When we see a doctor or go to the hospital, we trust that we will receive a proper level of treatment and care. Unfortunately, this does not always happen.
When healthcare providers fail to uphold an acceptable standard of care, they can be held accountable for patients’ resulting injuries and deaths. By filing a NY medical malpractice lawsuit, you can seek justice and fair financial compensation for the losses you have endured.
- Our Approach to New York Medical Malpractice
- Between Doctor & Patient
- How to File a Complaint Against a Doctor in New York
- NY Medical Malpractice Case Results
- Are Medical Malpractice Damages Capped in New York?
- Choosing The Right Medical Malpractice Lawyer in NYC
Our Approach to New York Medical Malpractice
The New York City medical malpractice attorneys at the Brooklyn-based law firm of Rubenstein & Rynecki have nearly 50 years of experience fighting for maximum awards for victims of medical malpractice and negligence.
Our NY medical malpractice lawyers have successfully brought cases against hospitals, nursing homes, pharmaceutical drug and medical device manufacturers, and individual healthcare providers, including medical doctors, surgeons, and dentists. Our team has what it takes to effectively advocate for you and represent your rights throughout the legal process.
Any discussion that occurs between a doctor and a patient regarding a potential procedure or test should include the following points:
- The patient’s diagnosis if the doctor has been able to make one
- The purpose, risks, and benefits associated with potential tests, procedures, or treatments
- Any alternatives that exist, regardless of cost or insurance status, as well as the risks and benefits
- The risks and benefits that would come with refusing to undergo any test, procedure, or treatment
There are certain exceptions in which the patient does not have to be the individual to give consent. For example, parents may give consent for their minor children.
If an adult is incapacitated and unable to make his or her own decisions, then a person with durable power of attorney for healthcare could also give consent.
There are also exceptions that occur in emergency situations when a doctor must act quickly to save the life of a patient.
In these situations, the physician typically does not have the time to get consent from the patient or family members before taking life-saving measures.
Victims of NY medical malpractice can report the incident to the New York State Department of Health. The department’s Office of Professional Medical Conduct (OPMC) and Board for Professional Medical Conduct investigate complaints against physicians, physician assistants, and specialist assistants.
The Office of Professional Discipline fields complaints about dentists, nurses, chiropractors, and other professionals.
Such complaints typically allege negligence, incompetence, or illegal or unethical practices and misconduct, such as:
- Providing services while impaired
- Abandoning or neglecting a patient in need of immediate care
- Exploiting patients through sales of goods, drugs, or services
- Refusing to treat patients for discriminatory reasons
- Guaranteeing cures
- Harassing, abusing or intimidating patients
- Failing to make patient records and X-rays available
- Practicing while unlicensed or practicing with a suspended or inactive license
- Revealing private information without the patient’s consent
The OPMC can hold a hearing and discipline offenders but is not authorized to compensate victims. Nevertheless, filing a report can help to substantiate your case in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
What Is the Statute of Limitations on Medical Malpractice Claims?
New York sets the statute of limitations for medical malpractice at two and a half years. The statutory period begins on the date the malpractice occurred or on the last treatment date for the condition related to the malpractice. However, there are exceptions.
Some exceptions to the two-and-a-half-year statute of limitations on medical malpractice lawsuits in New York include:
- Discovery Rule: Sometimes, complications arising from a medical error are not immediately observable. If at some later point an examination or test reveals a condition that may be due to earlier negligence, the statutory period begins on the date of discovery. However, New York law limits application of the discovery rule to cases where a surgeon has left foreign objects in a patient’s body. Under the rule, you have one year to file a lawsuit from when the object is discovered or from when it reasonably should have been discovered.
- Child Victims: Because children cannot bring lawsuits until reaching age 18, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until that time. However, this extension of time cannot go beyond 10 years from the date the malpractice occurred or after a foreign object in the child’s body was discovered or reasonably should have been discovered.
How Is Pain & Suffering Calculated in NY Medical Malpractice Cases?
There is no set process that judges or insurance adjusters use when determining non-economic damage amounts, as there is not a simple way to calculate them. For pain and suffering damages, insurance companies usually apply a multiplier to calculate the damages you receive.
So, for example, the company could decide that your pain and suffering is worth three times the total amount of your economic damages, which include medical expenses, lost wages, and other quantifiable expenses.
However, if your case goes to court and the damage amount is left up to the jury, factors that might influence the amount of non-economic damages you receive might include the following:
- Whether the jury likes you
- Whether the jury thinks you have been honest in the case
- Whether you have a criminal record
- Whether you have an injury that is easy for jury members to understand
A jury’s decision is out of your control, but you can work with your attorney to negotiate with insurance agencies to obtain a settlement amount you feel aligns with your suffering. Our New York City medical malpractice attorneys are highly experienced in working with major healthcare providers and their insurance companies; we know how to effectively advocate for our clients and are prepared to represent them in court whenever necessary.
What If a Doctor Does Not Warn About the Risks of a Treatment or Procedure?
Patients always have the ultimate decision regarding whether or not they will undergo a particular treatment or procedure. Even if healthcare providers disagree with the patient’s decision, they are obligated to respect it. However, doctors must always ensure that the patient’s decision is an informed one. Their responsibility is to notify patients on the risks of a particular treatment, medication, procedure, or test, and then obtain the informed consent of the patient before they proceed (or do not proceed). If physicians do not provide all applicable warnings, they could be considered negligent in a potential medical malpractice claim.
In many states, there are laws that place caps on the damages a patient may recover in a medical malpractice lawsuit. These caps are typically imposed to limit what patients can recover in non-economic damages, which refer to damages that are more difficult to quantify. Examples of these damages include pain and suffering, disfigurement, loss of companionship, and mental or emotional anguish.
In New York, however, there are no caps to non-economic damages in medical malpractice claims. This is partially what led to New York having the highest total payouts in medical malpractice cases in 2013, twice as much as the second-ranked state (Pennsylvania). But what exactly goes into determining how much money a patient will recover in non-economic damages after a successful malpractice claim?
From our office in Brooklyn, we serve clients throughout New York City’s five boroughs, offering compassionate and personalized legal support tailored to each client’s unique needs. Because no two cases are exactly alike, we do not rely on cookie-cutter strategies. Instead, we customize our approach for every case, working with the facts and drawing on decades of experience and success to litigate our clients’ cases in the most powerful possible way.
We are proud to represent ordinary individuals in our community who, through no fault of their own, have suffered immense and tragic losses. We strive to be there when our clients need us most, following an open-door policy and prioritizing communication and accessibility.
Contact Rubenstein & Rynecki to Discuss Your Case for Free
Because we offer contingency fees, you do not pay anything out of pocket when you work with Rubenstein & Rynecki. Instead, our attorneys only recover fees if they win your case. We can assist you in English, Spanish, Russian, Romanian, Greek, and Creole and are ready to meet with you today to discuss your case at absolutely no cost.
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