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To sue for medical malpractice, the injured patient

When people go to doctors and other healthcare providers for treatment of illnesses or injuries, they expect that the medical professional will improve their condition. Sadly, that’s not always what happens, and when it does, patients can sue for medical malpractice. However, as a recent article in the CBC News reported, the number of malpractice suits filed against physicians is dropping. For those that do make it to court, the success rate is also slipping.

To sue for medical malpractice, the injured patient must show that a healthcare provider’s actions were negligent and that negligence led to injury or harm. That’s much easier said than done, since the evidence is often difficult to gather and must meet a very high legal standard of proof. A jury must be convinced that it is more likely than not that the healthcare provider acted negligently and caused the injury or harm.

A person must also prove that the injury or harm suffered is substantial. This may be a case of physical injury, such as the loss of a limb or disfigurement; it could also be an emotional injury, such as depression or anxiety disorder. It could even be death, which is when close relatives such as spouses and children can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased individual.

The final element is that the injury or harm would not have occurred but for the medical malpractice. This is often very difficult to prove and can involve expert testimony from another healthcare professional who can testify that the medical mistake would not have happened if the doctor had followed accepted standards of care.

If all of these elements are met, it is more than likely that the plaintiff will be successful in proving that the physician committed malpractice. Then the medical malpractice attorney can work to get a fair settlement. However, that’s not easy and a skilled New York medical malpractice lawyer can help you navigate the process.

A medical malpractice claim is different from other personal injury claims in that the standard of proof is higher – beyond a reasonable doubt versus the more lenient preponderance of the evidence used in criminal cases. Additionally, the plaintiff’s attorney must present evidence that demonstrates how the defendant health care provider deviated from the accepted standards of practice.

In addition, medical malpractice claims have special time limits that must be observed. These are called statutes of limitations and vary from one state to the next. Some begin when the injury occurs; others, such as those involving foreign objects left in the body, start at a later date.

If you suspect that you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice, contact Sobo & Sobo today for an immediate consultation. Our experienced medical malpractice lawyers are ready to discuss your options and fight for the compensation you deserve. We have offices in Middletown, Monticello, NYC, Poughkeepsie and Spring Valley and represent clients throughout the region, including Albany, New York City, and Orange County.

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