Florida Prison Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Understanding Prison Medical Malpractice & Neglect
Most federal and state prison facilities in Florida provide medical services to inmates through third-party contractors. These are private entities that may cut corners to increase profits. Medical care may be poor, delayed, or refused altogether when the inmates need it the most. A Florida prison medical malpractice lawyer can help you sue for damages in such cases.
It is important to note that medical malpractice claims for prison inmates differ somewhat from such claims filed outside of prison walls. For inmates, these claims typically involve the concept of “deliberate indifference.” We strongly recommend that you work with a knowledgeable and experienced attorney who can help you with your claim. At Fischer Redavid PLLC, we fight for inmates’ rights, including the right to prompt, proper health care.
Deliberate Indifference & Medical Malpractice
Deliberate indifference is when a prison official knows about a substantial risk to an inmate yet fails to take reasonable measures. You must prove the deliberate indifference of the guards or correctional officers when bringing a prison medical malpractice lawsuit.
The deliberate indifference standard is higher than simple “negligence.” It requires you to prove two things:
- The prison officer or guard was well aware of the substantial risk to the inmate
- The officer or guard disregarded this risk and failed to take any measures that would have prevented an injury
You can prove that the liable person was aware of the substantial risk in many different ways. You can use the medical history and video records to show that a clear risk existed. Alternatively, you can use circumstantial evidence, such as observable deterioration of the victim’s health, to argue that the risk was obvious.
The Eighth Amendment & Serious Medical Need
The Eighth Amendment guarantees that all prisoners shall be safe from “cruel and unusual punishments.” This is legally interpreted to also mean that undue or wanton pain shall not be inflicted on prison inmates.
The amendment also relates to medical malpractice in prisons. This is because an instance of malpractice involves a failure to provide care at a time of serious medical need.
A “serious medical need” is defined as a need for medical care that, if not provided, can result in significant pain or injury to the sufferer. It also includes instances that do not involve life-threatening conditions.
When Is a Correctional Healthcare Provider Liable?
A correctional healthcare provider can be held liable in various situations involving delayed, poor, or lack of medical care and attention to the inmates.
Some examples include:
- Failure to provide medical care to alleviate physical pain
- Failure to provide medical care during a medical emergency
- Deliberate indifference towards a serious injury or medical condition
- Failure to provide prescribed medication to an inmate
When proving the negligence of the correctional healthcare provider, you must show that you had a “serious medical need,” and that the healthcare entity failed to provide reasonable care suited to this need. Such medical neglect merits a lawsuit under the Eighth Amendment.
If you have been sentenced to prison in Florida, you still retain many basic constitutional rights. These include the right to a reasonable standard of medical care and attention during your time at the prison. When such care is not provided, gets delayed, or is not on par with the legal standard, you can file a lawsuit with help from a local medical malpractice lawyer at Fischer Redavid PLLC.
Many private healthcare providers cater to the medical needs of inmates at prisons across the state. These private entities are for-profit. Sadly, it is not uncommon for them to practice negligence toward inmates and fail to provide an expected level of medical services.
However, these providers retain certain obligations to inmates, which they must fulfill. When they do not, affected inmates or the families of those who pass away could take legal action.
Legal Obligations of Correctional Healthcare
Healthcare providers in prison have a legal obligation to provide medical care to inmates that is:
However, healthcare providers may cut corners to maximize their profits. This can result in delays and denials in providing medical care to the inmates when they need it. The inmates may suffer injuries and health complications as a result.
Medical Care for Substance Abuse in Prisons
Many inmates arrive at a prison with substance abuse problems. Acute withdrawal symptoms from alcohol or drug abuse can result in serious medical complications and even death. This is just one reason why most prison deaths occur within one week of incarceration.
It is possible to hold correctional healthcare providers liable for such negligence. You can bring a medical malpractice lawsuit against the healthcare provider. At the same time, you may also be able to bring a lawsuit against prison authorities for deliberate indifference.
Liability for Medical Malpractice in Prisons
You can hold a variety of parties liable for prison medical malpractice, depending on the details of your case. Your lawsuit against the healthcare provider will be based on medical malpractice. A potential lawsuit against the correctional guards will be based upon the violation of Eighth Amendment rights. You must provide relevant evidence to back up your claim of malpractice.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries due to medical malpractice in prison, we can help you. Our team at Fischer Redavid PLLC believes that inmates have inalienable rights as enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. If these rights are violated, inmates may be entitled to legal and monetary compensation.
Our Florida prison medical malpractice attorneys are prepared to provide the aggressive, personalized legal representation you deserve. We strive to be a voice for the voiceless and seek to hold negligent medical providers, correctional facilities, and other institutions accountable for the harm they cause.