Health care providers like doctors, nurses, hospitals, and other medical professionals are expected to provide competent treatment that’s in the best interest of their patients. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. Mistakes can be made and people end up being injured, sick, or paying with their lives. The Team at Stanley Law will leave no stone unturned. Our team has represented clients in many different types of medical lawsuits and are committed to helping injured victims and their families recover maximum compensation for their damages.
Basic Requirements For Bringing A Medical Malpractice Claim
Regulations surrounding medical lawsuits vary from state to state, but there are a few basic requirements that must be met when proving medical malpractice. The statute of limitations for bringing a medical lawsuit is quite short — in New York, the limit is two and a half years, and in Pennsylvania, it is two years after the injury occurred. There are exceptions to this rule, as some of the problems that result from birth injuries are not apparent until years later. An attorney who is well-versed in handling medical lawsuits can assess your case and determine whether or not you may have a valid claim.
To prove medical malpractice, you must demonstrate that:
A physician-patient relationship was established. You must show that you had a doctor-patient relationship with the person you are suing. Although this seems straightforward, it can get complicated if a consulting physician did not provide direct treatment to you.
The physician or other health care provider was negligent. In the eyes of the law, a medical professional’s care must be “reasonably skillful and careful,” not perfect. Just because an error occurred or you are dissatisfied with your treatment results, it doesn’t mean that a medical professional is liable for malpractice. You must show that a physician was not only negligent in their treatment or diagnosis but caused harm in a manner that a competent medical professional, under the same circumstances, would not have.
The physician’s negligence caused your injury. In many malpractice cases, patients who were harmed had an existing injury or illness. In these cases, the burden of proof lies on you to show whether the physician actually caused specific harm. For example, if a patient passes away following cancer treatment, even if the doctor’s treatment was negligent, it may be tough to prove that their negligence caused the death instead of cancer.
The injury resulted in damages. Although it may be apparent that a medical professional was negligent, you can’t bring a medical lawsuit if you didn’t suffer any harm. Some examples of specific damages include:
- Mental anguish
- Cost of additional medical treatment
- Lost wages and loss of earning capacity
Common Types Of Medical Malpractice
Holding health care providers accountable for the harm they cause is important because it may keep others from suffering the same fate as those who were injured. Medical lawsuits often involve:
- Failure to diagnose
- Birth injuries
- Anesthesia errors
- Surgical errors
- Medication errors
- Emergency room errors
Bringing A Claim Against A Government Employee Or Entity
If malpractice involves a government agency, it can get even more complex. Under federal tort law, all medical malpractice claims against the United States, including medical claims against the VA, must be brought under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). This law includes specific requirements that must be followed and should be handled by an experienced attorney familiar with federal tort law.
How A Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
Proving that a physician or other medical professional breached the standard of care and caused your injury can be difficult. Most medical malpractice lawyers work with witnesses such as physicians who provide expert opinions as to the cause of your injuries.
Medical lawsuits involve mountains of paperwork and extensive medical records, so it’s vital to have a legal team that’s experienced in conducting effective legal and factual investigations. Your attorney should also be honest with you about what you can expect from your case and how the defendant’s insurance company will counteract your accusations.
Insurance companies are in the business of making money, and a lawyer who’s familiar with their tactics and knows how to aggressively negotiate to recover maximum compensation can mean the difference between winning and losing your case.
Contact A Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you’ve been injured or have lost a loved one due to a health care provider’s negligence, our attorneys can assess your case and determine whether a medical lawsuit is appropriate. Don’t go it alone, phone! To schedule a free initial consultation at Stanley Law Offices, contact us online or call 800-608-3333 or 800-372-3760. Our offices are conveniently located in in Syracuse, Binghamton, Watertown, and Rochester, New York, and Montrose, Pennsylvania. Se habla español.