Law Offices of Ronald C. Burke


Medical Malpractice Claims & Lawsuits in New York

What is the Definition of Medical Malpractice

According to the New York State Pattern Jury Instructions: "Malpractice is professional negligence and medical malpractice is the negligence of a doctor. Negligence is the failure to use reasonable care under the circumstances, doing something that a reasonably prudent doctor would not do under the circumstances. It is a deviation or departure from accepted medical practice.

A doctor who renders medical services to a patient is obligated to have that reasonable degree of knowledge and skill that is expected of an average doctor who provides that medical service or surgery in the medical community in which the doctor practices.

The law recognizes that there are differences in the abilities of doctors, just as there are differences in the abilities of people engaged in other activities. To practice medicine a doctor is not required to have the extraordinary knowledge and ability that belongs to a few doctors of exceptional ability. However, every doctor is required to keep reasonably informed of new developments in his or her field and to practice medicine in accordance with approved methods and means of treatment in general use.

A doctor must also use his or her best judgment and whatever superior knowledge and skill he or she possesses, even if the knowledge and skill exceeds that possessed by the average doctor in the medical community where the doctor practices.

By undertaking to perform a medical service or surgery, a doctor does not guarantee a good result. The fact that there was a bad result to the patient, by itself, does not make the doctor liable. The doctor is liable only if he or she was negligent. Whether the doctor was negligent is to be decided on the basis of the facts and circumstances existing at the time of the claimed negligence.

A doctor is not liable for an error in judgment if he or she does what is best after careful evaluation if it is a judgment that a reasonably prudent doctor could have made under the circumstances. In other words, a doctor is not liable for malpractice if he or she chooses one of two or more medically acceptable courses of action - provided, that the doctor actually deliberated or considered alternative courses of action.

If the doctor is negligent, that is, lacks the skill or knowledge required of him or her in providing a medical service, or fails to use reasonable care in providing the service, or fails to exercise his or her best judgment, and such failure is a substantial factor in causing harm to the patient, then the doctor is responsible for the injury or harm caused."

What You Need to Know About Your Medical Malpractice Claim

At our office, we thoroughly assess the details of the medical malpractice cases we handle in order to ensure that we are best suited to represent your claim or lawsuit. Under our guidance, you can rest assured that your case is supported by all of the essential elements needed to merit a medical malpractice claim.

We have spent the past three decades handling personal injury and medical malpractice claims. We know how to effectively prove that the essential components of a medical malpractice claim were involved in your case. To date, we have been recognized for our consistent ability to yield favorable results for clients going through cases just like yours.

Let us put our skills and knowledge to work for you. Call us today or fill out the free, online case evaluation form on our website to get the process started.

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