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Foreseeability in New York Medical Malpractice Cases

Medical errors can have devastating consequences for a patient’s future. If you were injured because of a healthcare provider’s mistake or negligence, you should speak to an experienced Syracuse medical negligence lawyer as soon as possible. Many times, medical malpractice cases revolve around the question of foreseeability, which can be complicated. However, with wide-ranging experience in New York medical malpractice law, we know how to investigate your claim and get the answers needed to build the strongest possible case on your behalf.

The Concept of Foreseeability in Medical Malpractice Cases

The New York Court of Appeals has held that foreseeability of risk is an essential element of a medical malpractice claim because a medical professional is only at fault when the injury-producing occurrence is one that could have been anticipated. The idea is that no person can be expected to guard against harm from events, which are unlikely to occur, or events that are merely possible in the grand scheme of things. In short, the concept of foreseeability optimizes the process of determining whether a medical professional was negligent or not.

It is important to note that foreseeability does not mean that the precise occurrence needs to be foreseen. Rather, the plaintiff must only show that a reasonably competent medical professional in the same specialty, and under the same circumstances, ought to have anticipated that injury might result from the negligent act in question.

Medical Malpractice in New York

Medical malpractice, also referred to as medical negligence, applies to hospital and all medical professionals. Medical malpractice is the failure to render care or treatment in accordance with generally accepted standards of medical practice. In other words, medical malpractice takes place when a medical professional causes injury or death by deviating from the generally accepted stands of medical practice in treating or caring for a patient. In order to establish medical malpractice, the plaintiff must successfully demonstrate the following:

  • The medical professional owed the patient a duty of care;
  • The medical professional violated the duty of care owed to the plaintiff;
  • The medical professional’s violation was a direct cause of the patient’s harm; and
  • The harm caused by the medical professional’s was reasonably foreseeable at the time.

For example, if a hospital gives a patient too much medication, it is foreseeable that the patient might be injured or die of an overdose. In fact, in such a scenario, injury or death is a natural and probable consequence of the violation of the duty of care. Thus, the hospital would be liable for malpractice.

Skilled Syracuse Medical Malpractice Lawyers

A medical injury can be daunting and it can be difficult to know what to do next. If you or someone close to you has been injured by a medical professional’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, our reputable and hard-working Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys understand the nuances of medical negligence law and can apply our knowledge to your case. Call us at 315-479-9000 or reach us online.

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Medical Malpractice in New York Can Be Caused by Language Barriers, Syracuse Personal Injury Blog, August 17, 2018

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