Medical malpractice continues to be a difficult problem in New York and nationwide. The Medical Malpractice Center estimates that between 15,000 and 19,000 medical malpractice lawsuits are filed yearly.
Establishing medical malpractice
Prevailing on your medical malpractice claim can be challenging. You must prove that your doctor, hospital or medical provider breached their duty to provide you with the proper standard of care and that breach caused you an injury.
Your injury could be something minor, such as a chipped tooth that can be fixed. It can also be something as major as losing a limb or a cancer misdiagnosis.
Medical malpractice injuries can result in considerable physical, financial and mental damage. Compensation may be available for these damages.
The two main types of compensation are compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory damages are exactly what they sound like: damages intended to compensate you for the harm you sustained.
Compensatory damages can include payment for both past and future medical expenses, as well as any mental or psychological harm you have suffered.
Many factors are examined by a court when determining the number of compensatory damages that are awarded for non-economic losses like mental or emotional distress.
Knowing the factors and how they apply to your specific situation is important. Consulting a personal injury attorney might be helpful since each case is unique.
Punitive damages are the other main type of damages. They are not usually awarded without proof that there were intentional, malicious actions on the part of the physician or medical provider.
The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the defendant and hopefully prevent the same conduct from happening again. However, proving that the malpractice was intentional, malicious behavior directed toward you can be difficult.
Few medical malpractice victims walk away with no damages, and many times the consequences are long-term or even permanent. It is worth it to seek advice to determine your available options.