A cancer diagnosis could be quite scary and full of unknowns. People who have suffered from cancer malpractice know that doctors who act negligently could make this diagnosis even worse. Given the physical, emotional, and mental health pain that may result, medical expenses could be an additional burden that will need to be paid.

If you were injured from an incident of cancer malpractice, you could seek justice for your damages with the help of a well-versed Poughkeepsie cancer malpractice lawyer. Under New York state law, you may be entitled to compensation to help pay for your medical bills and for other sufferings that a qualified medical malpractice attorney could help you pursue.

What is Cancer Malpractice?

Doctors are trusted to provide medical care that adheres to the current standards of care within the medical field. When they deviate from these standards of care, they may be committing malpractice and are likely putting patients at risk.

Cancer malpractice can come in many forms. These may include:

In some cases, plaintiffs may be found partially liable for their own damages. As an example, this could occur if they failed to report their symptoms to their doctor promptly or failed to fully inform the doctor about their medical history or their symptoms. Potential plaintiffs who feel these circumstances may come to light in the course of their litigation should consult with a Poughkeepsie cancer malpractice attorney as soon as possible.

The court determines how much the plaintiff and defendant are each liable for the plaintiff’s damages in such a situation. Under the pure comparative fault system established in New York Civil Practice Law & Rules §1411, whatever a plaintiff’s percentage of fault is, that same percentage would be deducted from whatever damage award they receive. For example, if the court determines that the plaintiff is 25 percent liable, they would only be able to recover for 75 percent of their total damages.

The Value of a Cancer Malpractice Case

Understandably, one of the first questions many plaintiffs ask their cancer maltreatment lawyer in Poughkeepsie is how much their cancer malpractice case is worth. However, this can be a difficult question to answer, depending on whether the case goes to trial or settles outside of court as well as the strength of the evidence against the defendant.

The economic value of lost wages, medical bills, and other such objectively priced damages could be easy to determine. For intangible damages like pain and suffering or loss of consortium, though, the amount a plaintiff could receive may be more difficult to identify. Skilled legal counsel could help estimate what a person’s case may be worth based on previous rulings.

Availability of Punitive Damages

In rare cases where a medical provider’s actions were intentional, malicious, reckless, or if a provider fraudulently attempted to conceal their mistake, punitive damages could be available. A defendant must pay punitive damages to the plaintiff as a punishment for outrageous behavior.

New York has not enacted a hard and fast formula to determine how much money a plaintiff might receive from punitive damages. Often, it is a multiple of the amount that they get as compensatory damages. The egregiousness of the defendant’s conduct, the motivation for their behavior, and the harm to the plaintiff can all influence the amount a court awards in punitive damages. An experienced Poughkeepsie cancer malpractice attorney might be able to provide an estimate based on other awards in local courts.

Timeline to File

States impose time limits on their citizens’ right to bring lawsuits. A failure to file suit within the specified timeframe allows a defendant to bring a motion claiming the suit is not timely, and a court will almost always uphold the motion. The person who waits too long to file suit will be left without a legal remedy.

The law in New York requires a patient alleging medical malpractice to file their lawsuit within two years and six months of the alleged malpractice. However, when malpractice relates to a failure to diagnose a tumor or other malignancy, the thirty-month clock begins running on the date the patient learned of, or should reasonably have discovered, the doctor’s error.

There is a caveat, however. If the misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose happened more than seven years ago, it might be too late to file a lawsuit. A cancer patient who believes a misdiagnosis occurred several years prior should consult a capable Poughkeepsie attorney to determine what legal options are available to them.

Filing a Cancer Malpractice Lawsuit in Poughkeepsie

In general, Poughkeepsie lawyers consider New York State to be a place where plaintiffs in medical malpractice actions can get fair treatment. The statute of limitations is reasonable for most patients and the state does not cap a successful plaintiff’s damages, as many other states do.

However, the state has enacted one rule that could be a potential barrier to bringing a malpractice suit. A plaintiff cannot file a medical malpractice lawsuit unless they also file a Certificate of Merit with their compliant, or no more than 90 days after filing the complaint.

The Certificate of Merit affirms that a medical expert has reviewed the plaintiff’s medical records and agrees that the defendant failed to meet the applicable standard of care for this patient. The medical expert must be a licensed physician. If an attorney has tried to obtain a Certificate of Merit from three physicians and has failed to obtain one, they must disclose this information in their court papers.

How a Poughkeepsie Cancer Malpractice Attorney Could Help

If you were injured as a result of cancer malpractice, you may have incurred hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical expenses and might be left feeling overwhelmed. While a Poughkeepsie cancer malpractice lawyer cannot change what has happened to you, they could help you move your life forward by pursuing compensation from the health professionals that caused your damages.

Your right to seek compensation is limited by strict legal deadlines. To learn more about your rights and options during this difficult time, call an accomplished attorney today.

Poughkeepsie Cancer Malpractice Lawyer