If you suffer injury from a doctor’s mistake, you may have a valid legal claim. Consulting with an experienced medical malpractice attorney could help you determine what your next steps should be and how much your case might be worth.

However, some types of malpractice are more common and constitute a larger proportion of claims than others. Among various other services, a dedicated lawyer could go over common medical malpractice claims in Albany and the differences between them with you.

What a Medical Malpractice Claim Entails

When a hospital, doctor, or other healthcare professional causes an injury to a patient through omission or negligence, it may constitute medical malpractice. To be considered malpractice under the law, though, a doctor’s action or inaction must represent a violation of the standard of care and directly cause an injury that results in significant damages.

Standard of Care

There are specific medical protocols and standards that are acceptable and recommended for use by reasonably prudent healthcare professionals, all of which combine to establish the standard of care for a particular area of medicine. In a nutshell, negligence occurs when a medical professional deviates from the expected standard of care.

Injuries and Damages

A violation of the standard of care is not enough by itself to substantiate a medical malpractice claim. Beyond that, the plaintiff must also suffer injuries from the malpractice, and those injuries must cause the plaintiff damages for which they can be compensated.

Common Types of Malpractice

Medical malpractice can stem from an act of omission or an act of commission. The former occurs when a medical professional does not do something they needed to, and the latter when they do something they should not have. Common medical malpractice claims of both types in Albany include:

Damages for Medical Malpractice Claims

The goal of any civil claim is for the plaintiff to receive monetary compensation for their injuries and losses, commonly referred to as damages. In New York, there are no damage caps or limits on how much monetary compensation a plaintiff could ask for or receive in a legal case.

Damages can be economic in nature, such as medical expenses and lost wages. However, they can also be non-economic and address intangible losses like:

  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Disfigurement and scarring

Punitive Damages

As established in Martin v. Group Health Inc., 767 N.Y.S.2d 803 (N.Y. App. Div. 2003), a malpractice plaintiff could be awarded punitive damages when the actions of the defendant demonstrate enough wanton dishonesty to imply a criminal indifference to their civil duties. Punitive damages do not have the purpose of compensating the plaintiff for damages, but instead are meant to punish the defendant and deter them and others from repeating the same behaviors in the future.

Getting Help with Common Albany Medical Malpractice Cases

Whether your medical malpractice claim stems from a cause commonly seen in Albany or not, it may in your best interest to contact an experienced lawyer and explore the options available to you. If not taken advantage of quickly, your legal right to file a medical malpractice claim could expire, leaving you with no legal recourse for your damages. Get help with your medical malpractice case by calling to schedule a consultation. Let an attorney who is knowledgeable about the common medical malpractice claims in Albany help you.