Between public service announcements, public education, and their physicians, Americans are generally well-informed about the symptoms of a heart attack and the importance of early care. However, this must be coupled with quality care from those in the medical field to increase the chances of survival and other positive outcomes.
If a physician deviates from the standard of care in their field, a heart attack patient may suffer unnecessarily. They may need more intense medical care, longer rehabilitation, miss more time from work, have higher medical bills, and experience more pain and suffering or even death.
Patients who feel that they may have suffered from a physician who departed from the standard of care are advised to contact a Poughkeepsie heart attack malpractice lawyer as soon as possible. A well-practiced medical malpractice attorney could review the facts of your case and work to build an injury claim on your behalf.
What Gives a Malpractice Case Merit?
The State of New York has laws in place to help ensure that heart attack malpractice cases have merit and not wasting the time or resources of the courts. Cases with merit will include the following elements of legal negligence:
- Duty – as their physician, the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff
- Breach of duty – the physician departed from the standard of care for their profession
- Proximate cause – the plaintiff suffered an injury as a direct result of the defendant’s breach of duty
- Damages – the plaintiff’s injury directly led to compensable damages
The burden of proof in malpractice cases always lies with the plaintiff. As such, a qualified heart attack malpractice lawyer in Poughkeepsie must be able to establish all these points in court so that the plaintiff can have a better chance of a positive result.
Multiple Defendants in Heart Attack Malpractice Cases
One of the many responsibilities of a Poughkeepsie heart attack malpractice attorney is to determine the parties that may be defendants in an individual’s case. For instance, the hospital, emergency room physician, emergency room nurse, and the patient’s primary care physician may all be named as defendants if they were negligent in the care of the plaintiff.
As per New York Civil Practice & Law Rules §4011a, a civil court can assign a percentage of fault to each defendant they find liable for the injuries of the plaintiff. Each defendant’s percentage of fault would determine how much of the plaintiff’s damages they would be required to pay.
For example, if one defendant is found to be 10 percent liable and another 90 percent, they would each be liable solely for a matching portion of the final damage award the court deems the plaintiff should receive. If one defendant settles with the plaintiff, that settlement amount will reduce the amount the other defendants collectively owe to the plaintiff. This concept is known as several liability.
Call a Poughkeepsie Heart Attack Malpractice Attorney
You should not have to suffer unnecessarily after a heart attack due to the negligence of the medical professionals that you trusted to care for you. If they were careless or reckless, they should be held accountable for their actions and the damages that you now suffer.
You may be able to get your case started—and find out how much compensation you could be entitled to—by speaking with an attorney. Call a Poughkeepsie heart attack malpractice lawyer today for professional, personalized help.