Florida is now the third most populous state in the country, with about 2.6 million residents. As can be expected, many Floridians need emergency or routine hospital care. Thankfully, Florida has numerous hospitals to serve the population. According to the Florida Hospital Association:
- There are 315 hospitals in Florida
- In a recent year, a whopping 2.7 million patients were discharged from Florida’s hospitals
But that only tells part of the story. An incredibly large number of patients lose their lives or sustain unnecessary health complications in hospitals due to medical negligence and malpractice. Many of these patients never leave the hospital alive, due to avoidable medical errors.
- Over 250,000 people lose their lives each year in the country due to avoidable medical errors
- Many of these deaths occur in hospitals (exact number unrevealed)
Victims of Hospital Negligence May Pursue Compensation
If you were treated in a hospital and sustained an injury, illness, surgical error, infection or other complication as a result of the hospital’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation in a medical malpractice lawsuit. If a loved one lost their life from hospital negligence, legal heirs may pursue a medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit.
Liability in Florida Hospital Negligence Cases
Who works in Florida’s hospitals? In recent years:
- 51,071 – number of physicians in Florida,
- 286,264 – number of licensed RN’s
- 85,567 – number of LPN’s
- 32,400 – number of pharmacists
Who is responsible for hospital medical errors? It depends on the specific circumstances of the case. Doctors are often independent contractors who work in hospitals but are not necessarily employed by them.
- In cases where hospital employees such as nurses, technicians, therapists, pharmacists, and others are negligent, the hospital is often fully liable
Examples of Hospital Negligence
A short list of examples of hospital negligence includes, but certainly is not limited to the following:
- Emergency room errors
- Failure to see patient in a timely manner
- Unnecessary surgery, or surgery to the wrong body part
- Anesthesia errors
- Malfunctioning medical instruments or equipment
- Incorrect medication or dosage; harmful or fatal reaction to medication
- IV infiltration errors
- Foreign substances left in body
- Unsanitary medical instruments causing infections or illness
- Blood transfusion errors – improperly handled or labeled blood
- Misinterpretation of tests, scans, bloodwork, etc.
Hospital Negligence Cases
Medical malpractice cases are complex. Every medical malpractice case will involve a qualified medical expert. If you believe a hospital employee negligently harmed you, you may very well have an actionable medical malpractice case against the hospital.
Hospital Negligence Cases Allow for the Pursuit of Compensatory Damages
Claimants may pursue compensation in the form of economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages are those that can be quantified, such as past and future medical expenses, past and future lost earnings, lost earning capacity and much more. Noneconomic damages include pain and suffering, emotional distress, disfigurement, loss of marital companionship, loss of consortium and so forth. Punitive damages may be applicable in cases where extremely reckless, intentional or egregious wrongdoing was involved, such as a doctor performing surgery while intoxicated.
When a victim dies as a result of hospital negligence, the legal heirs, which may include the spouse, parents and children, as well as others allowed by statute, may pursue damages in a wrongful death lawsuit.
You can reach Miami Personal Injury Lawyer J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo by dialing his direct number at (786) 272-5841, calling the main office at (305) 461-1095, or Toll Free at 1 (866) 71-CLAIM or email J.P. directly at [email protected].
2. Florida Hospital Association - http://www.fha.org/reports-and-resources/facts-and-stats.asp