A pathologist examines tissue and cells in bodily fluids under a microscope and diagnoses a condition based on what he or she finds. For example, a pathologist might examine a breast lump biopsy under a microscope to determine whether it is cancerous and which type of breast cancer it is, figuring out its specific features to help the team of oncologists and the patient create an appropriate treatment plan. Pathologists, like other health care providers, may make serious mistakes that cause injuries or worsened medical outcomes. If you suspect that you were harmed by their negligence, you should consult the Ocala pathologist malpractice lawyers at the Dean Law Firm.Recognizing Pathologist Malpractice
Pathologists usually do not interact with patients. Sometimes you may not even realize that a pathologist was involved in your medical care. However, many diseases require the attention of a competent pathologist, and a pathologist's error can have a devastating impact on the outcome of your case. For example, if the pathologist misdiagnoses a cancerous tumor in the breast as being noncancerous, the patient may not receive appropriate treatment in time. They may get to a stage of cancer that is much harder to treat, or they may die.
In order to hold a pathologist liable for malpractice, you must prove these elements:
- The pathologist owed you a professional duty of care;
- The pathologist's conduct fell below the professional standard of care;
- The pathologist actually and proximately caused your injuries; and
- Actual damages resulted.
It will be necessary for a pathologist malpractice attorney in the Ocala area to retain a credible, experienced expert to testify on what the professional standard of care was, that the pathologist's actions fell below that standard, and causation. Usually, the expert will also be a pathologist.
Like many other states, Florida has pre-suit procedures that must be followed in all medical malpractice cases. A plaintiff needs to secure an affidavit of merit and notify each prospective defendant (the pathologist and any other staff or the lab itself) of their intent to file a lawsuit. The notice is supposed to include a list of everyone who treated you for harm or injuries arising from the pathologist's malpractice, all of the doctors and other providers whom you saw in the two years before the alleged pathologist malpractice, and copies of all of the medical records used by your expert medical witness in signing the certificate of merit. Following this pre-suit procedure allows the defendants to investigate what you claim the pathologist and others did wrong and determine which action they are willing to take to respond to those claims prior to the lawsuit proceeding.
If your Ocala pathologist malpractice attorney is able to establish liability, you can obtain the compensatory damages that flow from the pathologist's malpractice. Compensatory damages are intended to compensate for actual losses suffered. These include both economic and noneconomic losses, such as medical treatment expenses, lost wages, lost earning capacity, and replacement household services. Noneconomic losses can vary significantly from case to case, and they depend on the intangible harms that the jury believes would naturally flow from the injuries.
If a loved one died due to pathologist malpractice, the decedent's estate may be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit, and certain family members may be able to recover damages such as funeral expenses, the value of support and services that the decedent gave to the survivor, loss of guidance and companionship, mental and emotional pain and suffering based on the loss of a child, and lost earnings that the decedent could reasonably have been expected to make if they had lived.Discuss Your Case with a Pathologist Malpractice Lawyer in the Ocala Area
At the Dean Law Firm, our Ocala trial attorneys may be able to sue a health care provider on your behalf if you or a loved one is harmed by pathologist malpractice or another form of medical negligence, such as neurology malpractice. We provide tough, skillful legal representation to patients and families harmed by medical malpractice in Ocala, The Villages, Crystal River, and other areas of Citrus, Levy, Sumter, Marion, and Lake Counties. Contact us at 352-387-8700 or through our online form.