What Do I Need to Know About Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

Scaffidi & Associates discusses what you should know about filing a medical malpractice case.

It can be difficult to believe that a physician, hospital, or other health care provider that you trusted caused you harm. Sadly, medical errors and negligence are more common than many people realize. If you have been injured because of errors or wrongdoing by a health care provider, you may want to consider filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. A New York medical malpractice attorney can review your case to determine if you have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Five Things You Need to Know About Medical Malpractice Lawsuits In New York

1.  A medical provider can make a mistake, but not be guilty of medical malpractice.

For medical malpractice to occur, you must meet all four legal requirements for malpractice. One of the requirements is that an injury occurred because of a medical error, negligence, or other wrongdoing. Therefore, if a doctor makes a mistake, but the patient is not harmed or injured, the doctor’s actions may not rise to the level of medical malpractice.

2.  Medical experts are necessary for a medical malpractice lawsuit.

You must prove that the health care provider breached the duty of care to prove medical malpractice. However, determining the standard of care can be difficult. A medical expert must review the facts in the case to decide what standard of care applied in your case. The medical expert must then explain how the medical provider’s actions deviated from the standard of care to cause the patient injury or harm.

Additionally, a medical expert must review your medical records and find that there is sufficient evidence to form a reasonable belief that malpractice occurred. In most cases, a Certificate of Merit must be filed with the medical malpractice lawsuit stating that the attorney has consulted with a medical expert to determine that there is a reasonable basis for the lawsuit.

3.  A hospital may not be sued in all cases of medical malpractice.

In some instances, a hospital may not be responsible for medical malpractice that occurred within the hospital if the person committing the malpractice was an independent contractor. Many doctors who practice in hospitals are not employees of the hospital. They see patients and perform surgeries in the hospital, but they are not hospital employees.

However, there are some exceptions to the general rule that hospitals are not responsible for the actions or inactions of an independent contractor. An attorney with experience handling medical malpractice cases can conduct an independent investigation to determine if the hospital may be liable for malpractice committed by a doctor or other medical provider who is not a hospital employee.

4.  Your time to file a medical malpractice lawsuit is restricted.

In most cases, patients have 2 ½ years from the date of the alleged malpractice to file medical malpractice lawsuits. There are a few exceptions to the general deadline for filing medical malpractice lawsuits. For example, minors may have additional time to file a lawsuit. Also, patients who do not discover the injury right away may have more time to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, it is best to see an attorney as soon as possible to avoid losing your right to hold a negligent doctor responsible for injuries and damages.

5.  You may receive compensation for financial losses and noneconomic damages.

In a medical malpractice lawsuit, you seek to recover your financial losses, such as medical expenses and lost wages. You also demand payment for noneconomic losses, such as physical pain and emotional distress. For patients who sustained a permanent impairment or disability because of the malpractice, a separate claim may be included for future damages, including ongoing medical care, cost of personal care, loss of income, and diminished earning capacity.

Call a New York Medical Malpractice Attorney for More Information

Medical malpractice law is complex. Lawsuits filed for medical malpractice can be difficult to win. If you suspect that your doctor or other health care provider caused your injury, contact an experienced New York medical malpractice attorney to discuss your legal rights and options. Contact a New York medical malpractice attorney today.

Posted in: Medical Malpractice


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