> What Is Medical Malpractice?
What Is Medical Malpractice?
In New York, medical malpractice is "negligence" by a doctor or other health care provider. This is further defined, under the law, as a failure of doctor or other health care provider to take "reasonable care." (NY Pattern Jury Instruction 2:150)
Lack of "reasonable care" is (1) failing to do something that a "reasonably prudent" doctor would have done under the circumstances, or (2) doing something that a "reasonably prudent" doctor would not have done.
Phrased another way, malpractice is a "departure" or "deviation" from the accepted, medical "standard of care" in the situation.
What Is Not Medical Malpractice?
Despite what you may have heard from physician's lobby groups, doctors aren't held liable for just any "mistake." The law, and the Courts, recognize that doctors aren't perfect, and we don't expect them to be.
But the law does give patients right of redress for lack of reasonable care --such as a doctor who is too busy to listen to his patient's complaints, or a surgeon who fails to supervise their resident during a major surgery because they have put other professional activities over patient care.
We represent patients who are seriously injured when their doctor, in violation of the New York standards for physician conduct, fails to do what a "reasonably prudent" doctor would have done in the same circumstance --such as failing to recommend routine colonoscopies for one of their patients over 50.
Doctors commit malpractice when their care falls below the minimum, acceptable standards of knowledge and practice for a physician in their area of practice.
Malpractice is not any time a doctor fails to cure a patient. The law is clear that doctors do not "guarantee" a good result. However, doctors who "over promise" the reasonable benefits of a surgery, and fail to disclose the risks, may be held liable for medical malpractice, or a "lack of informed consent" when they fail to give the patient adequate information with which to make an informed decision about their own medical care.
How Can I Tell If It's Malpractice?
The first indicator often comes from the patient, or their family. They feel that their trust was betrayed. They feel their doctor "let them down."
Such feelings can be misplaced. However, they are often a good indicator that you may benefit from a professional, with experience in the medicine and law of malpractice, to help you and your family evaluate what happened, to at least obtain good information whether there appears to be true malpractice, or not.
We bring many years of experience, much research and sophistication to investigating whether an event was truly malpractice, your rights under the law, and what to expect if a civil suit is indicated.
Only with good information, on the medical care, and what remedies may exist in a Court of law, can you can make an intelligent decision on whether to seek legal redress.