In the medical field, errors of omission occur when medical professionals neglect to do something they should have done. For instance, if a doctor failed to prescribe an antibiotic for your infection and you became septic, or if the doctor failed to pay attention to your drug allergies and gave you a medication you are allergic to, they may be liable for an error of omission.

Doctors and other medical professionals are legally expected to uphold a standard of care. This standard of care is based on the actions of any other reasonably prudent medical professional in a similar situation. If a medical professional fails to uphold this standard, a patient injured as a result of their careless inaction may be able to file a claim for financial compensation.

An Albany errors of omission lawyer could help you or a loved one seek compensation for your damages in a medical case. You do not need to face the repercussions of the doctor’s carelessness alone. Instead, let a seasoned medical malpractice attorney review your situation and determine what legal options you have.

Examples of Errors of Omission

At its core, an errors of omission case is about a medical professional failing to perform a necessary medical procedure. This stands out from many other types of malpractice including misdiagnosis or surgical errors. In these cases, the doctor typically understands what needs to be done but fails to do so for one reason or another.

Sometimes the negligence of another party could lead a doctor to commit an error of omission. For example, a surgeon that receives bad information from a treating physician might not be aware of the need for immediately surgical intervention. One of the benefits of working with an Albany attorney is that they could identify all of the parties liable for an error of omission. Some of the ways these errors could occur include the failure to:

  • Order diagnostic testing
  • Perform a surgical procedure
  • Prescribe appropriate medication
  • Physically examine a patient

Each of these circumstances could lead to devastating health consequences for the patient. When this type of malpractice occurs, the patient could be entitled to financial compensation.

Proving Errors of Omission Cases

When a patient files an errors of omission claim against a medical professional, they—along with their Albany errors of omission attorney—must prove the provider did not exercise the degree of care, skill, and learning expected of a reasonably prudent medical professional in that field. Providing evidence of this is often done through expert testimony from other medical professionals.

Furthermore, the plaintiff and their counsel must also prove this failure was the proximate, or most direct, cause of the injury. Medical records, bills, and other documentation may be submitted to potentially prove the proximate cause of injuries.

Documentation to Verify the Errors

Since many medical malpractice claims in Albany have lacked merit in the past, New York Civil Practice Law & Rules §3012-a requires every plaintiff’s Albany errors of omission lawyer to file a written certificate of merit within 90 days of their initial claim filing. The extension of this 90-day window is only an option if the court agrees, otherwise the plaintiff must attach the certificate to the lawsuit at the time of filing.

The 90-day extension is most useful in cases where the statute of limitations is looming. This extension is designed to allow a case to move forward despite the lack of a certificate of merit, so that the plaintiff does not violate the statute of limitations and see their case dismissed with prejudice.

This certificate must affirm the seasoned attorney consulted with at least one licensed physician who found a reasonable basis for filing the claim. The certificate could alternatively state the lawyer was unable to do so despite making three individual good faith attempts to consult with different physicians.

Recovering Damages in an Errors of Omission Case

Plaintiffs may be awarded a monetary settlement to compensate them for their injuries and suffering. In the state of New York, there is no set cap on how much a plaintiff can recover, so it falls to the court to decide how much compensation the plaintiff is entitled to. Depending on the individual circumstances of the case, compensable damages may include:

  • Present and future medical bills
  • Prescription fees
  • In-home nursing costs
  • Physical therapy and other rehabilitation costs
  • Wages lost from an inability to work
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

The Time Limit to File an Errors of Omission Lawsuit

Although every patient that suffers from an error of omission has the opportunity to pursue a civil lawsuit against the negligent medical care provider, that opportunity will not last forever. Like all injury lawsuits, these cases are governed by the statute of limitations.

The statute of limitations serves as a firm deadline for filing a lawsuit and most cases filed after the expiration of the statutory period are dismissed with prejudice. For medical malpractice cases, that deadline expires two years and six months following a medical injury.

The courts strictly apply the statute of limitations in most cases. That said, there are some exceptions that could provide a plaintiff with additional time to file their lawsuit. For example, a person that lacks the mental capacity to file a lawsuit could have additional time to do so. This is most common in cases involving minor children. Minors do not have the legal standing to file a lawsuit on their own. It is possible for minor children to gain additional time to move forward with a lawsuit, or alternatively, their parent or guardian could pursue the case on their behalf.

The statute of limitations is one of the major pitfalls that come with lawsuits. An errors of omission attorney in Albany could evaluate every aspect of a case and inform a plaintiff when their opportunity to pursue legal action will come to a close.

Seek Assistance from an Albany Errors of Omission Attorney

After being harmed at the hands of a medical professional you thought you could trust, you may want to file for potential compensation with the help of an Albany errors of omission lawyer. A compassionate attorney could understand that you have suffered enough at the hands of a medical care provider and guide you through the process of filing a claim.

This could start with a firm demand letter, continue with the filing of the certificate of merit and other evidence, and potentially end with either a settlement or a jury award for your damages. Regardless of the specific methods, financial recovery may be available to you, so call today to seek a legal assessment of your situation.