Recent Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Highlights Loopholes In Florida Licensing

The Beregovich Law Firm recently represented a client who has suffered greatly after what was supposed to be a routine outpatient cosmetic procedure. Our client traveled all the way to Florida from California for liposuction and a Brazilian Butt Lift procedure, only to wake up in the emergency room, losing blood fast. The facts of the case are horrendous: a physician who misrepresented himself as being board-certified when he wasn’t and had actually had his license revoked in another state; a medical team that waited over two hours to call 911 when it was apparent that the patient was in distress; and a punctured lumbar artery.

Even more alarming: this wasn’t the first time an incident like this had happened at this clinic. The only difference was, our client was lucky enough to survive.

Click here to view the entire article in the Miami New Times.

Licensing Loopholes Put Patients At Risk

As alarming as our client’s experience is, it’s not unusual. Since physicians must be licensed in the state in which they practice, they can, like our client’s cosmetic surgeon did, simply set up shop in a different state if they happen to lose their license to practice in another state. Further complicating matters is the fact that in states like Florida, a doctor does not need to actually be trained or certified in plastic surgery to perform such operations or services!

Checking a physician or a clinic’s references isn’t always enough. The internet makes it possible to create false websites and reviews; if you’re not careful about which site you visit, it’s very easy to fall for misleading or outright false information.

Another issue that puts patients at risk is the fact that The State of Florida does not require doctors to carry medical malpractice insurance. This severely hampers an injured patient’s ability to bring a lawsuit against the doctor or clinic if there is an injury; as we explained in an earlier post, many personal injury attorneys are reluctant to bring lawsuits against uninsured doctors because the potential payout is usually less than what they could recover against an insured doctor.

Buyer Beware Applies To Medical Care Too

The old adages, “buyer beware” and “you get what you pay for”, sadly, also apply to medical care. Patients are faced with a dizzying amount of choices in regards to medical treatments and physicians, and they must weed through that information and make smart choices when it comes to their health.

Patients shouldn’t be afraid to be their own best advocates and that starts with researching treatments, procedures, and physicians. The best resources are not physicians’ own websites, but rather state licensing boards and health departments, professional licensing boards, like the American Board of Plastic Surgery or the American Board of Medical Specialties. Referrals from the patients’ own primary care provider are also a better resource than a Google search. In addition to a referral, patients would be well-served to undergo a physical and obtain clearance for the procedure from their primary care doctor as well.

Finally, patients should insist on meeting with the surgeon face-to-face, in advance of the procedure. All too often, cosmetic surgery clinics skip over this vital step in the process, handing patients off to what amounts to intake technicians for consultations.

If a cosmetic surgeon won’t meet with you in advance of the procedure, evades answering questions about his/her licensing and experience, or offers treatments that sound too good to be true, it should raise a red flag. Our best advice is to shop around, get referrals from medical providers you trust, and research, research, research to make sure the doctor and/or clinic is what it says it is.

Contact The Beregovich Law Firm If You Suspect Medical Negligence

If you think you have been injured due to medical negligence or medical malpractice, contact The Beregovich Law Firm at (800) 631-9009 or email us today to arrange a consultation with our Florida medical malpractice attorney.

Legal recourse is available against botched medical procedures – all you need is the right advocate on your side!

 

Photo:

https://www.miaminewtimes.com

Injured By Medical Malpractice? There’s A Time Limit To File A Lawsuit

The realization that you’ve been injured as a result of the medical care you received can lead to many feelings: shock, anger, frustration, and sadness. One thing it should also compel you to feel is determination. If you suspect that you have a medical malpractice situation on your hands, the very last thing you want to do is sit and stew on it or wait and see if the injury resolves itself.

Statute of Limitations and Statute of Repose

All Florida medical malpractice cases are subject to a statute of limitations. This statute establishes a time limit under which a medical malpractice claim can be made. Each state has different laws, but in Florida the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims is just two years from the time the patient was injured, knew or should have known that an injury occurred and that medical malpractice was to blame.

