Tampa Medical Malpractice Lawyers - Paul Knopf Bigger
Have you or your loved one suffered injuries or complications as a result of improper medical treatment? If a negligent healthcare provider was to blame, you may have grounds to file a medical malpractice claim against them, seeking compensation for your suffering. These cases are tough, though, and you’ll want an experienced, tenacious attorney from Paul Knopf Bigger to handle yours.
At Paul Knopf Bigger, we have made it our mission to help people in positions like yours get the compensation they deserve. Our attorneys and staff have dedicated their careers to our core principles of commitment, hard work, and personal services. In doing so, we’ve achieved a proven track record of litigating and winning the most challenging medical malpractice injury cases and securing maximum compensation for our clients.
So if you’ve suffered because of negligent medical care, get legal help to pursue accountability and financial recovery. Contact Paul Knopf Bigger for a free consultation with a compassionate, knowledgeable Tampa medical malpractice attorney.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice refers to a type of personal injury claim that arises when a person suffers harm due to negligent medical care. Not every adverse outcome of medical care occurs due to malpractice. Instead, healthcare providers render negligent treatment when they fail to adhere to the applicable “standard of care.”
Standard of care is generally described as the treatment decisions and actions that other healthcare professionals of similar training and experience would undertake in identical circumstances. Thus, you may have a medical malpractice claim if you suffer harm from treatment that other healthcare professionals wouldn’t have rendered to you.
What Are Common Types of Medical Malpractice Cases?
At Paul Knopf Bigger, our firm represents clients who have suffered harm due to medical provider negligence involving:
- Misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, and failure-to-diagnose
- Laboratory/radiology errors
- Surgical errors, including wrong site or patient errors, anesthesia errors, equipment left in patients, and failure to monitor
- Emergency room errors, including triage errors and premature discharge
- Medication errors, including prescription errors (miscalculating dosage or prescribing contraindicated drugs), pharmacy errors (filling prescriptions incorrectly), and administration errors (missing doses or giving medication to the wrong patient)
- Hospital-acquired infections
- Birth injuries
What Are Common Types of Birth Injuries?
Birth injuries refer to injuries or medical complications that a baby or mother suffers during or immediately after delivery due to medical negligence. Some of the most common types of birth injuries include:
- Birth-Related Brain Injury – Babies can suffer brain injuries due to a delivery team’s misuse of delivery-assisting tools or failure to respond quickly to signs of fetal distress.
- Preeclampsia and Placental Abruption – Preeclampsia can develop during pregnancy, causing high blood pressure and organ damage that can lead to complications such as placental abruption, which is the separation of the placenta from the uterus before delivery.
- Injuries from Vacuum or Forceps Use – Doctors can injure infants by improper use of vacuum extractors or forceps, including putting excessive force on forceps or making multiple attempts with delivery-assisting tools instead of proceeding to a C-section.
- C-Section Error – Errors related to C-sections include failing to perform the procedure promptly in response to fetal distress or maternal exhaustion, or injuring a mother’s internal organs and tissues with improper incisions.
- Failure to Diagnose Birth Injuries – Doctors sometimes fail to diagnose and promptly treat birth injuries after delivery, potentially allowing those injuries to worsen or limiting a child’s treatment options.
- Fetal Distress – Delivery teams may not adequately monitor an infant’s condition during delivery and miss signs of fetal distress that might indicate the need for an emergency C-section.
- Cerebral Palsy – This is a condition caused by brain damage suffered during delivery. Symptoms include muscle weakness and difficulty with motor skills, accompanied by other complications of brain damage such as vision and hearing problems or intellectual disabilities.
- Erb’s Palsy – This term describes paralysis of the arm caused by damage to the brachial plexus, which is the bundle of nerves running through the shoulder into the arm. Erb’s palsy can occur due to shoulder dystocia, a condition where a baby’s shoulders get stuck in the mother’s pelvis.
- Postpartum Complications – Mothers can suffer complications post-delivery, such as uterine prolapse, excessive bleeding, and infections.
