Miami Medical Malpractice Lawyer & Substandard Care

Medical malpractice a/k/substandard medical care is a form of negligence where an injury results from the failure of a medical professional or medical facility (doctor, nurse, medical technician, psychiatrist, hospital or healthcare facility) to exercise adequate care, skill or diligence in performing their treatment. The attorneys at the law firm of Brais Law Firm with offices in Miami, Florida realize a lawyer’s job is to help clients on their road to recovery. The most common cases brought against doctors are:

  • Improper diagnosis
  • Incorrectly performed treatment
  • Medication errors
  • Surgical errors
  • Medical instruments, sponges, needles or other foreign objects left inside a patient after surgery
  • Failure to advise of diagnosis
  • Lack of informed consent
  • Abandonment (failure to attend to a patient)
  • Continuing a treatment that has been shown to be ineffective

The duty of a medical professional is not the duty to cure or even to guarantee a good outcome from treatment. Medical malpractice does not occur every time medical treatment proves unsuccessful.

A healthcare provider’s duty, however, is to give good medical care according to accepted standards or, in the case of a specialist, accepted standards in that medical specialty. Medicine is not an exact science, and doctors are not required to be right every time they make a diagnosis. A misdiagnosis can be arrived at even when all proper tests are performed accurately or evaluated by a skilled doctor with the utmost care.

A misdiagnosis becomes malpractice, however, if the doctor fails to obtain a proper medical history, order the appropriate tests, performs a substandard or inappropriate surgery or recognize observable symptoms of the illness

If you were injured due to substandard medical care and would like to discuss your legal rights, do not hesitate to contact us. The attorneys at the law firm of Brais Law Firm have the experience to protect your rights, the compassion to serve your needs, and the skill to obtain the compensation you deserve. To reach our lawyers you may click email the firm, call 800-499-0551 from within the U.S., Skype BraisLaw worldwide or click Contact Us to select and complete a form for a free evaluation of your case.

What is a medical malpractice lawsuit? What are the types? | Florida Personal Injury Trial Lawyers

Doctor looking at X-ray

Anesthesia Overdose

An anesthesia overdose can result in serious symptoms, such as memory loss, cognitive impairment and physical disabilities. In the worst cases, an overdose can lead to permanent brain damage or death. Overdose may result from:

  • Miscalculating amount of drug for weight of the patient
  • Failing to screen patient for medical conditions
  • Using an inappropriate amount or type of anesthesia
  • Failing to monitor the patient’s vital signs during surgery

Medical Mistakes that Lead to Birth Defects

Birth defects are often preventable, but for an error made by the doctor, a nurse or the hospital. All too commonly, doctors fail to screen for pregnancy risks, such as the mother's gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and weight-gain, which put babies in danger of injury. During delivery, doctors may not take necessary precautions and may fail to recommend C-section when appropriate. Our lawyers regularly handle cases in which medical malpractice resulted in serious injuries, such as:

Cerebral hypoxia brain injury: Oxygen flow to the child’s brain is interrupted during a long, difficult vaginal delivery or the umbilical cord wraps around his or her neck.

Cerebral palsy: The neurological disorder impairs muscle coordination and body movement and is often caused by birth trauma or hypoxia.

Brachial plexus injury: Damage to the nerves in the shoulder may occur when the baby’s arm becomes pinned during delivery, which may lead to Erb’s palsy or paralysis of the affected arm or hand.

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Damages in Obstetric Mistake Cases

Money cannot undo the mistake your doctor made, but your rightful compensation may give your child important opportunities for treatments, medical care and quality of life improvements.

Our Miami birth defect lawyers pursue such damages as:

  • Medical bills for urgent post-birth care
  • Ongoing treatments for premature birth
  • Future medical costs of treatments and rehabilitation
  • Special needs services, education and equipment
  • Mobility equipment and home alterations
  • Disfigurement
  • Your child’s pain and suffering
  • Your loss of wages while you care for your child
  • Your and your family’s losses

Recover Damages for Your Baby

Brais Law Firm is dedicated to reaching justice in medical malpractice claims. We offer you a free case evaluation and, under our contingency fee arrangement, we do not charge you lawyers’ fees until we have recovered money damages.

Our firm handles birth defect claims throughout Florida from our main Miami office.

Medical Diagnosis Errors

According to the United States Institute of Medicine, an estimated 98,000 people die each year from preventable medical errors, making it the sixth leading cause of death in America. A health care service provider may be liable for medical malpractice if his or her diagnosis was missed, delayed or incorrect.

Missed Diagnosis

This type of diagnosis takes place when a doctor or other health care physician fails to diagnose a patient with a condition or disease that could have been reasonably discovered at a particular point in time. A missed diagnosis will likely have delayed treatment and, perhaps, worsened the patient's overall condition. In some cases, a patient may have died as a result of the failure to diagnose—and would have lived if he or she would have received the necessary treatment.

