Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional fails to provide adequate care to their patient and the patient suffers because of that failure.
If you believe you suffered injury or illness due to medical malpractice, call an Albany malpractice lawyer today. You could be entitled to financial compensation for the harm you suffered.
A skilled medical malpractice attorney will gather the evidence needed to file your claim, and will work closely with experts who can verify how the malpractice caused you injury, building you the best possible case for the best possible outcome.
Defining Medical Malpractice
Medical professionals must comply with a professional standard of care. Meaning, they must provide care that another doctor, nurse, or medical professional would provide in similar circumstances.
For example, a surgeon in Albany must provide the same level of care to a patient that surgeons elsewhere in New York would provide to the same patient. Treating patients can be difficult, and having a standard of care helps ensure that all medical professionals deliver adequate care to their patients.
When a medical professional fails to meet the standard of care, and their patients suffers due to this failure, the professional may have committed medical malpractice.
What Are Common Examples of Malpractice?
Legally, medical malpractice is a specific type of negligence. Some common examples of medical malpractice include:
- Surgical errors
- Anesthesia errors
- Medication errors
- Childbirth injuries
- Failure to receive informed consent
- Hospital negligence
Any form of medical malpractice can seriously injure the patient. Malpractice can exacerbate an existing medical condition, or create new problems entirely. Anyone affected by malpractice should contact an Albany medical malpractice lawyer who can work to hold the healthcare provider responsible for their negligence.
Potential Compensation for Medical Malpractice
Victims of medical malpractice suffer harm when they seek medical care from a negligent provider. Those who suffer injuries and illnesses due to malpractice often require additional medical treatment.
Covering the cost of such medical care can be difficult, especially since many malpractice victims cannot work during their recovery.
An Albany medical malpractice attorney can help victims fight for compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
How Common Are Wrongful Deaths Due to Malpractice?
A recent study from Johns Hopkins University identifies hospital errors as the third leading cause of death in the United States. Tragically, hundreds of thousands of patients die each year because their doctor, nurse, or hospital fails to provide competent care.
When that happens, surviving family members can seek financial compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit. Typically, families seek compensation for damages such as:
- Burial costs
- Final medical bills
- Loss of support
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of income
- Pain and suffering
A medical malpractice attorney can help a victim’s family prove that malpractice was the cause of death.
No Limits on Monetary Compensation
There are some jurisdictions that place hard caps on the amount of compensation available to survivor of medical malpractice. This is true both for personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits. In Albany, there are no limits on the amount of compensation the court might award.
That does not mean that every medical malpractice case will be successful. In order to recover compensation, the plaintiff must establish that they suffered an injury due to the negligence of their care provider. This could include anything from a misdiagnosis to a surgical mistake.
The Deadline to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Although a person suffering from a medical injury has time to consider their options, there is a strict deadline when it comes to filing a malpractice lawsuit. This deadline—commonly known as the statute of limitations—can be a notable pitfall for a plaintiff that fails to comply with it. It is crucial to comply with the statute of limitations every time.
A person that fails to file their lawsuit until after the deadline expires will likely miss out on financial recovery entirely. This is because the court is empowered to dismiss the case with prejudice under most circumstances. Generally, a plaintiff has two years and six months to file their lawsuit. This time period begins to run the day the negligence occurred.
One important exception to the statute of limitations is called the discovery rule. Under the discovery rule, the 30-month window does not begin to count down until the patient could have reasonably learned they were entitled to pursue a malpractice case. In other words, the statute of limitations is paused until a person discovers that they have suffered negligence.
However, this rule is only available under two specific situations. First, when a patient learns that a foreign object was left in their body following a surgery. Some common examples include surgical utensils or sponges. Additionally, cases involving a negligent failure to diagnose cancer could also be extended under this rule.
There are also special rules that apply to minors with medical malpractice claims in Albany. State law declares that minors lack the capacity to pursue a lawsuit. For that reason, the statute of limitations for a minor child does not begin until their 18th birthday. This means that a minor generally has 30 months from the day they turn 18 to bring a lawsuit based on medical malpractice that occurred at any point during their childhood. There is also an exception to this rule. The time limit to file a lawsuit cannot extend beyond 10 years from the date that a foreign object was found in the minor’s body or from the date that another form of medical malpractice occurred. This means that for acts of medical malpractice that occur early in a child’s life, their legal guardian may be required to pursue action before their 18th birthday.
Speak with an Albany Medical Malpractice Attorney Today
If you are the victim of medical malpractice, call an Albany medical malpractice attorney today. An experienced lawyer can investigate your case to determine the responsible party for the harm you suffered and best legal options available to you.
An Albany malpractice lawyer can fight for you, both in and out of court, for the financial compensation you need and deserve and is ready to help you or your loved one harmed by a medical professional’s negligence.