Can I Sue My Doctor?

Yes, you can. Medical Malpractice is the failure of doctors or other medical professionals to provide adequate treatment to patients resulting in a personal injury or substantial loss of income. In other words, medical malpractice is the negligence by act or omission of a health care provider in which the care provided deviates from the accepted standards of practice in the medical community and causes injury or death to the patient, with most cases involving a medical error. Standards, laws, and regulations for medical malpractice vary by state. Most, if not all, of the medical professionals obtain insurance policies to offset the risk and costs of lawsuits based on medical malpractice.

You should keep in mind that a lawyer could help you determine whether your doctor had committed medical malpractice. There are statutes of limitation issues that may affect your potential claim. Remember that medical malpractice is a doctor’s failure to exercise the degree of care and skill that a physician or surgeon (or other medical providers) of the same medical specialty would use under similar circumstances. When these medical standards are not followed, medical malpractice has been committed. A lawyer that knows about medical problems and health laws is needed to help a claim reach the courts in a timely and effective manner. A medical malpractice lawyer will work with the health system to find out what your rights and legal options are. While you or someone you know gets better or recovers from his/her medical sustained injury, the medical malpractice attorney will fight for his/her legal rights.

A doctor would be liable for such things as performing an improper surgical procedure, prescribing experimental drugs, causing consequential injuries, performing cosmetic surgery resulting in problems, etc.

The plaintiff is the patient or former patient, or a parent of an infant, or the administrator of a deceased patient’s estate if the patient died. The defendant is the doctor or any other medical professional such as dentists, nurses, and therapists. Hospitals, clinics, managed care organizations or medical corporations can also be vicariously liable for the mistakes of their employees. 

A plaintiff must establish all four elements of the tort of negligence for a successful medical malpractice claim against a doctor or other medical provider:

  1. A duty was owed: a legal duty exists whenever a hospital or health care provider undertakes care or treatment of a patient.
  2. A duty was breached: the doctor failed to conform to the relevant standard of care.
  3. The breach caused an injury: The breach of duty was a proximate cause of the injury.
  4. Damages.

You should remember that this article is not intended to provide you with legal advice; it is intended only to provide guidance about medical malpractice. Furthermore, the article is not intended to explain or identify all potential issues that may arise in connection with a medical malpractice action. Each case is fact-specific and therefore similar cases may have different outcomes.

I represent individuals in medical malpractice actions.  If you have any questions or concerns about a medical malpractice action or potential claim, you can call me at (315) 422-5673, send me a fax at (315) 466-5673, or e-mail me at joseperez@joseperezyourlawyer.com. The Law Office of Jose Perez is located at 120 East Washington Street, Suite 925, Syracuse, New York 13202. We are also in Buffalo and coming soon to ROCHESTER!!! Please look for my next article in the April edition.

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