Considerations Before Filing a Medical Malpractice Case

Do I have a viable medical malpractice action in New York?

It is now believed that over 250,000 people die per year due to medical negligence, according to John Hopkins patient safety experts.  Medical negligence may in fact be the third leading cause of death, behind heart disease and cancer. Aside from patient deaths, many other patients become seriously injured or ill due to the negligence of medical professionals.  If you have suffered an injury or illness at the hands of a doctor or other medical professional, you may wish to consider taking legal action against the negligent professional who injured you. Medical malpractice lawsuits could allow you to collect financial compensation and other damages stemming from your injuries, but there are several factors you will want to consider before filing a medical malpractice action in New York.

The Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations is the time that you have to file a medical malpractice case against the physician that treated you.  Failure to file within this time frame could result in your inability to file a viable lawsuit, making it imperative that you file your case in time.  In New York, you will have two and a half years from the date of the physician’s negligent action or omission to file a case. If your lawsuit stems from undiagnosed cancer, the statute of limitations will run from the date that you realized you had a cause of action.

Meeting the Basic Requirements for a Medical Malpractice Action

To have a viable medical malpractice case, you must meet certain criteria.  To start, you will need to establish that you have a physician-patient relationship with your treating physician.  You could not, for example, sue a doctor that prescribed a medication for your spouse and you took it as well. Next, you must establish that the doctor was negligent.  This is generally the hardest element to prove. It requires showing that the physician acted in a manner that was not consistent with how a competent physician would have acted under the same circumstances.  Third, you must prove that the doctor’s negligence caused your injury, and lastly that you suffered damages as a result of the injury.

The Need for an Expert Witness

In order to prove that your treating physician acted negligently, you must bring in the testimony of an expert witness who will speak as to the standard of care in the industry.  Your expert witness will prove essential in building your case. Your medical malpractice attorney can assist you in securing a strong expert witness to help you succeed in your case.

About the Author
Of all the different areas in medical malpractice, it is podiatry malpractice that has had a particular interest to me. With 42 years practicing law and representing hundreds of victims of malpractice, I have created a law practice in which my clients are comfortable knowing that their case is being handled with my personal attention, in the most professional manner, and without unreasonable delays.