Parents and other caregivers understandably become invested in the well-being of the children in their care. When one of those children is harmed by a doctor who was supposed to make them well, the regret can feel overwhelming.
The New York City medical malpractice attorneys at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green often answer questions from parents who suspect pediatric malpractice as the cause of their child’s condition. Here are some of most common concerns.
How common is pediatric malpractice?
Compared to other areas of medical practice, pediatricians are less likely to be accused of malpractice. Despite this, a study by a major national malpractice carrier found that their malpractice payments are among the largest. This is a testament to the long-term effects that a breach in medical care can have on a child.
What constitutes pediatric malpractice?
Like other types of medical malpractice, pediatric malpractice occurs when a pediatrician or other health care provider acts negligently this means the treatment did not meet the standard of care that similarly-situated doctors would have provided – and that the negligence caused harm.
There are a number of ways a medical professional can commit malpractice. In pediatrics, the most common ways are:
- Failure to diagnose a condition – meningitis tops the list of most common missed diagnoses, with appendicitis coming in second
- Medication errors, whether caused by the wrong dose, mistakes in administration, problems in ordering, or something else
How is malpractice proved?
The practice of medicine is outside the scope of knowledge of the average juror. To bring a lawsuit, a plaintiff needs to provide expert testimony. An absolute necessity is an expert witness to explain what a reasonable doctor would have done in the same situation and how the defendant’s actions fell short. Other experts may be offered as well, including medical experts to explain the long-term impact of the injury, financial experts to illustrate the costs associated with care, or other experts that may be helpful for the specifics of the case.
How to file a pediatric malpractice case in New York
There are some requirements to meet in order to file a malpractice lawsuit in New York. As mentioned, a plaintiff must have an expert witness ready to state how the doctor’s treatment was negligent. In addition, the case must be filed within the statute of limitations period.
In general, the NY statute of limitations for malpractice is 2.5 years (30 months). However, it can be extended in certain cases including when the victim is a minor. Guessing when the statute of limitations runs can be disastrous so it is important to speak with an experienced NYC malpractice attorney.
If you suspect your child has been harmed by a doctor’s negligence, it is important to speak with a pediatric malpractice attorney who can help investigate the claim to determine whether it is viable. He or she will also formulate a legal strategy and oversee the litigation process.
The attorneys at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green know the process of malpractice claims inside and out and we handle them with seriousness and compassion. If your child has been injured by a medical professional, call one of our attorneys today. From our Manhattan office, we can take care of your legal needs, whether you are in the Bronx, Brooklyn, or elsewhere in NYC or Long Island.
Additional NY pediatric malpractice resources:
- NCBI, Pediatrics: Malpractice Risk Among US Pediatricians, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3666113/
- New York State Senate, Civil Practice Laws & Rules, Section 214-Ahttps://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/laws/CVP/214-A, https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/laws/CVP/214-A