Harvard Health Publishing reports that almost 700,000 people pass away in hospitals each year, with many of those deaths resulting from medical errors. Healthcare providers, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and lab technicians, must provide their fields’ standards of care. Failing to do so constitutes negligence.
New York provides legal resources for wrongful death claimants. However, to have a successful case, a claimant must establish that an error caused their loved one’s passing.
What Are the Types of Medical Malpractice?
According to “Medical Error Reduction and Prevention,” fatal medical errors fall into one of two categories:
Errors of Omission
When a healthcare professional doesn’t perform a certain action, they could jeopardize a patient’s health. Examples include:
- Failing to administer life-saving treatment
- Failing to strap a patient into a wheelchair or gurney
- Failing to consult a patient’s medical history before administering care
- Failing to recognize a serious condition
- Failing to prevent bedsores
Errors of Commission
A doctor may administer the wrong action. For instance, a doctor who prescribes the wrong medication commits an error of commission. Other examples include:
- Mislabeling test results
- Incorrectly performing surgery
- Failing to monitor infections
- Applying too much force during labor and delivery
The four D’s of Medical Malpractice in New York
The Journal of Psychiatric Practice notes that each medical malpractice case has these elements:
- Each healthcare professional must provide an appropriate standard of care.
- The healthcare provider deviated from their field’s standard of care through omission or commission.
- Direct cause. The medical provider directly caused the error that led to a patient’s injuries or passing.
- The claimant experienced losses as a result of the medical error or omission.
Proving these elements isn’t easy. However, you can partner with our law firm on your case. We can establish these and other required elements.
What Happens When Someone Experiences Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice can worsen pre-existing health conditions, affect a patient’s mental health, and cause death. As noted, New York provides legal recourse for medical malpractice claimants and their families.
- File an insurance claim. Per the New York State Department of Financial Services, doctors aren’t required to carry medical malpractice insurance. However, many hospitals do anyway. This could allow you to seek damages outside the court system.
- File a lawsuit. You can file a lawsuit directly against the at-fault party, whether against a doctor, nurse, or care facility.
New York doesn’t cap how much claimants can seek through medical malpractice claims or lawsuits.
You Can Seek These (and Other) Injury-Related Losses
When a person passes away due to medical malpractice, a personal representative of their estate may seek compensation for various beneficiaries. A settlement or court award may comprise:
- Burial expenses
- Funeral costs
- The decedent’s final healthcare expenses
- Loss of the decedent’s income
- Loss of parental care
- Loss of inheritance
Depending on your situation, you may qualify for other types of losses. The value of your economic damages (such as medical bills) depend on receipts, invoices, and billing statements. Your non-economic damages’ value depends on your mental health and other non-tangible factors.
Wrongful Death Cases Come with Statutory Deadlines
Per EPTL § 5-4.1, you generally have two years from the date of your loved one’s passing to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This deadline refers to your filing date, not how long it takes to resolve your lawsuit.
If you file a lawsuit outside the two-year deadline, the court will likely dismiss your case, leaving you with few legal options. For this reason, you may consider partnering with a medical malpractice lawyer from our firm. We can manage your case’s necessary deadlines.
Why Work with Our New York Medical Malpractice Team?
We’re more than lawyers; our founding partner volunteers as a Critical Care Emergency Medical Technician. We have insight into medical malpractice cases that other law firms don’t. When you partner with us, we will:
- Examine your loved one’s passing
- Gather supporting information
- Calculate your losses
- Determine the cause of the medical error
- Communicate with the involved parties
- Negotiate a settlement
- File a lawsuit
We work on contingency, so you pay nothing up front for our help. You only pay our attorney’s fees if we secure compensation.
We Provide Client-Centered Legal Service
During our relationship, you can expect to:
- Work directly with our founding partners
- Have your calls returned within 24 hours
- Learn about your case’s potential
- Get frequent updates
We have over a century of combined legal experience. We’re ready to start building your case today.
Connect with the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP for a Free Case Review
If you lost a loved one due to medical malpractice, our law firm can build and manage your case. We’ll handle your legal obligations while you spend time with your loved ones. Our primary goal is to recover the compensation you deserve.
Begin your free case review by calling (516) 358-6900. Here, we can discuss wrongful death in hospitals.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-358-6900