Patients sometimes accuse healthcare professionals and hospitals of causing harm. Medical malpractice defense in New York is a complicated issue, and recent legal changes in the state have had a big impact on medical malpractice defense.
According to National Practitioner Data Bank data, New York had 946 reports of adverse actions by medical professionals and 1,162 reports of medical malpractice payments in 2022. These payments added up to around $551 million. Mistakes can be costly, so it is important to understand what these claims are all about.
Common malpractice claims
There are different areas where these claims usually come from:
- Surgery mistakes: doing surgery on the wrong body part or leaving things inside the patient
- Misdiagnosis: doctors get the diagnosis wrong, which can lead to the wrong treatment or treatment delays
- Medication errors: giving patients the wrong medicine or the wrong dose
- Birth injuries: situations where babies get hurt during childbirth because of mistakes by medical professionals
- Anesthesia errors: mistakes in anesthesia administration
- Not explaining well: patients do not get all the information they need to make decisions about their treatment
A big part of defending against these claims is something called the “standard of care,” meaning the level of skill and care that any competent healthcare professional should provide. It is a measure of how good a job a healthcare professional should do.
New York laws
New York recently changed some laws that affect medical malpractice defense. For example, now patients have 30 months to start a lawsuit against healthcare providers. There are also new rules about the expert witnesses who can testify in these cases.
Telehealth and telemedicine are becoming more common, and they bring new challenges for medical malpractice defense. Court decisions also play a big role in how these cases work.
Medical professionals can take steps to protect themselves from these claims. They should keep careful and accurate records of everything they do. Following the rules and staying up-to-date with the latest medical knowledge is important. Being professional and addressing patient complaints quickly is also a good way to avoid problems.