If you are unfortunate enough to have something go wrong during a medical procedure, or you haven’t received the correct treatment you needed, you’ll quite naturally, want to seek some kind of justice and recompense. But how do you know whether you have a case or not? What actually qualifies as medical malpractice or negligence, and when is it time to engage a medical malpractice lawyer?
In order to be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, two things need to have happened; the first is that the healthcare provider needs to have actually done something which could be considered negligent or as malpractice, and secondly, you must have suffered an injury or undesirable outcome because of their action (or lack thereof).
Having said that, it’s vitally important to keep in mind that while you may expect your healthcare providers to be infallible, the law doesn’t hold the same view. If you have a common complaint that any competent medic would be able to spot, and yet the medical staff treating you failed to see it, and as a result, you have suffered, you may have a case; however, if what is wrong with you is obscure, then it could be argued that unless they were an expert in dealing with such conditions, it’s not unreasonable that your doctor may have missed it. In short, it’s likely that you would only have a case if it can be shown that your doctor (for example) failed to do something which any average doctor would have done. Or conversely, did something which any averagely competent doctor would not have done. The law does not expect medical practitioners to be miracle workers, nor are they expected to be superhuman.
Regarding whether you’ve actually suffered an injury or an unfavourable consequence, again, it really depends on the gravity of the situation. If you were given the wrong medication, for example, but suffered no ill-effects even though the medication didn’t actually help, then no injury is deemed to have occurred; if however, contrary to your medical notes, you were given penicillin, for example, and you had a violent allergic reaction as a consequence, which starved your brain of oxygen, resulting in brain damage, then the chances are that you might have a case.
If you think you have reasonable cause to sue, then it is vitally important to consult a malpractice lawyer as soon as possible – not least because in NYC, there is a 90 day time limit between the occurrence of the malpractice, and filing of a Notice of Claim with the relevant medical institution. Your medical malpractice attorney will be able to assess your case, and let you know whether you have a strong enough claim to be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
But how do you go about finding a medical malpractice lawyer in New York?
You could do a Google search for what lawyers’ clients have to say about the service they’ve received, however, you should bear in mind that these reviews will be highly subjective, and in some cases, may be unfairly negative. Far better then, to find peer-reviewed sources, not least because they constitute an official lawyer rating system. Here are three resources you should be looking at when choosing your medical malpractice attorney in New York:
Do remember that although most medical malpractice lawyers in New York offer free consultations, you should check before you commit to an initial meeting. Do bear in mind that free consultations mean you can afford to shop around – you don’t have to go with the first medical malpractice lawyer you meet with. Similarly, most medical malpractice attorneys will also operate on a contingency (no win, no fee) basis.
At Antin, Ehrlich, and Epstein LLP, our New York medical malpractice attorneys are dedicated to helping victims of medical malpractice, so if you are a victim of medical malpractice or medical negligence, you may be entitled to damages, including compensation for resultant medical expenses and loss of earnings. Contact us today on 212-221-5999 to schedule a free, no obligation, consultation to help you understand your rights.