If you are a baseball fan, you know Major League Baseball (MLB) has alleged that Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez doped while playing. What you may not know is that, in an article published Saturday in The New York Times, Rodriguez is preparing to file a medical malpractice suit against Yankees team doctor Chris Ahmad for failing to properly diagnose the torn labrum in his left hip during last October’s playoffs.
Joseph Tacopina, the new attorney for Rodriguez, alleged that the Yankees, along with Bud Selig, were intentionally attempting to end Rodriguez’s career to avoid paying him the remaining $86 million on his contract and committed medical malpractice to get him off the field. The Yankees were fully aware of A-Rod’s hip injury, which was uncovered in an MRI taken during the 2012 playoffs, but continued to play Rodriguez, he alleges. Tacopina also claimed that Yankees president Randy Levine told a doctor treating A-Rod ahead of the hip surgery, “I don’t ever want to see [A-Rod] on the field again.”
Rodriguez, also embroiled in a battle with the MLB over alleged steroid use, will not have an easy time proving medical malpractice. The prosecution of medical malpractice cases can be extremely expensive, time-consuming and stressful.
What should you do if you’ve been the victim of medical negligence? The information below will help you determine if you are the victim of medical malpractice and how to file a claim.
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the U.S.—right behind heart disease and cancer.
In 2012, over $3 billion was spent in medical malpractice payouts, averaging one payout every 43 minutes.
What is medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice happens when a health-care professional fails to provide the recognized “standard of care” in the treatment of a patient. The “standard of care” is defined as what an experienced medical provider would or would not have done under the same circumstances.
It’s estimated that medical errors kill roughly 200,000 patients in the U.S. each year.
How do you know that you’re a victim of medical malpractice?
If a provider’s negligence causes injury or damages to a patient, a malpractice claim exists. Experiencing a bad or unexpected outcome following medical services isn’t always proof of medical negligence.
Sometimes health-care providers will tell a patient that negligent medical care was received from a previous health-care provider, or offer a quick “apology” hoping to prevent a future claim. Insurance companies want to settle with an injured person directly if possible. An apology followed by an offer to settle without litigation before the full extent of injuries are known prevents the injured person from hiring an attorney who could increase the settlement value of the claim.
Most attorneys will not pursue a case unless an expert specializing in the medical field or service reviews the case and says the injuries and damages are substantial.
What should you do if you suspect you’ve received negligent medical care?
Deadlines by which a lawsuit must be filed, also know as “statutes of limitations,” differ in each state, as do the procedural requirements that must happen before a medical malpractice lawsuit is filed. It’s important that you do not wait. Contacting an experienced medical malpractice attorney should be your first step. An attorney needs to thoroughly review your case details to determine whether the case is actionable.