Patients rightfully expect to receive high-quality professional care at a hospital. It’s also reasonable to expect they should be able to count on hospital staff to follow orders and proper protocols to provide the best care possible. Nurses and all hospital staff owe you a legal duty of care, but if you’re injured it’s understandable you want to know if you can sue the hospital as well. Here are a few things to prepare for when considering whether to file a Long Island medical malpractice claim against a hospital:
Determine Who’s Responsible
A hospital isn’t always at fault when a patient is injured there. Hospitals are generally responsible for their employees’ actions, but not those of independent contractors. Because most physicians are independent contractors and not employees, hospitals aren’t usually liable for their negligence. However, most nurses, technicians, physicians’ assistants, and other support staff are usually hospital employees and the hospital can usually be sued and incur liability for damages they cause.
If you’re considering filing a medical malpractice claim, order copies of all medical records related to your injuries and treatment for review by your attorney and any medical experts retained. If you had any pre-existing conditions, it’s important to disclose that to your attorney and find all documentation possible pertaining to those conditions. If the malpractice resulted in death, it’s important to have an autopsy of your loved one performed to help establish the cause.
Consider the Statute of Limitations
Even if it seems overwhelming, it’s important you move quickly to avoid permanently forfeiting your right to sue for compensation under a New York deadline called the statute of limitations. If you don’t file a suit before the time limit runs, you are barred from filing a suit for your injuries forever. In New York, victims must sue either within:
- Two years and six months from the date of the medical malpractice, or
- Two years and six months from the end of continuous treatment provided by the party you intend to sue for harm.
Contact a Long Island Personal Injury Attorney
New York laws can be complicated and medical malpractice cases can be complex, expensive, time-consuming, and difficult to prove. Don’t go it alone – working with an experienced medical malpractice attorney can give you peace of mind and make the difference between a successful claim and paying another party’s attorneys’ fees. The experienced Long Island Personal Injury Attorneys at the Falkowitz Law Firm, PLLC can help you navigate tricky legal waters and put your best case for compensation forward. Contact us 24/7 at (844)-385-4279 or complete our Contact Page to schedule a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation. Let us fight for you so you can focus on getting well.
Gary P. Falkowitz is the Managing Partner and Founding Attorney of the Falkowitz Law Firm PLLC‚ one of the premiere personal injury law firms in New York. Gary received his J.D., in 2005 from St. John’s University School of Law and served as an Assistant District Attorney with the Kings County District Attorney’s Office.