At some point during your lifetime, you will need to put your faith and trust in doctors and other medical professionals to take care of your health needs. The majority of the time, healthcare professionals meet or exceed our expectations. However, there are some instances when medical care falls short. At Winkler Kurtz, LLP, we are one of the top Long Island medical malpractice law firms. Our team has advocated for victims of medical malpractice since 1987. If you believe that you may be a victim of malpractice and are confused about whether or not you have a case, allow our team to discuss the elements of a malpractice case.
Medical Malpractice Explained
Medical malpractice allows victims that have been injured by the negligent or reckless conduct of healthcare professionals to hold them accountable for their wrongdoing. Medical malpractice lawsuits can result in monetary compensation to help the victim cover costs associated with their injury. There are four elements that factor into a medical malpractice case:
Our Long Island medical malpractice law firms will seek evidence to prove that these four elements exist as we seek malpractice compensation.
Duty of Care
When a doctor consents to treat a patient, they owe a legal duty of care to the patient. Once a doctor-patient relationship has been established, this duty arises. Doctors are obligated to uphold accepted medical practices without omission or deviation. To determine the standard of care, an attorney will need to evaluate your case to establish where the healthcare provider breached the duty of care. In court, an expert medical witness will define the duty of care. A doctor is always aware of the risks and complications with any procedure. It is important to keep in mind that just because you are not satisfied with your treatment outcome does not mean that a doctor was negligent.
A doctor can breach their duty of care in several ways that could lead to a medical malpractice case. Through evidence, documentation, and expert testimony, a patient must be able to prove that the healthcare professional failed to meet the standard duty of care. Some examples of a breach could include:
- A surgical tool or gauze was left inside the body after surgery.
- A misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose.
- Not recognizing symptoms and signs of a condition.
- Prescribing medicine incorrectly.
While your doctor may not have acted maliciously, the result is all the same. You or your loved one were injured, disabled, or killed by an act of negligence or error. When you are trying to prove medical malpractice, it is crucial that you work with one of the best Long Island medical malpractice firms to achieve a favorable outcome so you can recover.
A medical malpractice case cannot exist if the patient cannot show that they were harmed in such a way as death, deformity, disfigurement, impairment to mental or bodily function, loss of earning capacity, or a reduced chance of recovery. Medical negligence can lead to permanent emotional and physical damage that can leave you and your family reeling.
The fourth and final element of a medical malpractice lawsuit is called damages. In order to be awarded damages, the patient needs to prove that the malpractice caused the damage, and an approximate price tag can be put on the damages. If you are injured by malpractice, our Long Island medical malpractice firms can help you recover a wide variety of damages, including:
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering.
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
- Loss of earning capacity.
- Current and future medical expenses.
- Missed work.
- Punitive damages.
- Wrongful death damages.
New York State does not have a dollar cap on the amount of damages that a medical malpractice victim can recover. The statute of limitations to file a claim is two and a half years from the time of injury.
Long Island Medical Malpractice Law Firms
At Winkler Kurtz, LLP, we understand how devastating these events can be. If you or a loved one have suffered damage from medical malpractice, seek the help of one of the leading Long Island medical malpractice law firms. Contact us today to schedule a consultation so you can receive your entitled compensation.