Medical Malpractice Lawyers and Claims for Medical Negligence
Personal Injury Lawyers in New York File Claims for Victims of Medical Malpractice
Lawyers handling personal injury claims in the New York City metropolitan area, like the ones at Leeds Brown, know that medical malpractice happens with far too much frequency. The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) indicates that medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the USA. Estimations suggest that medical errors kill approximately 200,000 patients in our country every year.
Malpractice, or medical negligence, can occur in a variety of ways. Surgical errors, prescription errors, misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis are some of the most common types of medical malpractice for which patients file claims. Diagnostic errors, in particular, can cause permanent harm and often death.
If you or someone you love has suffered because of the diagnostic negligence of a health care practitioner such as a doctor, nurse, dentist, physician’s assistant or pathologist, you may have a claim. Attorneys at Leeds Brown, who have significant experience navigating complicated malpractice cases, can assist you to pursue monetary damages against the negligent party who caused your injuries. You may be able to collect a financial award that covers medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering. We make ourselves available around the clock, seven days a week and dedicate ourselves to securing positive outcomes for our personal injury clients.
What are Diagnostic Errors?
There is ample room in the practice of medicine and administration of treatments and testing for diagnostic errors to occur. When a doctor fails to diagnose something at all, takes too long to diagnose a condition or makes an incorrect diagnosis, the results to a patient can be devastating.
Medical practitioners may delay necessary testing, mismanage lab results or ignore symptoms. Sometimes illnesses have similar symptoms, making the correct diagnosis challenging. For example, the following diseases are often at the center of a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis:
- Heart attacks
- Staph Infections
- Swollen lymph nodes
Not all delays and errors are the results of negligence or malpractice. Medical professionals are not perfect. They use their knowledge and experience to treat patients as best they can. At the end of the day, doctors and nurses are still human beings who sometimes make mistakes and misjudge. People cannot file a lawsuit every time a patient passes away or suffers a setback.
A claim for malpractice must contain evidence of negligence.
Attorneys Understand How to Prove Medical Negligence in NY
Negligence occurs when the practitioner breaches the applicable medical standard of care. The measure of the standard is what a reasonably prudent medical provider would or would not have done under the same or similar circumstances. In other words, would another doctor under similar conditions have acted in the same manner or made the same decision?
For example, a patient goes to the doctor complaining of heart pain. The doctor tells him it is acid reflux and sends him home with medication. The patient goes home and shortly after that has a heart attack. Was the doctor negligent? If the practitioner ignored additional symptoms, failed to inquire about his family history, ask follow-up questions or look at the patient’s medical records, there may be negligence. However, if the doctor carefully reviewed all of those things and found no personal or family history of heart problems or other indicators that were not consistent with reflux, perhaps there was no negligence.
A negligent act or decision can take place during virtually any stage of treating a patient. Any misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis may include;
- Failure to screen for a particular medical condition
- Failure to refer a patient to a specialist
- Misinterpretation of lab test results or imaging results
- Failure to properly consult with the patient as to his or her symptoms
- Failure to properly follow up and investigate medical history or symptoms
- Misreading of reports
- Failure to perform tests
- Ordering incorrect tests
- Failure to seek opinions of others to help determine diagnosis
- Faulty equipment
- Human error by technicians
Monetary Damages might be Available if Medical Negligence Caused Harm
For a medical malpractice claim based on an incorrect or delayed diagnosis to be valid, there must be harm to the patient that would not have happened independently of the negligence. There must be more injury than what would ordinarily occur during the course of the condition. For instance, if the diagnostic error results in;
- Increased likelihood of dying
- Increased probability of experiencing complications
- Exposing the patient to more aggressive treatment than would have been necessary if the doctor diagnosed the illness or condition earlier
- Needlessly exposing the patient to more dangerous or harmful courses of treatment like radiation or chemotherapy drugs
- Performing unnecessary surgeries or treatments that cause permanent side effects, disfigurement or scarring.
Personal Injury Lawyers Know Who to Hold Responsible for Misdiagnosis
Most often, the primary doctor is the one liable for medical negligence, especially if it involves a diagnostic error. However, in some cases, other health care professionals may also be responsible if their negligence contributed or caused the patient’s harm. Nurses, lab technicians, surgeons or specialists who also saw the patient might also be parties to a malpractice claim for misdiagnosis.
Statute of Limitations
In every state, including New York, and for every personal injury action there is a time limit to file a lawsuit. New York Civil Practice Law says that to file a malpractice claim in a court of law, the victim has 2.5 years from the date of the malpractice. There are exceptions to this rule and it can be hard to determine the precise starting date from when the time begins to run. We cannot determine how much time you have left until we hear the facts of your case.
Leeds Brown is home to some of the finest negotiators and litigators in the state. Our personal injury attorneys take pride in providing professional, compassionate, and hands-on representation to victims of medical malpractice here in New York.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one because of a misdiagnosis or other medical negligence, you may be entitled to recover monetary damages for your injuries. Our firm can assist you to recover the fair value of your malpractice claim by negotiating with an insurance company or taking your case to court if that is what’s necessary. You may be able to obtain compensation including your lost wages, pain, and suffering and medical expenses.
Medical malpractice lawyers at Leeds Brown are available 24/7 because we know you may need us at any time. Call 1-800-585-4658 today for a free case evaluation.