Tampa Nursing Negligence & Malpractice Attorneys
Let us help you protect your rights and get the compensation you deserve after a nursing error in Tampa
Nurses play a vital role in our healthcare system, and when their duties are not performed with the utmost care and professionalism, it can lead to serious consequences for patients and their families.
At Palmer Lopez, we understand the profound trust you place in healthcare professionals, especially nurses, during times of sickness and vulnerability. When that trust is betrayed due to negligence, it’s crucial that you understand your right to compensation.
If you believe you’ve been a victim of nursing negligence in Tampa, contact our experienced medical malpractice lawyers for a free consultation so you can get the legal assistance necessary to find justice and closure.
What is negligence in nursing?
Nurse negligence refers to a breach of the standard of care expected from a registered nurse during the course of their duties. It can involve either actions or omissions by a nurse that result in harm or injury to a patient under their care.
Essentially, it reflects a deviation from the established standards of nursing practice, which can lead to adverse health outcomes for patients.
Understanding nursing negligence vs malpractice
Nursing negligence and nursing malpractice are related concepts in healthcare that are often used interchangeably, but they have slight differences.
Nursing negligence refers to any breach in the standard of care by a nurse, such as an inappropriate action or a failure to act. Nursing malpractice, on the other hand, occurs when that substandard care results in an injury to the patient.
What are some examples of nursing negligence?
Negligence in nursing can encompass a wide range of situations in which a nurse fails to respond or responds in a manner that diverges from the expected level of care. In these contexts, a breach of duty nursing error could include any of the following:
- Making medication errors. Administering the wrong medication, giving the patient an incorrect dosage, administering the medication through the wrong route (e.g., orally instead of through an injection), or failing to administer prescribed medications on time.
- Failing to monitor. Neglecting to regularly check and monitor vital signs, such as blood pressure, blood sugar, heart rate or oxygen levels.
- Not communicating changes in patient status. Failing to timely convey critical patient information to other members of the medical team (like doctors or pharmacists), which could lead to a misdiagnosis or treatment errors.
- Providing inadequate patient care. Failing to turn immobile patients, which could result in pressure ulcers or infections, or failing to provide patient-appropriate safety measures, such as leaving bed rails down when a patient is at risk of falling.
- Ignoring patient concerns. Dismissing or not addressing patient complaints, symptoms or distress signals promptly.
- Failing to obtain informed consent. Administering treatment or procedures without obtaining proper informed consent from the patient or their guardian.
- Making documentation errors. Failing to accurately document patient information, treatment or changes in condition, which could negatively impact subsequent care decisions.
- Mishandling equipment. Improperly using medical equipment, which could lead to patient injuries or complications.
- Making surgical errors. Assisting in surgery without following proper procedures or protocols, which could result in surgical complications.
- Failing to follow protocols. Not adhering to established nursing protocols or guidelines, potentially jeopardizing patient safety.
- Neglecting to give clear discharge instructions. Failing to provide necessary education upon discharging a patient, which could lead to misunderstandings about post-treatment care and potentially harmful consequences.
What are the consequences of nursing negligence for patients?
Nursing negligence is about much more than just a simple oversight. It can have severe consequences that impact a patient’s health, well-being and overall quality of life, such as:
- Physical harm. Patients may experience physical injuries or complications as a result of nursing negligence, such as falls, medication errors, pressure ulcers (bedsores), infections, injuries during medical procedures and even death.
- Emotional and psychological distress. Nursing negligence can lead to emotional and psychological distress for patients and their families. Patients may suffer from anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to the harm they’ve experienced.
- Prolonged recovery. Negligent nursing care can extend a patient’s recovery time, leading to additional pain and suffering. Additionally, delayed or incorrect treatment may worsen the patient’s condition.
- Financial burden. Patients may incur additional medical expenses and costs due to the need for extended hospital stays, corrective surgeries or ongoing medical treatment to address the consequences of negligence.
- Reduced quality of life. Nursing negligence can result in a decreased quality of life for patients, as they may face physical limitations, chronic pain or disabilities as a result of their injuries.
- Loss of trust. Patients may lose trust in the healthcare system and the nursing profession, making them hesitant to seek medical care in the future.
It’s important for patients who have experienced nursing negligence to consult with a medical malpractice attorney to understand their legal options for seeking compensation, including medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
Can a nurse be held liable for negligence in Florida?
Yes, a nurse can be held liable for negligence. Nurses, like other healthcare professionals, have a duty to provide a standard of care that meets established medical standards and ensures the safety and well-being of their patients.
When a nurse fails to meet this standard of care, they can be held legally responsible for any harm or injuries that result.
To prove negligence, you’ll need to be able to show that the breach of duty directly caused your harm or injuries and that you suffered damages, such as physical injuries, pain, emotional distress, medical expenses, or other losses, as a result of the nurse’s negligence.
Can a hospital be held liable for nurse malpractice?
Yes, a hospital can be held liable for a nurse’s negligence under certain circumstances. Hospitals are generally responsible for ensuring that their staff, including nurses, provide a standard of care that meets established medical standards and prioritizes patient safety.
If a nurse employed by a hospital commits an act of negligence while carrying out their duties within the scope of their employment, the hospital may be held vicariously liable for the nurse’s actions. However, the specific circumstances of the case, the relationship between the hospital and the nurse, and other factors will determine the extent of the hospital’s liability.
If you believe you’ve suffered an injury caused by nursing negligence in a hospital, you should discuss your situation with a medical malpractice attorney who can help determine which parties may be legally accountable in your case.
Injured by a nurse in Tampa? Our medical malpractice attorneys can help!
When you suffer an injury in a hospital, nursing home or other healthcare setting, it’s not always easy to determine the cause on your own. Whether you or a loved one has experienced harm due to nursing negligence or medical malpractice in general, seeking legal guidance is crucial.
At Palmer Lopez, our experienced legal team is here to support you through these challenging times. We understand the complexities of nursing negligence and medical malpractice cases, which is why we work diligently to collect all relevant medical records, witness statements and expert opinions to build a strong case on your behalf.
Our goal is to ensure that those responsible for your injuries are held accountable, whether it’s a nurse, a hospital, or other healthcare professionals. Let us help you get started on your path to justice and financial recovery today by scheduling a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable Tampa medical malpractice attorneys.