The main obstacle that many in New York may have in bringing medical malpractice lawsuits is challenging the opinions and contrary assertions of those who treated them. Plaintiffs in these cases are typically not doctors or nurses. Thus, there medical knowledge likely pales in comparison to the clinicians who are the subjects of their lawsuits. It is in these situations where expert opinion can be so beneficial. Often, it is another doctor that discovers a previous physician’s error. Having that doctor as a resource from which to derive conflicting medical opinions can be vital to one’s case. 

It was such recognition (and subsequent action) by a doctor that was cited by the attorney for a 17-year-old Michigan as justifying her action against a local medical center. Back in 2011, the girl sought surgery to correct an improper curvature to her spine. A provider from the medical center chose to place rods on her spine meant to relieve compression along her spinal cord. Yet instead of having the intended effect, the rods adversely impacted the performance of her outer limbs as well as her bowel and bladder control. The error was discovered by another doctor a short while later, yet despite that doctor’s intervention, the girl’s impairments remained permanent. 

Representatives of the medical center argued that the girl’s issues were due to factors out of its provider’s control. Such a claim might seem to be difficult to overcome, yet it should be remembered that while patients may not be able to match their doctors in terms of medical knowledge, they are experts of their own bodies. That expertise (combined with their own supporting expert opinion) can make for a compelling argument. Those needing assistance in making such an argument may find it in the form of an experienced attorney.