Patients often see doctors at the hardest moments in their lives, and they hope that the medical provider will help guide them to a healthy outcome. As a Panama City medical malpractice law firm, we know that sometimes this trust is violated. Medical mistakes in Northern Florida are a frightening thought, and our firm is proud to represent victims of medical malpractice in Panama City.
It is because we know the importance of quality medical care that we were happy to read that one of our local hospitals has received national recognition for excellence. Thomson Reuters assembles an annual report naming their 100 Top Hospitals, and our Gulf Coast Medical Center was included in the list released this month. The study evaluates the overall performance of nearly 3,000 hospitals. Factors included in the examination are patient care, financial stability, and efficiency of hospital operations. Gulf Coast, located on 23rd Street in Panama City, is one of 20 mid-sized community medical centers included on this year's list. Hospitals are evaluated using independent public data and do not self-nominate for the recognition.
Gulf Coast Medical Center also recently received additional recognition from the Lung Cancer Alliance. The group recognized more than 75 facilities for making lung cancer screening available to at-risk populations.
We are pleased that one of our major health care providers has been recognized for excellence, but we also know that medical malpractice remains an issue in our region. Medical malpractice claims arise when the negligence of a medical provider leads to injury or other unnecessary negative outcomes. Providers are required to act in keeping with the standard of care, a concept defined by Florida statute as the level of skill and treatment that a reasonably competent practitioner would consider proper under similar circumstances.
Proving a malpractice claim generally involves using expert testimony to establish what a reasonable medical practitioner would have done, how the actual response differed, and the fact that the injury or harm developed as a result of the provider's deviation from the accepted standard of care. The legal standard is a bit different in emergency room cases where the victim must prove "reckless disregard" instead of simple negligence.
Like most claims, there is a statute of limitations limiting the time period for bringing a Florida medical malpractice claim. Victims of malpractice must bring their claim within two years from the time the patient or the patient's guardian knew, or should have known, of the injury, and knew that there was a reasonable possibility that medical malpractice was the source of the harm. When filing suit, the victim's attorney must provide a specific written certification stating that he or she has undertaken a reasonable investigation and formed a good faith belief that the allegation of malpractice is reasonable. The lawyer may face sanctions if the judge later finds the attorney lacked a reasonable basis to believe the claim had merit.
If you believe you, or someone you love, have suffered injury due to medical malpractice, please contact our team. We can help you understand how the law applies to your unique circumstances and help you receive any damages that the law may allow. Remember, bringing a medical malpractice claim is not only about money; properly filed malpractice claims also help to ensure that practitioners always provide quality care to the patients who are entrusting the practitioners with their health and, often, their lives.