Do I Have a Medical Malpractice Case?

What are the requirements for filing a medical malpractice action in NY?

When we are ill or suffer an injury, we rely on medical professionals to provide us with the quality care we need.  Most of us would be astonished to discover that medical errors are one of the leading causes of death, right after heart disease and cancer.  According to a study published in the BMJ in 2016, medical negligence leads to the death of over 250,000 people per year.  In addition to the hundreds of thousands of individuals who die due to medical negligence, thousands more suffer serious injuries.  Medical malpractice is not always easy to identify and winning a medical malpractice case can be quite complex.

Requirements of a Viable Medical Malpractice Case

If you have sustained an injury due to a misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, surgical error, childbirth injury, medication error, or other medical mistake, you may be entitled to seek compensation from the physician in charge of your care.  Potential medical malpractice claimants will want to ensure their case meets the following basic requirements:

  1. Existence of a Doctor-Patient Relationship: All medical malpractice cases will require that a doctor-patient relationship existed.  You need to have been a patient of the doctor in question.  While you need not have gone to the physician for months before the injury date, you cannot sue a doctor that never treated you.
  2. The Doctor was Negligent: You will need to prove that the care your doctor provided fell below the accepted medical standard of care in the field. You must show that a competent doctor would not have made the same errors if given similar circumstances.  The testimony of another physician in the field will often lend proof towards this crucial element.
  3. The Doctor’s Negligence Caused Your Injury: To be actionable, the injury you suffered must be linked to the doctor’s negligence and not a pre-existing condition or other accident.  You must show that it was more likely than not the doctor’s negligence that caused your injuries, to which a medical expert can often testify.
  4. You Suffered Damages: Any viable civil case will require that the plaintiff suffered some sort of damages.  Damages may include medical expenses, lost earnings, or pain and suffering.

If you feel that your case may satisfy these basic elements, contact a medical malpractice attorney for a personalized consultation to find out more about your legal rights.

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.