ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Those who’ve suffered due to a medical mistake often wonder why suing a doctor can be so difficult. A Rochester medical malpractice lawyer says proving negligence can be challenging since a bad medical outcome isn’t indicative of malpractice. Even more upsetting is when an error does happen, it still might not meet the criteria for negligence.
Why is suing for medical malpractice difficult? There are many reasons, scenarios, and even legal statutes that make this process feel nearly impossible. Before giving up hope, understand these factors and discuss them with an experienced medical malpractice attorney in Rochester to learn what options are available to you.
Factor #1: New York’s Narrow Deadline for Malpractice Suits
New York law gives victims of medical malpractice just two and a half years to pursue a lawsuit for injuries related to a doctor’s negligence. One can also file suit if the mistake happened while under their care and the deadline window doesn’t begin until that treatment has finished.
New York’s Discovery Rule
New York’s Discovery Rule offers limited provisions to accommodate a patient. If it’s discovered that a foreign object like a surgical instrument or gauze remained in a patient’s body, a malpractice suit must take place within one year of that discovery. The same applies to situations where facts become known that would lead to the discovery of the item left behind.
Factor #2: Does Your Experience Constitute Medical Negligence?
This factor is critical for medical malpractice suits because it’s necessary to show that a healthcare provider acted in a way that was unreasonable under the circumstances. This often requires the use of experts to testify under oath about the circumstances surrounding the physician’s actions. Obtaining testimony can be costly, but it’s usually necessary to prove negligence.
Factor #3: Were You Injured By Your Doctor’s Negligence?
Once a medical malpractice attorney in Rochester proves a physician acted negligently, the patient’s injuries must also be a result of that action. This is important because, as a patient, you already had a medical issue needing treatment prior to getting hurt. Your doctor’s mistake had to make your condition worse or created another health problem as a result.
This typically requires having an outside expert testify how your healthcare provider’s negligence harmed you.
Factor #4: The Burden of Proof is on the Patient
Another factor that makes medical malpractice suits so difficult to pursue is the burden of proof that the victim must bear. In these types of cases, it’s not the doctor’s responsibility to convince the court of their innocence. This requires plaintiffs and their legal teams to thoroughly investigate every aspect of the claim, gather evidence, get expert testimony, and depose any witnesses. The amount of time that evidence preparation can take varies from case to case and will require resources, patience, and clarity.
Seasoned New York Medical Malpractice Attorneys
It’s an arduous undertaking to sue a doctor for medical malpractice. Victims who pursue claims in court against healthcare providers that negligently hurt them may find the process to be emotional and exhausting. Scientific proof must support your case, and the costs associated with obtaining expert testimony often make malpractice cases cost-prohibitive.
However, many cases are worth pursuing, and an experienced medical malpractice attorney in Rochester can help you determine whether you should file a claim or not.
For more than 60 years, the attorneys with The Law Firm of Cellino & Barnes have represented thousands of New Yorkers who’ve suffered injuries due to trusted physicians making unreasonable mistakes. We fight tirelessly to secure your future treatment and finances so that you can move forward and focus on healing. Our membership with the Million Dollar Advocates Forum demonstrates we have the experience and track record to successfully bring medical negligence suits to trial. We do this without ever asking for a penny upfront. Learn more about how our malpractice legal team can help you by contacting us today.
Cellino & Barnes (800) 888-8888