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The Basics of New York Medical Malpractice

If you have been injured due to a doctor's misconduct or error in judgment, you may have a legitimate medical malpractice claim. Because each state dictates its own medical malpractice laws, it is important that you have a basic understanding of New York malpractice laws prior to filing a lawsuit.

If you still have questions after reading up on New York medical malpractice laws, you should contact New York malpractice lawyers who can help answer any further questions you may have.

What Is New York Malpractice?

Although each state establishes its own medical malpractice laws, most are fairly uniform in how they define medical malpractice.

In general, medical malpractice is defined as when a medical provider breaches, or violates, the standard of care, which then results in injury to a patient.

The standard of care is the generally accepted method of care a doctor or other healthcare professional should administer to a patient afflicted with a specific condition. This standard of care will vary depending on a number of factors, including the patient's age and his specific ailment.

In addition to showing that a doctor breached his standard of care, you will have to prove that this breach directly caused your injury. Oftentimes to prove this you and your attorney will have to rely on the insight of a medical expert witness.

For example, when a woman goes into labor in New York, a birth injury is possible. Oftentimes, newborn babies suffer birth injuries as part of a difficult birthing process. If your baby was injured during birth, there is a chance you may not have a medical malpractice claim because the doctor did nothing to cause the baby's injuries. Even in situations where a doctor's actions do cause injuries during birth, you will have a legitimate claim only if these actions show a breach of a standard of care. When filing a birth injury case, you and your attorney should consult with an obstetrician/gynecologist to provide expert testimony to show that this standard of care was breached and that this breach caused harm to the baby.<./p>

New York Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations

Each state sets its own limits (called the statute of limitations) as to how long an injured patient can wait before filing a medical malpractice claim. According to New York medical malpractice law, you have up to two-and-a-half years to file a medical malpractice claim.

The point at which the statute of limitations begins counting down in New York is when the act that caused injury to the patient takes place or at the end of continuous treatment during which the act that caused injury took place. This means that if your doctor conducts a procedure that results in your injury, you have two-and-a-half years from that point to file a medical malpractice case.

Foreign object cases-cases in which a doctor or other healthcare professional leaves a foreign object in the patient's body-are granted an exception. Patients may bring these cases anytime within one year after the object is discovered.

These strict limits underscore the importance of contacting a New York medical malpractice attorney as soon after injury occurs as possible. The quicker you initiate the litigation process, the more likely you will be within the necessary timeframe to file a lawsuit.

Damages in New York

Many states have enacted laws that place limits on how much an injured patient can collect when suing a healthcare provider for medical malpractice. The award that an injured patient seeks as compensation for injuries is known as damages.

There are three main types of damages available in New York medical malpractice cases. The first is known as compensatory damages. These damages compensate a victim of medical malpractice for such things as medical costs and loss of wages due to time off from work.

The next type of compensation is known as non-economic damages. These compensate a patient for such things as pain and suffering.

Finally, punitive damages are also available in certain cases. To receive punitive damages, you and your attorney must show the healthcare provider acted recklessly, such as when a healthcare provider acts with malice or fraud.

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