide superior representation, excellent personal attention and rewarding results.
Please call us at 800-673-9585 or submit the “Free Case Evaluation” form on our website to discuss your case with an experienced Florida medical malpractice attorney you can trust for excellence in the pursuit of justice.