Who Can Be Held Responsible for Medical Malpractice?
You may file a medical malpractice claim against healthcare professionals other than doctors. Depending on who may bear responsibility for negligently treating you, professionals you might hold responsible for medical malpractice include:
- Nurse practitioners
- Physician’s assistants
- Radiology technicians
- Diagnostic laboratory technicians
- Physical therapists
You may also potentially pursue a medical malpractice claim against negligent healthcare professionals’ employers or the facility where you received negligent treatment, such as a hospital, clinic, or private medical practice.
What Types of Compensation Can I Pursue in a Medical Malpractice Claim?
A successful medical malpractice claim can provide you with financial compensation for what you suffered because of the negligent treatment, such as:
- Additional medical treatment and rehabilitation you need for the injuries or health complications you have suffered due to negligent care
- Care or support services you need if you suffer disabilities due to your injuries or complications
- Lost wages/income for the additional time you need to take off from work to recover from injuries or complications
- Lost earning potential and employment benefits if you become temporarily or permanently disabled from your job or other types of work
- Physical pain and emotional distress
- Reduced quality of life or life expectancy
What Is the Process for Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim in Florida
You must meet specific requirements to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Florida.
First, your attorney must obtain an affidavit from a medical professional. This states the professional’s opinion, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, that your healthcare provider’s treatment failed to comply with the applicable standard of care and caused your injuries. If you are filing your claim against a doctor, the professional supplying the affidavit must practice in the same medical specialty as that doctor and must have practiced or taught medicine or conducted medical research within the past three years.
Once you have obtained an affidavit confirming your claim has merit, your attorney must provide written notice of your medical malpractice claim to the professional(s) you intend to sue. After providing notice, you must wait at least 90 days before filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. This 90-day period allows the defendant(s) to investigate your claim, gather evidence, and offer you a settlement if they choose.
How Can I Prove Medical Malpractice?
Proving that you suffered harm due to negligent medical care will require your attorney to present considerable evidence of how your healthcare provider’s treatment fell outside the applicable standard of care. This evidence might include the following:
- Your medical records and treatment notes
- Healthcare provider notes
- Staffing records
- Surveillance footage
- Eyewitness testimony
- Medical expert opinion reports and testimony
How Long Do I Have to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in Florida?
In Florida, the statute of limitations gives you two years from the date you suffered harm from negligent treatment, or two years from the date you discovered the harm caused by the treatment, whichever comes later. However, you must file your lawsuit within four years of the treatment, regardless of when you discover your injury.
Contact a Tampa medical malpractice lawyer from Paul Knopf Bigger as soon as possible after you discover your injuries from negligent medical treatment. If you file a lawsuit after the limitations period expires on your claim, you may lose your right to recover compensation from your healthcare provider.
How a Tampa Medical Malpractice Attorney Can Help with Your Case
A medical malpractice case frequently involves complex evidence and legal issues. Healthcare providers, hospitals, and insurers may vigorously contest liability for your injuries or complications. We at Paul Knopf Bigger can help you stand up for your rights and demand financial recovery and accountability.
While you focus on your treatment and rehab, our law firm will handle the details of preparing and pursuing your medical malpractice lawsuit, including:
- Thoroughly investigating your treatment to secure evidence that can help prove your healthcare providers rendered deficient treatment
- Identifying all the providers responsible for your injuries and complications
- Documenting your injuries and losses and calculating your future anticipated expenses and needs so that we pursue maximum financial recovery for you
- Filing your legal claims and handling communications with hospital representatives, insurance adjusters, and defense attorneys
- Vigorously negotiating on your behalf for maximum compensation in a settlement, or taking your case to court and trial, if necessary, to demand the financial relief you deserve
Contact a Medical Malpractice Attorney in Tampa Today
If you or your loved one has suffered from negligent medical care or a birth injury, contact Paul Knopf Bigger today for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your legal options. Learn how a medical malpractice attorney in Tampa can help you stand up for your rights and hold those at fault for your injuries accountable.