Medical Malpractice Cases
What Does it Take to Win a Medical Malpractice Case?
When you visit a doctor’s office or become a patient in a hospital, you expect to get better. It’s reasonable to believe that medical staff will give you the right medications and provide treatment that meets standard protocols.
But as many patients have found, exceptional care is not a given. In some cases, medical professionals make critical mistakes that cause permanent disability, injury or illness to patients.
Throughout the United States, juries have awarded significant damages to those who have been injured because of medical malpractice. In some cases, patients have won significant settlements to compensate for medical bills, pain and suffering, and other harm due to medical mistakes.
Medical malpractice occurs when a hospital, doctor or other health care professional, through a negligent act or omission, causes an injury to a patient. The negligence might be the result of errors in diagnosis, treatment, aftercare or health management. Care is expected to comply with typical standards of the medical field.
Some of the more common health care mistakes are the following:
• Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis
• Childbirth Injuries
• Negligent prenatal care.
• Negligence during childbirth.
• Medication Errors
• Anesthesia Errors
• Surgery Errors
In order to meet the legal definition of medical malpractice, the doctor or medical provider must have been negligent in some way -- meaning the doctor was not reasonably skillful or competent, and that incompetence actually harmed the patient. Your attorney must demonstrate that you were under the care of a doctor and that the doctor failed to act according to accepted standards in advising, diagnosing or treating you. As a result, you suffered an illness or injury, or your medical condition was made worse.
Determine who are the Responsible Parties
If you were injured in a hospital, the hospital may not be legally at fault. However, hospitals can be held directly liable for their own negligence, and can also be held liable for the negligence of their employees.
Be aware of the Statute of Limitations
In New York, a medical malpractice lawsuit must be filed within two and a half years from the date of the alleged malpractice or from the completion of treatment by the defendant.
You must be able to provide appropriate documentation
If you believe you’ve been injured due to medical malpractice, you’ll need copies of all your medical records. If medical malpractice resulted in the death of a loved one, an autopsy likely will be required to prove the cause of death.
Examples of medical malpractice include injuries during birth, either to a mother or to a baby; misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose a condition; medication errors such as prescribing the wrong drug for a condition; failing to properly monitor a medical condition; and failing to inform a patient of the risks of a medical procedure.
What to Do if You have injured by Medical Care
If you’ve suffered an injury, illness or disability due to negligent medical care, it’s important to work with a qualified medical malpractice attorney. Malpractice cases can be extremely complex and costly; an experienced attorney can provide valuable guidance through every step of your case.
Medical malpractice cases can take years to litigate or come to a settlement. In the meantime, you should not give up. By working with an attorney who is knowledgeable in New York Medical Malpractice law, you gain the best chance of recovering the compensation you deserve.