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Wellborn Paluch, LLP Blog

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

What is the "standard of care" for medical malpractice cases?

Medical malpractice cases arise when a healthcare professional harms a patient over a course of treatment due to negligence. For example, if you were misdiagnosed or given the wrong prescription, you may have a medical malpractice case if you can show that the healthcare provider violated their duty of care.

What Is The Duty and Standard of Care?

The exact specifics regarding standard and duty of care does vary by state, but it is usually determined to be the “generally accepted methods used by other area doctors and healthcare professionals on similarly situated patients with similar conditions.”

New York has adopted a “locality rule” for medical malpractice cases after the Court of Appeal decided Pike v. Honsinger. The Court of Appeal determined that when physicians and surgeons enter into a doctor/patient relationship they impliedly represent that they possess, the “reasonable degree of learning and skill that is ordinarily possessed by physicians and surgeons in the locality where he practices.” This duty is mandated by law.

Most states stipulate that a medical expert is required to testify regarding the standard of care. Generally, these witnesses will speak in regards to what appropriate medical care would be in the circumstances of the case, and if any sort of deviation by the healthcare professional resulted in any injuries. Sometimes, additional affidavits or sworn statements will be required.

What Must Be Proven in a Medical Malpractice Case?

In order to prevail in a medical malpractice suit, the plaintiff must prove the following:

  1. The medical professional owed you a duty
  2. The medical professional breached that duty
  3. The breach caused your injury
  4. As a result of the injury, you suffered damages

Who Can Be Liable for Medical Malpractice?

According to New York law, healthcare providers can be subject to a medical malpractice suit if they acted in a negligent manner. Depending on the circumstances, a doctor, clinic, hospital, dentist or therapist can be named as a medical malpractice defendant.

Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Cases

The statue of limitations on medical malpractice cases in New York is typically two years and six months after the date of the negligent act or last treatment for the injury of condition that gave rise to the negligent act. If you could not have reasonably discovered the malpractice within that time, due to a foreign object left in your body, the discovery rule extends that statute of limitations deadline to two years and six months after discovery of the foreign object.

Have You Been Injured?

If you were injured in an accident due to a medical malpractice, you may be able to recover compensation for past and future medical care, lost wages, and pain and suffering. At Wellborn, Paluch, LLP, our highly skilled medical malpractice attorneys will be your advocates and vigorously fight for your rights. Call us today at (844) 855-HURT for a free consultation. Let us put our experience to work for you.


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