You Can Sue A Hospital For Medical Negligence – Here’s How

Written By Alla Levin
January 14, 2023
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You Can Sue A Hospital For Medical Negligence – Here’s How

In medical negligence, suing a hospital can be complex and daunting. It is important to understand that when filing a lawsuit against a hospital or healthcare provider, you are held to the same legal standards as any other party in civil litigation. As such, before you take action, you must familiarize yourself with the relevant laws and regulations governing these types of cases. This guide will provide an overview of what constitutes medical negligence and how you can successfully sue a hospital for it.

Medical Negligence Defined 

Medical negligence (also known as medical malpractice) occurs when a healthcare professional provides patient care without exercising the expected standard of care, which harms the patient. Examples of medical negligence may include misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, prescribing the wrong medication, failing to obtain informed consent before a procedure, and performing a procedure without the necessary qualifications.

For a lawsuit to be successful, the plaintiff must prove that there was a “duty of care” owed by the healthcare provider and that they failed by not providing an expected level of care. 

The process of suing a hospital for medical negligence can be complicated and often requires an experienced lawyer specializing in this area. It is important to understand that various legal requirements must be met before you can file a lawsuit against a healthcare provider for medical malpractice. 

Establishing Negligencesue a hospital for medical negligence

New York has several hospitals and healthcare facilities that provide top-notch medical care. However, even the best of them have been known to fail at times, and you may have suffered negligence at Carter North General hospital due to errors and omissions by the staff. When this happens, your right is to take legal action against the hospital for compensation. To do so, you must prove that the hospital was negligent in providing reasonable care. This means establishing four elements: duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages. 

The first element is the Duty of Care; this refers to a legal obligation or responsibility to act by specific standards when treating patients or performing other functions related to health care. If a person or organization fails in its duties, it could be found to have acted negligently. 

The second element is Breach of Duty. This refers to a failure to meet the established standard of care. If someone doesn’t follow the accepted guidelines for treating patients or fails to carry out their duties in the way they are supposed to, they might be considered negligent. 

The third element is Cause and Effect (or Causation). This means establishing that the negligence resulted in actual harm suffered by you as a patient. In other words, it must be proven that the hospital’s negligence directly caused your injury. 

Lastly, Damages refer to money or compensation awarded as reimbursement for losses from medical malpractice. The number of damages awarded will depend on the injury or harm’s severity. 

Obtaining Expert Testimony

One of the most important elements in any medical negligence lawsuit is obtaining expert testimony. Expert witness testimony can prove or disprove an allegation of medical malpractice and can be a major factor in determining the outcome of a case. To sue a hospital for medical negligence, having expert witness testimony may be essential for proving your claim. 

Expert witnesses are experienced professionals with specialized knowledge about specific areas relevant to a trial, such as medicine or engineering. They can provide critical evidence by testifying on behalf of either side in a legal dispute. An expert witness must have sufficient education, training, and experience to qualify as an “expert” who can testify truthfully and without bias. 

For those filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against a hospital, expert testimony is vital to strengthen your case. An experienced medical malpractice attorney will be able to identify the most qualified experts for your situation and locate potential witnesses who can present evidence that proves you have been the victim of negligence. The testimony of an expert helps establish a standard of care and lays out the facts necessary to support a claim of negligence.

In addition, expert witnesses can provide valuable insight into complex medical concepts and terminology that may be confusing or hard to understand by those outside the field. This makes them invaluable in helping jurors understand what happened during treatment and how it could have been done differently or better had the proper procedure been followed. 

Ascertaining Damages 

In addition to proving negligence, the plaintiff must also prove that they suffered a tangible loss due to medical negligence. This includes economic and non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, medical costs, mental anguish, and more. It is important to keep detailed records of all expenses, which can be used as evidence in court. 

Knowing the Statute of Limitations 

It’s important to note that there is a time limit on filing a lawsuit for medical negligence, known as the statute of limitations. In most cases, you must file your lawsuit within two years from when the injury occurred or when you discovered it. If it has been longer than two years since the date of injury or discovery, you are no longer eligible to file a lawsuit. 

Suing a hospital for medical negligence can be a complex process that requires a thorough understanding of the legal system and evidence collection. By understanding the relevant laws, gathering evidence, hiring expert witnesses, and filing within the statute of limitations, you can successfully sue a hospital for medical negligence.

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