Medical malpractice is an area of law that is designed to hold medical professionals who fail to provide an accepted level of care accountable for their negligence. This type of lawsuit is available for patients who are injured by their medical provider.
These types of cases generally breakdown into two basic areas:
- Poor medical treatment. Physicians, nurses and other medical professionals who provide a poor level of care can cause injury to their patients. This could include a failure to monitor the patient during a procedure such as labor and delivery.
- Mistaken or wrong diagnosis. A missed or faulty diagnosis can lead to serious injury. In instances of a missed diagnosis, a failure to identify a disease promptly can result in progression of the disease until treatment is difficult. Treatment based on the wrong diagnosis can also be problematic, as it can result in injury while the actual, undiagnosed disease or injury progresses causing further damage.
It is important to note that in order to move forward with a case an actual injury must result from the poor treatment or mistaken diagnosis. These cases also generally require the use of expert testimony to help establish that the level of care provided was not within the acceptable standard of his or her profession.
Is there a time limit to these cases? In short, yes, there is often a time limit to when these cases can be brought against a medical professional.
The New York State Unified Court System states that the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims in New York is currently set at "2 years and 6 months from date of malpractice or from end of continuous treatment rendered by the party or entity you intend to sue for a particular condition, illness or injury."
As such, victims are wise to seek legal counsel to help better ensure their rights in a medical malpractice claim are protected.