Attorneys Jeff D. DeFrancisco and Charles L. Falgiatano
Experienced. Proven. Results-Oriented.We fight for the rights of clients who have sustained serious injuries or suffered harmful accidents. Our goal is to help each client achieve the best possible outcome.Schedule Your FREE Consultation Today
$13,000,000Verdict for a personal injury case.Schedule Your FREE Consultation Today
$10,500,000Verdict for failure to diagnose cancer.Schedule Your FREE Consultation Today
$3,500,000Settlement for medical malpractice against an ob/gyn for birth injury.Schedule Your FREE Consultation Today
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New York is considered a “no-fault” state for purposes of automobile accident litigation. However, that does not mean that there is no possibility of filing a Syracuse car accident lawsuit against a negligent driver in which an innocent motorist, passenger, or pedestrian suffers serious personal injuries or wrongful death.

There are several situations that take a vehicular accident outside of the limitations of no-fault. While each case must stand on its own facts, generally speaking the more serious the plaintiff’s injuries are and the more short or long-term disability the plaintiff has due to the crash, the more likely it is that he or she can get past the no-fault threshold and file a traditional negligence lawsuit against the responsible party.

In such situations, the plaintiff may seek payment for his or her medical expenses and lost wages, as well as compensation for pain and suffering and other damages. The injured party’s spouse may also be able to seek monetary damages for loss of consortium.

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Negligence cases, including Syracuse medical malpractice claims, often come down to one or two basic issues. Did the defendant breach a standard of care owed to the plaintiff? Was this the proximate cause of the harm that he or she complains about in the lawsuit?

Proving fault in professional negligence cases usually involves the testimony of one or more expert witnesses. One or both parties may seek an early resolution of the case through a pre-trial procedure known as “summary judgment,” but this is only appropriate when there are no genuine issues of material fact.

When factual issues must be resolved, the case should go to the jury, rather than be resolved by the judge without the plaintiff having his or her day in court. This is also true when the parties’ respective expert witnesses starkly disagree about the duty that was owed by the defendant to the plaintiff, whether this duty was breached, and/or whether such breach of duty was the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s damages.

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Timeliness is of the essence in a Syracuse medical malpractice lawsuit. If a claim is not filed within the time allowed by law, it will eventually be dismissed by the courts, regardless of its merits.

Because of this, it is critically important that anyone who believes that they or a family member may have been hurt by the negligence of a doctor, nurse, hospital, or other medical provider seek timely legal advice about his or her case. An attorney experienced in these types of cases can provide the would-be plaintiff with important information about filing deadlines and other requirements.

An experienced malpractice attorney can also guide the plaintiff through the investigative phase of his or her case, helping secure medical records and consulting with potential expert witnesses who can testify on the plaintiff’s behalf at trial.

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Perhaps the most important thing that a patient should know about a Syracuse medical malpractice case is that, if something goes wrong and he or she feels the need to sue a medical provider for negligence, it is the patient who bears the burden of proof. This is true even though the doctor was the professional, and the patient was the layperson.

In order to prove his or her case, the plaintiff will need to obtain his or her medical records, have another medical professional review them, and have that expert witness testify at trial as to the mistakes that were made and how they affected the plaintiff. This is a difficult task and one that almost always requires the help of legal counsel.

An attorney who regularly practices in this area of the law can guide the injured person through an investigation of his or her claim, help the patient secure the necessary records, and work with potential expert witnesses to build the plaintiff’s case. This can be a protracted process, so it is important that a person who has been hurt by an act of medical negligence seek counsel right away.

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Car accidents can happen in so many ways – head on collisions, T-bones, and rear-end wrecks, just to name a few. Some Syracuse car accidents result from “chain reaction” or “multi-vehicle” crashes in which not just one or two but potentially several vehicles are involved.

The challenge in any accident case is figuring out which party was at fault, or, if more than one individual, business, or governmental entity contributed to the cause of the crash, the relative fault between them. This can be an especially challenging task when there was not just one, but perhaps a series of accidents, all happening in rapid succession.

