Medical Malpractice

What Constitutes Medical Malpractice in New York?

By David Hammond

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.

About the Author
David is a former military prosecutor and defense lawyer with over a decade of experience fighting for service members and their families. He served nine years and two combat tours as an active duty US Army officer, then joined the Reserves and settled down in Syracuse to be near family. Now representing people across Central New York charged with serious felonies, misdemeanors, DWIs, and traffic offenses, he puts the same level of commitment into his civilian law practice. If you have any questions regarding this article, you can contact David here.