In New York, in order to determine whether you have a valid medical malpractice case against a doctor or a hospital, we are required to show that a doctor violated the standard of care, and as a result of that violation you suffered significant injury.
Did you know that we are required to have a medical expert confirm that not only that there was wrongdoing, but the wrongdoing caused injury and that the injury is significant and/or permanent?
Well, what exactly is the “Standard of care?” that the doctor must abide by and recognize?
During medical school and postgraduate medical training, doctors are taught what is the appropriate type of medical care in different specific situations. They are taught what is good medical practice and what is not. When they go out into the real world and begin practicing medicine, they are also required to take ongoing continuing medical education classes to stay up-to-date and learn what is appropriate medical care. Likewise, they are required to stay up to date by reading textbooks journals, articles and relevant industry related information to truly understand what represents good medical care.
In addition, there is a certification level that a doctor can achieve known as board certification. This is the highest level of certification a doctor can achieve in a particular medical specialty. It means that if a doctor has taken their board examinations and passed, these are accepted standards that are known not just throughout towns, counties and states near where the doctor lives, but rather national standards that a doctor is required to know.
Becoming board-certified means that a doctor has learned the basic level of the standards of care that are applicable not just in Brooklyn or the Bronx or Queens or Manhattan. Rather, the standards are the same whether the doctor practices in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, California or anywhere else across the country.
Importantly, the mere fact the doctor may have achieved and obtained board certification for his medical specialty does not necessarily mean that he is an expert. Rather, it means he has established a baseline level of knowledge necessary to understand what the standards of care are.
When bringing a medical malpractice lawsuit in New York, we are required to get confirmation by a qualified medical expert that we have a valid basis for case.
We must identify and show to the court where we believe the doctor or the hospital violated the standard of care and how that resulted in harm to my client.
At trial, our medical experts will be required to give testimony about what the appropriate standards of care were in your particular case. They will then explain to the court and to the jury how these particular people that you're suing violated the basic standards of care and as a result you suffered significant harm because of that.
Since the practice of medicine involves specialized knowledge, the law requires us to bring in qualified medical experts to explain to the court and to a jury what is appropriate care in a given circumstance. Only then can the jury truly understand what was done, what was done wrong, what standards were violated and what injuries the patient suffered as a direct result of that.