How An Attorney Can Help You File A Medical Malpractice Claim

It’s quite disturbing. In the U.S., it’s the number three cause of death. It’s medical malpractice, and it puts all of us at risk.

What do you need to know about this process and how can a Bronx medical malpractice attorney help? Keep reading for some key facts. You’ll also learn how to respond if you become a victim of medical malpractice.

IS MEDICAL MALPRACTICE ON THE RISE?

For almost twenty years, medical malpractice has been identified as a top cause of fatalities in the U.S.:

1. 1999: The Institute of Medicine reported that almost 100,000 hospital patients die each year because of preventable medical errors.

2. 2010: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services stated that negligence plays a role in more than 180,000 deaths every year in U.S. hospitals.

3. 2013: According to the Journal of Patient Safety, every year in the U.S., from 210,000 to 440,000 hospital patients are the victims of medical negligence contributing to death.

And in the U.S. in 2014, victims received more than $3 billion in payouts for their medical malpractice claims.

HOW COMMON – AND DANGEROUS – IS MEDICAL MISDIAGNOSIS?

Surgical mistakes can be catastrophic, but those mistakes are only a small part of the medical malpractice story. Misdiagnosis is a much bigger part of the story. Everyone, potentially, is at risk for medical misdiagnosis.

The BMJ (British Medical Journal) has estimated that approximately twelve million of us in the United States are misdiagnosed by doctors and other healthcare professionals every year.

Researchers also estimate that about fifty percent of those misdiagnosed patients may be seriously risking their health – without knowing it – because they’ve been misdiagnosed.

WHAT’S THE EXACT DEFINITION OF MEDICAL MALPRACTICE?

How is medical malpractice defined? And what are your rights if you are the one who is the victim of medical malpractice?

Medical malpractice is a healthcare professional’s negligence (or a healthcare facility’s negligence) that causes a deterioration of someone’s medical condition, causes additional injury, or causes wrongful death.

Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice may apply to negligence by doctors, dentists, nurses, anesthesiologists, pharmaceutical companies, pharmacists, clinics and hospitals, and others who offer healthcare services.

WHAT TYPES OF INCIDENTS CONSTITUTE MEDICAL MALPRACTICE?

Medical malpractice may include but is not limited to:

1. birth injuries (to either the child or the mother)
2. prescription mistakes
3. misdiagnosis or the failure to diagnose
4. failure to monitor the patient adequately
5. surgical mistakes and ER errors
6. in some cases, the failure to obtain a patient’s informed consent

If you believe that you have been injured or victimized by medical malpractice in New York City – or anywhere in the state of New York – discuss your case, your rights, and your options as quickly as possible with an experienced medical malpractice attorney.

HOW CAN A MEDICAL MALPRACTICE ATTORNEY HELP?

A New York medical malpractice lawyer will review the details of your medical malpractice claim and explain your legal options, which may include a medical malpractice lawsuit.

If you can prove that you were injured or that your medical condition declined because of medical malpractice, the law in this state entitles you to the compensation you will need for your additional medical expenses, your personal pain and suffering, and more.

WHAT’S REQUIRED FOR A MEDICAL MALPRACTICE LAWSUIT TO PREVAIL?

Medical malpractice lawsuits are civil actions that seek monetary damages to compensate an injury victim’s losses. To prevail with a malpractice lawsuit, the victim (or “plaintiff”) in a New York medical malpractice case must prove these three claims:

1. The patient sought medical care from a licensed healthcare provider.

2. The provider or facility negligently failed to diagnose and/or treat the patient as other providers and/or facilities would have diagnosed and/or treated the patient in a comparable situation.

3. The patient’s health declined, or the patient suffered injury, due to the negligence.

There’s always an element of risk when you seek medical treatment. Do not consent to any surgery or medical treatment unless and until you fully understand what risks are involved.

Healthcare providers in New York, for the most part, are dedicated professionals. Most take extra care and special measures to reduce any risk to patients. But other healthcare providers do not.

HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU HAVE TO TAKE LEGAL ACTION?

In New York, a medical malpractice lawsuit must be filed within two-and-a-half years of the purported malpractice incident. If the negligence happened in the course of ongoing medical treatment, the thirty-month limit begins when that treatment is complete.

In the rare cases where an object has been left in a surgery patient’s body, the patient has one year to file a claim – starting with the date that the object was discovered or “reasonably should have been” discovered.

But you can’t wait two-and-a-half years, or even one year, if you’ve been the victim of a medical malpractice incident. In fact, your attorney needs to be on the case as quickly as possible, while the evidence and the memories of witnesses are still “fresh.”

