NYC Medical Malpractice Attorney
Medical malpractice is something no patient wants to consider during a health crisis. Patients deserve top-notch care, with standards that fulfill federal and state laws. They should never suffer because of a negligent or reckless healthcare worker or facility. Unfortunately, thousands of people have come forward for legal help over the years after experiencing serious injuries, or family member deaths, at the hands of negligent physicians. If this sounds like your current situation, don’t hesitate to consult with a qualified NYC medical malpractice attorney at Meirowitz & Wasserberg, LLP for legal counsel.
New York Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations
All personal injury claims feature a time limit for filing claims, referred to as the statute of limitations. These limitations vary from state to state, and even the nature of the case. In New York, a victim of medical malpractice has 30 months in which to file a claim. However, there are certain exceptions to this rule. Minor children, for example, have 30 months from their 18th birthdays to file medical malpractice claims.
Another exception refers to the “limited discovery” rule. This applies to situations in which the victim could not have learned there had been medical malpractice, such as a foreign object in the body, earlier. In New York, the rules surrounding limited discovery are more limited than in other states, so it’s essential to retain the services of a seasoned NYC medical malpractice lawyer as soon as you suspect medical malpractice.
How to Report Medical Malpractice in New York
In the state of New York, the Office of Professional Medical Conduct (OPMC) and the Board for Professional Medical Conduct handle and investigate complaints about health care providers, including physicians, their assistants, and resident physicians.
To file a complaint about a health care provider, mail a written letter and completed complaint form to the New York State Department of Health. Complaints regarding nurses, dentists, optometrists, and non-physician employees must go to the Office of Professional Discipline. Here are a few points you may want to consider in your complaint:
- Denial of treatment or medical care based on race, color, or creed
- Ordering medically unnecessary tests
- Refusal to provide medical records upon request
- Guaranteeing a health outcome
- Harassment or intimidation of a patient
When pursuing a medical malpractice claim, it’s also essential to retain the services of a dedicated NYC medical malpractice attorney. A lawyer can help you understand your rights and responsibilities under New York law and can effectively protect your right to fair compensation, especially when it comes to negotiation with a health care provider’s insurance company.
Medical Malpractice Payments in New York (2006-2016)
Medical malpractice complaints work in three ways: They help claimants recover damages for their material and immaterial losses. Medical malpractice claims also help plaintiffs seek justice for another party’s wrongdoing. Last, they help prevent other patients from suffering similar harms and negative outcomes.
The attorneys at Meirowitz & Wasserberg, LLP are committed to helping you understand your right to compensation under New York state law. The complicated nature of medical malpractice claims means you shouldn’t risk going it alone. Our firm has extensive experience in medical malpractice claims, and we’re willing to take a case to court should litigation become necessary.
Types of Medical Malpractice
There are several types of medical malpractice that may give rise to personal injury claims. Some of the most common are:
One of the most common types of physician error is the misdiagnosis of a medical condition. A misdiagnosis occurs when a health care provider fails to appropriately recognize the symptoms of a disease or life-threatening condition, and this failure leads to a delay in appropriate treatment. Some of the most commonly misdiagnosed conditions are masses or tumors, heart attacks, and pulmonary emboli (blood clots in the lungs).
A misdiagnosis often occurs with complex conditions, because a patient may not present the health care provider with a list of textbook symptoms. Unfortunately, some healthcare providers simply do not properly heed a patient’s concerns, and this can lead to a delay in appropriate treatment or a worse health outcome.
Obstetric or Gynecological Negligence
We’ve made great strides in medicine during pregnancy and childbirth. However, medical negligence still endangers both mothers and babies, even in the 21st century. Some of the most common types of negligence affecting pregnancy and childbirth are:
- Untreated vaginal bleeding
- Abnormalities affecting the placenta
- Prolonged labor that leads to injuries in the mother or baby
- Hemorrhaging in the mother during labor or after delivery
- Nerve injury such as Klumpke’s palsy
- Surgical negligence throughout the course of a C-section
This is just a sampling of the negative outcomes that may result in a medical malpractice claim, so speak with a New York City personal injury lawyer to learn more. Remember, just because a complication occurred during delivery does not mean that your health care provider committed negligence. Remember, a physician may be guilty of negligence if he or she deviated from an established standard of care and did not act with the skill of another similarly trained medical professional.
