Medical malpractice happens when a patient is harm by a healthcare professional. The healthcare professional may be a doctor, nurse or hospital. A patient is harmed when the healthcare professional fails to competently perform their medical duties.
If you have been injured or your loved one died because of a medical professional’s negligence, contact us. We specialize in getting the money you need to compensate you for your injuries or loss.
What are New York Medical Malpractice Laws?
According to New York State law, a plaintiff has two years and six months from the date of the injury to sue the medical professional. The only exception is if a plaintiff injury involved a foreign object. This typically happens when a surgeon leaves a surgical instrument in a patient during surgery. With this type of harm, a plaintiff is allowed to sue within one year of discovering the injury.
The state doesn’t limit the amount of damages a plaintiff can received from being harmed by a healthcare professional. It also doesn’t limit the number of defendants in a medical malpractice lawsuit. In New York, defendants are jointly and severally liable for harming a patient. Joint and severally liable means a plaintiff can win a money judgment against one defendant and collect the money from another defendant. It is up to the defendant who paid the judgment to collect from the other defendants.
An example of this is if a plaintiff sues the practicing doctor and hospital for their injury. The plaintiff wins. They can collect the full amount from the doctor. It’s up to the doctor to sue the hospital to obtain part or all of the money paid to the plaintiff.
It’s important to stress that this is modified joint and severally liability law. A plaintiff can obtain joint and several liability for economic damages. They only have a right to seek noneconomic damages from multiple defendants if their fault is 50 percent or less.
Economic damages, or compensatory damages, are damages that can be proven through documentation such as:
• Medical bills
• Lost wages
• Funeral expenses
Noneconomic damages are damages which can’t be prove through documentation such as pain and suffering or emotional loss of a loved one.
Punitive damages are available in certain cases under New York law. Punitive damages are used to punish the defendant for the harmed caused to a plaintiff. To obtain punitive damages, an attorney must show the medical professional acted with malice, recklessness or fraud when committing malpractice.
You or your loved one sought medical attention because you wanted to get better, not worse. You don’t have to suffer because of an injury you didn’t cause. Contact us right away. You have the right to the economic, noneconomic and possibly punitive damages you or your loved one deserves.
How We Use the Law to Prove Your Medical Malpractice Claim
Not all injuries suffered by patients are medical malpractice claims. In fact, medical malpractice laws were created with guidelines to show how to prove harm occurred. This is different from other segments of the law such as criminal law. Criminal law has specific rules, or elements, a prosecutor must use to prove a person’s guilt.
To prove fault, a plaintiff’s attorney must show four things:
• A patient-doctor relationship existed between the plaintiff and defendant
• The defendant was negligent when causing harm
• The defendant’s negligence caused the plaintiff’s injury
• The injury caused specific damages
Patient-doctor Relationship Existed between the Plaintiff and Defendant
A patient-doctor relationship means a plaintiff hired the healthcare professional and they agreed to be hired. For instance, a doctor may give a person medical advice while waiting in a fast food restaurant line. If that person takes that advice and incurs an injury, they can’t sue. There was no patient-doctor relationship. Of course, the “doctor” in a patient-doctor relationship can be anyone from a surgeon to a hospital.
The Defendant was Negligent
Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider violates, or breaches, the standard of care. Every hired medical professional has a duty to provide a standard of care a competent medical provider would in the same or similar circumstances. This means they don’t have to provide a patient with the best care or the type of treatment the patient wants. The provider just has to provide competent care. If they don’t, they have breached the standard care duty and deemed negligent.
The Defendant’s Negligence caused the Injury
Showing a defendant caused the plaintiff’s injury is difficult to prove because it starts off in the defendant’s favor. Majority of patients being treated are already sick or injured when they are treated by a medical malpractice defendant. So an attorney must have a medical expert show how the defendant’s substandard care caused the plaintiff’s injury.
The Injury Caused Specific Damages
All injuries don’t led to damages like economic, noneconomic or punitive damages. A plaintiff’s attorney must show what damages they incurred such as:
• Mental anguish
• Physical pain
• Lost earnings
• Lost work
Once damages are proven, a plaintiff is typically awarded money. The amount of money depends on many factors such as the type of injury and economic losses.
When a healthcare provider fails to give you or your loved one standard care, it could be medical malpractice. If you or your loved one was injured because of a medical provider’s negligence, contact us. If you simply have a question about a potential medical malpractice claim, let us know. We’re ready to help you get the justice you deserve for suffering an injury.
Types of Medical Malpractice Claims
The term “medical malpractice” has been used a lot to discuss a person’s right to seek compensation for a medical injury. However, it’s a broad term that includes many types of medical injuries that can occur to a patient such as:
• Improper treatment
• Failure to diagnose
• Failure to warn patient of known risks
• Prescription errors
• Erbs palsy
• Nursing home abuse
• HIV, hepatitis exposure
• Anesthesia mistakes
• ER-Hospital Negligence
We Will Fight for You and Your Loved One
You’ve been injured by a healthcare professional. You did nothing wrong. You or your loved one don’t have to suffer in pain of substandard medical care. We’re here for you. Contact us immediately if you or your loved one was injured by a medical professional.