There’s no such thing as a routine surgery. An act or failure to act before, during or after any surgery often leads to longer and more costly hospital stays, other surgeries, a lifetime of special care or even a wrongful death. Proper protocol and procedures can significantly reduce the likelihood of nearly all surgical mistakes.
Surgical mistakes with major adverse consequences can occur in any procedure from extracting a wisdom tooth to open heart surgery. They might be as obvious as operating on the wrong person, amputating the wrong leg of a patient or sewing up a patient and leaving a 12 inch forceps inside. In one case, a woman fainted at church. She was rushed to a hospital down the street, and the hospital diagnosed a gall bladder attack. Emergency surgery was performed, but when the surgeon opened her up, there was no gall bladder. It had been removed at the same hospital by the same surgeon just a year before.
Not every result that wasn’t desired is medical malpractice. A skilled surgeon at a fine hospital with the latest technology can comply with the standard of care for a certain procedure in a highly professional manner but get a bad result.
Proving medical malpractice
To prevail in a medical malpractice case, the person claiming to have been injured must prove certain elements. Those are that:
- A physician and patient relationship existed
- By virtue of that relationship, the physician owed the patient a duty
- There was a breach of that duty
- The breach of duty caused the claimant legally recognized damages
Each and every one of these elements must be proved. If any one of them isn’t proved, the claimant’s malpractice case fails in its entirety.
Nearly all medical malpractice cases involve highly complex litigation. If you believe that you were injured by medical malpractice, or a family member died as a result of it, contact us for a free consultation and case evaluation to help you in deciding whether your claim meets the necessary malpractice elements.
If indeed the claimant proves the elements of medical malpractice, he or she is entitled to compensation for damages. Some of the damages that are recoverable in a New York medical malpractice case include:
- The reasonable cost of medical care in connection with the injuries related to the malpractice
- Any future medical rehabilitation or caregiving costs
- Any permanent disability
- Any permanent disfigurement
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral and burial costs in the event of a wrongful death
The statute of limitations
Like all other states, New York places a time limit for filing medical malpractice. That time period is 30 months from the date of the negligent act or omission. There are very few exceptions to this rule. If your claim is against a physician who works for a governmental entity like a public hospital, you should talk to us right away. Different rules apply.
Acting quickly in investigating a medical malpractice case is of the utmost importance. Medical records could get lost or altered, and witnesses could disappear. Bring your questions to us in a free consultation and case evaluation. You don’t need to have a penny in your pocket to visit us, and there are no legal fees unless we obtain a recovery for you. We want to preserve and protect your right to the maximum available compensation.