Medical Malpractice… What Is It?
Medicine is not an exact science. Sometimes you go to a doctor and something bad happens. Perhaps it is the fault of the doctor? Perhaps it is a risk of the procedure? Perhaps it is a disorder that you had but did not know about?
When is an injury that you sustained at the doctor’s office malpractice?
Malpractice is when a physician/dentist/medical professional has a duty to treat you, breaches that duty and the breach caused you damages.
The two most heavily litigated areas of malpractice have to due with whether the medical professional breached the standard of care and causation.
What is the standard of care?
The standard of care is the degree of caution that a medical professional must take when treating a patient. A The standard of care for a doctor’s particular specialty is set by their medical community. The standard of care varies according to the medical professional’s speciality and the procedure that they performed. In order to bring a medical malpractice case in New York, a lawyer has to retain an expert who believes that the defendant medical professional breached the standard of care.
What is causation?
Not only does the plaintiff have to show that the defendant medical professional breached the standard of care, they have to show that the breach was the cause of their damages. Just because a doctor leaves a sponge in your stomach does not mean that you are a victim of malpractice. It is only if the sponge caused you stomach problems would the doctor’s breach be malpractice.
Damages mean that the plaintiff suffered injuries that resulted from the defendant’s breach. This means that the plaintiff has to have suffered actual harm. Meaning a disease, disorder, loss of a body function, necessity of surgery or something that caused them serious permanent harm.