Determining Whether Podiatric Malpractice Caused Your Injury

How do I know if my injury was caused by podiatric malpractice?

The first question most injured podiatric patients will ask is whether their injury was caused by medical malpractice. Millions of patients will sustain injuries or illnesses following medical treatment, or a lack of medical treatment, each year, but not all of these injuries can be attributed to malpractice. Only injuries caused by the negligence of the healthcare provider can potentially result in compensation to the injured patient. To better assess whether your podiatric injury was caused by malpractice, review the definition of podiatric malpractice in the state of New York below.

What is podiatric malpractice?

A podiatrist is a medical professional who assists people with problems affecting the feet or lower legs. Podiatrists have the designation DPM or doctor of podiatric medicine, which means they have attended podiatry school. Podiatrists commonly treat the following conditions:  bunions, hammertoes, fractures, sprains, diabetic foot complications, heel pain, arthritis, toenail problems, calluses, flat feet and the like.  

Medical malpractice is defined by lawmakers and courts in each state. It is important to understand that just being injured by a physician is not enough; rather, you must establish that the podiatrist acted negligently in causing your injuries. There are four main elements to a podiatric malpractice case. First, you need to establish that the podiatrist had a duty of care to you. Second, you must show that the podiatrist breached this duty by failing to meet the accepted standard of care. Third, you need to establish causation; i.e. the podiatrist’s negligence caused your injury. Last, you need to prove damages stemming from the injury.

Even with an understanding of these elements, it is not always easy to determine whether your foot or leg injuries stem from the podiatrist’s malpractice. Rarely will any doctor admit to any sort of wrongdoing. There are several ways to start to assess whether malpractice caused your injuries. You should seek medical treatment for your injuries from a different healthcare provider. Sometimes this podiatrist might advise you that your previous doctor breached a duty of care, but you should not count on this. At times, other podiatrists will avoid admitting any concerns about a colleague’s actions.

Your medical records can provide proof of malpractice, although it can be difficult for a layman to find this evidence.  You need to understand that these records are created by the very party that may have injured you as well, so the harm will not be obvious.  Typically, your best bet to uncover whether podiatric malpractice caused your harm is to meet with a podiatric malpractice lawyer. Your attorney will review the entire situation and medical records to assess whether you have valid concerns about being a victim of podiatric malpractice.

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.