What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice involves negligence on the part of a health care provider. Malpractice may involve a hospital, a nurse, a doctor, or other professional healthcare provider. Hospitals provide opportunities for healing. However, it is estimated that over 100,000 people in the U.S. are injured or killed due to medical errors, which take place in a hospital, every year. This figure is astonishingly higher than the number auto accident deaths annually.
Forms of Medical Malpractice
Medical errors may include:
- Birth Injuries
- Cosmetic Surgery Malpractice
- Failure to Diagnose
- Improper/Incorrect X-rays
- Improperly Performed Blood Transfusions
- Medical Negligence
- Medication Errors
- Negligent Amputations
- Surgical Injuries
Pursuing A Medical Malpractice Claim
When a patient is harmed due to negligence, unsafe practice, misdiagnosis, or improper treatment by a medical professional, hospital, or clinic, the patient may have the right to pursue a medical malpractice claim. Doctors, nurses, physicians, and all other medical professionals have a duty to provide trusted services. However, when medical malpractice occurs, regardless of whether it was unintentional, the patient and family members usually suffer the consequences.
If you or a loved one is a victim of medical malpractice, it may be in your best interest to pursue a medical malpractice claim with the assistance of a medical malpractice attorney in New York. As a victim of medical malpractice, you have the legal right to sue for damages and recompense.
Medical Malpractice Claim Requirements
To pursue a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit, certain conditions should be present to effectively proceed with the claim or suit. In other words, some requirements need to be met before moving forward. For instance, it must be evident that a doctor-patient relationship exists or existed, there was negligence, the negligence caused the patient’s injury, the injury results in damages. However, it is important to note that these requirements may not be inclusive of all types of injuries. This is a representation of general requirements. Depending on the injury and type of malpractice case, different requirements and procedures may apply.
The following offers an explanation of the general requirements to be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit or claim:
- Doctor-Patient Relationship: To submit a medical malpractice claim, the patient has to demonstrate that he or she had a physician-patient relationship with the medical professional they are suing. The doctor or medical professional must have been hired by the patient to establish a doctor-patient relationship, and the medical professional agreed to be hired. It is not difficult to show a doctor-patient relationship. Medical records and treatment records help prove that a patient received services rendered by the medical professional.
- Negligence: Negligence is usually the main complaint when suing for malpractice. For a patient to sue for negligence, he or she has to affirm that harm was caused by the medical professional that treated or diagnosed them. The harm has to result from negligence that otherwise would not have occurred if another doctor or medical professional would have treated the patient.
- Causation of an Injury: Sometimes, it can be difficult to prove that a doctor or medical professional’s negligence caused an injury to the patient. However, in order to pursue a claim, it has to be shown that negligence or some form of malpractice caused an injury. Patients who have underlying conditions often find it difficult to prove harm or injury because the defense usually argues that the underlying condition caused further harm that resulted in injury, and that it was not due to the medical professional’s lack of skill or competence. When trying to confirm negligence, other medical experts are enlisted to help attest negligence on the defendant’s parts.
- Damages: To sue for malpractice, it also has to be evident that the patient suffered some kind of harm from the medical professional. Not all doctors practice to the best of their ability, but they must practice reasonably and safely. And so, if there is no evidence that harm was done, a patient may not be able to sue for malpractice. On the other hand, if a patient did endure harm, they can sue for physical pain, pain and suffering, medical bills, loss of wages, loss of enjoyment of life, and other possible damages.
It is essential to consult a medical malpractice attorney in New York if you are seeking to bring forth a malpractice claim or lawsuit. A medical malpractice attorney in New York can establish the proper steps to successfully submit a claim or file a lawsuit.
Statute Of Limitations For Medical Malpractice Claims
Similar to personal injury claims, medical malpractice claims also have time limits on a person’s right to sue. If you want to sue for medical malpractice, you normally have two years and six months to petition a legal action against malpractice from the time that it occurred. If you fail to start a suit within two years and six months of when the injury happened, you will not be able to pursue a claim or lawsuit. However, there some exceptions to the statute of limitations for some injuries and diagnoses.
The following injuries or claims do not fall under the usual two years and six months rule:
- Cancer Misdiagnosis: A patient has two years to file a lawsuit after learning of the misdiagnosis.
- Wrongful Death: A wrongful death involving medical malpractice must be filed within two years of the patient’s death.
- A Minor Who is the Victim of Malpractice: A minor usually has ten years to file a medical malpractice suit depending on the typed of claim.
- Foreign Object Left in the Victim’s Body: If a foreign object is discovered after a medical procedure, the patient has one year to follow suit from the time of discovery.
The area of medical malpractice is quite complex. If you are pursuing a malpractice lawsuit, it is highly advised that you seek an experienced medical malpractice attorney in New York.
Choose the Right Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Medical malpractice attorneys at The Law Office of Reuven Epstein believe that if you have suffered due to a medical professional’s error, you deserve fair compensation. Our experienced attorneys will fight for you. Call The Law Office of Reuven Epstein in Spring Valley, Rockland County, NY at (845) 208-2444
If you are hurt as a result of a medical professional’s error, our skilful and experienced medical malpractice lawyers can help. If you have been hurt as a result of a medical error in Spring Valley, Rockland County NY and are looking for strong legal counsel, contact The Law Office of Reuven Epstein. Call us at (845) 208-2444 and schedule a free consultation to discuss your options.
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