Delayed Diagnosis

In other cases, the health care provider does not entirely “miss” a particular diagnosis. However, the delay in correctly diagnosing an individual with a particular condition may lead to irreversible consequences. Failing to diagnose the patient at a reasonable time could lead to severe injuries, and sometimes, death. A common example is a patient who began chemotherapy too late for a treatable form of cancer because of a delayed diagnosis.

Incorrect Diagnosis

Lastly, some cases involve neither a missed or delayed diagnosis, but rather a wrong medical opinion regarding a person’s health condition.

An incorrect diagnosis can cause a person to suffer injuries, and in more serious cases, death, if he or she was treated for the wrong disease.

Pursuing a Negligence Claim

In order to pursue a negligence claim, one must allege four elements:

  • Duty
  • Breach
  • Causation
  • Injuries

Florida law requires that health care providers adhere to a level of care, skill, and treatment that—in light of all relevant surrounding circumstances—is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent similar providers. Accordingly, if a similar and reasonable provider could have correctly and promptly diagnosed the condition without error, then the provider in question may have breached this duty. After determining whether there was a duty and breach, one must discern if said breach was the proximate cause of the person’s injuries.

In the context of an erroneous diagnosis, determining whether the physician’s breach was the proximate cause of a patient's injuries can be determined by the following factors:

  • "But for" the diagnostic error, the plaintiff would have not suffered injury (or injuries to the extent that he or she did)
  • The presence of superseding events between the time of the diagnostic error(s) and the injuries suffered (the injuries were not a direct result of the flawed diagnosis)

A case only exists if you or a loved one has suffered some sort of injury. While these are the elements required for filing a negligence case, you should consult an attorney before making a decision about pursuing a claim.

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Advocating for Patients Harmed by Hospital and Doctor Mistakes

A 2012 study concluded that emergency room errors are common and that one-third of the adverse events that occurred in ERs are preventable. The study suggested that improvements in the safety climate could prevent numerous mistakes and near misses.

Another earlier study found mistakes in almost every aspect of emergency room care and recommended systemic changes to reduce ER errors. Miami emergency room negligence lawyers at Brais Law Firm consider these statistics unacceptable.

You should feel confident that when a medical emergency arises, you can count on the care of experienced doctors in a safe, clean hospital. Our partners have a combined 75 years of experience in medical malpractice cases and because of our dedication and skills, we have recovered close to $40 million in the past four years alone *.

We have also earned recognition by such prestigious organizations as Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Rising Stars, Super Lawyers and Legal Elite. View our Results page to learn more.

The ER Waiting Room

It is true that not every patient who walks into an ER is facing a medical emergency. However, the ER staff should have the experience and training to identify and prioritize the most serious medical emergencies. A main responsibility of a hospital is to develop an effective triage system to evaluate and assign urgency to its patients. Under triage, a stroke or heart attack victim should be helped immediately. A delay in treatment could result in more severe damage to the brain or heart tissue or the patient’s death. Even patients who might have to wait a few minutes in a busy ER waiting room should be constantly monitored and attended to so that his or her condition does not deteriorate. Yet, patients often languish in a poorly run ER waiting room.

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Nurses’ and Doctors’ Errors

Experienced emergency room personnel make dozens of quick, lifesaving decisions every day. Unfortunately, nurses and doctors who are untrained, inexperienced, unsupervised, or tired are prone to making serious errors, especially under the high-pressure conditions of the ER. Common mistakes include:

  • Mixing up patients
  • Administering the wrong medication or dosage
  • Injecting a drug into an artery instead of a vein
  • Confusing tubes when administering hydration, nutrition, and medicine
  • Infecting a patient with an antibiotic-resistant bacteria
  • Misdiagnosing the patient’s ailment or injury
  • Performing a surgical mistake, such as operating on the wrong body part
  • Using too much anesthesia on a patient
  • Failing to conduct risk assessment, such as whether the patient was on drugs or recently ate before administering anesthesia

Recover Damages for Emergency Room Errors

Brais Law Firm offers you a free case evaluation so you can learn whether you have a valid medical malpractice claim before a formal decision is made to proceed with statutory pre-suit requirements. Under our contingency plan, you do not pay lawyers’ fees until we recover damages through a verdict or settlement. Our firm’s main office is located in Miami, Florida.

Delay in Cardiac Arrest Treatment

Time is of the essence during a heart attack. The sooner a patient gets treatment, the better the chance of survival and of saving heart tissue from harm.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute says, “Acting fast, by calling 9–1–1 at the first symptoms of a heart attack, can save your life. Medical personnel can begin diagnosis and treatment even before you get to the hospital.”

The National Institute of Health agency explains that doctors can promptly begin treatment once diagnosis is confirmed to restore the blood flow to the heart.