Two years is not a long time. How many of us have lived with a lingering pain, telling ourselves it wasn’t that bad or we were just taking longer to recover than expected? Before you know it, a year has come and gone and you’re still suffering. If you wait too long, the statute of limitations will have passed and you will have missed your chance to recover damages from the healthcare provider to compensate you for your injuries. In addition, your delay in bringing a claim could mean that other patients suffer the same fate.

Even more limiting to patients is the Statute of Repose. The Statute of Repose states that unless there are extenuating circumstances, healthcare providers cannot be sued for medical malpractice more than four years after the incident occurs. That means that patients must realize within four years after the incident occurred that they have been injured due to medical malpractice and take action to file a lawsuit. If a patient misses this 4-year deadline, he or she won’t ever be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit for that specific incident.

The time limits on medical malpractice cases make it important for patients to meet with a medical malpractice attorney as soon as they realize they have been injured.

Contact The Beregovich Law Firm If You Suspect Medical Malpractice

Building a medical malpractice case takes time. Fortunately, you only have to file the claim within two years of the injury. Once the claim has been filed, you will have additional time to collect evidence and build your case with the help of a medical malpractice attorney.

If you live in Florida and think you may have a medical malpractice claim, contact The Beregovich Law Firm to arrange a consultation. Our Florida medical malpractice attorney will review the evidence and help you file a claim if there is a basis.

Contact The Beregovich Law Firm at (800) 631-9009 or email us to arrange a consultation.

Is It Medical Malpractice? How To Determine If You Have A Medical Malpractice Claim

It can come as a shock when you first realize that you may be in a medical malpractice situation. We are often so focused on our recovery that we seldom stop think that maybe the care we received has something to do with our lingering problems or complications. Once the thought enters the mind though, it’s tough to stop wondering, “What if?”

It’s not easy to figure out if you have a medical malpractice claim. It’s not like you can just go ask the doctor or healthcare provider if they failed to deliver an appropriate level of care. If you do, chances are you’ll receive an unsatisfactory (or incomprehensible) explanation and a lingering suspicion that something just isn’t right.

If this sounds familiar, it’s time to contact a medical malpractice attorney. A qualified medical malpractice attorney can examine your situation for evidence of substandard care and investigate what occurred to help determine if the care you received is to blame for your current situation.

Proving Medical Malpractice

Sometimes, patients just aren’t happy with the treatment or care they received or the provider made a mistake in providing care and the patient wants to file a lawsuit just to prove a point or get the provider’s attention. These types of situations do not constitute medical malpractice.

In order for medical malpractice to occur, the patient must have suffered a preventable injury as a result of the provider’s negligence. Negligence can take many forms such as poorly delivered care or treatments, foregoing appropriate diagnostic testing, or operating on the wrong part of the body.

All healthcare providers have a duty to provide a certain standard of care. In other words, did the provider deliver the same level of care that a reasonable medical provider in the same field would do in the same situation? When they fail to deliver such care, medical malpractice may come in to play. In order to recover damages in a medical malpractice case, plaintiffs must prove that:

  • The medical provider failed to uphold their duty to provide a certain standard of care;
  • The failure resulted in harm to the patient; and
  • The plaintiff sustained injuries as a result of the health care provider’s actions or inaction.

The key component of any medical malpractice case is whether or not the provider acted with reasonable skill and the care that was required of the situation. Because of this somewhat subjective requirement, most medical malpractice cases require the testimony of expert witnesses, an investigation into the facility’s rules as well as standard practices and procedures. Medical malpractice cases can be extremely complicated, but if a patient has truly suffered as a result of a preventable medical error, they can receive compensation for the injury, loss of income, and/or pain and suffering.

Meet With Our Florida Medical Malpractice Attorney

If you have any doubts or questions about the medical care you received and think medical malpractice may be to blame, contact The Beregovich Law Firm right away. It never hurts to have an attorney review the facts of the situation to set your mind at ease. It’s possible that you do have a medical malpractice case and will be able to secure compensation for your injuries and perhaps prevent the same thing from happening to another person.

Contact The Beregovich Law Firm at (800) 631-9009 or email us to schedule a consultation.

