Dissatisfaction with the outcome of your care is not necessarily proper grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. Even when something doesn’t go as planned during a surgical procedure, that doesn’t guarantee that medical malpractice was to blame.
There are a lot of factors that go into determining whether or not a patient has legal grounds to file a lawsuit against a medical provider or facility. This is a very complex area of law, and a successful lawsuit requires that certain things be proven, so you’re going to need the help of an experienced attorney.
Please call us at (631) 543-7070 to schedule a free consultation.
Why being unhappy isn’t always grounds for medical malpractice
There are a lot of reasons people aren’t happy with the medical care they receive. Common examples we see are that patients don’t think the doctor communicated all possible outcomes, or that the doctor lacked empathy and had poor bedside manners.
While these are legitimate reasons to be unhappy, they may not be legal grounds for filing a lawsuit. However, that does not mean there is nothing you can do. If you are not satisfied with your care and or the outcome of your surgery, you can file a report with the New York State Department of Health Office of Professional Medical Conduct.
On the other hand, if you suffered physical harm and economic losses due to a medical mistake, you could have a successful medical malpractice lawsuit. Your attorney would need to prove that the healthcare provider provided substandard care or that they acted in a manner that’s different from how another doctor would have acted in the same scenario.
It can be difficult to determine your likelihood of success without the years of experience that a medical malpractice lawyer has. It’s recommended that you seek the guidance and representation of a lawyer right away if you think you’ve been a victim of medical malpractice.
What’s the difference between medical malpractice and medical negligence?
The State of New York allows patients to seek compensation for bodily harm due to either negligence or malpractice — the differences between these two causes of action are very subtle but have dramatic impacts on the case.
Determining the appropriate basis for the lawsuit requires a close examination of the doctor’s duty and the injured person’s specific allegations of what caused them harm.
First, the claims must be specific to the injured person rather than a facility’s general failure to properly screen all persons they hire.
Second, and the biggest distinction, is if the defendant’s acts or omissions require specialized skills that non-medical people don’t have, such as if they involve medical judgment or science, or if the harmful act can be evaluated based on common everyday experiences.
A claim filed under malpractice must be filed no later than two years and six months after the injury was realized or should have been realized. A claim brought under ordinary negligence has a three-year statute of limitations, meaning it must be filed no more than three years after the harm was discovered or should have been discovered.
If you file your lawsuit two years and seven months after discovering the malpractice and you inappropriately file it as a negligence claim instead of malpractice, your case can be dismissed because you’ve filed too late, and you’ll lose your chances of recovery.
Why you’ll need legal help
If you want to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, the only way you’ll succeed is by hiring an attorney. If the attorney feels you have a legitimate claim, they’ll investigate what happened. This investigation will produce the evidence needed for you to file a strong case which will then be further developed and built as your case progresses and heads toward settlement or trial.
Contact Carner & DeVita to learn more
If you’ve been harmed by your doctor and feel that you might have grounds for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, speak to a medical malpractice attorney with Carner & DeVita as soon as possible to learn more about all of your potential options. Contact us online or call (631) 543-7070 for a free consultation.