According to Forbes, over $3 billion was spent on medical malpractice payouts in 2013. The number has since grown given the fact that medical error is the third leading cause of death in the United States. There are some things that you could do to avoid becoming part of the alarming statistics. There are occasions where you will be the victim and you will need to know the next course of action. The first thing would be to look for an experienced NYC Personal Injury Lawyer so that you’re getting maximum compensation for the damages.
In most cases, you will have to deal with the insurance company which is a tad too challenging. You might be recovering or you’re still in the hospital.
Definition of a Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice will happen when the healthcare professional deviates from the “standard” care of practice. There are different forms of medical malpractice.
Determining If you’re a victim
This perhaps that biggest challenge when it comes to medical malpractice cases. To start with, you must prove beyond reasonable doubt that a relationship existed between you and the doctor. This means that you can’t sue a doctor for medical malpractice when he or she was not treating you. A malpractice case comes about when the negligence of the doctor results in injury or loss of life. It should be noted that a bad experience with the doctor doesn’t necessarily equate to negligence. It will be on you to prove that the doctor acted in a negligent manner which resulted in harm to you as a person. This is going to be difficult to prove if you don’t have an experienced lawyer by your side.
Statute of Limitations
Contacting a seasoned personal injury attorney should be the first step if you suspect you’re a victim of medical malpractice. The attorney will thoroughly review the case to see if it holds any water. Most personal injury attorney attorneys will only work on a contingency basis. That is why they won’t take your case if they feel there are minimal chances of winning. There are some specific timelines in which the case has to be filed. This will vary from one jurisdiction to another. The earlier the filing, the better it is for your chance of winning the case. Working with an experienced attorney will ensure that the case is because filed on time so that the defense can begin.
Reducing the Chances of a Medical Malpractice
As much as you don’t have control over the diagnosis and treatment you get from a particular doctor, you can reduce the chances by only working with an experienced one. Most errors are made by doctors who are just starting out. That is why it is important that you’re looking for a doctor who has at least five years of experience. This will reduce the chances of medical malpractice.
Risk of Procedure
You might not be entitled to a medical malpractice claim when you’re involved in a risky procedure. The doctor will make sure you’re aware of the risks so that he or she is not liable should anything happen to you. A bad outcome doesn’t necessarily mean that the doctor was negligent while performing their duty. Unless you can prove it was the doctor’s mistake for the medical malpractice, you will be fighting a losing battle and a good attorney should be able to point it out.
It might not be possible to sue the doctor if he works for a hospital that is owned by the government. He or she will be protected by the sovereign immunity laws which limit the ability of private citizens to sue the government. You can still sue the doctor but it won’t make any economic sense as the amount that you can recover is capped. There are also legal fees you should be worried about. You should consult with your attorney before making any major decision when dealing with such a case.
You should not be afraid to go for a second opinion if you feel that you’re not getting the right treatment. It is better to be safe than sorry. You current doctor should in fact encourage seeking a second opinion. You should also not be afraid to look for a new doctor if you feel like the current one is not providing the right treatment. Avoiding medical malpractice should be the first priority and this means looking for an experienced doctor for your condition.