What You Should Know About Medical Malpractice


Patients should first know that medical malpractice happens every day and in every medical setting.  Chances are that either you or someone you know has been negligently injured by a medical professional.

Experienced medical malpractice attorneys practicing law in the greater Hudson Valley regions of New York State want you to focus on two key words/phrases in the second sentence of the paragraph above; “negligently” and “medical professional”.

You need to know that medical malpractice is a form of negligence.  Negligence is a failure to exercise reasonable care, the type of care that another prudent person would have exercised if faced with similar circumstances.  Even though the wrongful act was not committed intentionally, the mistake should not have occurred and is therefore compensable.

The above general definition of negligence is a bit more complex in the realm of medical malpractice.  In the area of medical negligence, medical professionals are required to treat patients in accordance with the standards proscribed by the profession itself, with consideration given to the community in which the treatment was performed.  This duty arises as soon as the doctor patient relationship is consummated.  Failing to live up to any such standard is an act of negligence, but can only be compensable if the negligence caused the patient’s injury.  The patient must have suffered damages too, such as pain and suffering, lost wages, medical costs, etc.

“Medical professional” is a broad term used to cover many different actors in the medical setting.  Most people only think about surgeons when pondering medical malpractice.  But you should know that many types of people working in the medical industry can be guilty of medical malpractice.  So long as there was a doctor patient relationship and the patient was injured during the course of treatment, surgeons, general practitioners, podiatrists, obstetricians, anesthesiologists, cardiologists, oncologists, oral surgeons, dentists, pharmacists, nurses, physician’s assistants, technicians, emergency room staff, surgical assistants, and many more can be held accountable for malpractice.

You should also know that you can sue a medical professional for medical malpractice even if you consented to the procedure that went wrong.  This is because patients accept the normal complications of treatment, but they never have and never will consent to begin treated negligently.  Since we mention consent here, all patients must be given adequate consent to the procedure that involves knowing the consequences of treatment, possible alternatives and the option to refuse treatment.  Inadequate informed consent is a form of malpractice as well.

Lastly, you need to know that medical malpractice litigation against an offending medical professional must be commenced timely.  In New York, the offending medical professional must have the case commenced against him or her within two and a half years from the date the negligence occurred.

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.