When you go to a hospital to receive treatment, you have an expectation that the doctors and other healthcare professionals that tend to you will provide you the care you deserve. However, sometimes medical practitioners are negligent or reckless when treating patients, leading to severe injuries. Under state personal injury laws, you can recover compensation for damages from a medical malpractice lawsuit.
You will need to learn about the signs of medical malpractice to determine if you are a victim. This will help you decide whether to pursue a lawsuit against the hospital or other healthcare practitioner.
Jesse Minc Personal Injury Law, a medical malpractice attorney, says that there are four elements that the patient must prove in order to recover damages in a medical malpractice suit:
- A duty of care
- A breach of that duty
- An injury
- Proximate causation
A hospital has legal liability and a moral responsibility to ensure that doctors, nurses, and staff are properly trained and serving the patients. According to the law, hospitals have a duty to provide care at the standard level reasonably expected of any skilled and competent staff, from doctors to nurses to aides and therapists. The hospital has a duty to develop policies that the doctors and staff must conform to in order to provide the best care possible to patients and respond to the community’s health needs. In order to win damages in your claim, your attorney must demonstrate that the healthcare professional you sought services from at the hospital owed you a duty of care.
Next, your attorney will have to prove that there was a breach of that duty and that the doctor did not provide care to you that’s similar to the care that any other reasonable doctor would provide in a similar situation. Then they will have to prove that the breach caused an injury. Examples of breaches to the duty of care that cause medical injuries include:
- Administering the wrong drug to a patient, causing life-threatening side effects
- Administering too much anesthesia
- Discharging a patient before the patient is medically stable enough to go home
- Failing to identify issues prior to the delivery of a baby, such as a compressed umbilical cord, that causes birth injuries to the child
There are many other examples of medical malpractice, so you should speak to an attorney about what happened to you or your loved one and find out if you have a valid claim.
If you believe that a hospital‘s negligence and carelessness were the cause of your injury, then your attorney will have to show by a preponderance of evidence that you are entitled to a settlement. The types of evidence that are used to prove medical malpractice include:
- Your medical records
- Prescription records
- Medication administration records
- Nurses’ and doctors’ notes
- Diagnostic testing results
- Lab reports
- Your treatment plan
- Your discharge papers
Your attorney will fight hard to prove that the proximate cause of your injuries was the negligence, recklessness, or carelessness of a doctor, nurse, or other hospital staff.
Administrators and healthcare providers can be sued in a medical malpractice claim for their part in a hospital negligence case. However, it’s essential to have an experienced New York medical malpractice attorney investigating your claim to find out who is liable and if you can sue the hospital.
A common misconception is that doctors are employees of hospitals and therefore hospitals can be held liable for individual doctors’ malpractice. In reality, many doctors have admitting privileges at hospitals but are treated as independent contractors. Therefore, a hospital would not be liable for the error or negligence of a doctor unless they are an employee of the hospital.
You have two and a half years, or 30 months, to file your medical malpractice claim in the state of New York under the statute of limitations. A statute of limitations is a legal deadline by which a person must file a claim. After that deadline has passed, no court will hear the case regardless of how strong the evidence is.
In a successful medical malpractice claims case, the injured patient can be awarded economic damages, which are their financial losses, and non-economic damages, such as the victim’s pain and suffering. The following are types of damages that you can sue for in a medical malpractice personal injury claim:
- All medical expenses, including those to treat your injuries
- Lost wages
- Follow-up visits with a different doctor to treat your injuries
- All out-of-pocket expenses
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Physical suffering
- Mental anguish
If you have been injured after going to a hospital to seek treatment, t you should seek the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you get the damages that you deserve and will inform you of your rights.