6 Most Common Types of Medical Malpractice Lawsuits in Florida

Florida medical malpractice lawsuits resulting from negligence come in many forms. However, the common ground is that a patient suffered an injury because they did not receive the standard level of care. To help you understand medical negligence in Florida, our skilled attorneys at Freedland Harwin Valori Gander explore the state’s most common types of medical malpractice lawsuits.

Written and edited by our team of expert legal content writers and reviewed and approved by Daniel Harwin

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Doctors and other medical professionals are legally required to provide the standard level of care expected of their positions to their patients. When they fail to do this, patients can suffer life-changing injuries, severe disabilities, and emotional distress. Some families even lose a loved one due to serious medical mistakes.

An image showing statistical data: US - Medical errors 3rd leading cause of death, Florida - 1,277 malpractice payments in 2022.

Unfortunately, medical malpractice may be more prevalent than you might think. Studies have shown that medical errors happen often enough to be the third leading cause of death in the United States. In Florida, there were 1,277 malpractice payments made in the state in 2022 alone. Our medical malpractice attorneys with Freedland Harwin Valori Gander explain the most common types of medical injury due to malpractice in Florida.

Types of Medical Malpractice

According to American Medical Association survey data of medical malpractice statistics, 31 percent of doctors in the United States have been sued during their careers. Here is more information on negligence lawsuits caused by medical errors.

1. Surgical Errors

Surgical errors happen when a surgeon does not complete the procedure according to industry standards. The data collected from the American Medical Association shares that general surgeons are among the physicians most likely to be sued. On average, there are 193 legal claims per 100 general surgeons in this survey sample, showing that many of these physicians are sued more than once.

On average, there are


Legal Claims per


General Surgeons

in this survey sample, showing that many of these physicians are sued more than once.

In Florida, one of the largest medical malpractice payouts was $9,850,000 in 2022 for improper performance related to surgery. Records show this physician also had a payout of 2,250,000 in Florida for failure to perform a preoperative evaluation in 2021.

The lawyers at Freedland Harwin Valori Gander have handled hundreds of cases involving surgical errors, including surgeries involving orthopedics, cardiothoracic surgeries, laparoscopic surgeries, gynecologic surgeries, endovascular surgeries and many others.

2. Misdiagnosis or Failure to Diagnose

An image showing statistical data about misdiagnosed diseases: 795,000 Americans affected annually, leading to deaths or disabilities.

Doctors and other health care professionals may fail to order the right tests or refer their patients to a specialist, which could lead to a delayed diagnosis, misdiagnosis, or failure to diagnose. According to a recent study795,000 Americans are permanently disabled or die yearly due to misdiagnosed diseases.

Another study shows that diagnostic errors comprise about 28 percent of all medical malpractice claims in the United States. Specifically in Florida, data confirms that failure to diagnose is the state’s most frequent type of medical malpractice claim.

For examples, we have experience handling cases where patients have presented to the emergency room or physicians office with signs and symptoms of a stroke and the healthcare providers failed to diagnose the stroke on a timely basis. In failure to diagnose stroke cases, we retain world-class experts in the fields of emergency medicine, neurology, radiology and endovascular surgery.

3. Medical Product Liability

While pharmaceutical drugs and medical devices play a crucial role in our health care system, some of these products do not work as intended and end up hurting patients. Study results published in the Journal of Healthcare Engineering found a shocking 58 percent of six high-risk medical devices failed a performance test, while many others did not meet safety requirements.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, the number of medical device injuries and malfunctions published by the Food and Drug Administration were underreported. Between 2014 and 2017, there were actually 481,000 medical device failures.

4. Hospital-Acquired Infection

Hospital-acquired infections can happen when health care workers do not follow the proper procedures to wash their hands, sterilize equipment, or recognize signs of infection in patients. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 31 hospital patients suffers an infection associated with health care daily.

5. Prescription and Medication Errors

Medication errors lead to 700,000 visits to emergency rooms and 120,000 cases of hospitalization annually.

Florida Today reports that medication errors lead to 700,000 visits to emergency rooms and 120,000 cases of hospitalization annually. These mistakes may include administering the wrong drug, failing to give the right dosage, and not updating the patient’s records.

recent study found that between 7,000 to 9,000 Americans die every year because of medication errors. Thousands more patients also experience complications and adverse reactions to medication.

Our firm recently obtained a 20.2 million dollar verdict on behalf of a widow and her child when a physician improperly prescribed massive dosages of Dilaudid and caused the patient to have opioid-induced respiratory depression that took his life.

6. Childbirth Injuries

Birth injuries happen when a critical mistake occurs during labor and delivery. Along with general surgeons, obstetricians and gynecologists are some of the most likely physicians to be sued in the United States. About 62.4 percent of obstetricians are sued at least once during their careers.

An image displaying statistics: Half of Florida's top 10 medical payouts (2004-2022) are related to birth injuries.

Of the 10 largest medical payouts in Florida between 2004 and 2022, half are birth injuries, including the following:

Birth trauma cases are some of the most heavily defended malpractice cases, and at FHVG, we bring a team of experienced lawyers, staff and experts that are familiar with the defense tactics in these cases.

What Are the Main Elements of a Medical Malpractice Case?

The main elements or four D’s of medical malpractice negligence are:

An image showing statistical data about medical malpractice: 9,000 payouts totaling $3.1 billion annually in the US.
An image showing statistical data about medical malpractice: 9,000 payouts totaling $3.1 billion annually in the US.

Cost of Medical Malpractice in Florida

Each year in the United States, there are an estimated 9,000 medical malpractice payouts totaling more than $3.1 billion. In Florida, medical malpractice payouts from 1990 to 2020 totaled $10,599,180,000, ranking the Sunshine State as one with the highest medical malpractice payouts in the country.