When you head to an appointment with a Florida medical provider, you expect to be treated with respect and to get better soon. But what happens when you’re injured or hurt because of the health care service you receive? Can you sue for medical malpractice? Was it medical malpractice to begin with?
Medical malpractice cases in Florida are unique, in that they have their own requirements. When determining whether a medical malpractice theory applies, courts look to whether the injury arose out of the delivery of, or failure to deliver medical care or services by a health care provider. Healthcare providers in Florida include licensed physicians, osteopaths, podiatrists, optometrists, dentists, chiropractors, pharmacists, hospitals or ambulatory surgical centers. If the defendant is a health care provider under Florida law, then the case falls under medical malpractice and requires stricter procedural rules. Additionally, health care providers or facilities that are not expressly included within the definition of the statute can also be vicariously liable for acts of health care providers.
However, not all situations involving health care related services are necessarily considered medical malpractice in Florida. For example, in a recent state Supreme Court opinion, a plaintiff brought suit against her massage therapist after he allegedly sexually assaulted her during a massage. Before the assault, two separate customers had complained to the facility about the therapist’s conduct and how he had been inappropriate with them during their massages. The plaintiff sued the massage therapy company and claimed that it was negligent in its training, supervision, and retention of the massage therapist who assaulted her.
In the state where this case took place, the massage therapy facility was considered a “health care provider” under state law. However, the court concluded that, because the plaintiff’s claim well within the “common knowledge” of jurors, the case was not a technically a medical malpractice case. Thus, the plaintiff did not need to follow the strict procedural rules applicable only to medical malpractice cases.
Because Florida has its own set of medical malpractice rules and statutes, these cases can often be extremely complex and confusing. This is why potential plaintiffs who have been injured or harmed in a medically-related incident are encouraged to work with an experienced personal injury attorney who understands the nuances of medical malpractice cases and health law. Navigating these issues can often be challenging, but proper representation can make all the difference in helping you get the compensation you deserve.
Have You Suffered Injuries Because of a Negligent Florida Medical Provider?
If you or someone you know has suffered injuries that you suspect may be the result of medical malpractice, contact Friedman, Rodman, Frank & Estrada. The caring and experienced Florida medical malpractice attorneys at our office have the legal knowledge and courtroom experience necessary to handle even the most complex, challenging cases. We are dedicated to recovering compensation on behalf of our clients, and can help you navigate these complicated legal issues with ease. Contact our office at 877-448-8585 to schedule a free consultation with an attorney today.