A medical malpractice lawsuit also gives victims the ability to hold healthcare providers liable for their medical negligence.

HOW ARE MOST MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CASES RESOLVED?

Most medical malpractice claims in New York are resolved privately, by the attorneys for both sides, outside of the courtroom. Medical malpractice attorneys are experienced negotiators who know what it takes to recover compensation on a client’s behalf.

Health Issues

If no acceptable settlement can be reached, you and your attorney may decide to take your case to trial and ask a jury for the compensation – and for the justice – you need and deserve.

WHAT ELSE IS NEEDED WHEN YOU SUE FOR MEDICAL MALPRACTICE?

In New York, in medical malpractice cases, a plaintiff and attorney must adhere to some additional procedural rules. Along with the lawsuit, the plaintiff’s lawyer must file a document that makes these three statements regarding the case:

1. The lawyer has consulted at least one licensed healthcare authority.

2. The lawyer reasonably believes that the expert is knowledgeable about the issues raised by the medical malpractice claim.

3. The lawyer is persuaded, based on the evidence and expert consultation, that the medical malpractice lawsuit has a reasonable basis.

WHAT CAN A VICTIM OF MEDICAL MALPRACTICE RECEIVE?

In the state of New York, there’s no “cap” or limit on what a medical malpractice plaintiff may receive in a settlement or verdict.

In fact, in 2014, the Washington Post reported that medical malpractice plaintiffs in New York receive higher payouts than medical malpractice plaintiffs in any of the other forty-nine states.

Nothing is a higher priority than your family, your health, or your future. Get the legal help you need – and contact a medical malpractice attorney at once – if you believe that you’ve been victimized by medical malpractice. That is your right.

Documents You’ll Need For Your Medical Malpractice Case

How serious is medical malpractice in the U.S.? Are you at risk? If medical malpractice happens to you, what’s your legal recourse? Everyone needs medical care sooner or later, and medical malpractice is a serious concern.

You’ll learn what it takes to prevail if you file a medical malpractice lawsuit, and what documents and evidence you’ll need to have. As well as, how can a medical malpractice law firm in the Bronx can help.

WHAT IS THE EXTENT OF MEDICAL MALPRACTICE?

Medical malpractice is actually the third leading cause of death in the United States. The extent of the problem has been known for at least two decades.

The Institute of Medicine told us in 1999 that nearly 100,000 people die each year in this country because of medical malpractice.

In 2010, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported that medical malpractice is linked to 180,000 deaths every year.

And a 2013 report in the Journal of Patient Safety says that every year in this country, more than 200,000 patient fatalities are linked to some type of preventable medical malpractice.

IF YOU ARE A VICTIM OF MEDICAL MALPRACTICE, WHERE CAN YOU TURN?

If you are a victim of medical malpractice in or near the New York City area, you deserve justice. Discuss your legal rights at once with an experienced Bronx medical malpractice attorney.

Medical Malpractice Claim

Medical malpractice victims are entitled by New York law to compensation for their additional medical expenses and lost wages, personal pain and suffering, and all other losses and damages arising from the incident of medical malpractice.

But being “entitled” to compensation doesn’t mean it’s simply handed to you. You’ll have to prove that medical malpractice happened and was a direct cause of your injury and suffering.

WHAT WILL YOUR LAWYER NEED?

Whether or not medical malpractice happened can often be determined by a close examination of the pertinent medical records and related documents. Most medical malpractice cases, in fact, rely on the evidence of the medical documents.

Experienced Medical Malpractice Lawyer

For a medical malpractice lawsuit to prevail, the claim must be proven with irrefutable evidence that medical malpractice took place. That evidence is usually found in the documentation.

Here’s what your lawyer will need if you choose to file a medical malpractice lawsuit:

1. Your Medical Records
2. Your Mental Health Records
3. Your Prescription Drug History
4. Your Health Insurance
5. Your Medical Bills and Invoices
6. Any Documents Received from the Defendant
7. Any Other Pertinent Documents

WHY ARE MEDICAL RECORDS SO IMPORTANT IN MALPRACTICE CASES?

#1. Medical Records: In a medical malpractice case, the medical records usually tell the story.

Let’s say that you are suing a hospital because you were neglected by the nursing staff. The nurses’ notes in your medical records can show what kind of care you actually received.

If you do not have copies of all of your own medical records, at least give your lawyer a list of the healthcare providers you’ve seen, and your lawyer will be able to obtain your medical records:

WHAT OTHER RECORDS WILL YOUR ATTORNEY NEED?

