January 18, 2024 / By Bob Williams
A physician who commits medical malpractice deviates from accepted norms of practice in the medical community and causes injury to a patient. Medical malpractice is a subset of tort law, which encompasses civil wrongs that are distinct from contracts or criminal offenses.
Malpractice lawsuits are costly and time-consuming for everyone involved, particularly the physicians who are sued. The litigation process involves extensive review of medical records and lengthy interviews with medical experts. In most cases, a physician who is accused of malpractice will have to participate in depositions under oath, a formal proceeding that involves recording testimony for later use in court.
To sue for medical malpractice, a patient needs to demonstrate that the health care professional’s substandard care resulted in an injury that was avoidable and measurable. This is a complex task, and it is essential to work with an experienced attorney who understands the nuances of medical malpractice laws and procedures.
The first element a patient must establish is that the doctor or other health care provider failed to perform to a standard of care. This is a crucially important point, and it requires careful review of the patient’s medical records and an assessment by medical experts about what a reasonable health care provider would have done under similar circumstances.
Secondly, the patient must show that the health care provider’s failure to meet this standard of care caused an injury or death. This is often the most difficult element to prove, but it is a necessary prerequisite for a malpractice suit. A patient must also demonstrate that the injury had a damaging effect on his or her life.
Patients pursuing claims for malpractice must also be aware that their state’s law may limit the amount of damages they can win. This is true even when the patient can demonstrate that the health care professional’s mistake caused a substantial injury.
For example, some states have caps on non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. Others cap punitive damages.
In addition, the plaintiff’s legal team must be prepared to argue that the alleged negligence was avoidable. For this element, the legal standard of proof is “more likely than not,” which is less demanding than the standard of proof required to convict someone of a crime.
If you think that you have been harmed by a health care provider’s medical error, contact the law firm of Sobo & Sobo to discuss your case with an experienced medical malpractice attorney. We have offices in Middletown, Monticello, NYC, Newburgh and Spring Valley, and are available to answer your questions by phone or online. We can help you determine whether you have a claim and get the compensation you deserve. Contact us now to schedule your free consultation.