Medical Malpractice Lawsuits – The Legal Process Made Clear

Medical malpractice lawsuit’s legal process made clear claims can be very complicated. The legal process to prove negligence in a medical malpractice case involves establishing the existence of a doctor-patient relationship, the doctor’s failure to meet the appropriate standard of care for similar professionals in the same situation, causation, and actual damages. In some states, there are additional requirements that must be met for a claim to be valid. For example, the plaintiff must have a second qualified medical practitioner to support the validity of the complaint and provide an affidavit of merit.

In the vast majority of medical malpractice cases, a plaintiff will need to prove that their injury was caused directly by a physician’s breach of duty. But even if the medical professional did not follow the proper standard of care, it is important to establish that the breach of duty was responsible for the patient’s injury. Otherwise, the case may be dismissed because there is not a sufficient link between the two. This concept is known as proximate cause.

For example, if the doctor diagnosed lung cancer and a person died because of untreated colon or rectal cancer, it is not possible to demonstrate that the diagnosis was incorrect and that the patient’s death was a result of the mistake. This is because the underlying illness or condition already existed before the doctor’s encounter with the patient. In these types of cases, it would be difficult to show that the doctor’s actions contributed to the injury or death.

Typically, the legal process in a malpractice lawsuit begins with the filing and service of a summons and complaint. Then, the parties engage in “discovery,” through which documents are exchanged and depositions are taken. The discovery process is often the most time consuming part of a medical malpractice case. However, it is necessary to a successful conclusion to the litigation.

A jury will ultimately decide if the plaintiff has suffered damages and how much those damages are worth. A jury award can include both compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory damages are designed to make a victim whole again, while punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant for their conduct.

If you or a loved one was the victim of medical malpractice, it is critical to consult an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can review your case and determine the validity of your claim, and if so, will work with you to obtain all available compensation. If you are not able to pay for an attorney on your own, many attorneys will work on a contingency basis and only collect their fees if they win your case. To schedule a consultation with an experienced attorney, please contact our firm today. We represent clients throughout New York City. If you are unable to come to our offices, we can also travel to your home or hospital for an appointment. We look forward to hearing from you.