Have You Been the Victim of Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice, known as medical negligence, happens when a physician or other health care professional or a hospital or health care facility is found to not have cared for a patient under the directives of the accepted standards of the medical profession. Medical malpractice also occurs when a patient is injured or becomes ill under medical care or if the patient’s condition or illness worsens due to alleged inappropriate care or negligence. Parker Waichman LLP has deep expertise in Long Island medical malpractice cases.
Medical Malpractice law is applicable to individuals with legitimate claims of medical injury and these individuals may pursue compensation from doctors, hospitals, and other medical personnel or facilities allegedly responsible for the patient’s injury. Personal injury law in Long Island details the provisions for what damages may be claimed in each case, including medical expenses, pain, suffering, and lost income.
What Types of Injuries and Errors That May Constitute Medical Malpractice
Examples of medical malpractice include
- Failure to diagnose
- Failure to inform the patient of the risks of a specific procedure
- Failure to monitor
- Improper treatment
- Injury during birth, to mother or child
- Prescription errors
- Surgical errors
What is Needed to Prove Medical Malpractice
One aspect involved with medical malpractice involves outlining the elements on which the success of a medical malpractice case is focused. These elements are known as the “medical standard of care.” The medical provider’s betrayal of that standard is known as medical negligence. The plaintiff’s medical expert will be responsible to provide critical evidence through comprehensive testimony concerning the plaintiff’s condition, the proper course of treatment, the appropriate diagnosis methodology, and what the doctor did or did not do during each phase of care.
To bring a lawsuit over medical malpractice involves showing that the provision of care was inappropriate, meaning that decisions, treatment, and diagnosis by the healthcare provider are deemed below the accepted medical standard of care. The complaint must also show that there may have been a failure to treat and that the healthcare provider failed to act as a physician in that medical specialty should act, which is considered a “breach” of the standard of care that comprises “medical negligence,” according to the law. As a result of these behaviors, the patient became injured or ill or the patient’s condition or injury worsened. The case must also prove that a causal connection existed between the healthcare provider’s medical negligence and the harm that the patient experience and that the patient suffered assessable harm or damages.
A doctor-patient relationship must have existed and the plaintiff’s side is responsible to show that the patient was under the medical care of a physician and that a doctor-patient relationship was in place between the plaintiff and the doctor or provider being sued. In essence, the plaintiff hired a healthcare provider and that provider agreed to be hired by the plaintiff. Overheard medical advice or advice given outside of a doctor-patient relationship is not a valid cause for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
The healthcare provider must also be shown to be negligent in the way in which the patient was cared for. If a patient is unhappy with treatment or the results of his or her care, this does not constitute medical malpractice on the part of the treating physician. Rather, the healthcare provider must be proven negligent with the plaintiff’s diagnosis or treatment and must be shown to have caused the plaintiff harm in a way that a competent doctor, working under the same circumstances, would not have caused. In other words, a physician’s care need not be the best care, but the physician must be “reasonably skillful and careful.”
Typically, the plaintiff presents a medical expert during the lawsuit to discuss what the appropriate medical standard of care is for the involved injury, as well as to show how the physician or provider deviated from that standard. When showing how the doctor’s negligence caused injury to the patient, it must be shown it is “more likely than not” that the doctor’s incompetence directly led to the injury, which involves medical expert testimony to confirm the doctor’s negligence caused the injury.
The injury must also be shown to have caused specific damages. Even if it is clear that the doctor performed below the expected standards in his or her field, the patient may not bring a lawsuit for malpractice against the provider if the patient suffered no harm.
Parker Waichman had deep ties to Long Island and has decades of successful experience handling medical malpractice lawsuits in Long Island.
The Thing Speaks for Itself
In medical malpractice lawsuits, there exists a doctrine known as res ipsa loquitur, which means that the thing speaks for itself. This is used when injuries cannot have possibly happened without the negligence of the doctor or provider. Some examples of this include if the plaintiff schedules surgery for hernia repair and the surgeon removes the patient’s gall bladder or if the patient is undergoing surgery and a surgical implement is left in the patient’s body or a patient is undergoing surgery for amputation of the right hand and the left hand is amputated.
In these medical malpractice cases, instead of an expert witness, the plaintiff’s attorneys will show that the incident that led to the harm would not have taken place in the absence of negligence, that the equipment or conduct that led to the harm was under the physician’s or physician’s team’s control throughout the procedure, and that the patient did not contribute to the injury with his or her behavior.
What Should I Do If I Think I Have A Medical Malpractice Claim
Patients should seek immediate medical attention if they suspect that they are the victim of medical malpractice or negligence. Parker Waichman suggests that patients document the claim as best as they are able. Parker Waichman is staffed with knowledgeable Long Island personal injury attorneys who are able to discuss matters such as statute of limitations and any requirements specific to Long Island.
Filing a Medical Malpractice
Parker Waichman LLP has decades of experience representing Long Island personal injury victims. The firm continues to offer free legal consultations to individuals with questions about filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. Patients may bring lawsuits over physical pain, mental anguish, additional medical bills, lost work, and lost earning capacity.
If you or someone you know is interested in filing a Long Island medical malpractice lawsuit, contact the personal injury attorneys at Parker Waichman today. For more information call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).
New York City, Long Island, New Jersey, and Florida
Our personal injury lawyers are here to help you when you need it the most.