This Week on Lawcall™ – Medical Malpractice Explained

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LawCall™ is a weekly, thirty minute call-in show about legal topics of interest. Each week, we discuss personal injury, auto accidents, truck accidents, medical malpractice, wrongful death, slip and fall, DUI accidents and birth injuries, as well as bankruptcy, family law, divorce, landlord and tenant law, dangerous and defective products, legislative matters, and current issues in the legal world.

This Week On LawCall™ — Medical Malpractice

We trust health care professionals to take care of us when we’re sick or injured. But, sometimes things go wrong. When does a medical mistake qualify as malpractice? On LawCall™ this week, we’re talking about one of the most complicated areas of personal injury law – medical malpractice. Does signing a consent form waive your right to file a lawsuit? What about injuries caused by prescription medications?

If you have a question about any legal issues related to health care, tune into LawCall™ this Sunday, when Tallahassee personal injury attorney Dana Brooks Cooper and her guest, attorney Carrie Roane, will be discussing Florida’s medical malpractice laws and what the state Supreme Court may have to say about them.

Frequently Asked Questions About Medical Malpractice

What is the statute of limitations for a medical malpractice suit?

The statute of limitations varies by state, but most are between one and seven years. It’s best to pursue any claims in a timely fashion.

If I signed a consent form, does that mean I’ve waived my rights?

No. Filling out a consent form does not permit your doctor or surgeon to commit malpractice. The consent form means you are aware of the risks and complications possible with your treatment. It does not mean your doctor can treat you at a lower standard of care than another medical professional would under the same circumstances.

Does medical malpractice include medical errors?

Yes, but not every situation involving a medical error results in a viable medical malpractice case. The error must be such that no other reasonably careful physician would have made the same error under similar circumstances. Not only that, the error must result in serious injury to the patient. As a practical matter, minor injuries are insufficient to justify the time and expense of pursuing a medical malpractice case. The most common types of medical errors are misdiagnoses, failure to diagnose, failure to treat properly and unreasonable delay in treatment.

How do I get a copy of my medical records?

As a patient, you have a legal right to copies of your medical records, although you may be charged per page. To obtain your records, you must make a written request to the medical professional or facility. In your request, include your name, Social Security number, date of birth and patient number, if you know it.

LawCall™ features Tallahassee personal injury attorneys, Vinse Barrett, Jimmy Fasig, Dana Brooks, Mark Nonni and Jaeson Homola, plus guest attorneys from across North Florida who answer your questions on a different legal topic every Sunday. Frank Ranicky anchors the program.