medical malpractice
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By Joseph Dell
Managing Partner

Although we hope for the best when addressing a medical issue with a doctor or other healthcare professional, we don’t always get the outcomes we desire. Unfortunately, this is just the nature of medical treatment. However, sometimes, a poor medical outcome is not the result of the uncertain nature of medicine and treatment. Rather, it can sometimes be attributed to a failure on the part of the healthcare provider. In this article, we discuss the difference between medical malpractice and a bad medical outcome. 

What is a Bad Outcome?

Some medical conditions are so severe that even when they are caught early and treated appropriately, they can still worsen over time or even result in death. This is also true for surgery. In fact, even the best surgeons have patients who develop serious complications or pass away following surgery. In other words, bad outcomes in the medical field are sometimes unavoidable—even when healthcare providers do everything correctly. 

What Is Medical Malpractice?

Healthcare providers are required to follow all necessary protocols and precautions when treating patients. As noted above, when they do so but bad results follow, this generally doesn’t constitute medical malpractice. However, when a patient suffers injury or death due to the negligent behavior of a healthcare professional, the patient or the patient’s family may file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the provider.  

Medical Malpractice Elements

To succeed in a medical malpractice lawsuit, a plaintiff must prove the following four elements: 

  • There was a provider-patient relationship: First, the plaintiff must prove that he or she had a provider-patient relationship with the doctor or other healthcare provider that he or she is filing a claim against. 
  • The provider failed to uphold the standard of care: A healthcare provider must provide an appropriate standard of care to each patient based on the circumstances of the patient’s condition.  Therefore, to succeed in a medical malpractice case, a plaintiff must demonstrate that the provided failed to uphold this standard. 
  • The provider’s failure to uphold the standard of care resulted in harm to the patient: Next, the plaintiff must prove that the healthcare provider’s failure to uphold the standard of care resulted in a bad medical outcome for the plaintiff. 
  • The patient suffered damages: Finally, the plaintiff in a medical malpractice case must prove that he or she suffered damages due to the action or inaction of the healthcare provider. Common damages in a medical malpractice case are medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.  

Contact a Long Island Medical Malpractice Lawyer 

If you’ve suffered harm at the hands of a healthcare provider in New York, you should contact an experienced Long Island medical malpractice lawyer immediately. At Dell & Dean, PLLC, our talented and knowledgeable Long Island medical malpractice lawyers will seek to hold those responsible for your injuries accountable while aggressively pursuing financial compensation on your behalf. Please contact us to schedule a meeting with one of our experienced Long Island medical malpractice lawyers

About the Author
Joseph G. Dell, the firm’s Managing Partner, is regarded as one of New York State’s top trial lawyers and a zealous advocate of those injured through the negligence of others. Having founded the firm in 1994 with the singular goal of leveling the playing field for those injured, Mr. Dell has worked tirelessly for his clients since its inception. In addition to meeting with clients on a daily basis and trying cases, Mr. Dell is a frequent lecturer at Law School and Bar Associations on cases of significant importance in the fields of negligence and medical malpractice. If you have any questions regarding this article, you can contact Mr. Dell here.