When you go to see your New York physician or enter a New York hospital to undergo medical treatment for an illness or injury, the last thing you expect is that your doctor or a hospital staff member or employee will make a mistake that causes you further injury or illness. Unfortunately, however, medical errors now constitute the third leading cause of death in the United States.
In New York, medical malpractice can consist of many things, including the following:
- Failing to properly diagnose or treat your injury or illness
- Making an emergency room or surgical mistake
- Prescribing or administering the wrong prescription medication(s)
- Failing to inform you about the inherent risk(s) of a recommended procedure or course of treatment
- Causing injury to a mother or baby during the birthing process
- Failing to sufficiently monitor your progress throughout the course of your injury or illness
Often, a communication error between and among your doctor and support personnel leads to negative consequences. In fact, communication errors cause upwards of 2,000 patient deaths each year, as well as over $1.7 billion in malpractice costs.
Medical malpractice elements
To successfully prevail in a civil lawsuit against your doctor and/or hospital, you must successfully prove the following in court:
- That you were under the care of a licensed physician
- That (s)he and/or other health care professionals owed you a duty of care
- That (s)he and/or other health care professionals negligently breached this duty of care in some way
- That because of this breach, you suffered some type of damages, such as a worsening condition
Remember, a medical malpractice lawsuit is a civil action in which you collect money damages if you prevail. However, you can seek and recover both economic and noneconomic damages.