When an injury occurs due to the care of a medical professional, you might be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Malpractice claims against doctors, nurses, physician’s assistants, and other medical professionals are handled differently than a standard personal injury claim. The law is complex and the facts of each case must be carefully reviewed by an experienced medical malpractice attorney.
A medical malpractice lawsuit is an allegation that a health care provider violated the medical standards of practice, causing injury to the patient. Generally, the standard of care is defined as what another health care provider with similar credentials would have done under the same circumstance.
While the majority of medical malpractice cases are related to errors during surgery, there are also a number of other types of malpractice that occur. Examples include misdiagnosis, failure to follow-up on test results, and improperly prescribing medications.
A lawsuit can be filed against an individual doctor or other medical professional in private practice, as well as hospitals and clinics. In New York, the statute of limitations is typically one year from the date of your injury or the end of treatment. There are some exceptions to this rule, such as when a healthcare provider leaves a foreign object in the body after surgery. In these cases, a lawsuit can be filed within one year of the discovery of the foreign object.
To win a medical malpractice lawsuit, an injured patient must show that the breach of the standard of care directly caused injury to them. For example, if a surgeon does not inform a patient that a procedure involves a 30-percent chance of losing a limb and the patient loses a limb, the doctor can be held liable for malpractice. This is known as proximate cause.
In order to prove a medical malpractice case, a skilled lawyer will use expert witness testimony. These witnesses are usually other doctors who can evaluate the mistakes or procedures that the defendant did or did not do. The expert witnesses will provide evidence that shows the defendant did not follow the standard of care and how this breach directly led to injury to the plaintiff.
The injured patient’s attorney will also review the matter with the doctor or doctors involved in the case to see if the health care provider has submitted to any voluntary or mandatory reporting requirements with a state medical or other licensing agency. In some instances, this may add to the strength of a case and help win a settlement.
If you or a loved one has been harmed due to the care of a medical professional, contact a New York medical malpractice lawyer at once. It is important to act quickly, since the statute of limitations may begin when your injury or illness occurred or when you stopped receiving treatment. A successful malpractice claim can result in monetary compensation to cover your past and future expenses, including lost income.