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Florida May Toughen Malpractice Requirements

Tough New Malpractice Requirements

Florida Governor Rick Scott will have the last say on a malpractice bill that has passed in the Florida state senate and house. The bill, Senate Bill 1792, would make considerable changes to the way that patients are able to file for malpractice in that state. The changes the bills bring about have riled opponents. Supporters claim that the bill will make Florida more amicable to physicians and increase patient options.

The Changes in Senate Bill 1792

The changes that the bill entails have some patient advocates alarmed. One provision of the bill allows a physician’s defense team to inquire with other healthcare providers for the patient filing the lawsuit. The bill changes the law so that this is not considered to be a breach of the patient’s privacy, something that advocates are very concerned about. The supporters of the bill say that filing a medical malpractice suit makes inquiring about matters that would have formerly been protected by patient/provider privacy appropriate.

The other provision of the bill creates stricter requirements for experts who testify in malpractice claims. The new legislation would require that experts be practitioners of the exact type of medicine involved in the lawsuit, according to Clinical Advisor. This means that it could be much harder for patients and their attorneys to get experts to testify on their behalf.

The bill is similar to other efforts that have been taken up by other state legislatures. The idea behind the bill is that malpractice claims drive up the cost of healthcare and make states unattractive places for doctors to practice. In Texas, where a similar set of changes has been put into effect, has shown that the effects – attracting more doctors, lowering the cost of healthcare, etc. – have not manifested in the wake of that state’s legislation.

What This Means For Attorneys

Malpractice claims oftentimes hinge on expert testimony. Changes to the law brought about by this bill may make it very hard for attorneys to find experts who qualify to testify in their cases, making it harder for plaintiffs to pursue their claims. The bill is backed by the Florida Medical Association. Support for the bill was largely along party lines, with Republicans backing the bill and Democratic representatives opposing it. Some Republicans, however, did express concern over the bill, particularly with those parts that allow the defense counsel to access formerly private medical information to support their defense of their clients.

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Improper Monitoring and Birth Injury Lawsuits

It is understood that a newborn child needs to be monitored closely to ensure that there are no issues. A lawsuit filed this year in Texas alleges that the doctors responsible for delivering a child were negligent by not providing the type of monitoring that would’ve allowed them to detect the symptoms of a serious disorder. The disorder in question was hyperbilirubinemia. Hyperbilirubinemia is a condition that involves the liver being unable to process bilirubin. That chemical collects in the blood and can lead to many different problems. Among those problems are brain injuries.

Unfortunately, the child in the lawsuit allegedly did suffer permanent injuries due to this condition. To make the situation even more tragic, the condition itself is easily treated with modern technology and, according to the lawsuit, if proper monitoring had been provided, the child may not have suffered at all.

Understanding Birth Injury Lawsuits

Birth injury lawsuits involve a range of different conditions. The one with which most people are likely familiar is cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy, however, is a condition that results from a brain injury and that brain injury can occur because of many different reasons. A short list of those reasons includes:

Infections
Cutting off the child’s air supply
Too little amniotic fluid in the womb
Delayed cesarean sections
Negligent monitoring of the infant

Figuring out whether or not you do have legitimate cause to file a lawsuit against a physician or a healthcare facility is difficult. If a child is born with a brain injury or a condition that reveals a brain injury, such as cerebral palsy, a medical investigation is undertaken right away to determine what the cause of that condition actually is.

Unfortunately, many parents end up not pursuing the matter and, quite understandably, they’re simply glad that their child is alive. As time progresses, however, it becomes apparent that caring for a child with a serious medical condition is extremely expensive and many families simply do not have the financial wherewithal to provide the best treatment available. Attorneys can step in to help parents and children who have been the victims of medical negligence in one regard or another.

Who Gets Sued?

The party that ends up being sued depends upon the circumstances of the delivery. There have been cases where a child should have been delivered by cesarean section and where that was delayed, which ended up in the physician being sued. There have also been cases where midwives have failed to provide adequate medical care, leading to permanent injuries.

You will have to speak to a personal injury attorney to determine your options. You will need to do this quickly, as there are limitations on how long you have to sue over a birth injury.

