According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. after heart disease and cancer. Even though medical errors kill around 200,000 people annually in the U.S., only 15 percent of personal injury lawsuits result in medical malpractice claims. Many patients are unaware they have been the victims of medical malpractice.
Here’s what you need to know and what to do if you are a victim of medical malpractice in New York.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Understanding what constitutes medical malpractice is the crucial first step. A successful lawsuit contains several elements that the plaintiff has the burden to prove:
- A legitimate provider-patient relationship establishing a “duty” of care.
- Medical care—or lack thereof—that fell below the accepted medical standards.
- A causal connection between the provider’s actions or inactions and the patient’s harm.
- Damages to the patient.