New York courts require plaintiffs to prove certain elements of a
medical malpractice claim through the use of expert testimony. The underlying policy for this decision
is that juries composed of laypersons cannot competently understand medical
practice without being informed by a medical professional; the medical
professional knows the standard of care that another health care provider
owed to the victim. It is only those professionals who may properly define
what the duty is, whether such duty was breached, and whether such breach
was the cause of the victim’s injuries.
Experienced Poughkeepsie medical malpractice attorneys know how experts should be used to the plaintiff’s benefit, not
only to establish the standard of care within the profession and locality,
but also to prove that the defendant-doctor deviated from that standard.
Note that any doctor willing to testify will not be sufficient. If the
defendant-doctor was a neurosurgeon, then the expert would need to be
a likewise neurosurgeon. Therefore, proving the negligence of an anesthesiologist
will require testimony from another anesthesiologist on behalf of the
plaintiff. The same applies if the defendant-doctor is a plastic surgeon,
neurosurgeon, psychiatrist, general practitioner, dentist, cardiologist,
and on and on.
The medical expert must also come from an area where the same practice
standards apply; this is known as the locality rule. However, advancements
in technology and medicine have limited the locality rule because health
care providers everywhere have near identical resources available to them—at
least in New York State.
The standard of care that a medical expert will testify to is essentially
defined as that degree of care, skill and diligence which physicians in
the same general neighborhood and the same line of practice ordinarily
possess and exercises in such cases. The law will remain fairly consistent
throughout New York cases, such as the
statute of limitations in a medical malpractice case, however, the medicine is what truly changes. This is why your medical
expert is imperative; he or she will help prove your case.
What will the expert use to prove this standard and deviation? First, he
or she will use his or her medical training and experience to narrow the
issues. He or she will also use medical research articles, surgical protocols,
and professional guidelines to establish the standard of care he or she
has identified. Then the deviation will be explained by analyzing records
of the patient’s care.
medical malpractice case, causation needs to be proved as well. The jury will need to be informed
as to whether the defendant’s negligence was the actual cause of
the plaintiff’s alleged injuries. Adept defense attorneys will attempt
to show that something other than the defendant’s negligence caused
the injury notwithstanding the doctor’s negligence.
A plaintiff’s medical expert will sort through the evidence, eliminating
other common factors of unsuccessful surgery and hone in on that which
was caused by the defendant’s negligence. Such isn’t easy,
which is why a medical professional trained in the profession who knows
how to read a medical file in order to prove causation is needed.
Once successful at the above, an
experienced attorney will then prove the plaintiff’s damages and ask a jury to compensate
the plaintiff for losses related to the negligence.
Are you interested in learning more about the various kinds of personal
injury experts? Visit our latest article for more on the wide-variety
of experts andhow they can maximize your compensation here. Also, read more about common experts in most cases such as economists,
vocational experts, and life-care planners in
our blog post here. There are certain experts used in car accident cases who can help increase
the maximum compensation you deserve;
find out about them here.
Our personal injury attorneys at
Mainetti, Mainetti, and O’Connor, P.C. have over 100 years of combined experience working with victims of personal
injury accidents throughout New York. We understand how to effectively
represent clients who have been injured in serious personal injury accidents,
particularly throughout the Mid-Hudson Valley region in Kingston, Poughkeepsie,
and Newburgh where we have offices. Hear
what our clients are saying about us here and learn about just some of our
successful results here. If you or a loved one has been injured in a personal injury accident,
please do not hesitate to contact us by calling 845-340-HURT (4878) or
toll free at 866-440-4452, or by using the
convenient contact form here.