Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Medical professionals owe the highest standards of care to their patients. The doctor/patient relationship is one of the strongest in the professional sphere. Doctors must take reasonable care to provide for the health, safety, and well being of patients through every phase of the medical process. Breaching any duty of care, resulting in patient injury, is medical malpractice. In New York City, injured patients can recover for damages in the event of doctor or hospital negligence. Retaining an aggressive attorney from Pazer, Epstein, Jaffe & Fein, P.C. can improve the odds of a successful lawsuit.
An Overview Of New York’s Medical Malpractice Laws
Like any area of law, medical malpractice in New York involves a long list of rules and regulations. As an injured party, you must abide by specific procedural requirements when filing such a lawsuit against an individual healthcare provider or institution. Retaining an attorney will significantly help you during this process and ensure you do not miss any required deadlines. Here are a few general facts about these types of claims in New York State:
- Statute of limitations. Injured patients have 2.5 years after the date of injury to file a medical malpractice claim. If the injury occurred during an ongoing course of treatment, the courts may “toll” the clock, or delay the deadline, until 2.5 years after the treatment ends. If injury arises due to a surgeon leaving a foreign object in the body, patients have one year from the date of discovering the object to file. Failing to obey deadlines will most likely lead to the courts refusing to hear your case.
- Requirements for filing. Due to the number of false medical malpractice claims, New York has enacted a requirement for written “Certificates of Merit” to file this type of claim. This certificate must come within 90 days of filing a lawsuit. It states that a lawyer has reviewed the facts of the case and agreed that there is a reasonable basis for the claim or that a lawyer made three “good faith” attempts to consult with three different physicians. You need a skilled attorney to fulfill this requirement, unless you decide to self-represent.
- Comparative negligence laws. New York is a “pure comparative negligence” state. This means that the courts may split fault between the plaintiff and the defendant, but the plaintiff can still recover compensation. In medical malpractice cases, the doctor or facility may offer evidence that the patient delayed visiting a hospital, disobeyed prescribed treatment plans, or otherwise contributed to his or her own harms. The courts may reduce the plaintiff’s recovery amount if there is enough proof of comparative negligence.
These are just some of the many elements one must consider when pursuing a medical malpractice claim. There are numerous filing requirements, burdens of proof, and other factors necessary for a successful claim. You may have to go up against a prominent physician in New York City or a major hospital’s insurance company. Self-representing can be a disservice to your interests and end in little to no compensation. To find out more about your individual medical malpractice claim, give us a call. We offer free, no-obligation case evaluations.