Medical Malpractice is an act or omission by a health care provider which deviates from accepted standards of practice in the medical community and causes injury to the patient. A specific medical malpractice law has been developed. Although the term is most often associated with physicians, Medical Malpractice includes the acts and omissions of any medical care provider, including dentists, nurses, and therapists. Relying on vicarious liability, claims may also be brought against hospitals, clinics, or medical corporations for the mistakes of their employees.
The plaintiff must prove three things at a trial:
1) that the provider breached his/her duty of care towards the patient,
2) that this breach caused loss or damage,
3) that it is fair and reasonable to hold the defendant liable to pay damages for the harm caused by the malpractice.
Since most medical providers have malpractice insurance, a case in the U.S. usually begins as an insurance claim, made by the attorney for the patient. If liability is admitted and damages can be agreed, the case will be settled early to reduce the amount of costs payable. Otherwise, the plaintiff will file suit in the appropriate court. Between the filing of suit and the trial, the attorneys for the parties will engage in discovery, which includes interrogatories, requests for documents, and depositions.
The plaintiff’s damages include compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory damages include economic (financial losses) and non-economic (damages for physical and psychological harm). Punitive damages are rarely awarded in malpractice cases and are subject to strict controls. Medical Malpractice is rather a complex areas of law. Therefore, to be success at a trial you need to have a knowledgeable Medical Malpractice attorney, who will explain your rights to you, and help you recover damages resulting in a Medical Malpractice case.
Our many years of experience makes us qualified to defend clients who have suffered from Medical Malpractice. Call the Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley at (718) 522-3055 now.