 

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Amputation Leads to Malpractice Lawsuit

A man whose gangrenous toe was not treated in time ended up having to go through a below-the-knee amputation due to the spread of the infection, according to a lawsuit. The lawsuit, reported in SETexasRecord.com, was filed in Jefferson County over an incident that occurred in 2009.

The lawsuit alleges that the patient went to a podiatry clinic with gangrene in his toe. There was no treatment offered at that time, according to the report, and, upon a later visit, the toe was amputated. The infection had spread and, a week after the operation, the patient was forced to have his leg amputated below the knee due to that infection. The lawsuit alleges that the patient’s condition was not treated in time. The patient suffered from diabetes, peripheral vascular disease and renal disease.

The patient in this claim is suing for the medical expenses he endured, pain, impairment, disfigurement, mental anguish and lost wages.

Malpractice Lawsuits

Right now in Texas, medical malpractice lawsuits are the subject of heated political debates. This tends to create a situation where most of the information in the media about medical malpractice lawsuits have to do with politics than it has to do with the patients who are wronged by physicians. This lawsuit has yet to be heard, but there are many instances when patients do not receive the care that they need in a timely fashion and who do, therefore, end up going through much more serious and disfiguring treatments to deal with the consequences of that. In many cases, these are the same instances where those patients end up hiring a personal injury attorney to represent them.

Are they Frivolous?

It is likely that some people are considering political dimensions when they are considering whether they should file a medical malpractice claim. A medical malpractice claim, in reality, is not a political thing. A medical malpractice claim is a patient’s right when a doctor is in breach of their duty to that patient. In some cases, the breach of duty is egregious and the patient ends up suffering horrendous pain, disfigurement or permanent impairment because of that malpractice.

Medical malpractice claims can help people who were injured by negligent physicians to recover the costs of their medical treatments, their lost wages, compensation for their pain and suffering and more. These lawsuits are oftentimes the only ways that patients have to get any compensation at all for what they’ve been put through.

If you are considering a medical malpractice lawsuit, talk to a Houston personal injury attorney about the matter. Don’t worry about what media or politicians have to say about medical malpractice lawsuits; if you are injured, they are among your rights and sometimes are your best option.

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Another Change to Texas Medical Malpractice Law

The Texas Supreme Court in a 6-3 decision decided that workplace injuries for hospital workers, including nurses, should be treated as if they were medical errors. According to News-Journal.com, the decision will have impacts on nurses and other healthcare professionals who are injured on the job.

The Texas Medical Liability Act

The Texas Medical Liability Act limits the compensation that you can receive for non-economic damages in a medical malpractice claim to $250,000. The stated intention of this law was to reduce the number of medical malpractice claims throughout the state and to make the state more attractive to doctors, as well as to bring healthcare costs down. Since it was passed in 2003, the costs of healthcare have gone up and there has been no influx of doctors to Texas. The latest move extends this limitation to employees who want to sue for compensation for workplace injuries sustained at a hospital.

Under the law, an injured nurse or healthcare worker can only seek compensation from a hospital employer under the same restrictions that apply to the Texas Medical Liability Act. This applies if the healthcare facility hasn’t provided workers compensation insurance, as well. The limitations could make it difficult for employees who were injured to get enough compensation to help them carry their bills and other obligations while they recover.

Should You Sue?

The limitations in the Texas Medical Liability Act are not difficult to understand in terms of their purpose. The intent of the law is to make it less productive to sue over medical malpractice claims and, now, nurses who are injured on the job will be restricted by the same law. If you are injured, however, don’t give up.

The limitations on damages still leave room for a skilled attorney to get just compensation for what you’ve suffered if medical malpractice or workplace injuries were issues. Don’t let the law discourage you from talking to an attorney. A good Houston personal injury attorney may see an opportunity for you to get compensated and that may mean a lot of valuable assistance handling your bills and other obligations.

Malpractice law is designed to make doctors accountable for the treatment that they deliver to their patients. When that treatment is negligent, the law provides a way for people to seek compensation. There is a lot of talk about the damage that medical malpractice claims do to the healthcare system but far less talk about how much damage the healthcare system does to everyday people.

Make sure you talk to an attorney if you have questions. They can give you the information you’ll need on any laws that apply to your lawsuit and can let you know what your options are and which of them would be most productive.

 

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