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Requesting an autopsy in a medical malpractice case in New York

On Behalf of | Nov 2, 2023 | Medical Malpractice

When filing a wrongful death lawsuit in New York, you must prove to the court that, indeed, your loved one died due to someone else’s negligence to receive justice and compensation for your loss. This may call for an autopsy if there is not enough evidence or medical records to support your claim.

Understanding an autopsy (post-mortem examination)

An autopsy is a medical procedure conducted to investigate and ascertain the cause and manner of death by thoroughly examining the body of a deceased individual. A trained physician, often a pathologist, performs it by analyzing the internal organs and tissues.

How autopsy can help in a medical malpractice death lawsuit

In New York, an autopsy can provide crucial evidence to support your medical malpractice death lawsuit. It can conclusively show your loved one’s underlying condition, which you can compare to the medical records provided by their doctor. This can help establish a clear link between the negligence and your loved one’s death.

Additionally, an autopsy can also reveal any undiagnosed conditions or complications that may have contributed to your loved one’s death. A doctor should have caught these during treatment, and their failure to do so can strengthen your case.

When autopsy may not be necessary

An autopsy may not be necessary if there is already sufficient evidence or medical records to prove your claim or if the deceased had a terminal illness or was in hospice care. Still, it may be beneficial to conduct an autopsy for your peace of mind and to eliminate any doubts about the cause of death.

People with the right to request an autopsy

The law only allows the decedent’s next of kin, executor or administrator of their estate and the attending physician to request an autopsy. If you believe your loved one’s death was due to medical malpractice, it is essential to have the autopsy sought by someone who has no personal bias or interest in the outcome of your case.

The decision to pursue an autopsy can be a significant step in seeking justice for your loved one. Like in any other case, having sufficient evidence is crucial in proving medical malpractice. An autopsy can provide a more concrete basis for your claim and potentially lead to a successful outcome.