Important Points in Medical Malpractice Cases

John Fisher
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Stopping Medical Injustice

Negligence is about people making mistakes.  It is nothing intentionally done, but nonetheless whatever happened should not have happened.  In fact, if the proper care was taken at the time, the mistake could have been avoided.  

While medical malpractice is a form of negligence, the experienced Kingston medical malpractice attorney knows that proving medical malpractice occurred is much more difficult than proving a standard negligence claim.

This is because New York State laws have different rules for medical malpractice cases.  For example, ordinary negligence is judged on a reasonable person standard.  If John Doe did something that hurt Polly Person, he could be held negligent if some other reasonable person of ordinary prudence would not have done what he did.  Medical malpractice has a higher standard.  

The actions of medical professionals are judged in relation to their peers.  Did the offending doctor act with the care and reasonableness that a similar doctor in the community would have acted with?  You see, he/she is not compared to you or me; rather, he/she is compared to other medical professionals.  This is how the standard is higher. 

Unfortunately, injured patients might not be able to successfully sue a doctor just because a mistake was made that another doctor would not have made.  The patient must have suffered a loss.  Losses are called damages in the legal arena.  They are things like pain and suffering, lost wages, medical bills, just to name a few.  In sum, the mistake must have injured the patient and the injury must have led to damages.  

Another requirement mandates the medical malpractice case to be started within a special time frame.  A normal negligence claim requires starting the law suit within three years from the date the negligence occurred.  Medical malpractice cases have a two and a half year statute of limitations.  Within that time, the summons and complaint must be formally given to the appropriate court. 

After filing the complaint and sending notice to the defendant, the law suit will make its way through the court process step by step and may eventually end up in front of a jury.  Most medical malpractice cases never make it that far; over ninety percent in fact.  This is because of settlements.  

Not only do defendants want the case to end sooner because of the hefty cost of litigation, courts are busy and prefer for parties to settle their differences on their own.  Also, waiting for trial takes a lot of time and plaintiffs need compensation sooner.  On a more practical level, it makes sense to control the end result instead of hoping for a judge and or jury to agree with the plaintiff. 

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

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