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  • Writer's pictureLeitner Varughese Warywoda

What Constitutes Medical Malpractice?


Medical malpractice occurs when a provider administers substandard care, deviates from the most widely accepted protocol given the circumstances, or neglects to provide the expected course of treatment at all. When any such errors end up causing harm, the patient in question typically has grounds for legal action.

That doesn’t mean, however, that they’re automatically entitled to compensation. If you think you were the victim of medical malpractice, you’re going to have to prove the following three elements for your claim to have a chance of yielding the funds you need to make your life whole again:

1. The Provider Must Have Been Negligent

The law lays out strict practices that are recognized by those in the medical field as both reasonable and adequate. This is referred to as the standard of care.

As a patient, you’re entitled to care that abides by this standard. Deviating from it for no viable reason—even inadvertently—constitutes negligence, which is the foundation of most medical malpractice actions. When building your claim, you’re going to have to demonstrate how no other reasonable provider would have acted in the same way yours did under the same circumstances.

2. The Provider’s Negligence Must Have Caused Harm

Unfortunately, showing how your provider violated the standard of care won’t be enough to win your medical malpractice claim. You’re also going to have to convince the insurance adjuster—or the court—that you wouldn’t have suffered the injuries you did—or you condition wouldn’t have worsened to the extent that it did—had there been no such negligence.

In other words, suffering complications doesn’t necessarily constitute malpractice. Medicine is far from an exact science, after all, and unanticipated issues can—and do—arise.

For your claim to be valid, you’re going to have to demonstrate a direct link between your provider’s negligence and the injury or illness you sustained.

3. The Harm Must Have Caused the Patient Actual Damages

Before you can secure a financial award, you’re going to have to present sufficient evidence that you incurred damages as a result of the defendant’s negligence. Examples include medical bills, paystubs detailing any wages you’ve lost while out of work recovering, and invoices and receipts for other injury-related expenses.

Since New York allows for the recovery of non-economic damages, it’s also wise to start a personal injury journal. In addition to logging your symptoms and their associated treatments, write detailed entries about the ways in which your condition is affecting your daily life.

For example, are you unable to manage your household? Does your condition keep you from participating in hobbies you once loved? The statements you make in your journal will help demonstrate the extent of your pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment in life.

Discuss Your Claim with a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in New York

At Leitner Varughese, we have what it takes to go up against even the largest medical institutions. If you received substandard health care and suffered damages as a result, we’ll help you gather the evidence needed to prove as much.

Our compassionate team counsels clients across New York City, Long Island, and the rest of New York. Call 855-585-2969 or complete our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation with a medical malpractice attorney in New York.


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