#2. Mental Health Records: If you’ve been seen for any reason by any psychiatrists, psychologists, or psychotherapists, your lawyer will need to review the records.

It doesn’t matter if your mental health treatment was related to the malpractice or the reason you were being treated when malpractice happened. You lawyer will still need to see the records.

Like medical records, if you do not have your own mental health records, be able to give your lawyer a list of your mental health care providers.

Rights For The Injured

#3. Prescription Drug History: Your attorney will need to know the names of any medications prescribed to you, the dates of those prescriptions, and the dosage amounts.

#4. Your Health Insurance: Your lawyer will need to know the extent of your health coverage. Have a copy of your health or disability policy, or if you are covered by a group plan, proof of your coverage.

#5. Your Medical Bills and Invoices: Your lawyer will need to know how much you (or your insurance company) were charged for medical treatment and care. Keep a copy of any medical bills or invoices.

WHAT ABOUT PERTINENT “NON-MEDICAL” DOCUMENTS?

#6. Documentation of Lost Wages: If you have lost time from work due to medical malpractice, you are entitled to compensation for lost wages.

Your attorney will need proof that you actually lost wages because of your malpractice-related injury. If you don’t have your earnings records or pay stubs, your attorney can request the records from your employer.

#7. Any Documents Received from the Defendant: If you received anything at all from the defendant in your malpractice case, your lawyer will need to see it.

For example, if you are suing the manufacturer of a defective medical device, you may have several pieces of written correspondence with the manufacturer.

#8. Any Other Pertinent Documents: This is a broad category, but any paperwork or documentation that might strengthen your medical malpractice case should be shared with your attorney.

HOW CAN A MEDICAL MALPRACTICE LAWYER HELP?

Medical malpractice law is complicated. A medical malpractice claim is not something that you can handle on your own.

In New York, if you are victimized twice – first by a health issue and then by a negligent healthcare provider – take your case at once to an experienced Bronx medical malpractice attorney.

Victims Of Medical Malpractice

Your attorney will evaluate the facts in your case, offer sound insights and advice, and explain your legal rights, options, and alternatives.

WHAT DOES A MEDICAL MALPRACTICE VICTIM NEED TO PROVE?

Whenever a healthcare provider fails to follow standard procedures, misdiagnoses a medical condition, writes the wrong prescription, or makes a surgical mistake, if a patient is harmed, it’s probably medical malpractice.

To prevail with a medical malpractice claim, the injured victim’s attorney must prove that a healthcare provider breached the legal and professional duty of care.

The injured victim and his or her malpractice lawyer then must prove that the breach of the duty of care was the direct cause of the personal injury or injuries suffered by the victim.

Finally, medical malpractice victims and their lawyers have to prove that the personal injury or injuries caused damages that can be quantified monetarily, and they must detail the extent of those damages.

If you are – or if you become – a victim of medical malpractice in New York, get the legal help you need immediately. Medical malpractice is not tolerated in this state, and the law will be on your side.

Can You Sue For A Misdiagnosis?

Every year in the United States, about twelve million adults suffering from diabetes, kidney disease, and a host of other serious medical conditions are misdiagnosed. How can a misdiagnosis impact you?

Are you at risk? Can a medical malpractice law firm help you sue for a misdiagnosis?

If you’ll keep reading, you’ll learn some disturbing facts about misdiagnosis and medical malpractice, and you’ll learn what steps to take if you’re misdiagnosed at a doctor’s office, hospital, or clinic.

Impact of Misdiagnosis

The truth is that the medical malpractice cases that grab the most attention – when a surgeon amputates the wrong limb or removes the wrong organ – are quite rare.

Overwhelmingly, most medical malpractice injuries arise from a misdiagnosis.

In these cases, a “misdiagnosis” may mean a diagnosis that completely failed to identify a serious medical condition, a belated diagnosis, or an erroneous diagnosis.

Misdiagnosis may also be linked with a doctor’s failure to:

– screen for a particular medical condition
– refer a patient to a specialist
– interpret lab test results accurately
– consult thoroughly with the patient regarding his or her symptoms
– follow up and investigate potential causes of the reported symptoms

IF YOU’VE BEEN HARMED BY A MISDIAGNOSIS, WHAT’S YOUR RECOURSE?

The misdiagnosis of a serious illness can mean the patient may receive the wrong treatment or the wrong medication, which can further harm an already-ill patient.

