Do I Have a Medical Malpractice Case?


Understanding Medical Malpractice Cases in New York

Medical malpractice cases can be filed after negligence by healthcare providers. If a patient is injured due to the actions or inactions of a healthcare professional, they may have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, not every undesirable medical outcome constitutes malpractice. To establish a case in New York specific standards must be met, and various factors play a crucial role in determining the validity and success of such claims. Consulting with a skilled, experienced New York medical malpractice lawyer can determine whether or not you have a valid case.


What Is Needed to Prove Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice results when a healthcare provider fails to adhere to the accepted standards of medical care, causing harm to the patient. In New York, to prove medical malpractice, the following elements must be demonstrated:

Duty of care. Healthcare providers owe a duty of care to the patient, meaning they have a legal obligation to provide treatment consistent with accepted standards of care.

Breach of duty. The health care provider breached this duty of care by acting in a manner that strayed from accepted standards of care. This breach typically involves errors, negligence, or omissions in diagnosis, treatment, or follow-up care.

Causation. The breach of duty of care directly caused harm or injury to the patient. It must be established that the patient’s injury would not have occurred without the healthcare provider’s negligence.

Damages. The patient suffered damages related directly to the healthcare provider’s breach of duty. These damages may include physical injuries, emotional distress, financial losses, or other harm.


Examples of Common Medical Malpractice Cases

Medical malpractice cases can arise from a wide range of scenarios. It is a complex and multifaceted issue that has serious and often fatal consequences for patients and their families. Understanding common examples of medical malpractice is crucial for patients to recognize when negligent medical care may have harmed them. Some common examples of medical malpractice include, but are not limited to, the following:


Surgical Errors

One prevalent type of medical malpractice involves surgical errors. These errors can range from performing surgery on the wrong body part to leaving surgical instruments or sponges inside the patient’s body. Wrong-site surgery, for instance, occurs when a surgeon operates on the wrong side or area of the body, leading to unnecessary harm and potential complications for the patient. Such errors not only result in physical injury but also erode trust in the healthcare system and can have lasting psychological effects on the patient.


Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis

Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis is another type of medical malpractice. When healthcare providers fail to identify a patient’s condition accurately and in a timely manner, it can lead to a worsened prognosis, unnecessary treatments, and even death in severe cases. For instance, a delayed cancer diagnosis can cause the disease to progress to a more advanced stage, reducing the patient’s chances of survival. Similarly, misdiagnosis can result in patients undergoing unnecessary procedures or medications that carry their own risks and side effects.


Errors in Medication

Medication errors can also be considered medical malpractice. These errors may include:

• Prescribing the wrong medication

• Administering an incorrect dosage

• Failing to consider potential drug interactions

Medication mistakes can lead to adverse drug reactions, allergic reactions, and even fatalities in extreme cases. Pharmacists, physicians, and nurses all play essential roles in ensuring the safety and effective use of medications, and any negligence in this regard can have dire consequences for patients.


Birth Injuries

Birth injuries resulting from medical negligence during pregnancy, labor, or delivery are particularly heartbreaking examples of medical malpractice. Birth injuries can range in severity and can have lifelong consequences for both the child and the family. Common birth injuries may include:

• Cerebral palsy

• Brachial plexus injuries

• Cord prolapse

• Shoulder dystocia

• Fractures

• Forceps injuries

• Negligent actions during prenatal care, labor induction, or cesarean section can contribute to these injuries, leaving families grappling with emotional distress and financial burdens.


Failure to Obtain Informed Consent

Another form of medical malpractice is failing to obtain informed consent before performing a procedure or treatment. Informed consent requires health care providers to fully disclose relevant information about a treatment or procedure, including its risks, benefits, and alternatives, to the patient so they can make an informed decision about their medical care. Failing to obtain proper consent violates patients’ rights and can result in legal repercussions for the health care provider.


Types of Medical Malpractice Injuries

The injuries resulting from medical malpractice can vary widely in severity and impact. Some common types of injuries include:

Worsening of existing conditions. Negligent medical treatment can exacerbate preexisting medical conditions, leading to further complications and deterioration of health.

Permanent disability. Severe cases of medical malpractice may result in permanent disabilities, such as paralysis, loss of limb function, or cognitive impairment.

Chronic pain. Patients may suffer from chronic pain as a result of botched surgeries, nerve damage, or other medical errors.

Emotional distress. Medical malpractice can cause significant emotional trauma, including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Loss of bodily functions. Serious medical errors can lead to the loss of bodily functions, such as impaired mobility, vision, or organ function.

Postoperative complications. Patients may experience complications following surgical procedures, such as infections, bleeding, or organ damage, due to medical negligence.

Infections. Healthcare-associated infections can occur due to improper sanitation practices or failure to follow infection control protocols.

Adverse reactions to medication. Incorrect administration or prescription of medications can lead to adverse reactions, allergic responses, or drug interactions, causing harm to the patient.

Prolonged recovery time. Patients may face extended recovery periods and additional medical interventions due to complications arising from medical malpractice.

In the most tragic cases, medical malpractice may result in the death of the patient due to negligence or medical errors. When this occurs, the family may file a wrongful death claim to recover damages.


How a Seasoned Medical Malpractice Lawyer Can Help Your Case

If you believe you or a loved one have been a victim of medical malpractice in New York hiring an experienced medical malpractice attorney is crucial. Your lawyer can:

Evaluate your case. Your medical malpractice attorney can review pertinent information such as medical records, consult with medical experts, and assess the circumstances of your injury to determine if you have a legitimate claim.

Gather evidence. Your lawyer will collect evidence to support your case, including medical records, expert testimony, and witness statements.

Negotiate with insurance companies. Your attorney can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf to seek the full amount of compensation you are entitled to for your injuries and losses.

Prepare for litigation. If a settlement cannot be reached, your lawyer can prepare your case for trial, including filing legal documents, conducting depositions, and presenting evidence in court.

Advocate for your rights. Throughout the legal process, your medical malpractice attorney can advocate for your rights and interests to achieve the best possible outcome for your case.


Legal Limitations in New York

There are certain legal limitations regarding medical malpractice in New York. You must be aware of these legal limitations if you decide to pursue a medical malpractice claim. Legal limitations include:


Statute of Limitations

New York has a specific deadline for filing a medical malpractice claim known as the statute of limitations. Generally, the deadline for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit is two and one-half years from the date of the alleged malpractice or discovery of the injury.

Understanding these legal limitations is crucial when pursuing a medical malpractice claim in New York since failing to file a claim within the required timeframe can result in the dismissal of your case.

Remember, time is of the essence when filing complex claims like these. Take action now to protect your rights. Use this convenient contact form to schedule your consultation today.


Do You Need to Speak to an Experienced New York Medical Malpractice Attorney?

If you or a loved one suffered injuries and other health complications due to medical malpractice, you have the right to seek justice and fair compensation for your damages. Don’t suffer in silence—reach out to the skilled and compassionate medical malpractice attorneys at the Law Offices of Peter DeFilippis & Associates to explore your legal options. Our telephone number is 914-478-7777 or 212-227-4001.