Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice or medical negligence is defined as a breach of the “standard of care” by a healthcare provider which causes injury. Florida’s Medical Malpractice Act defines the “standard of care” as that level of care, skill and treatment which is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent healthcare providers under similar circumstances. For example, if you are injured by a neurologist, the judge will instruct the jury to determine whether your neurologist did something that a reasonably prudent neurologist would not have done, or whether he failed to do something that a reasonably prudent neurologist would have done.

If you are injured in an emergency room, a different standard of care may apply. Under the Florida Good Samaritan Statute, health care providers providing emergency services cannot be held liable for any damages as a result of such medical care or treatment unless such damages result from providing, or failing to provide, medical care or treatment under circumstances demonstrating a “reckless disregard” for the consequences. The “reckless disregard” standard of care is much more difficult to prove than the professional negligence standard of care that applies to medical care providers rendering non-emergency care.