That additional harm may be the grounds for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. In New York, a medical malpractice attorney can help you determine if a misdiagnosis has made you a victim of medical malpractice.

When a serious medical condition is misdiagnosed or overlooked entirely, the patient misses important, early opportunities to improve or heal the condition.

If the patient suffers any harm, injury, or deterioration in his or her medical condition after a misdiagnosis, patients may pursue compensation – and justice – by filing a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Check The Doctor Failure

All healthcare providers owe a duty of care to every patient. The central legal question in most medical malpractice cases is whether the physician breached his or her duty of care to the patient.

When the medical care that a doctor provides to a patient falls below the minimal standard of care set by the medical profession, the duty of care has been breached. That breach constitutes medical negligence if the patient is harmed as a result.

When the negligence of a physician causes injury to a patient, the victims and his or her family should seek sound legal advice immediately.

To succeed with a medical malpractice lawsuit in New York, a medical malpractice victim must show that a doctor or another healthcare provider violated the legal and professional duty of care to that patient.

WHAT CONDITIONS ARE MOST FREQUENTLY MISDIAGNOSED?

If you are suffering from any disease or medical condition, and if you have been misdiagnosed at any time since you began seeking treatment, speak promptly with a New York medical malpractice lawyer who routinely represents the victims’ medical negligence.

Some of the most common conditions that are misdiagnosed include:

– asthma (often misdiagnosed as bronchitis)
– cancer
– heart attack
– lymph node inflammation (often misdiagnosed as appendicitis)
– staph infection (often misdiagnosed as flu)
– stroke
– diabetes
– chronic kidney disease

It’s not enough for a medical malpractice victim and his or her attorney to prove that a doctor misdiagnosed a medical condition.

A medical malpractice lawsuit will only prevail if the misdiagnosis resulted in harm to the patient and if the patient and his or her attorney can prove it.

A misdiagnosis may harm a patient in a number of ways which can include:

– needless exposure of the patient to dangerous treatment like radiation or chemotherapy
– unnecessary surgery
– a higher likelihood of complications
– a higher likelihood of death

IS THERE A TIME LIMIT FOR FILING A LAWSUIT AFTER A MISDIAGNOSIS?

After any incident of medical malpractice, victims need to understand that the amount of time they have to take legal action is limited. In the state of New York, medical malpractice victims have two-and-a-half years – thirty months – from the date of the incident to bring a legal action, with three very limited exceptions.

Sue For Misdiagnosis

If a healthcare provider’s negligence happened during an “ongoing course of treatment,” the thirty-month month statutory period does not begin until that course of treatment is completed. New York’s “discovery rule,” the second exception to New York’s statute of limitations in medical malpractice cases, is extremely narrow, applies only when a surgeon has left a foreign object inside a patient, and has no application to cases involving misdiagnosis.

The third exception is for minors. In this state, the statute of limitations for minors in medical malpractice cases does not begin until the day the minor turns 18, although the statute of limitations will not be extended beyond ten years after the alleged incident of medical malpractice occurred (or after a foreign object left by a surgeon was discovered).

WHY IS IT IMPERATIVE TO ACT RIGHT AWAY?

Of course, every situation is different, so it’s important to speak with a skilled Bronx medical malpractice attorney as soon as you realize that you’ve suffered harm or that your medical condition has deteriorated as the result of a misdiagnosis.

Don’t wait thirty months and then try to take legal action at the last possible moment. Acting quickly helps your attorney to build the strongest possible case on your behalf.

When a patient takes legal action against a doctor after a misdiagnosis, that doctor’s insurance company may try to avoid paying what the patient’s claim is worth.

If you’ve been misdiagnosed and injured as a result, don’t accept any settlement, make any statement, or sign any agreement with an insurance company before you’ve obtained sound legal advice.

In fact, it’s best to let your medical malpractice attorney – an experienced negotiator – do the talking on your behalf.

Need Of A Brilliant Lawyer

Some states impose “caps” or restrictions on the amount that can be awarded to a victim whose medical malpractice lawsuit prevails.

Usually, medical malpractice caps only limit the “non-economic” damages that a malpractice victim may obtain for mental anguish, pain, and suffering, loss of companionship or consortium, and/or disfigurement.

New York is not one of those states. The law in New York imposes no restrictions on how much a misdiagnosis victim can recover with a medical malpractice lawsuit.

If you’ve been misdiagnosed with any serious medical condition, and that misdiagnosis has harmed or injured you, the law in this state is on your side, and a qualified Bronx medical malpractice attorney can advocate aggressively for the compensation – and for the justice – you need and deserve.