An illness or injury can be a devastating experience for any New Yorker. If that injury or illness is related to medical negligence or malpractice, the situation becomes even more tragic. For New York residents that have been victims of medical malpractice, there are steps to take to file a New York medical malpractice lawsuit to pursue compensation for pain and suffering, medical bills and economic loss that are the direct result of the injury.
Defining medical malpractice
Medical malpractice encompasses harm that comes to a patient through a medical professional’s failure to competently administer care to that patient. Negligence or malpractice is generally determined by whether that patient would have received similar care from a different medical provider in a comparable situation. The burden of proof in a New York medical malpractice lawsuit rests with the plaintiff, who must show a relationship between the doctor and patient, negligence on the part of the doctor, and a direct association between the negligence and the injury.
Discussing the issue with the medical professional
A patient who feels he or she has received negligent care should first confront the medical professional about the problem. The provider may be the best source of information about what went wrong during treatment and whether there is an easy remedy to the issue. Most practitioners will provide the necessary service to right a wrong during treatment – often without charging the patient for the additional service. However, if the problem cannot be remedied directly through the healthcare provider, additional steps may need to be taken by the plaintiff.
Reporting medical malpractice
It is important for a patient who feels he or she has been treated negligently to report the healthcare professional to the proper medical licensing board. In New York, complaints about treatment usually begin with a report to the Office of Professional Medical Conduct, which is part of the New York Department of Health. This office is responsible for investigating discipline issues involving all types of medical providers, which might include gross negligence or incompetence on the part of the professional.
Understanding statute of limitations
It is also important for an injured patient to understand the statute of limitations for his or her state, which are the guidelines for when legal action may be taken. In New York, the current statute of limitations for medical malpractice is 15 months if the malpractice occurred at a city hospital, and 30 months for problems that occurred at a private hospital. This is the time period from when the malpractice actually occurred, not from the time when the patient discovered the malpractice.
Hiring the right NY malpractice attorneys
Because the statute of limitations in New York is relatively short, it is important for victims of medical malpractice to find a qualified attorney to represent them as soon as possible. This professional will ensure the malpractice victim receives the appropriate medical review so that a certificate of merit can be filed. A certificate of merit is a document that confirms medical wrongdoing occurred and that the wrongdoing led directly to a significant injury or disability. It is a necessary document in a New York lawsuit involving medical malpractice.
The laws involving medical malpractice can be complex, making them very difficult for a victim to navigate alone. Enlisting the services of a qualified malpractice attorney right away can make all the difference in a successful New York medical malpractice lawsuit.
If you have been injured through medical malpractice or negligence, the exceptional team of lawyers at The Sanders Firm may be able to help. Our attorneys bring more than four decades of experience to the legal table, and have helped residents of Long Island, Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Staten Island and Manhattan pursue the legal compensation they deserve for their suffering.
The Sanders Firm offers free evaluations of any malpractice claim, so contact our office today at 1.800.FAIR.PLAY (800.324.7752). Resources
- New York Daily News, City Councilman James Vacca presses state lawmakers to pass ‘Lavern’s Law’ to aid medical malpractice victims, http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/ny-urged-pass-law-aiding-malpractice-victims-article-1.1370265
- New York State Department of Health, Professional Medical Misconduct and Physician Discipline, http://www.health.ny.gov/professionals/doctors/conduct/frequently_asked_questions.htm