Guide to Medical Malpractice in NY: Lawsuits & Compensation
We all need to head to the doctor from time to time, and we trust in trained medical professionals to have our best interests at heart. But sometimes we run into a healthcare provider that is deliberately or accidentally harmful. Many wish to sue for medical malpractice in these situations.
While this is a viable course of action, you have to understand how medical malpractice in New York works before making your case.
Medical Malpractice in New York
Although medical malpractice is a universally-recognized offense, every state in the US establishes its own laws surrounding it. Most are similar to one another, although New York medical malpractice laws are distinct in their own ways.
In particular, New York has a 2 ½ year limit for the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations defines how long any injured patient can wait before filing a claim of medical malpractice. This prevents victims from filing claims long after their injuries have healed.
This makes it hugely important for any victims of medical malpractice to press for compensation and a settlement soon after obtaining injuries. As a result, medical malpractice attorneys and other legal experts are a great idea.
In New York, the statute of limitations officially begins whenever the injury to the patient took place or at the end of continuous treatment during which the injury occurred. If you receive an injury after surgery, the statute of limitations begins as soon as that surgery is over.
There is a major exception dealing with foreign object cases. If a doctor or healthcare professional leaves a foreign object in a patient’s body, an exception is granted. These cases can be filed for medical malpractice within one year after the foreign object is discovered. This is called the “discovery” rule.
Overall, the quicker you contact a New York medical malpractice attorney, the better.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice can be claimed when a certified and legal medical provider violates a “standard of care” which resulted in injury or harm to a patient. Standard of care is defined as a “general beneficent and benevolent level of care than any healthcare professional should administer to their patients.” This care can vary from condition to condition.
Types of Medical Malpractice in New York
Medical malpractice can be organized broadly by type and injury. There are a few common types of medical malpractice, however.
The first of these is misdiagnosis. This occurs when a doctor examined the patient, but cannot correctly diagnose an illness or injury. Even worse, some doctors may say that there is no injury or illness, when there actually is.
Delayed diagnosis is another type of medical malpractice, as is failure to treat. Surgical errors, birth injuries, and medical product liability are all further examples.
The Difference Between Medical Negligence and Malpractice
While medical negligence is often used interchangeably with medical malpractice, they are technically different. Medical negligence is defined as “when a healthcare provider performs a service that deviates from the accepted medical standard of care.” However, medical negligence is not usually enough to form a valid medical malpractice claim.
If a healthcare provider gave you a treatment that is substandard according to what is normal for the field and injury, the doctor can be seen as “negligent.” This is not legally equivalent to receiving an injury in New York. In court, any victim suing a doctor for medical negligence will need to prove that the negligence caused injury to the patient in order to build a valid medical malpractice case.
Examples of Medical Negligence
- A doctor ignoring a patient’s testimony
- Giving a little too much or too little medicine
- Being late for an appointment
Note that none of these necessarily lead to a patient injury, although they could under certain circumstances. Thus, victims wishing to pursue a medical negligence malpractice case will want to hire a good New York medical malpractice lawyer.
Medical Malpractice Examples
- Deliberately avoiding giving a patient needed medicine
- Making a harmful mistake during surgery
- Failing to take patient comfort into account
- Being rough or cruel in the middle of a medical procedure
- Misreading or ignoring laboratory results
- Performing unnecessary surgery
- Disregarding a patient’s history
- Prescribing of defective medication
Suing for Medical Malpractice in New York
A medical malpractice case can be brought forward by any injured patient against a licensed healthcare provider. This includes regular doctors but also includes nurses, physical therapists, and mental health care professionals.
Medical malpractice cases typically involve the victim of a medical injury suing a medical professional. However, in some cases, the court may find the victim to be partially liable for their own injuries. This may significantly reduce the damages award or eliminate it entirely. This means it’s necessary to have a good New York medical malpractice lawyer to make the best case possible.
New York law includes a “pure comparative negligence” rule. In a nutshell, this reduces the amount of damages awarded based on the proportion of your share of the blame. If you are, for instance, 50% at fault, your damages award will be reduced by 50%.
Can You Sue a Doctor for a Wrong Diagnosis?
This depends on whether you can prove that the misdiagnosis was a cause of your injury. This is often the case, as misdiagnosis usually results in a victim failing to get the treatment they need to become healthy. Still, this is not as blatant a malpractice charge as a doctor deliberately causing harm to a patient.
To have the best chance of suing a doctor for a wrong diagnosis, you should hire an experienced medical malpractice lawyer.
Medical Malpractice Damages in NY
Along with specific statute of limitation laws, many states also have laws determining how much an injured patient can collect as damages. New York recognizes three main damage types for medical malpractice cases.
Compensatory damages deal with compensation for medical malpractice victims for things like loss of wages or medical costs. Non-economic damages compensate victims for things like pain and suffering. Finally, punitive damages are only awarded if the victim shows that the doctor or healthcare provider acted recklessly.
How Much You Can Earn from Medical Malpractice Cases
In terms of the actual amount, New York doesn’t place a limit on the monetary value of damages. Thus, very high or low damage awards are possible depending on the strength of the case. In any case, those with a New York medical malpractice attorney representing them will have a better chance of collecting high damages.
New York Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Finding the right New York medical malpractice representation in Orange County and beyond doesn’t have to be difficult. Sobo & Sobo have an extensive team of medical malpractice lawyers and attorneys who will have your back in your case.
Specifically, Sobo & Sobo has skilled attorneys at your disposal across the greater New York and Orange County areas, including Middletown, Monticello, NYC, Newburgh, Poughkeepsie, Spring Valley, and the Bronx. Wherever you live, they’re just a phone call away. Let them help you through your medical malpractice case and get you the settlement you deserve.
Contact Sobo & Sobo
Phone Number: 855-468-7626