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New York City Medical Malpractice Law Blog

How can you find the best hospital for your medical procedure?

People in New York oftentimes have a lot of questions when it comes to finding the right healthcare provider for their medical needs, especially if these needs are substantial. People in need of healthcare for a major illness or disease want to ensure that they make the best decision for their unique, individual situation, but depending on their constraints, such as whether a particular hospital or provider is within their healthcare insurance network, their options may be somewhat limited.

Before choosing a healthcare provider, people should look to a number of resources to research their selection. One such resource is the annual US News and World Report ranking of hospitals, which provides information on specialists and how they stack up against others that may be available. One of the biggest concerns most people have is patient safety, as nobody should feel terribly comfortable relying on a provider who has a history of hospital negligence. They also want to pick a provider with a reputable medical staff and a history of successfully and adequately addressing patients' needs in a particular field.

Cruise ships liable if they provide poor medical care

People in New York may recall the controversial death of a former New York City police officer, who was taking the vacation of a lifetime with his family aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship destined for Bermuda back in 2011. The man, who was 82 at the time, fell and hit his head during an excursion, and was immediately brought to the ship's doctor's office. There, he was told to return to his cabin to rest by one of the ship's nurses. He did so, but it soon became abundantly clear that things were not well.

Shortly after the examination by the nurse, the man's condition began to worsen, and the man was brought back for further assessment. Unfortunately at least four hours had passed before a doctor ever examined him and ordered him to a hospital in Bermuda. All the while the man was suffering from massive internal bleeding, and by the time he was checked into the hospital, the damage had already been done and there was nothing the hospital could do to save him. The man died shortly thereafter.

Pharmacist grabs wrong drug, causes patient's death

People in New York who have ever had a health care issue may be familiar with the sobering feeling that comes with the realization that their very lives are at stake, and rest firmly in the hands of their doctor. Well, not just their doctor, actually, but a whole cadre of health care workers that are responsible for accurate decision-making, communication and treatment. When even one of these complex links go wrong or somebody along the line makes a mistake, the results can be fatal.

This is exactly what officials believe occurred at a hospital in Portland, Oregon earlier this month. A 65-year-old woman had gone into the hospital and was written a prescription for an anti-seizure medication. The prescription was accurately recorded and entered into the system, the IV bag was clearly and accurately marked, but somehow one of the pharmacy workers filled the bag with the wrong drug. Instead of the appropriate medication, she was given a powerful paralyzing agent.

Life or death mistakes happen in the medical world

People in New York often go to great lengths to find a health care provider whom they respect and trust. Finding a doctor with whom a person feels comfortable can be difficult, especially when people understand that their future health may depend upon this doctor's competence and professionalism. Patients should take these decisions seriously, but, unfortunately, what happens after that decision is largely out of their hands and rests on the judgment and skill of their chosen physician.

The fact is that doctors are people, too, and just like everyone else, they make mistakes. While some mistakes are minor and may not lead to serious health problems, some doctor errors can lead to death, incapacitation or loss of critical bodily functions.

Ithaca doctor faces 12th medical malpractice lawsuit

Readers in New York may have heard about a physician in Ithaca who is now facing his 12th malpractice lawsuit in under 20 years. While many doctors encounter a malpractice lawsuit at least once during their careers in medicine, a dozen lawsuits is certainly far beyond the ordinary amount. According to a consumer advocacy group, only 1% of all doctors made four or more payments in malpractice cases over a span of 15 years. The doctor in question has paid out four malpractice claims in just the last five years.

The lawsuits against this doctor have continued to roll in, with the most current claim being the man's second in 2014 alone, and his third ongoing case. In this recent case, a woman who had a portion of her large intestine removed filed a medical malpractice lawsuit after she allegedly encountered complications. She claims the surgery left her with a significant disfigurement.

Joan Rivers' daughter to file wrongful death suit

When loved ones require medical intervention, there is always a concern that something could go wrong causing permanent or temporary effects. Furthermore, if complications are severe, this could cause their love one to suffer greatly and even lose their life.

Residents in New York were shocked at the untimely passing of comedienne extraordinaire Joan Rivers, who died earlier this year during what should have been a routine doctor's visit. Fans weren't the only ones who were shocked by this loss, as Joan's daughter Melissa has recently made plans to file a wrongful death suit against the clinic and the doctors who are allegedly responsible for Rivers' death.

Hospitals are responsible for their employees' actions

People in New York know that city hospitals are among the busiest in the country, with several massive hospitals providing care to hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers every year. Given the sheer volume of patients, doctors and staff in New York's largest hospitals, it can be considered a minor miracle that these hospitals are able to provide sufficient care to patients.

Coordination of care, cleanliness, and communication amongst so many parties, in addition to multiple moving parts, is a tremendous burden for hospitals to undertake, and sometimes things go horribly wrong. If things do go wrong, the entire hospital corporation can be held liable, for everything from lab technician errors to failure to hire adequate staff and even emergency room errors. When a patient at a hospital is subjected to treatment that is inadequate, incorrect, or improperly conducted, the results can be disastrous. Patients can be injured, suffer worsened conditions, or die when medical care isn't provided properly.

Not seeing a health problem can lead to worse problems

Residents in New York may hear the words "medical malpractice" and instinctively turn to think about surgical errors and medical procedures gone wrong. After all, medical errors account for almost 100,000 deaths every year, and it's always compelling news when a surgeon operates on the wrong body part, or leaves a person tragically injured after a mistake on the operating room table. Our firm understands that medical malpractice can take many forms, and often is at its worst when a doctor or medical professional simply fails to properly diagnose a patient's disease, injury or illness.

Failure to diagnose is a serious problem in the United States healthcare system, with helpless patients as the victims. A failure to properly diagnose a serious health condition can lead to serious consequences, including the worsening of the condition resulting in permanent physical or mental impairment or even death.

Victim of New York hospital negligence receives $2.3 million

People in New York City may have heard about the recent case of a man who visited a Hudson Valley radiology clinic back in 2010 to get an MRI. As part of the process, he was given a routine injection, but something went horribly wrong.

A few days after receiving the injection, he checked himself into Nyack Hospital, and even though culture tests showed a serious and potentially harmful infection, the hospital released him without treating the infection. A few weeks later, the man was back, but by this time, the infection had spread, causing him debilitating and irreversible bone damage.

Can injured people represent themselves in civil court?

People in New York are put in a difficult situation when they are injured or harmed by another person's actions. On the one hand, they may face costly medical bills, may have had to miss work, and may suffer serious and debilitating health concerns that threaten their lifestyle or even their life. On the other hand, they may not know how to get the relief they need. The legal system can be complicated, but many people fear that hiring an attorney is too expensive. Every New York citizen has the right to represent themselves in court, but in a complex case, this could be a major mistake. Where should a person in this situation even begin?

In complicated medical malpractice cases, the answer is simple. People should consult with an experienced New York medical malpractice attorney to find out their options and determine how to proceed. In most cases, attorneys understand that accident victims may not have the means to hire an attorney to handle complex litigation, which is why many attorneys may be willing to enter into a contingency agreement, in which the attorney is given a percentage of the awarded damages amount.