In the chaos of a hospital emergency room, it’s easy to make a mistake. This is especially so when it’s overcrowded and rapid decisions need to be made. Unfortunately, a wrong choice or something vital that is forgotten can quickly have deadly consequences as John T. James notes in his recent article for POLITICO magazine:
These types of hospital mistakes—caused by knowledge gaps, carelessness, unpreparedness or a combination of all—by my estimate kill between 210,000 and 440,000 people in the United States every year. The numbers indicate that preventable medical errors—from infections to botched surgeries to administration of the wrong medicine—are the third leading cause of death in the country, behind only heart disease and cancer.
That’s a devastating statistic and though not all hospital mistakes lead to death, they can easily lead to chronic pain and severe injury for the unlucky patient. However, the burden of proving that a member or most of the healthcare team were negligent is on the plaintiff. This is why you should work with an experienced NYC medical malpractice attorney to fight for your case in court.
The basic premise of any medical malpractice case is that you need to prove that the medical professional(s) who treated you were negligent and that you suffered harm because of this negligence. The first step that skilled NYC medical malpractice lawyers like those from The Law Offices of Joseph Lichtenstein would take is to try and establish the standards of care that a patient is entitled to. This refers to what sort of treatment a patient should have received. For example, if you’re a 30-year old white professional from the Bronx suffering from asthma, what sort of tests and treatments would you have expected to receive? The answer should be the same for all of those in the same condition. To answer this question, lawyers would need to ask other reliable practitioners to provide expert testimony.
The next thing that your lawyer will do is to try and prove that the medical professional who treated you did not meet those standards of care. This is actually pretty simple if complete records were kept. They compare what was done to what the experts say should have been done. Finally, if neglect has been proven, your lawyer will have to show that you suffered from this negligence. The harm that has been caused can be in the form of physical pain, expensive medical bills that needed to be paid, lost wages, and the inability to no longer enjoy life. With the help of an experienced lawyer, you can get just compensation for the suffering you went through.
(Source: Are Hospitals More Deadly Than Ebola?, Politico, October 21, 2014)