If you were harmed by the actions or negligence of a healthcare provider such as a doctor, nurse, technician, or another hospital worker, you could have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
To file a medical malpractice lawsuit, you must show that your care provider was medically negligent, which in this context means they failed to provide accepted medical practice and that you suffered injuries or other losses as a result.
Common Types of Medical Malpractice
According to a 2016 study by Johns Hopkins Medicine, medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in the United States. Three of the most common types of medical malpractice are listed below.
Failure to Diagnose
A doctor may fail to diagnose an injury or illness or may fail to accurately assess the extent of your injury or illness. A failure to diagnose is a neglect of your caregiver’s responsibilities and can lead to outright harm, long-term complications, a less-than-optimal health outcome, or even death.
According to a 2017 study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), medical errors lead to over 250,000 deaths in the United States every year. Basic treatment mistakes would include, for example, errors such as administering too much or too little of a drug, administering the drug too soon or too late, treating the wrong part of the body, misreading diagnostic test results, or failing to perform basic tests.
Failure to Warn About Risks
Your medical caregivers must warn you about the risks inherent with treatments or procedures. This is known as the duty to obtain informed consent. A failure to provide this information can leave a patient with injuries or losses that he or she did not know they were risking. In such cases, the doctor or caregiver may be liable for the patient’s losses or injuries.
If these or other medical mistakes occurred and you were injured as a result, you have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-932-0400
Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
The following steps are important to complete in order to file a medical malpractice lawsuit:
Determine the Statutes of Limitations
There are time limits that govern how long you have to file a personal injury claim. These limits are called statutes of limitations. If you do not file a claim before the end of your filing window, you risk forfeiting your right to seek compensation for injuries or losses sustained as a result of medical malpractice.
It is critically important to know exactly where you stand with respect to how much time is left. Even if you think your time may have run out, there are various exceptions to the general rule and extension of time called “tolls” that may, or may not, apply to your circumstances. A medical malpractice lawyer will be able to analyze your situation and let you know where you stand.
Obtain a Medical Assessment that Will Support a Certificate of Merit
You must have a serious claim to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against your doctor. In New York State you must show that your case is valid. This is done formally with what is called a Certificate of Merit.
According to New York Civil Practice Law & Rules (CVP) §3012, a Certificate of Merit certifies that your attorney has reviewed your case and has concluded that, based on the facts, there is a basis to proceed with a malpractice lawsuit against your doctor.
Settle Out of Court
Depending on the strength of your case and the evidence you have to support your claims, the at-fault party’s insurer may wish to settle with you out of court. However, the opposite is also possible, that is, that the insurer will take a very strong, defensive, no-pay position. Therefore, every case must be viewed and handled as if it may ultimately go to trial.
An attorney will review the evidence, handle all communication with the insurance company, and work to build the strongest, most compelling case on your behalf.
Seeking Legal Guidance
There are many benefits to hiring an attorney to work on your case. These include:
- Keeping you updated on your case
- Identifying liable parties
- Communicating with all parties on your behalf
- Gathering evidence
- Determining a value for your case and fighting to recover the compensation to which you are entitled
If you would like to discuss your case and find out more about filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, contact Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. at (516) 932-0400 for a free consultation. Remember that you must file a claim before the statute of limitations for your injuries expires, so reach out to us today.