New York Medical Malpractice Attorney
Your relationship with your doctor is one of the most critical relationships in your life. Consequently, when your doctor makes a mistake, everyone suffers. Often, patients who have been harmed due to medical malpractice are left not only dealing with life-changing and debilitating injuries and pain. But they now have to deal with astronomical medical expenses and a future filled with many unknowns for them and their families.
However, you do not have to go through this devastating ordeal on your own. When you contact the law offices of Jacoby & Meyers LLP, our legal staff and New York medical malpractice attorneys are here and ready to provide you the legal help you need and fight for the justice and damages you deserve.
Jacoby & Meyers LLP – Who We Are
Founded in 1972, Jacoby & Meyers LLP was created to provide legal representation to everyone who needed it, and not just the wealthy few. For nearly 50 years, our lawyers and legal support teams have provided straightforward and compassionate legal representation for those injured in New York and New Jersey.
When you contact Jacoby & Meyers LLP, you are contacting a dedicated legal team led by lawyers who can meet your case’s specific needs and can deliver the following free services:
- Answers to questions
- Hospital visits
- Home visits
- 100 percent secure access to case files through our website
Since our founding, we have collected millions of dollars in settlement awards and jury verdicts for our clients.
Some of our most recent awards include an $8.323 million settlement for a medical malpractice case.
While we cannot guarantee a result in your case, we feel our track record shows how hard we fight for every penny that our clients deserve. Contact our office today to get started.
Table of Contents
What Is Medical Malpractice in New York?
Generally, medical malpractice occurs when a medical health professional, hospital, or doctor causes an injury to a patient due to negligent acts or omissions. This negligence can result from errors in treatment, poor aftercare, misdiagnosis, or other inadequate health management.
An unfavorable outcome by itself is not usually considered medical malpractice.
Under the law, for an incident to be regarded as medical malpractice, a patient needs to show:
- Doctor-patient relationship: First, the patient will need to show that a doctor-patient relationship existed with their physician. This means that they need to show that they hired the physician and the doctor agreed to be hired.
- Standard of care: There are specific medical standards recognized by the medical profession as accepted treatments. They are considered accepted by a reasonably prudent medical care professional under similar circumstances. These standards are known as the standard of care, and patients have a right to expect their doctor or medical professional to deliver care that is consistent with these standards. If the health care professional does not meet this standard of care, the patient may establish negligence.
- The injury resulted from the medical professional’s negligence: It is not enough for the patient to show that their doctor or health care professional simply violated the appropriate standard of care. The patient also needs to prove that their injury would not have occurred in the absence of the doctor’s negligence and that their doctor’s negligence caused the specific harm. For instance, if a patient dies following their cancer treatment, even if their doctor provided them negligent care, plaintiffs can still find it difficult to prove whether the physician’s negligence or the cancer caused the death. A valid medical malpractice claim requires that you show that the doctor’s negligence more likely than not directly caused the injury.
- The patient’s injuries were significant: Medical malpractice suits are expensive. Even if you have a medical malpractice case, unless the damages are significant, your case may not be viable. This is because if damages are minimal, the cost of pursuing a medical malpractice case can be greater than the possible recovery. For these reasons, a patient needs to show that they suffered a loss of income, extensive pain and suffering, skyrocketing medical bills, and a disability because of their medical malpractice injury.
Common Examples of Medical Malpractice in New York
The many different forms of medical malpractice
- Failure to Diagnose
- Performing surgery that was not necessary
- Ignoring Lab Results
- Misreading Lab Results
- Performing surgery on the wrong area or site
- Performing unnecessary surgery
- Not providing appropriate follow-up care
- Discharging the patient prematurely
- Providing the patient with the wrong medication
- Providing the patient with the wrong medication dosage
- Not recognizing symptoms
- Not ordering proper medical tests
- Not taking down the patient’s history
- Failing to warn the patient of known risks
Holding Medical Professionals Liable for Medical Malpractice
Many people assume that medical malpractice lawsuits only involve negligent hospitals or doctors.
But you might hold numerous parties liable for medical malpractice, including:
- Urgent Care Clinics
- Rehabilitation Centers
Unfortunately, figuring out who was liable for your injury can be complicated, especially when medical malpractice is involved. As a result, you should consider working with a medical malpractice attorney, who can help you figure out who was responsible for your injuries and help you hold all those parties accountable for the damages you endured.
Medical Malpractice and the Damages Available in New York
If you have been harmed in a medical malpractice incident in New York, you may be entitled to certain types of compensation. This may be in the form of economic damages, non-economic damages, and/or punitive damages.
