What Is Medical Negligence?
Per the Legal Information Institute (LII), negligence is defined as the “failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances.” Medical negligence is negligence performed by a medical professional, harming a patient in their charge.
How Do You Prove Medical Negligence?
A peer-reviewed article published in Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research explains that proving medical negligence requires that the following legal elements be established:
- The medical professional owed a duty to the patient
- The medical professional failed in this duty
- This failure caused the injury
- This resulted in demonstrable damages
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The Duty of Care in Medical Malpractice Cases
Your healthcare provider owes you a duty of care to provide you with medical services in conformity with the standard of medical practice for the community. If you have been the victim of medical negligence, a lawyer from our firm can work to prove that they owed you this duty and failed to render proper care by using evidence gathered in a careful and thorough investigation.
The failure to Meet the Duty of Care
Medical professionals can fail in their duty of care in both active and passive ways. While sometimes these failures are due to reckless actions, other times they are the result of inaction or carelessness.
Some ways a medical professional can fail to meet the duty of care owed to patients are as follows:
- Failure to diagnose: Failure to diagnose is when your doctor does not diagnose your condition when their peers would otherwise be able to. This can allow conditions to progress that would otherwise have been less harmful if caught earlier.
- Misdiagnosis: Misdiagnosis can harm the patient by allowing their true condition to progress while treating the wrong condition instead.
- Failure to treat: Failure to treat happens when you are appropriately diagnosed, but your doctor does not treat you and your condition worsens.
- Surgical errors: Surgeons may operate on the wrong body part or person or may leave behind equipment. They can be held liable for these errors as well as any others related to the surgery.
- Medication errors: Medication errors can be the fault of the prescribing doctor or the pharmacy filling the prescription. The wrong medication itself can be harmful to the patient and the failure to prescribe the proper medication can be damaging as well.
- Product liability: In the cases of faulty medical devices, the product manufacturers, designers, and distributors can be held liable for their negligence.
There may be other ways your healthcare provider failed to meet the duty of care they owe you. Your medical negligence lawyer from our firm can investigate the circumstances surrounding your injuries to discover all of the ways the doctor or healthcare provider may be responsible for your losses.
Proving Injuries in Medical Negligence Cases
To show that your healthcare provider’s negligence was the cause of your injuries, you may need to be seen by other doctors with comparable experience in the field. They can evaluate you and render medical opinions that your injuries were preventable if you were provided adequate care. Additionally, they can testify if you choose to bring a lawsuit for damages.
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Damages You Can Seek in a Medical Negligence Case
To succeed in recovering compensation in a medical negligence case, you will need to show that the injuries sustained were the result of the malpractice of a healthcare provider. Damages can be economic or non-economic losses for which you can be compensated.
Economic damages are meant to cover your financial losses due to your injuries. These include your medical bills and lost wages. Your damages may be any of the following expenses or others depending upon your unique circumstances:
- Doctors’ visits
- Specialists’ appointments
- Hospital stays
- Physical therapy
- Psychological services
- Medication costs
- Home health aides and other medical services
- Any other costs associated with your injuries and treatment
If your injuries caused lost income, you can recover economic damages for your lost wages or benefits. This includes both the money you did not earn due to your injuries, as well as making up for the wage gap if your injuries required you to take a lower-paying position.
You can also pursue damages for your future financial losses. If you will need ongoing medical care due to your condition, or if your injuries prevent you from working in the future, you can recover compensation for this future loss or loss of retirement or pension benefits as well.
Very often, the most significant portion of your claim will include your right to recover non-economic damages including your pain and suffering resulting from your injuries. Your medical negligence lawyer will help you recover fair and just compensation for your non-economic damages including for your:
- Physical pain
- Mental and emotional suffering
- Your loss of enjoyment of life
- Future or permanent pain and suffering
You may struggle to go about your day-to-day life after you are the victim of medical negligence, and your injuries can leave a lasting impact on your happiness. New York law permits you to recover for each and every type of damage you sustained.
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Contact the Attorneys at Dansker & Aspromonte Associates LLP Today
At Dansker & Aspromonte Associates LLP, we want to help you get the money you deserve if a healthcare provider causes injury to you. Call us today to receive your free confidential consultation and learn more about medical negligence. If we agree to accept our case, you will not be required to pay us any money upfront. We only earn a legal fee when you recover compensation.
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