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New York City Medical Malpractice Law Blog

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.

How do you know if you have been the victim of a doctor error?

When it comes to getting medical treatment, many New York City residents have serious reservations. After all, it basically boils down to trusting your life in the hands of a doctor, something most patients do not take lightly. People must trust a doctor to not only correctly diagnose a condition, but provide the right treatment. Nonetheless, what if something goes wrong? In addition, if something does go wrong, how will a person even know the cause?

These have been two of the major essential questions in the field of medical malpractice law since the inception of patients' rights. Most patients are not medically trained experts, so knowing, and then proving, that they have been the victim of malpractice can be a complicated process.

Database to give info on possible medical conflicts of interest

Decisions about health care are some of the most important choices New Yorkers will ever have to make in their lives. People should always have the right to a choice when it comes to providing health care for themselves and their families, but without the reliable information necessary to make informed decisions, many consumers are left at the mercy of doctors and medical staff who may not always have their best interests first and foremost.

With the objective of creating transparency for consumers, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been working on a database that will allow patients to review their health care providers to check for potential conflicts of interest that might compromise their ability to provide unbiased treatment. In short, the database will show consumers how their physicians are paid, and whether or not that health care entity has ties to drug and medical suppliers which might lead them to order more costly medical procedures or medication.

Man awarded $2.3 million by jury in malpractice suit

New York readers may have heard about a 52-year-old man who checked into Nyack Hospital for a routine MRI, only to suffer a serious infection that required further hospitalization and left the man with debilitating injuries to his hip. After a three-week trial, a jury in Rockland County has awarded the man $2.3 million in damages.

The man claimed the infection began when he received a routine injection prior to undergoing an MRI. He came back a few days later for a test, but doctors allegedly didn't realize that the man was suffering from a serious and painful bacterial infection that damaged his bones. Two days after being released, the man was rushed back to Nyack Hospital at 5 a.m. for treatment of the infection. Unfortunately, the damage had already been done. The man, who made his living as a construction worker, may never be able to work again. In addition, a lot of the leisure activities he used to enjoy are now painful ordeals.