Coughlin & Gerhart LLP

Building Relationships on Results

Medical malpractice: Who was the negligent party?

On Behalf of | Mar 4, 2019 | Medical Malpractice

Anyone who is hospitalized in New York expects medical treatment of an acceptable standard. Patients naturally want to be in better health at the time of their discharge than what they were upon admission. Sadly, the number of medical malpractice claims that are filed in the state’s civil courts indicates that many people are in poorer health after hospitalization.

Many things can go wrong, and the victims are often unsure of which party to hold responsible. Was there negligence on the part of a doctor, nurse or technician? How can a medical malpractice claim be filed if the plaintiff does not know whom to list as the defendant?

In some cases, the nature of the incident infers negligence. This is based on the legal theory of Res ipsa loquiter, which is a Latin phrase that means “the case speaks for itself.” Consider the situation in which a pedestrian is struck by a chair that was flung through the window on the third story of a hotel. That victim has no way of knowing who tossed the chair, but it is clear that there was negligence for which the hotel can be held responsible. The same might apply for the hospital if a patient suffers harm for which an at-fault party could not be established.

Medical malpractice is a complicated field of the law, and victims of medical negligence in New York typically retain the services of experienced legal counsel to advocate for them. If necessary, an attorney can launch an independent investigation to obtain information on which to base a claim of negligence. The successful navigation of such a lawsuit could yield a monetary award to cover additional medical expenses along with other financial and emotional damages.


FindLaw Network