What Patients Need To Know About Medical Malpractice


All medical professionals are obligated to properly treat patients and to not cause them harm.  In the medical setting, the proper standards of treatment will vary depending on the location in which the provider practices, the specialty in which the doctor is practicing, and the type of procedure being performed.

An experienced Kingston medical malpractice attorney is well versed in the protocols that doctors must follow when treating diabetes patients, cardiac patients, cancer patients, and so on.  Our attorneys are also expert in knowing the proper standard of care in Kingston regarding these areas of practice.

At the very least, patients should understand the basics of negligence so that they can better understand their medical care.  Remember, medical malpractice is a form of negligence.  Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional owed a duty to a patient, but then breached that duty thereby proximately causing injury to the patient that led to cognizable damages.

Damages fall into two categories: compensatory and punitive.  Compensatory damages reimburse the injured patient for costs attributed to the medical provider’s negligence.  Costs such as money spent on additional procedures, medicines, lost wages, and the loss of earning potential.  Punitive damages are meant to punish a medical provider whose negligence was especially egregious; this type of damages is not commonly awarded.

The following is a sampling of medical professionals who can be liable for malpractice:

  • Physicians
  • Physician Assistants
  • Nurses
  • Dentists
  • Podiatrists
  • Optometrists
  • Surgeons
  • Anesthesiologists
  • Radiologists
  • Technicians
  • Etc.

You should also be aware that hospitals, clinics, treatment centers, and the like can also be liable for the negligence that caused your injuries.

Proving that these providers caused your injuries is difficult.  First, there must be a showing that the defendant owed you a duty.  If there no duty was owed, then there can be no negligence.  If there is a duty, the plaintiff must show that there was a breach.  This will most likely require a showing that the doctor did not follow the proper standard of care.  Expert testimony is required when proving what the proper standard of care is for a given region and specialty.

Most of this is determined after a suit is commenced.  So you should look for a Kingston attorney who is highly skilled in the process of discovery.  And lastly, you should know that you have a limited time to commence an action.

The statute of limitations for physicians, podiatrists, dentists, etc. is 2 ½ years.  This means that you have 2 ½ years from the date of the negligence, or from the date of your last doctor’s exam in regard to your injury, to file the claim.

Since time is sensitive, you should contact a Kingston medical malpractice attorney today.

But what do you think?  I would love to hear from you!  Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at jfisher@fishermalpracticelaw.com.  You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.