We place our trust in medical professionals to provide us with the highest standard of care. When a doctor or nurse breaches that trust, it can lead to injury in a case known as medical malpractice. Pursuing a medical malpractice claim is a difficult task without the help of a New York medical malpractice lawyer. Before you confront your medical provider, learn more about medical malpractice claims and enlist the help of an attorney.
Call Buttafuoco & Associates for help filing a claim today: 1-800-NOW-HURT.
What is medical malpractice?
Before we identify what medical malpractice is, you need to understand what it is not. An unfavorable outcome in your treatment is not necessarily malpractice. If the doctor did everything according to the industry’s standard of care but your condition did not improve or worsened, it is likely not malpractice.
These elements must be present for a medical malpractice case:
- You were under the care of a medical professional or facility
- That party owed you a duty of care to treat your condition
- The party acted outside of the industry’s standard of care
- The party’s actions led directly to your injury
“Standard of care” is a term used to describe the actions an experienced and knowledgeable doctor would have taken in your situation. For example, if your doctor fails to see a dark spot on a lung x-ray, and that spot turns out to be lung cancer, you may have a case of malpractice.
Support for your claim might come from proving a knowledgeable doctor would have identified the suspicious spot and performed further tests for cancer.
Proving medical malpractice is difficult to do alone, as you typically need another medical expert to testify that your doctor did not follow a reasonable standard of care. A New York medical malpractice lawyer will be in contact with several expert medical witnesses who can provide testimony on your behalf.
Types of Medical Malpractice
Any medical practitioner from a surgeon to a medical spa employee can be liable for medical errors made during your care. The following are some common types of medical malpractice:
- Anesthesia errors: while administering anesthesia, the anesthesiologist gives too much, does not monitor vital signs, etc.
- Delayed diagnosis: a doctor’s failure to identify obvious signs of the disease leads to a preventable worsening of your condition
- Dental malpractice: a dentist or hygienist fails to adhere to proper procedure in dental procedures
- Medical device errors: an external or implanted medical device malfunctions or a medical provider uses it incorrectly
- Medication/pharmaceutical errors: a wrong medication or wrong dose causes you harm
- Misdiagnosis: medical providers diagnose you with the incorrect condition and allow your actual condition to worsen
- Misread imaging or test results: a doctor or technician reads your results incorrectly, often leading to misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis
- Surgical errors: a surgical team leaves items in the body, performs surgery on the wrong part, or performs the wrong surgery on a patient
HMO insurance misconduct can also be a type of medical malpractice. This type of malpractice involves your health insurer making inappropriate decisions that harm your quality of care.
The Potential Effects of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice can harm you both physically and financially. Depending on the nature of the injury, you may require additional surgery or more medications, and in severe cases, the misconduct can lead to death. Some medical malpractice cases can result in permanent disability and long-term damage, or create new health conditions.
On the financial side, malpractice cases typically lead to longer hospital stays and higher medical costs. If the injury kept you out of commission for an extended period, you are likely to lose income, and you could lose your job if your injury prevents you from working for too long.
Another lesser discussed, but important aspect of a medical malpractice case is the emotional damage you may sustain. A delayed diagnosis of cancer that allows your condition to progress to an untreatable stage can be mentally devastating. Even smaller errors that lead you to longer hospital stays and unnecessary discomfort can cause depression, anxiety, and more.
Getting Legal Help for Medical Malpractice
The New York law firm of Buttafuoco & Associates is here to help injured patients determine if they have a valid medical malpractice claim. Call 1-800-NOW-HURT to schedule your free, no obligation consultation. Once we have reviewed your legal options, we will help you take the actions necessary for your compensation.