The Most Common Examples Of Medical Malpractice

Anytime a person suffers an injury as a result of a physician’s care, there’s a question as to whether or not medical malpractice occurred. In short, medical malpractice happens when a healthcare provider (an individual or a facility) fails to provide reasonable care to their patient. This includes making a decision or taking an action that the provider knows could result in injury to the patient. The patient must be injured as a result of the action or inaction.

Not all medical injuries qualify as medical malpractice, however. In some cases, the provider made an honest mistake or acted improperly but the action did not lead to injury.

Examples of Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice stems from negligence. The provider was somehow negligent in providing an acceptable level of care, also known as a duty or standard of care, and as a result, the patient was injured. It can happen in any medical discipline from cardiology and obstetrics to dentistry and psychology.

The most common examples of medical malpractice include:

  • Anesthesia errors
  • Childbirth injuries
  • Delayed diagnosis
  • Lab errors
  • Medication errors
  • Missed or Misdiagnosis
  • Poor follow-up or aftercare
  • Premature discharge
  • Surgical errors or unnecessary surgery

Meet With A Medical Malpractice Attorney To Discuss Your Options

Medical malpractice takes many forms and there are many degrees of negligence, recklessness, and injury. These factors all make it very important for injured patients to meet with a qualified medical malpractice attorney before attempting to bring forth a lawsuit. Sometimes, what a patient considers malpractice, the law does not. At other times, there isn’t a clear cause and effect relationship between the care received and the injury. At still other times, the damages sustained are not serious enough to be considered medical malpractice, but may be considered medical negligence instead.

The Beregovich Law Firm is a personal injury firm with offices in Orlando and Miami, Florida dedicated to helping individuals and families recover financially from devasting injuries, including medical malpractice. Our medical malpractice attorney, Andres Beregovich, represents clients from all walks of life and at all income levels to ensure they receive the justice they deserve. Our firm represents clients against healthcare providers who carry medical malpractice insurance as well as those who do not carry the insurance.

If you think you or a loved one has been injured due to medical malpractice, contact The Beregovich Law Firm at (800) 631-9009 or email us to schedule a consultation.

What Is Considered Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice lawsuits arise after a person has been injured as a result of the care they received or, in some cases, did not receive from a physician, healthcare provider, hospital, or clinic. The key component in medical malpractice suits is that the injury was caused through a negligent act or omission on behalf of the healthcare provider.

3 Criteria of Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

In order to be considered medical malpractice, the claim must meet 3 criteria:

  • There was a violation of the standard of care or duty of care. Every healthcare provider has a duty to provide care that is recognized by the profession as standard medical treatment by peers in similar circumstances. This is also known as the “standard of care”. Patients have a right to expect a certain standard of care will be provided. In general, a violation of the standard of care occurs when the provider knew he/she should have done something to treat the patient, but chose not to, despite knowing the action could cause harm to the patient.
  • An injury resulted from the negligence. There must be an injury for a medical malpractice claim to proceed and patients must prove that the care they received caused the injury. Patients must prove cause and effect. An injury without negligence or negligence without injury are not grounds for a case.
  • The injury resulted in significant damages. Medical malpractice cases are complicated and expensive to litigate. For practical reasons, the patient must have sustained serious damage from the injury otherwise there’s a chance that it will be more expensive to pursue the case than what can be recovered. Serious injuries typically result in loss of income, disability, unusual pain and suffering or hardship, or significant medical bills.

Not Every Situation Is Medical Malpractice

Keep in mind that not every undesirable medical outcome can be considered medical malpractice. Sometimes, despite a physician’s best efforts, bad outcomes just cannot be prevented. Consultation with a qualified medical malpractice attorney is the best way to determine if you are dealing with a medical malpractice situation, medical negligence, or just plain bad luck.

Our Florida medical malpractice attorney will evaluate the facts of your situation to determine the most appropriate course of legal action. Contact The Beregovich Law Firm at (800) 631-9009 or email us to schedule your consultation.

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Uninsured Discount Surgeons A Threat To Public Health

Outpatient cosmetic surgery is a popular health trend in Florida, but the ease of access hides a darker side: uninsured doctors and patient injuries.

