People have always revered doctors. Whether it is the family physician who takes care of you when you have the flu, the emergency room doctor who reads your X-rays and tells you if you need surgery, or the nutritional expert who tells you what you should be eating, we are trained to give medical experts our trust.
A medical professional’s job is to heal and protect people, and it is incredibly upsetting when they do something that causes harm to one of their patients. Medical errors are said to cause approximately 440,000 deaths a year in the United States alone.
If you have been injured due to a medical procedure, misdiagnosis of a medical condition, or because you were prescribed the wrong medication or the wrong dosage of a medication, you may be able to make a medical malpractice claim. Knowing who to sue in such a case is not always as obvious as you might think.
Before you file any personal injury claim in the state of New York, you will have to obtain a Certificate of Merit. This certificate must be signed by a medical professional who believes that you indeed were injured due to the negligence of the individual you are suing. Your personal injury attorney will file this certificate on your behalf with the state of New York.
Determining Who Caused Your Injury
According to Jesse Minc Personal Injury Law, there are several different medical professionals who may be responsible for an injury. In addition to suing a doctor for medical malpractice, you may also sue a nurse, a physical therapist, or a mental health professional if their negligence resulted in injury to you.
There are some cases in which the responsible party may be fairly obvious. If you have high blood pressure and the doctor gave you twice the amount of medication that you should have received, you would want to sue the doctor. However, the doctor may have based the prescription on blood test results that came from a laboratory. If the laboratory sent the wrong results to the doctor, the lab might be negligent.
If you have an operation in a hospital and one of the nurses fails to give you the medicine you are supposed to receive or fails to move you when you develop bedsores as a result of immobility, you would sue the hospital. The nurse is an employee of the hospital, and it is responsible for the actions of their staff.
If a doctor left a sponge inside of you, knowing who to sue may be a bit more complex. In some cases, a doctor may be an employee at the hospital. More often than not, a doctor is an independent contractor. You should find out what the situation is before you go in for surgery just as a precaution.
In some cases, the doctor may bring their own staff with them. In other cases, they may use the hospital staff when they perform a surgery. If a member of the staff fails to clean an instrument properly and you are injured as a result, you will want to find out who employed that staff member.
Can I sue a mental health care professional?
You can sue mental health care professionals for malpractice, but it may be a bit more difficult than it would be to sue a doctor who specializes in another area.
If a psychiatrist mistreated you or misdiagnosed you and prescribed the wrong kind of psychotropic drug, it may be reasonably easy to sue them as a psychiatrist is a medical doctor.
You may also be able to sue a mental health professional if there was an abuse of trust on their part. Abuse of trust includes such things as sexual harassment, blackmailing a patient, or disclosing information exchanged in a therapy session to a third party.
Hiring an Attorney
Because the Certificate of Merit is required and because medical malpractice cases are very complex, it is important to hire a personal injury attorney to assist you with any medical malpractice case.
A professional New York lawyer can tell you whether or not your case is worth pursuing. They can negotiate with the doctor or hospital on your behalf to try to arrange for an out-of-court settlement. They will be able to represent you in court in the unlikely event that your case makes it to trial.
Every day someone is injured or loses a loved one because of medical malpractice. If you have been injured, it is important to take action against the negligent person, lest it should happen to someone else.