When a cog in the system falls short, your life is put in jeopardy. First, the dispatcher is tasked with sending an ambulance to you right away. Then, the emergency medical technician (EMT) is responsible for starting lifesaving measures to keep the blood flowing into your heart. Whether you arrive by ambulance or on your own, emergency room staff is responsible for promptly delivering care. As a heart attack victim, you should be a first priority on the hospital’s triage, which is the system by which hospitals are supposed to determine which patients need to be helped first in a busy emergency room.

If a medical professional or institution dropped the ball at any of these stages, you deserve compensation for the harm to your health.

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Man distressed sitting on a hospital bed

Misdiagnosis of Cardiac Disease

Doctors have the tools to diagnose cardiac disease, high cholesterol and blocked arteries that can result in a heart attack if left untreated. Your doctor should prescribe a diagnostic test if you have symptoms or if your personal and family medical history puts you at high-risk for these medical problems. A doctor may be held liable for ignoring your symptoms or risk factors.

Woman wheeling a patient on a hospital bed.

Transmission of Infectious Pathogens

Once you enter the doors of a hospital, whether as a patient or a perfectly healthy visitor, you are at increased risk of infection from microbes, such as bacteria, fungi, mold, parasites or viruses. Transmission of pathogens may occur through direct contact with medical professionals who have touched a sick patient. In addition, droplets from sneezing or coughing may contaminate the surfaces, tools and equipment that you touch. Some microorganisms are airborne and can transmit through central air conditioning units.

Causes of Hospital Acquired Infection

Hospitals are responsible for maintaining a clean, sterile environment.

The fact that a patient was infected while at a hospital indicates an error occurred, such as:

  • Staff was not adequately trained in infection prevention techniques
  • Surfaces, hands, or clothing were contaminated with a pathogen
  • Staff did not sterilize equipment, tools, or surfaces
  • Staff did not wash hands properly
  • Nurses, doctors, and interns did not wear gloves while handling patients
  • Infected patients were not immediately and appropriately isolated from others
  • The facility was not designed with basic antimicrobial surfaces
  • The air filtration system malfunctioned

Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria

The overuse of antibiotics has resulted in super bugs that no longer respond to treatments.

A minor infection by antibiotic-resistant bacteria can quickly progress into a serious life-threatening medical emergency. Some of the worst infections include:

  • Staph infection
  • C. difficile
  • Salmonella
  • E. coli
  • Tuberculosis
  • Gonorrhoeae

Hospitals that do not maintain high standards of sterility and cleanliness are incubators for these deadly diseases.

We help you recover damages for medical bills, permanent disabilities, pain, scarring, lost wages, and diminished earning capacity. We also advocate for families whose loved ones died from hospital-acquired super bugs.

About Stroke Misdiagnosis

In the past, doctors based their diagnoses of stroke on demographics and risk factors. However, this outdated mindset leads to missed opportunities to treat a stroke before the death of brain tissue or the patient. In fact, experts estimate that 15,000 to 165,000 strokes are misdiagnosed every year and misdiagnosis results in 40,000 to 80,000 preventable deaths per year. Brais Law Firm is a well-respected medical malpractice and personal injury law firm.

From our main office in Miami, our lawyers provide experienced representation to injured patients. View our Results page for more information.

Our ethical, skilled practice of law has won us such honors as inclusion in the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Martindale-Hubbell "AV"; Preeminent Rating, Super Lawyers, Legal Elite and Rising Stars designation.

Our litigation lawyers have recovered numerous six and seven figure settlements and verdicts, including more than $21 million in just 2014*. Our Miami stroke misdiagnosis lawyers investigate the circumstances surrounding your stroke and the poor care provided. We may pursue damages from the attending doctor for missing the signs of stroke and from the hospital for implementing policies that delayed or denied you important medical treatment.

Immediate Medical Help Saves Brain Function

Brain cells begin to die within minutes of oxygen deprivation. Immediate treatment of stroke is, thus, a matter of life or death. For stroke survivors, the sooner doctors intervene, the more brain function can be saved.

Doctors and emergency room staff should be aware of the symptoms of stroke and be prepared to quickly render treatment. Although medical professionals are taught to look at risk factors, such as age, obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease, a stroke may also happen in a young, seemingly healthy patient.

A stroke may have been prevented in the first place had doctors treated the underlying medical condition. For example, doctors can prescribe blood thinners to treat clogged arteries.

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Damages Associated with Stroke

  • Disability
  • Immobility and paralysis
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of mental functioning, memory and cognition
  • Medical bills and anticipated future medical costs
  • Rehabilitation and therapy
  • Assistance with activities of daily living
  • Lost wages, since your stroke and into the future
  • Loss of enjoyment of your life
  • Pain and suffering

We also represent families whose loved ones died of an undiagnosed stroke.

Recover Damages for the Injuries You Suffered Because of Medical Malrpactice

Schedule your free consultation to learn more about your rights and your options for recovery from your negligent doctors and hospital. Our contingency fee arrangement allows you to pursue compensation without risk, because you do not owe us lawyers’ fees until you recover damages through a verdict or a settlement.

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