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New York Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Jud Waltman

Legally Reviewed By: Jud Waltman

When you’re seeking health care, you’re looking for healing and restoration. In that vulnerable state, you expect a physician to fix what’s broken. You are trusting them with your wellness, and in some cases, your life.

Unfortunately, not all health care providers treat this trust with the respect it deserves.

Medical malpractice much more pervasive than many people think. Experts used to estimate that as many as 98,000 Americans die every year from medical errors. More recent studies show that the number may actually exceed 400,000, while potentially 10 to 20 times that many experience serious, preventable injury due to medical negligence. 

If your health care provider has failed to hold themselves to the highest standard, you can do so — and The Lanier Law Firm can help.

Our New York medical malpractice lawyers have decades of experience representing patients injured and families impacted by negligence. Damages awarded to our clients represent billions of dollars because of our dedicated and award-winning attorneys. Contact us today to learn how we can help you receive the compensation you deserve.

What qualifies as medical malpractice in New York?

Malpractice as a concept relies upon the existence of a customary standard of care that a reasonable person qualified in the profession has an obligation to provide. Most states consider malpractice to have occurred when a health care provider deviates from or falls short of that standard of care, and that act injures their patient.

Malpractice suits often introduce expert witnesses in proceedings to establish what a reasonable, qualified person would have done differently that wouldn’t have caused the injury. 

a persons hand with an IV

What are some common causes of medical malpractice?

There are some specific medical errors that commonly overtake standard medical proceedings. Birth injuries and surgical missteps are among them. However, one study of medical errors by the Journal of Patient Safety classifies five different kinds of medical mistakes that could be preventable:

  • Errors of commission occur when a health care professional either improperly treats a patient or accidentally harms them in the process of treatment.
  • Errors of omission are failures to perform actions necessary to heal the patient.
  • Errors of communication involve provider-provider or provider-patient discussions that lack crucial details.
  • Errors of context take place when a health care professional prescribes treatment without considering a patient’s unique circumstances.
  • Errors in diagnosis describe incorrect diagnoses that can result in errors of commission or omission, such as inappropriate treatment or lack of treatment.

These types of errors have grave consequences for hundreds of thousands of Americans every year, but New York is an especially perilous place to seek treatment. One Bay Alarm Medical analysis of data from the National Practitioner Data Bank concluded that between 2004 and 2014, of the 50 states, New York saw the most medical malpractice cases per 100,000 people.

Who can I sue for medical malpractice in New York?

Who the law could consider responsible for your injury depends on the events that produced it. In New York, you can bring a claim against any health care provider — doctor, nurse, anesthesiologist, physical therapist, mental health professional, etc. — whose negligence or direct action injured you.

But sometimes negligence extends beyond a single health professional. Injured patients can hold hospitals liable for injuries if the lack of due diligence was on a grander scale. Victims can also hold hospitals accountable for the negligent actions of their employees through the vicarious liability doctrine, which is a secondary liability stating that a third party with a duty to control the conduct of another can be held responsible for the injury.

Under certain circumstances, you can sue pharmaceutical companies for dangerous drugs, but that typically falls under product liability law.

What do I need to prove in a medical malpractice lawsuit?

The term “medical malpractice” doesn’t simply cover health care providers’ mistakes. There are four pillars of any successful malpractice suit:

  • Duty represents the liable party’s obligation to the claimant. 
  • Negligence, or breach of duty, describes how the liable party’s actions fell short of or deviated from their responsibility to care for the claimant.
  • Causation outlines how the liable party’s breach of duty led directly to the claimant’s injury.
  • Damages demonstrate that the claimant is, in fact, injured.

Establishing all four elements creates a compelling and compensation-worthy malpractice case.

What type of compensation can I recover in a medical malpractice lawsuit?

In New York, medical malpractice claims fall under the larger umbrella of personal injury lawsuits, which offer three kinds of damages:

economic damages

Economic damages

come measured in dollars and cents. They reimburse you for monetary costs associated with your injury, whether you’ve already incurred them or you’re anticipating them. This can include additional medical care, physical therapy, lost wages, and other financial losses.

non-economic damages

Non-economic damages

don’t come in a unit that’s easy to measure. Liable parties pay non-economic damages to compensate you for pain and suffering and impact on quality of life.

punitive damages

Punitive damages

are rarely associated with civil cases, but courts can award them for particularly reckless behavior. Their purpose is to punish the liable party for gross negligence.

New York has laws dictating the standards of medical malpractice cases, but still, no two medical malpractice cases are exactly alike. The claim’s value can vary based on the details of your injury (nature, extent, level of negligence by the liable party, etc.). However, unlike many states, New York doesn’t limit the amount of compensation you can seek. You’re free to decide what justice is worth to you.

How long do I have to sue for medical malpractice in New York?

The law limits the amount of time someone can file a civil claim against someone responsible for their injury. This deadline is called the statute of limitations. Under New York medical malpractice law, claimants can take action against liable parties for up to 30 months after they suffered the injury.

There are some exceptions for extenuating circumstances — most notably, for malpractice involving minors. However, court deadlines are written in stone. Taking too long to file can result in the dismissal of your case, and there are no second chances to seek compensation.

Contact the team at Lanier Law today for a free case consultation.

What if a family member died because of medical malpractice?

All medical malpractice causes undue suffering, but sometimes, it can have tragic and permanent consequences.

If you lost a spouse, parent, or child to medical malpractice, you can file a wrongful death claim and pursue justice for your loved one up to two years after they’ve passed. Appointed estate representatives can also file claims.

New York State has no cap on the economic or non-economic damages awardable for wrongful death claims.

Should I hire a medical malpractice lawyer from The Lanier Law Firm?

Sufferers of medical malpractice deserve compassionate and comprehensive care. They have been carelessly injured by the person they trusted to heal them. In the wake of their injury, victims are often left wondering who they can trust and who may have their best interests at heart.

If this situation is all too familiar, we hear you, we see you, and we want to help.

Several organizations have ranked Lanier and its legal team members among the top in the country. We have secured more than $12.5 billion in damages for victims in the 30 years we’ve been representing them, and we are ready to help you secure your share.

Following the legal process can be convoluted even with an attorney, so Lanier hires only the profession’s most dedicated. We make the process as simple as possible, helping you:

  • Keep the court’s timeline of requirements
  • Investigate your injury and the circumstances surrounding it
  • Compile the necessary medical documents and other evidence recording your injury
  • Establish the reasonable standard of care and the fact that the liable party breached it
  • Navigate any negotiations with insurance companies and their lawyers

…and so much more throughout the proceedings.

Let us help you heal. Speak with a Lanier medical malpractice attorney today to learn what your case may be worth.

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