News & Resources
Causation in Medical Malpractice Claims
Let a Tampa Medical Malpractice Attorney Help
If you’ve been injured due to the medical malpractice of a healthcare professional, then you may be entitled to damages under Florida law. Suing and recovering for medical malpractice can be a challenge, however, and requires a comprehensive understanding of the many issues surrounding such claims.
Medical Malpractice Basics
A medical malpractice claim requires that the plaintiff show:
- That the healthcare professional owed a duty of care to the plaintiff;
- That the professional violated the standard of care applicable to the circumstances; and
- In violating that standard of care, the professional caused the plaintiff to suffer injuries.
Whether a healthcare professional violated the applicable standard of care is a highly circumstantial issue. Accordingly, you are encouraged to work with a skilled Tampa medical malpractice attorney to ensure you put on the best case possible.
For example, a generalist doctor may not be expected to diagnose rare and highly exotic medical conditions that have difficult-to-identify symptoms. If they fail to diagnose such a condition, it’s possible that they have not violated the standard of care (for a typical physician of their training and experience). On the other hand, if a dermatologist fails to diagnose visible skin cancer, then that is much more likely to be considered a violation of the standard of care.
Proving Causation Can Be a Challenge
Though your medical malpractice claim may be legitimate, a healthcare professional defendant may counter your assertions by arguing that — even if they committed medical negligence (i.e., malpractice) — their negligence did not actually cause your injuries.
For example, suppose that your doctor fails to order an MRI scan after you come in for a back pain issue. Some months later, a different doctor orders an MRI and determines that you have cancer. You bring a medical malpractice claim against the first doctor, alleging that they were negligent in failing to diagnose your cancer. The first doctor may counter, however, arguing that the cancer did not develop significantly in the interim months (between the failure to diagnose and the actual diagnosis), and as such, they did not actually “cause” any injury.
The key to overcoming a detailed causation challenge is to introduce the testimony of qualified medical experts. This expert testimony will provide legitimacy and support to your malpractice argument.
Contact a Tampa Medical Malpractice Attorney for Legal Assistance
Here at Alley, Clark & Greiwe, our attorneys have decades of experience representing injured plaintiffs, including those who are bringing medical malpractice claims. We strive to secure the maximum possible compensation for our clients, helping them to navigate the unique complexities of a typical medical malpractice dispute.
We believe that effective advocacy demands that one put the client first. As such, we prioritize the client’s needs and concerns — from start-to-finish, we work closely with the client to understand the unique issues in their case, and develop a personalized strategy to help secure the result they’re looking for.
If you’d like to speak to an experienced Tampa medical malpractice attorney at our firm, call us at (800) 840-0977 or contact us online to arrange a free initial consultation. We look forward to speaking with you.