What Constitutes Medical Malpractice in New York?

We place so much trust and faith in our doctors to take the best possible care with our health and well-being. When a doctor proves undeserving of that trust, provides substandard care, and a patient is harmed because of it, the law provides us with a way to seek compensation for that harm suffered. If you have suffered harm due to medical malpractice, you can pursue a claim for monetary compensation for the losses you have sustained as a result of the negligent medical care you received.

What Constitutes Medical Malpractice in New York?

Medical malpractice is based on the legal theory of negligence. In order to prove medical malpractice, you need to be able to prove that a doctor or other medical professional was negligent in the care they provided to you. What does that mean? What constitutes medical malpractice? Well, medical malpractice occurs when the following elements of negligence are substantiated:

  • Duty:  If you are a patient of a doctor or other medical care provider, they owe you a duty of care. That duty of care is to provide you with medical attention comparable to what would be provided to you by a similarly situated medical provider under similar circumstances.
  • Breach:  If your medical care provider fails to uphold this duty and provides you with substandard medical care, they have breached the duty of care to which you were legally entitled.
  • Causation: The breach of the duty of care must have been the direct and proximate cause of any harm you claim to have suffered
  • Damages:  You must have sustained compensable damages as a result of the breach of the doctor’s duty of care that caused you harm. 

It is important to understand that the damages you claim in a medical malpractice case are a reflection of the harm you have suffered. The damages you recover are meant to, in large part, compensate you for the losses you sustained due to the medical negligence. That is why damages in a medical malpractice case will commonly include things like medical expenses, lost wages, and loss of future earning potential. Damages will also likely include things like loss of enjoyment of life, and pain and suffering.

In other words, if a doctor provided you with substandard medical care and you were harmed as a result, it is likely that you have a medical malpractice claim on your hands. Be mindful that, in New York, there is a 30 month statute of limitations on medical malpractice claims. Failure to bring your claim in a timely manner will likely result in you being barred from bringing it altogether.

Medical Malpractice Attorneys

If you have suffered as a result of negligent medical care, do not delay in reaching out to the team of dedicated medical malpractice attorneys at CDH Law. Medical malpractice claims can be tricky and the stakes are high when you may have incurred significant harm. We fight for our clients and their legal right to full and fair monetary recovery. Contact us today.

Elements of a Medical Malpractice Claim

If you have been injured, harmed, or suffered due to receiving negligent medical care, you may be entitled to compensation through a medical malpractice claim. You see, medical professionals, owe patients a duty of care commensurate with that expected of similarly situated medical professionals of the same field and of comparable geographical locations, among other relevant factors. Those doctors, nurses, and other health care workers who fail to uphold such a duty can cause serious and lifelong harm to patients who trusted them with their well-being. In order to bring a successful medical malpractice claim, however, certain elements must be met with legally sound evidence.

Elements of a Medical Malpractice Claim

Medical malpractice refers to a legal claim based on the action or omission of a medical professional that deviates from the accepted medical standard of practice that results in harm to a patient. In order to bring a successful medical malpractice claim, a plaintiff must be able to establish four elements:

  • Duty:  The medical professional, oftentimes a doctor, must have owed the plaintiff a duty of care. This is commonly established easily just by demonstrating that the doctor-patient relationship existed. When a medical professional is responsible for providing some type of evaluation, treatment, or care for a person, the duty element is usually established. The duty itself refers to a duty to act within an applicable standard of care which will be discussed in more detail in the next element.

 

  • Breach: The plaintiff must be able to demonstrate that the health care professional breached the relevant standard of care. In medical malpractice claims, the applicable standard of care is the level of care that a similarly situated medical professional would have provided under comparable circumstances. The standard of care takes into account things such as the specialized knowledge the doctor should have had, among other relevant factors. In medical malpractice cases, expert testimony is typically needed from other medical professionals in order to establish the standard of care that should have been exercised and to support a claim that the relevant standard was breached.

 

  • Causation: The breach of the duty of care owed by the health care professional to the patient must have been the direct cause or a contributing factor to some harm suffered by the patient. This may have been an exacerbation of a preexisting condition or the development of a new medical issue in the patient, among other things.

 

  • Damages: The plaintiff must also be able to prove that he or she suffered damages as a result of the health care professional’s breach of duty. In medical malpractice cases, compensable damages may include things like medical expenses, the cost of future medical care, lost wages, pain, and suffering, and other losses sustained as a result of the medical malpractice.

Medical malpractice can take many forms including:

  • Surgical mistakes
  • Misdiagnosis
  • Delayed diagnosis or missed diagnosis
  • Birth errors
  • Prescription errors 

In any of these forms, the same four elements must be established.

Syracuse Medical Malpractice Attorneys

If you have been hurt due to negligent medical care, the dedicated team of medical malpractice attorneys at CDH Law is here for you. Contact us today.