Unsurprisingly, medication and prescription errors are some of the most common forms of medical malpractice. There are several ways a patient may become the victim of a medication error:
- At a hospital, you may receive someone else’s medication instead of your own.
- A pharmacist may fail to properly fill your prescription.
- A health care provider may fail to foresee a potentially dangerous or life-threating medication interaction.
- A health care provider may provide you with the wrong dosage, dispensing too much or too little medication.
Mistakes during surgery or administration of anesthesia are common. Surgeons may commit negligence by damaging a nerve, failing to properly control bleeding, even leaving a foreign body inside a patient. Some more egregious surgical errors may include performing the wrong amputation, performing a procedure on the wrong body party, and performing a surgery on the wrong patient.
Anesthesia errors, on the other hand, generally involve administering too much or too little medication, or failing to recognize signs of an allergic reaction. Anesthesiologists also have a responsibility to properly monitor the patient at all times.
National Payment Amounts by Malpractice Allegation (2017)
What Do You Need to File for Medical Malpractice in New York?
A free consultation is an excellent opportunity to meet with an experienced NYC medical malpractice attorney in person and receive answers to all your pressing questions – all at no cost or obligation. In the meantime, there is some general information that could help you understand whether or not your recent harms constitute grounds to file for medical malpractice in New York. Here are three things you should definitely have if you want to bring a lawsuit:
- Proof of negligence. Not all unsatisfactory medical outcomes are medical malpractice. You need proof of someone’s negligence, or breach of professional duty, to have grounds for a claim. Negligence can take the form of an incompetent physician or surgeon, unsanitary hospital, lack of communication among staff members, equipment failure, or other circumstances that fall short of accepted medical industry standards.
- Certificate of merit. The New York State courts require a written certificate of merit with every medical malpractice claim. This certificate must state that a lawyer has reviewed the case and has the professional opinion that it has merit. It must also state that the lawyer has consulted with a licensed physician and thinks there is a reasonable basis for the lawsuit. Note that if you’re representing yourself, you do not need a certificate of merit to file.
- A good attorney. Medical malpractice cases can be some of the most difficult to win. There are many unknowns when it comes to someone’s physical health, and roadblocks for financial recovery. You will need to be at the top of your game to bring a successful lawsuit against a respected doctor or medical facility in New York City. The best way to maximize your chance of compensation is with the help of a competent NYC medical malpractice attorney.
Medical malpractice can take many forms. It is any action or behavior that falls below acceptable standards, resulting in harm to the patient. The most common examples of medical malpractice are misdiagnosis, medication errors, emergency room mistakes, physician incompetence, birth injuries, surgical errors, and patient neglect.
How to Prove Medical Malpractice
Like many other personal injury cases, medical malpractice cases rely on the legal theory of negligence, which refers to the idea that a party – in this case, a medical professional – must exercise reasonable care and skill to another – in this case, a patient. To establish medical negligence, a plaintiff (or person pursuing a claim) must show:
- That the medical professional owed the victim a duty of care. Generally, a physician owes you a duty of care if you establish an in-office relationship for preventive care and/or treatment.
- The medical professional violated his or her duty of care (committed negligence) by failing to adhere to a current acceptable standard of care. This requires expert testimony from a health care provider with similar experience, qualification, and training.
- The medical professional’s negligence led to your injuries (such as a worse health outcome).
- You suffered damages as a result. Examples of damages include medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Medical malpractice cases are different in that they rely heavily on the testimony of an expert witness. An expert witness must not only testify to the current acceptable standard of care but also show how a medical professional deviated from that standard.
Finally, just because you were unhappy with your care does not mean that your physician or health care provider committed negligence. Your health care provider may not be guilty of negligence for failing to diagnose or treat a rare or complex condition. A physician must only show reasonable skill throughout the course of patient care. If he or she deviates from a minimum acceptable standard of care, you might have a case for medical malpractice and should speak with a medical malpractice attorney in New York City.
Free Consultation With a Skilled NYC Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If you aren’t sure whether you have grounds for a case, call our office at (212) 897-1988 or contact us online. Our knowledgeable New York City medical malpractice attorneys will discuss your case with you and tell you if we think it has merit. From there, if you decide to retain our firm, we can immediately start the filing process against the defendant(s). You may have a claim against an individual physician or the hospital itself, depending on the circumstances. Our team can help you every step of the way, and fight for the compensation your injury or a loved one’s death demands.