Economic damages: These damages are actual and measurable losses that result from the accident.
They often include:
- Medical expenses including past, current, and future medical bills (doctor visits, hospital stay, surgeries, and prescription medications)
- Lost wages including past and present lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- At-home nursing care
- Replacement services such as child care or cleaning services
- Other out-of-pocket expenses
Non-economic damages: These damages are subjective losses resulting from the accident and are not easy to quantify.
They often include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of a limb
- Loss of reputation
Punitive damages: Unlike compensatory damages, which compensate the victim for the injuries, punitive damages punish the defendant for their egregious actions and deter them and others from committing the act again in the future. However, because the standard for imposing punitive damages is quite strict, these damages are only awarded in exceptional cases. This means that the patient needs to show that the defendant’s conduct was willful or wanton and manifested to malice, spite, evil motives, or a deliberate and conscious disregard of the interest of others.
No compensation caps in New York: Many times, a state will have legislative limits or caps on the amount of non-economic damages that can be awarded to a plaintiff through a medical malpractice claim. Yet New York has enacted no such caps.
Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations in New York
A statute of limitations sets the maximum amount of time an individual has to initiate legal proceedings from the date of an alleged offense. If the party fails to bring a lawsuit within this deadline, they cannot pursue compensation for their injuries.
In New York, if a patient suffered a medical malpractice injury, they have to file a claim within 2.5 years from the date of the alleged omission or negligent actions that caused their injury. However, if the patient’s medical malpractice injury was due to a foreign object being left inside their body, they only have one year from the date the item was found or should have been found (whichever comes first) to file a claim.
If the injured patient is a minor, they have three years from their 18th birthday to file a medical malpractice claim. But, the omission or negligent action in question must have occurred within the previous 10 years.
If the medical malpractice incident resulted in a wrongful death, then the statute of limitations is only two years. This means that the patient’s loved ones have two years from the date of the death to file a lawsuit. Typically, if the suit is filed after this time, then it is very likely that the court will dismiss the case.
For more specific information about how a statute of limitations applies to your case, contact the team at Jacoby & Meyers LLP today.
Five Actions to Take Following a New York Medical Malpractice Incident
Following a medical malpractice incident, the situation can be extremely taxing and overwhelming for a patient. Many of these patients have no idea what actions or steps they need to take following the incident. Their first instinct may be to contact the hospital or the physician responsible for their harm and demand help or recourse. Yet, this may not be the best course of action.
To protect your legal rights, consider the following five steps:
- Get a copy of your medical records as soon as possible following the malpractice. This could help ensure that nobody tampers or alters any of the documents or that they do not go missing.
- Switch doctors or medical providers and get treatment. Your health is your number one priority. That is why you need to contact another medical professional and get a second opinion as quickly as possible. Another physician can help treat the damage caused by the malpractice while also determining the extent of the error. Plus, if your previous doctor knows that you are contemplating filing a medical malpractice claim, they may try to interject things into your care and medical records to minimize your chance of obtaining a successful outcome.
- Keep a journal of what happened. Medical malpractice claims can take a significantly long time to resolve. Consequently, memories of that accident can fade over time. That is why it can be imperative that you keep a journal that can help you retain and remember the vital details of your medical malpractice incident. As soon as you can, start documenting how you feel, how your medical malpractice injury affected your life, and the extent of your pain and suffering. This information can also provide your lawyer with vital evidence establishing your pain and suffering.
- Be careful what you say to others. You may figure it is safe to vent about your injury to friends and family or online support groups. However, the information you provide and the details you tell others can be used against you and leave a trail of evidence that the other side can use to minimize the compensation you receive. For these reasons, avoid talking to others about your medical malpractice incident, especially online or on your social media accounts.
- Contact our New York medical malpractice lawyers. If you have been harmed because of medical malpractice, you need a medical malpractice lawyer on your side. These lawsuits can become incredibly complicated and detail-oriented, and you need legal help that can guide you every step of the way while protecting your rights and fighting for the compensation and justice you deserve. That is why you need to contact our medical malpractice lawyers as soon as possible. Our attorneys can promptly get to work, investigating your case and gathering the critical evidence required to prove what happened, who was at fault, and the extent of your damages.
New York Medical Malpractice Lawyer FAQs
When a patient’s doctor makes a mistake, the injuries and the harm that results can be devastating—for not only the patient, but for their family as well. After a medical malpractice incident, these patients now have to endure significant pain and concerns about their future. They may have questions ranging from how they will pay their medical bills to how they can find the legal help they need.