The Beregovich Law Firm recently represented a patient who suffered severe injuries after a botched Brazilian Butt Lift procedure. Our client underwent a routine outpatient procedure but, afterwards, experienced loss of feeling in her arms and legs and eventually paralysis. After being rebuffed by the cosmetic surgeon several times and told that her troubles were just side effects of anesthesia, she visited a neurologist who confirmed that the patient had suffered a stroke; she was then hospitalized for a month and spent some time in ICU. Today, she lives with memory loss, panic attacks, and anxiety while still navigating the changes in her body.

The clinic that botched her procedure and follow-up care is still in business with seemingly no repercussions!

Booking Procedures Show Disregard For Patient Health

One of the most astonishing things we discovered during our case was that consultations and booking procedures do not typically involve meeting with the surgeon who will do the procedure – or any surgeon at all for that matter. This presents a huge risk for patients who are entrusting their lives to these surgeons. With little to no pre-procedure health checks in place, patients are pacing an awful lot of trust in a doctor they’ve never met in person.

Lack Of Malpractice Insurance Limits Patient Options

What is equally alarming to our Orlando and Miami personal injury attorney is the knowledge that Florida does not require physicians to carry medical malpractice insurance. So, not only are these discount cosmetic surgery clinics not providing surgical consultations prior to performing procedures but the doctors may not be carrying any kind of malpractice or liability insurance to protect themselves against lawsuits brought by injured patients.

Does this affect the patient’s ability to sue for damages? Absolutely! Many personal injury attorneys will not bring a lawsuit against an uninsured doctor because the potential payout is usually less than what they could recover against an insured doctor.

This puts patients at a disadvantage, making it harder for them to find a Florida personal injury attorney to represent them and help them secure financial recompense for their injuries. The Beregovich Law Firm is different. We represent patients in all types of medical malpractice lawsuits whether the doctor carries insurance or not.

If you have been injured as a result of a medical or cosmetic procedure and want to know if you are entitled to compensation for your injuries, contact The Beregovich Law Firm at (800) 631-9009 or email us today to arrange a consultation with our Florida medical malpractice attorney.

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Yes, It Is Possible To Recover Damages From Uninsured Doctors In Florida

When injured patients learn that physicians in Florida are not required to carry medical malpractice insurance, they often feel anger and despair at the thought that they won’t be able to sue the physician for medical malpractice and will have to cover the costs of their injury themselves.

This isn’t entirely accurate. While it is true that physicians do not have to carry medical malpractice insurance, if they chose not to they must demonstrate that they have the financial ability to pay for malpractice and liability lawsuits. They usually have an escrow account that holds the funds to cover these costs.

Lack Of Liability Insurance Requirements Hurts Patients

This approach of not requiring doctors to carry malpractice insurance may make it more affordable for doctors to stay in business but it’s at the expense of their patients. Not only does this practice make it easier for dangerous physicians to continue to practice even after they’ve injured someone, it makes it harder for injured patients to recover damages from the physician.

Yes, a victim can still pursue a lawsuit against a doctor even if he or she does not carry liability or malpractice insurance. The trouble comes in finding a qualified personal injury attorney to take the case. We’ve all heard the jokes that lawyers are just in it for the money and will turn away cases that don’t pay them well. I’m embarrassed and disappointed to report that this is very often true – especially in cases where there isn’t an insurance company to go after.

Physicians who are backed by an insurance company look like big dollar signs to unscrupulous attorneys. These attorneys know they can get a bigger payout for their patients (and themselves!) when an insurance company is involved than they can get when the doctor’s “financial responsibility” is an escrow account.

There Are Attorneys Who Will Represent Victims

If you have been injured in a medical procedure, keep looking for an attorney and don’t give up hope of achieving a settlement. There are personal injury attorneys who will represent victims of medical malpractice in Florida – regardless of whether or not the doctor carries medical malpractice insurance.

Andres Beregovich is one of those attorneys. Mr. Beregovich is an advocate for patient rights and works with people who have been injured by a doctor, clinic, or hospital regardless of whether or not there is a malpractice insurance policy involved. We believe that all injuries deserve legal scrutiny so the victims can better move on with their lives.

If you believe you have suffered an injury due to a doctor’s negligence, contact us at (800) 631-9009 or via email today to arrange a consultation with a Florida medical malpractice attorney.