If you sought medical treatment at a doctor’s office or hospital in the Hudson Valley and you believe that your healthcare provider made a mistake, it is important that you speak with a lawyer about filing a claim for medical malpractice. Statistically, if you are concerned about the quality of the medical care you received, there is a good chance that your suspicions are correct.
According to a widely cited report from Johns Hopkins Medicine, medical malpractice is the third-leading cause of death in the United States. Many more patients suffer serious but non-fatal complications due to medical negligence.
What Are the Most Common Types of Medical Malpractice?
Just as there are many different types of medical needs and medical treatment, there are many different types of medical malpractice. Essentially, any type of diagnostic or treatment procedure involves a risk for medical negligence, and mistakes can occur at all stages of patient care, from emergency response and triage to surgery and rehabilitation.
Some of the most-common types of medical malpractice include:
- Anesthesia errors
- Blood transfusion errors
- Emergency room negligence
- Failure to diagnose
- Failure to order necessary tests and scans
- Hospital administration failures
- Medication errors
- Misreading of scans and test results
- Surgical errors
- Wrong diagnosis
These and other forms of malpractice are risks in all areas of medicine. While claims against anesthesiologists, dentists, internists, OB-GYNs, pathologists, radiologists, psychiatrists, and surgeons are particularly common, all types of doctors can (and do) make mistakes. Patients will often have claims against hospitals, urgent care centers, testing labs, and other healthcare facilities as well.
When Does a Doctor’s or Other Healthcare Provider’s Mistake Amount to Medical Negligence?
When assessing your legal rights, it is important to distinguish between “non-actionable” mistakes and mistakes that amount to medical negligence. While it would be nice if doctors and other healthcare providers could make the right decisions all the time, this simply isn’t practical, and New York law does not require perfection.
Sometimes, doctors have to make their best guess based on the information that is available. And, if a doctor makes a reasoned judgment that turns out to be incorrect, this does not necessarily mean that he or she has committed medical malpractice.
In order to amount to medical malpractice, a provider’s mistake must represent a failure to adhere to the applicable standard of care. In New York, the applicable standard of care is judged based upon two primary factors:
- The provider’s area of medicine
- The provider’s “locality”
For example, generally speaking, emergency room doctors are afforded more discretion since they must often make split-second decisions with very limited information. Conversely, specialists who see patients by appointment are generally held to a higher standard of care.
Likewise, upstate providers who have less access to state-of-the-art facilities and diagnostic tools will not necessarily be held to the same standards as doctors in cities like Poughkeepsie who have substantially more resources at their disposal.
That said, in all cases, the standard of care to which doctors and other healthcare providers are held is very high. As patients, we need to be able to place our trust in the healthcare providers who are located near where we live and work.
So, regardless of the circumstances involved, if you are concerned that you have not received necessary medical treatment despite seeking help, you should absolutely speak with a medical malpractice attorney about your legal rights.
How Do I Prove That My Doctor Was Negligent?
If you are concerned that your doctor may have made a grave mistake, how do you prove it? This is often one of the most challenging issues involved in seeking financial compensation for medical malpractice. Unfortunately, as a patient, there is very little that you can do on your own.
When we represent clients in medical malpractice claims, we utilize a number of legal tools and resources to collect the evidence we need to prove our clients’ right to compensation. For example, if your doctor made a medication error or surgical mistake, we can seek to obtain the hospital’s records from your visit. If your condition was misdiagnosed, we can engage a qualified expert to testify that your doctor should have provided a timely and accurate diagnosis.
Contact O’Connor & Partners, PLLC for Help with Your Claim
No matter what happened, if you think your doctor may have committed medical malpractice, you owe it to yourself to seek experienced legal counsel. At O’Connor & Partners, PLLC, we are here to help, and we can use our extensive experience representing clients in complex medical malpractice claims to make sure you receive the financial compensation you deserve.
To find out if you have a claim for medical malpractice, contact our law offices in Kingston, Newburgh, or Poughkeepsie to schedule a free initial consultation. You can reach us 24/7, so call 845-303-8777 or tell us about your situation online now.