Our firm has compiled some of the most frequently asked questions that many victims of medical malpractice come to us with. With these answers, we hope to clear up some of the confusion surrounding New York’s medical malpractice cases. For more information, contact Jacoby & Meyers LLP to learn about your legal options and how our team can help protect you and your rights.
1. How common is medical malpractice in New York?
Medical malpractice is a significant problem in the United States, leading to devastating harm and outcomes.
- Medical malpractice is the third most common cause of death. This means that almost 10 percent of all deaths in the United States result from medical malpractice.
- Patient safety experts from Johns Hopkins have indicated that medical malpractice kills more than 250,000 individuals every year in the United States. However, this number has also been estimated to be as high as 440,000 as many medical malpractice cases go unreported.
- The top four states with the highest medical malpractice incidents are New York, Texas, Florida, and California.
2. If I signed a consent form, can I still recover damages in a New York medical malpractice claim?
Even if you signed a consent form, you could still recover damages for the injuries you suffered from medical malpractice. This is because when you sign a consent form, it does not mean you allow your doctor or a health care professional to act negligently.
However, before you could proceed with a medical malpractice claim, you would need to establish that the physician deviated from the appropriate standard of care and that your injury resulted from this breach.
3. If I am not happy with my surgery results, do I have a viable New York medical malpractice case?
Just because you are not happy with your surgical results does not necessarily mean you have a viable medical malpractice claim. Medical results are not guaranteed, and an unexpected outcome does not mean that your doctor was negligent in how they performed the procedure. For a successful medical malpractice case in New York, you need to show that your damages stemmed from your doctor’s careless actions and that they deviated from the applicable standard of care. That’s why you need to call us if you suspect medical malpractice.
4. What does informed consent mean in New York?
Informed consent from a patient is typically a steadfast requirement. Under New York Law, informed consent means that before a doctor or medical professional can perform a procedure, treatment, or operation, they first need to advise the patient of any material risks and reasonably apparent negative consequences (complications or side effects). This standard is based upon what a reasonably prudent practitioner would have disclosed.
Medical malpractice may result if a physician fails to communicate these outcomes and the patient suffers damages due to the treatment the patient would not have agreed to if they had all the facts.
However, it is essential to note that a doctor is not required to obtain informed consent in an emergency, such as performing emergency treatment on an unconscious patient.
5. If I suffered injuries because of medical malpractice in New York, who can I sue?
In New York, if you suffered a medical malpractice injury, you can file a claim against any individual or any entity that provided you medical care that deviated from the reasonable standard of care. This can include physicians, nurses, aides, technicians, physical therapists, psychologists, pharmacists, emergency room techs, clinics, and hospitals.
However, one thing to remember is this: if you want to proceed with a claim against a hospital because your surgeon was negligent, you first need to find out if the surgeon was an employee of that hospital. If they were not, you would need to file a lawsuit against the surgeon directly.
6. If I bring a medical malpractice claim in New York, will it go to trial or can I settle outside of court?
Just like most personal injury cases, your medical malpractice case may not go to trial. In many instances, these claims settle before trial. However, because each case is unique, numerous factors can affect whether you head to trial or not. For these reasons, you should have a medical malpractice attorney on your side, ready to tackle any legal situation that arises.
When you work with the law firm of Jacoby & Meyers LLP, our lawyers negotiate with your best interest in mind and pursue the settlement that you deserve. Additionally, our attorneys can also prepare your case to proceed to trial if needed. This can send a signal to the defense and the insurance companies that you are ready to pursue the maximum compensation for the harm you endured.
7. How do I know if I have a New York medical malpractice case?
If you suffer an injury following a medical procedure or treatment, the first thing you need to understand is that not every medical outcome immediately translates to medical malpractice. Unfortunately, even with skilled and careful medical care, things can go wrong.
For these reasons, to demonstrate that you have a valid medical malpractice claim, you would need to show:
- Your doctor had a duty to you because you had a doctor-patient relationship with them.
- Your doctor did not provide you with medical care that met the accepted standard of care in the medical community.
- This breach directly caused you to suffer harm, which is often proved by expert testimony or your medical records.
- Your injury resulted in significant damages, such as lost wages, medical expenses, and extensive pain and suffering.
