How Do You Sue a Hospital in New York City?

Suing a hospital for injuries is common in cases where someone is injured at a hospital or when they receive medical care.  Filing your lawsuit against the hospital can help cover medical expenses and other damages you suffered like lost wages and pain and suffering.  Understanding how to file your case and get the compensation you need is important.

When you file a lawsuit against a hospital, you usually do so in the same county as the hospital.  Your filings will have to lay out the facts of what happened and why the hospital is responsible.  You will also have to list the damages you are claiming to properly file your claim.  An injury attorney can help.

For a free case review with our experienced New York City wrongful death lawyers, call The Carrion Law Firm today.  Our phone number is (718) 841-0083.

Filing a Lawsuit Against a Hospital

To file a lawsuit against any entity – including a hospital – it is best to speak with an experienced attorney.  Although you can file a lawsuit without a lawyer, it is best to work with an experienced New York City personal injury lawyer who can make sure your paperwork is filed with the proper court and that it contains all of the information you need in your initial filings to properly sue the hospital.

When filing your lawsuit against a hospital, you have to file in the correct court.  Usually, personal injury lawsuits are handled at the county level.  That means you would file your lawsuit in the courthouse for the county where the hospital is located.  This corresponds to the borough the hospital is located within, though some boroughs have a different name than their corresponding county.  Your attorney can help ensure your case is filed in the right court to hear your case.

Your initial court filing, known as a “complaint” must lay out all of the elements of your case.  This includes facts about what happened and how those facts correspond to the legal elements of your claim.  For medical malpractice claims, these elements are often more complex than for mundane injury cases, like a slip and fall at a hospital.

You must also explain in the complaint how what happened means that the hospital is at fault for your injuries.  Linking the case back to the hospital’s actions (or inaction) is vital.

Lastly, your complaint needs to detail all of the damages you suffered.  Your claim must include the damages you seek or else the court cannot continue with your case.  Working with an attorney is vital for calculating damages.

When Can You File a Lawsuit Against a Hospital for Injuries in NYC?

To file a lawsuit against a hospital, you need to have a case.  If what happened to you satisfies the basic “prima facie” elements of a personal injury case, then you are able to sue the hospital for your injuries.  The elements of your injury case will be different depending on what you are suing the hospital for.  There may also be other elements to meet before you can sue the hospital in your case.

Elements of an Injury Case

Hospitals are businesses that are open to patients and visitors.  As the owner or operator of the property, the hospital is responsible for making the premises safe for these patients and visitors.  If you were injured in a slip and fall or other accident, you need to prove the following 4 elements in your injury case against the hospital:

  1. The hospital owed you a duty, typically the duty to keep the premises safe for guests.
  2. The hospital breached that duty by failing to clean or repair a danger or by failing to warn guests of the dangerous condition.
  3. The hospital’s breach of duty caused your injuries.
  4. You suffered damages that the court can order compensation for.

Elements of a Medical Malpractice Case

If your injuries were instead caused by errors or mistakes in the medical care you received as a patient, the elements of your case are the same: duty, breach, causation, and damages.  However, the duty and breach elements are often a bit more specialized in a medical malpractice case.

For a duty to exist, there must first be a doctor-patient relationship (or you must be the patient of whatever other medical professional caused your injuries).  In some cases where the patient has just arrived at the ER or where another doctor is asked to quickly consult the patient’s chart, the doctor-patient relationship might not be formed.  If you were illegally turned away from treatment, you can typically sue – but there might not be a doctor-patient relationship to allow you to sue for malpractice, specifically.  Have your Staten Island personal injury lawyer review your case to see if there was a doctor-patient relationship.

The duty in a medical malpractice case is called the “standard of care.”  This standard is based on what other medical professionals with similar training and experience would do in the same situation.  Because it is so specialized in each case, you usually need to present testimony from another medical expert to prove what the standard of care is.

A breach of duty is also complex in a medical malpractice case.  Sometimes the doctor’s lack of care or skill or a literal mistake during a procedure will cause their care to fall below the standard of care.  Other times, they may intentionally turn away from the standard of care in an attempt to do something risky, but potentially life-saving.  These choices could still constitute breach of duty, but only if you can prove that other medical professionals would not have done the same thing.

Other Elements for Malpractice Lawsuits

To sue a hospital, specifically, for malpractice, the doctor that treated you needs to be a hospital employee.  You typically cannot sue hospitals for mistakes by doctors in private practice.

Additionally, you will need a doctor to review your medical malpractice case before filing it in New York.  Your Queens personal injury attorney will need to get a “certificate of merit” by having a doctor review your case before it can be filed in New York.

Call Our New York City Medical Malpractice Lawyers for Help

For a free case evaluation from one of our New York City medical malpractice attorneys, contact The Carrion Law Firm today.  Our phone number is (718) 841-0083.