Many patients wrong by medical malpractice do not know what to do and what recourse they have. They also are unfamiliar with the court process and what a successful civil case entails. This can be a daunting task and scary for injured victims.
First and foremost, a successful claim founded in medical malpractice must be commenced timely and within the 2 ½ year statute of limitations. Additionally, all interlocutory papers, such as motions and responses, must be timely. The rules of discovery, of each particular judge and court, and the New York Civil Procedure Law must be adhered to.
Outside of these procedural issues, a successful medical claim will require substantive proof that which sustains the plaintiff’s claim. Simply put, just claiming that you are injured and that a doctor was the cause, is not enough to win a case. Medical malpractice litigation requires the plaintiff to produce experts to testify about a multitude of issues throughout the course of a trial.
Since medical malpractice is a form of negligence, the plaintiff will have to prove that the doctor was under a duty, what that duty was, how the duty was breached, what another similarly situated doctor would have done, what injuries were suffered, and proof that shows a direct connection between the negligence and the injury.
The only way to prove what duty to which the defendant-doctor was bound is to produce an expert to testify at trial. This expert must be a medical professional practicing in the same field as the defendant, and he/she must be familiar on the standards within the community in which the defendant practices. Basically, the expert explains the medical protocols that should be followed in a given geographical area.
Next, an expert is required to explain how the defendant-doctor deviated from accepted medical practices. The expert will explain that another similarly situated medical professional under the same circumstances would not have done what the defendant did.
Since physical rehabilitation, vocational rehabilitation, and cost of continued medical care will be claimed for compensation, an expert in these areas will testify as to what was necessary to bring the patient back to normal health, and he/she will also explain what care will be needed in the future.
Economic experts will quantify the concrete losses, such as lost past wages, and more abstract losses, such as pain and suffering, into monetary terms so that a jury may grant a proper award; an award that fairly compensates the plaintiff without unjustly punishing the defendant.
But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.