As much as one or more of the drivers involved in a multi-car crash might prefer not to be included as a defendant because he or she believes that most or all of the fault for the wreck should be assigned to others, sometimes it is necessary to include all parties involved in the accident, at least until the evidence has been fully developed. Then, if the case proceeds to trial, the jury can assign fault based on the testimony of the various parties, the physical evidence, the opinions of expert witnesses, and the like.

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When a Syracuse medical malpractice case is tried to a jury, one party or the other will likely be unhappy with the jury’s verdict. After all, if the parties were in agreement about the issues of the case, there likely would have been a settlement rather than a trial.

The party who comes out on the losing end of the case has the right to seek appellate review of the trial court’s decision. Of course, winning an appeal is not an easy task.

Much deference is to be given to the jury’s verdict. Only when a reversible error is made in the court below may the jury’s verdict or the trial court’s entry of judgment thereon be disturbed on appeal.

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Most people have heard of statutes of limitation. These important rules govern the time for filing a claim for some type of wrong, such as a Syracuse medical malpractice suit. If the claim is not timely filed, most likely the injured party will never have his or her day in court.

It is important to note that statutes of limitation are general guidelines and that, sometimes, there are other deadlines that may also apply. Unfortunately, these other procedural rules almost always shorten – not lengthen – the time for taking action.

One area in which deadlines are extremely important is cases involving the government or a governmental entity. In medical malpractice cases, this entity may be a public hospital corporation, such as those that own some of the larger hospitals in the state. Unless all procedural matters are taken care of within the time allowed by law, the plaintiff may forfeit his or her legal rights to seek compensation following an act of medical negligence.

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In evaluating the potential value of a Syracuse car accident claim, there are several considerations. What were the nature and extent of the plaintiff’s physical injuries? How much were his or her medical expenses? What about lost wages or loss of future income due to permanent disability?

These factors help inform the value of the plaintiff’s claim. However, putting a reasonable dollar amount on a case does not necessarily mean that the plaintiff will receive a check for that amount, even if there is a jury verdict in favor of him or her.

Other factors, including the limits of the negligent driver’s liability insurance policy, are also important. What if the plaintiff’s case is worth more than the defendant’s liability limits? While there may sometimes be the possibility of collecting against the defendant’s personal assets or future income, the more realistic place to look for coverage for the difference is the plaintiff’s uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance coverage, assuming that such coverage exists.

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In most types of civil lawsuits, including a Syracuse medical malpractice lawsuit, it is the plaintiff who has the burden of proof. This means that plaintiff must investigate and litigate the case in such a manner as to provide proof of the duty of care that applied under the circumstances, the manner in which that duty was breached, the plaintiff’s physical injuries and other damages, and proximate causation.

In medical malpractice cases, this typically includes expert testimony from one or more qualified expert witnesses. It is not enough to merely offer an expert’s general opinion on the subject matter of the case; the expert must be willing to testify in great specificity as to the negligence of the doctor, hospital, or other medical professional and how it affected the plaintiff.

Unless the plaintiff has an expert who is willing to testify at trial as to matters such as the standard of care and causation, his or her case will fail. Thus, it is crucial that a would-be medical malpractice litigant contact an attorney who is experienced in medical negligence cases and who will be able to consult an appropriate expert witness to review the case.

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Timely access to healthcare can sometimes be a “life or death” matter; if the patient does not get prompt medical attention, he or she will die or suffer great physical harm. More often, however, a brief delay in care will have a much less severe outcome on the patient’s health.

A recent case explored the differences in these types of situations, with the end result being that a case accusing a hospital with negligence due to a delay in treatment was dismissed. The patient in question did promptly receive surgery for his injuries but, due to a delay in payment authorization by an insurance company, had to wait before receiving outpatient therapeutic services in follow-up to his surgery.

It is unclear from the court’s opinion what damages the patient claimed due to the delay. Perhaps he believed that his ultimate outcome would have been better had he engaged in therapy sooner, or maybe he was aggrieved by what he perceived as additional discomfort, pain, and suffering caused by the delay. If you have questions regarding the circumstances surrounding a medical provider’s delayed treatment of an injury, it is important that you speak with a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer promptly to determine whether you may file a claim for damages.

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