Bronx Medical Errors Attorney Weekly Answers - "Why Are Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Hard to Win?"
Attorney Jonathan C. Reiter, the leading medical malpractice attorney serving New York state, explains why medical malpractice lawsuits are difficult to win.
Bronx, New York / September 18, 2019 / -- According to a CBS News report, the rate of paid medical malpractice cases has dropped sharply over the past two decades, declining by 56 percent between 1992 and 2014.
This doesn’t mean that medical malpractice cases have stopped happening. On the contrary, medical mistakes are now the third leading cause of death in the United States.
Even with technological advancements in the healthcare industry, medical mistakes continue to occur. If you have been injured by a doctor’s or hospital’s negligence, it’s important to discuss your case with an experienced Bronx medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.
NY medical malpractice claims are different from other personal injury cases, and patients may feel intimidated by the process. This intimidation is one of the reasons medical malpractice cases are more difficult to win, and why you should entrust your case with the most experienced medical malpractice lawyer in New York at the Law Office of Jonathan C. Reiter.
The Four Elements Needed to Establish Medical Malpractice
When filing a medical malpractice claim, it’s important to establish four separate elements. Each element is important, but some are more difficult to prove than others. A knowledgeable medical malpractice lawyer will review your case and help you understand which elements could present challenges in your case.
1. Establishing Evidence of a Doctor-Patient Relationship
First, a patient must be able to provide evidence of a doctor-patient relationship at the time the negligence harmed or injured the patient. Establishing evidence of the doctor-patient relationship is fairly straightforward to prove by obtaining a patient’s medical records.
Doctors are not the only medical professionals who may be held liable. In terms of medical malpractice, negligence can occur at the hands of a nurse, chiropractor, dentist, pharmacist, nurse practitioner, or other health care provider.
It’s also possible for patients to file a claim against a hospital or other treatment facility in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx or elsewhere in New York. “Knowing how to file a medical malpractice claim or what entity to file a claim against can be confusing. That’s why it’s important for you to have an experienced New York medical malpractice law firm working for you,” explains Bronx medical malpractice lawyer Jonathan C. Reiter.
2. The Doctor or Health Care Provider Acted Negligently
A patient must be able to prove they were harmed or injured due to a doctor, physician, or another type of healthcare professional’s negligence.
In a medical malpractice case, the patient must be able to show that the health care professional acted negligently by deviating from the accepted standard of care. The accepted standard of care is what a similar health care provider under the same circumstances would have provided.
To determine the standard of care, the court will look at what another physician in the same specialty would have done given similar circumstances. For example, when a 65-year-old man goes to the emergency room with shortness of breath and chest pains, the standard of care in hospitals is to immediately suspect a heart attack and take certain steps to stabilize the patient and run tests to diagnose or rule out a cardiac event.
This standard of care is common among hospitals and doctors across the board. Alternatively, if a 65-year-old man with these symptoms presented in an emergency room and the ER doctors gave him cough medicine and sent him home, this is likely a deviation from the standard of care.
3. The Negligence Caused the Patient’s Injury
The patient must also be able to show that the doctor’s negligence caused injury or harm to the patient.
It’s possible for a doctor or hospital to have acted negligently, but not actually cause the patient’s injury. In many medical malpractice cases, this is the argument doctors and hospitals rely on when defending a claim.
Even if the doctor or hospital admits acting negligently, insurance companies often do everything they can to avoid paying victims. They may acknowledge the mistake, but they will use expert witnesses and other evidence to attempt to show that the patient’s injury had nothing to do with the negligence.
Hospitals and insurance companies have aggressive attorneys working to protect their interests, which is why it’s critical to contact a medical malpractice law firm if you believe you have a legitimate medical malpractice case.
4. The Patient’s Injury Resulted in Damages
Finally, the patient must be able to show they suffered damages as a result of their injury. If the doctor’s negligence caused the patient to experience an injury, but the injury didn’t result in damages, the patient’s medical malpractice claim is likely to fail.
Damages can include monetary damages, such as lost wages, medical bills, and other out of pocket expenses. Patients can also suffer non-monetary damages, such as pain and suffering, or the loss of a spouse’s companionship.
In many medical malpractice cases, damages like pain and suffering are a significant part of a patient’s claim. For example, when a doctor fails to make a diagnosis in a reasonable amount of time, a patient may go years with an illness that gets progressively worse and could have been treated if the doctor had identified and diagnosed the condition sooner. An experienced attorney will know what evidence is important to gather and establish in order to seek the compensation you deserve.
Getting Help for a Medical Malpractice Claim
If you have been injured by a doctor’s or hospital’s negligence and you believe you may have a medical malpractice claim, it’s important to speak to a New York medical malpractice lawyer about your case. Jonathan C. Reiter Law Firm is willing to do whatever it takes within ethical and legal bounds to help you get the compensation you rightfully deserve. Call (212) 736-0979 or schedule a free consultation with an attorney at our Manhattan office in The Empire State Building.
New York Medical Malpractice Attorney Jonathan C. Reiter
Tel: (718) 590-4009