8. Do I need an expert witness to testify in my New York medical malpractice case?
Medical malpractice is typically proven through expert medical witness testimony. This medical expert witness will review the case and make an independent determination of whether medical malpractice occurred. This type of testimony is considered to be so crucial that in New York, the state’s laws require the plaintiff’s attorneys to certify that they have consulted a medical expert before filing a medical malpractice claim and indicate that there is a legal justification for the complaint.
A medical malpractice case can entail numerous legal complexities, including the stringent expert witness requirements. As a result, you need to contact a medical malpractice lawyer to assist you with your medical malpractice case to meet that all the requirements for a claim.
9. What legal actions do I have if my loved one died because of medical malpractice in New York?
If your loved one died because of medical malpractice, you could pursue legal action against the medical professional or organization liable for their death by filing a wrongful death claim.
However, in New York, before you could proceed with this claim, you would need to prove:
- There was a death.
- The wrongful conduct and actions of the defendant caused the death.
- The wrongful conduct gave rise to a cause of action the decedent could have pursued if the death had not happened.
- The decedent is survived by one or more individuals who suffered a loss from the death.
- There are damages that the estate can recover.
Consequently, if your loved one died due to a medical professional’s negligent actions, you may pursue the following damages:
- Any immediate expenses that are associated with your loved one’s death, such as funeral expenses and medical expenses
- Any loss of benefits such as the decedent’s pension and medical coverage
- Any loss of anticipated future earnings
- Any loss of inheritance from the untimely death
- Any mental anguish or pain and suffering the survivors had to endure
If you believe that you have a wrongful death claim because of medical malpractice, make sure you speak with one of the attorneys at Jacoby & Meyers LLP. Our legal team can promptly look into your case, determine if you have a viable claim, and go after the compensation you deserve.
10. Does New York limit the amount of compensation that I can recover in a medical malpractice claim?
No. New York does not put restrictions or caps on how much a plaintiff can recover. This includes lost wages, pain and suffering damages, or other compensation.
11. What type of factors determine the amount of compensation I can recover in a New York medical malpractice claim?
Unfortunately, no lawyer can tell you exactly how much money you can recover in a medical malpractice suit. This is because various factors can influence the amount of compensation you may receive.
Some of these factors include:
- The nature of the injury
- The severity of the injury
- The length of time the pain is expected to last
- The certainty of continued pain
- The type of medical treatment needed now and in the future because of the injury
- The ability to work following the injury
- The extent of the pain and suffering endured
- Whether the injury resulted in a permanent disability
- The credibility of the witnesses and the evidence presented
As you can see, various elements can affect the amount of compensation you may collect. That is why working with a medical malpractice lawyer can be so critical for your case. When you retain the law firm of Jacoby & Meyers LLP, our attorneys can help determine which factors may influence your claim, prepare the best case in response to these factors, and go after maximum compensation on your behalf.
12. How can Jacoby & Meyers LLP’s lawyers help me following a New York medical malpractice incident?
Not only do you need to understand the state’s laws regarding medical malpractice lawsuits, but you also need to provide detailed evidence and sound legal arguments to help prove your claim. That is why you should retain the medical malpractice lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers LLP.
Our legal team can:
- Go over your medical malpractice case in detail, answer all the questions you have, and provide you with the legal options you can pursue.
- Investigate your medical malpractice incident and gather the critical documents and evidence needed to prove what caused your illness or injury and who was responsible.
- Handle the endless legal forms required in a medical malpractice suit and ensure they are filed correctly and on time.
- Handle the discussions and negotiations with the insurance companies and make sure you do not say anything that can impact your claim while going after a fair settlement.
- Hire the medical experts needed to provide testimony about your doctor’s mistake and whether the doctor violated the appropriate standard of care.
- Work with financial experts to help determine a fair compensation award for the damages you endured.
- Take your case to trial if the other side is not willing to provide you a reasonable settlement offer, and go after maximum damages.
If you or a loved one were injured in a New York medical malpractice incident, do not hesitate any longer. Contact the law firm of Jacoby & Meyers LLP, call us toll-free at (877) 565-2993, or open a chat today with one of our live representatives. We’ll evaluate your claim, and if we take your case you can let our lawyers provide you the legal help you need and fight for the compensation and justice you deserve.
Jacoby & Meyers, LLP
39 Broadway Suite 1910,
New York, NY 10006
“If it were not for the integral legal team of experts at Jacoby & Meyers I would not be where I am today with my recovery. I highly recommend hiring Jacoby & Meyers should you ever find yourself injured in an accident, and an individual or company needs to be held accountable for their negligence.” -C.J.
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