The answer is yes.
Want to know how?
When you bring a lawsuit you claim your doctor was careless.
You're claim his carelessness caused you injury.
You're claim your injury is permanent.
In New York, a medical expert MUST confirm that you have a valid basis for a case.
In response to your lawsuit allegations, your doctor will always argue that he did nothing wrong.
He will then argue that if he did something wrong, so did you!
Then, he will claim that if he did something wrong, and so did you, nothing he did caused or contributed to your injuries.
Then he will argue that if he did something wrong, his actions did not cause you harm.
Then he will argue that your injuries are not really as bad as you claim them to be.
If you're case goes to trial, a jury will have to answer a series of questions in order to reach their final verdict.
The first question they must answer is whether your doctor was careless.
"Was the defendant, Dr. Jones negligent?"
If the answer is yes, the jury must next decide whether you are also at fault.
If yes, the jury determine what percentage your doctor is at fault and what percentage you are at fault as well.
That total must add up to 100%.
The jury might determine that your doctor is 80% responsible and you are 20% responsible.
This finding is very important.
It can make or break your case.
It can mean the difference between you getting the whole amount the jury decides you are to receive or just a fraction of it.
Let me show you what I mean...
Let's say the jury decides you're entitled to $1 MILLION dollars.
All for your pain and suffering.
The jury also decides that you contributed to your own injuries.
You are 20% at fault.
Your doctor is 80% at fault.
The jury decides to give you $1 MILLION dollars.
Since you're 20% at fault, that means the MOST you can get is 80% of that $1 Million.
That would be $800,000.
Now, let's change it up a bit.
Let's say you are 50% at fault for your own injuries.
That means that your doctor is also 50% responsible.
If the jury gives you $1 Million, the MOST you can receive is 50% of that $1 Million.
That would be $500,000.
Notice what an impact finding you at fault can have?
Let's change the facts again.
Let's say the jury determines that you are 100% at fault for your own injuries.
That means you get nothing.
You get no money.
Your doctor wins your lawsuit.
That would stink.
Let's head back to the title of this article...
If you ignored your doctors' orders, you MIGHT be responsible for your own injuries!
If you ignored his advice and you suffered injury, your doctor will argue he's not at fault.
He'll say you caused your own injury.
If your medical expert confirms this fact, you've got big problems.
You see, your doctor will explain to the jury that if you had followed his specific instrutions, you would not have suffered the injuries you did.
That's a very powerful argument.
Especially when you have admitted that your doctor gave you specific instructions and you failed to follow them.
If the jury determines that your doctor is partially at fault, then they must determine if you are also at fault.
If they find that you are at fault, that percentage will reduce the amount of money you ultimately are able to receive in your case.
So even if you are right and your doctor was wrong, the jury still gets to evaluate your actions or inactions.