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Loss of Chance Doctrine in New York Medical Malpractice Cases

When a medical professional fails to adhere to the expected and appropriate standard of care, the patient can suffer serious and even life-long harm. If you or someone close to you has been injured by a medical professional’s negligence, you may be able to recover compensation for your harm. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, we can examine the facts of your case and provide you with an honest assessment of your claim. There are strict timelines for these cases, so it is imperative to act as quickly as possible after the malpractice occurs.Many people assume that if there is an adverse health outcome, it is because of medical malpractice. However, this is not always the case. Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional fails to adhere to the standard of care that another medical professional in the same specialty would have used under the same or similar circumstances. The burden of proof in every Rochester medical malpractice case is on the injured patient, who must establish every element of the claim by a preponderance of the evidence.

New York is among several states that have recognized a patient’s “loss of chance” as a theory of recovery in a medical malpractice claim. This type of medical malpractice case involves a physician failing to make a diagnosis or a situation in which the diagnosis is delayed. In either case, the patient may claim that the physician’s failure to make a timely diagnosis resulted in a loss of chance of survival. Put another way, the “loss of chance” doctrine is a cause of action permitting a plaintiff to recover damages based on the reduced chance that the patient will recover.

The application of the doctrine assumes that the plaintiff suffered from some preexisting condition or disease that the defendant did not cause. The defendant can simply be liable if his or her negligence deprives the patient of the chance of survival or a more favorable outcome. Damages under the doctrine are awarded based on the extent to which a defendant’s conduct reduced the patient’s chances of receiving a better outcome.

While the doctrine can be applied to a variety of medical malpractice cases, it is often present in cases involved delayed diagnosis of cancer. In these cases, a patient may recover compensation in a medical malpractice claim if it can be shown that there is a “substantial possibility” that the negligence deprived him or her of obtaining a cure or a better outcome in one or more of the following ways:  diminished chance of survival, more costly medical treatment, or greater exposure to pain and suffering.

If you or a loved one has been injured due to a medical professional’s negligence, you need to consult an experienced Rochester medical malpractice attorney who can help. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, we are dedicated to protecting the rights of New York medical malpractice victims at every step of the way. We are here to answer your questions and address your concerns. To schedule a confidential consultation, call us at 833-200-2000, or you can reach us online.

More Blog Posts:

Ultrasound Malpractice in Rochester, Rochester Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Blog, July 29, 2018

Federal Jury Awards Over $18 Million to HIV Patient in Medical Malpractice Claim, Rochester Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Blog, July 24, 2018

EMT Negligence in Rochester, Rochester Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Blog, July 17, 2018


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