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Patients may be awarded damages in medical malpractice suits

Medical professionals in Staten Island have a duty and a responsibility to adhere to a certain standard of care when treating patients. If a patient suffers serious injuries as a result of the negligence of a medical professional, that patient may pursue a civil claim against the physicians or other health care providers responsible.

In order to recover damages, the patient must show that the physician in fact owed a duty to the patient. He also must show that the physician violated the standard he was required to adhere to. There must be a compensable injury to the patient. Lastly, the violation of the standard of care must have caused the patient's injury.

Damages recovered in medical malpractice liability suits can be used to cover medical expenses, lost wages or earnings and pain and suffering. In order to have a chance to recover damages, the patient must abide by the statute of limitations laws in his state when filing the claim. In New York, the patient must file the appropriate cause of action within two years and six months of the date of the alleged tort or within two years and six months of the last treatment when he or she has had continuous treatment of the same injury.

Some states have passed laws that limit the amount of damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice cases. There is no damage award limit in this state, so courts will award patients with the amount that they deem is reasonable based on the severity of the injury and other factors. These damages provide some financial comfort to those who have suffered at the hands of a negligent health care provider.

Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, "Medical Liability and Malpractice," accessed on Nov. 10, 2014

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Michael J. Gaffney, Attorney at Law
1164 Victory Blvd.
Staten Island, NY 10301

Phone: 347-286-1937
Fax: 718-447-9908
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