Articles Posted in Hospital Negligence

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Under New York law, a plaintiff alleging harm due to medical negligence must prove that the treating provider deviated from the standard of care that is accepted in the relevant community. Even if a plaintiff meets this burden, he or she may be denied the right to recover damages, however, unless it is also established that the breach of the duty owed caused the plaintiff to suffer quantifiable harm. The consequence of the failure to demonstrate causation was the topic of a recent opinion issued by a New York court, in a matter in which the court dismissed the plaintiff’s malpractice claims against a hospital. If you were harmed by a careless physician, you might be owed compensation, and it is smart to speak to a skillful Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer about your options.

The Decedent’s Harm

It is reported that the decedent was admitted to the defendant hospital with complaints of dizziness and shortness of breath. During his admission, he fell while standing to answer a telephone and fractured his cervical spine. He underwent surgery to repair the fracture but suffered complications and had to be placed on a ventilator. He was taken off of life support and died a short time later.

The plaintiffs, representatives of the decedent’s estate, filed medical malpractice claims against the defendant, alleging it failed to determine that the decedent was at an increased risk for falls and to take appropriate measures to prevent him from falling. The defendant moved for dismissal via summary judgment, and the court granted its motion. The plaintiff then appealed. Continue reading

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In a Syracuse medical malpractice case, the plaintiff has the burden of proving that the defendant medical provider breached the applicable standard of care. This standard must be determined on a case-by-case basis because not every doctor, nurse, or medical clinic owes a patient the same duty.

For instance, physicians in different specialties may have different duties to diagnose a particular disease in a patient. This means that a general practitioner or “family doctor” might not be expected to recognize a rare disease or illness in every situation.

It should also be noted that, even if it is determined that a particular medical provider did breach a duty of care, the inquiry does not stop there. Additionally, the plaintiff must also be able to show, by a preponderance of the evidence, that this breach of care was a proximate cause of the injuries for which the patient or his or her family seeks monetary compensation.

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In some Syracuse medical malpractice cases, there is but a single defendant. This could be a family doctor who ignored a patient’s symptoms of a life-threatening emergency medical condition, resulting in the patient’s death, or it could be a surgeon who negligently left medical instruments inside a patient’s body, resulting in serious bodily injury.

In most cases, however, there are multiple defendants. Sometimes these defendants are connected, such as an emergency room doctor and the hospital at which he or she provided care.

There are also cases in which the various defendants’ were not connected, except in the sense that they each provided care to the same patient. These factors can complicate matters such as the statute of limitations and whether the continuous treatment doctrine has been established if the complaint was filed beyond the ordinary deadline and an exception is sought.

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The Legislature of the State of New York has codified the limitations period for a Syracuse medical malpractice lawsuit. This means that, generally speaking, someone who is hurt by the mistake of a doctor or other healthcare professional must file a claim within that time period, or else his or her right to seek money damages for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other losses caused by the doctor’s mistake is forfeited.

However, it is important to note that there are exceptions to the general limitations period. Some exceptions, such as the continuous treatment doctrine, can potentially extend the period for filing suit. Likewise, there may be certain circumstances that result in a shorter effective limitations period. If you believe that you  have a claim for medical negligence, it is important to talk to an attorney as soon as possible so that appropriate measures can be taken to preserve your claim.

(Notably, the statute of limitations may be different if you were treated in another state. In some states, the period for filing a claim can be substantially shorter (or potentially longer), so it is important to get legal advice that is state-specific.)

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If you have suffered injuries or lost a loved one due to the negligence of a healthcare provider, you should know that you have a limited amount of time to file a claim seeking money damages from the responsible individual, group, or hospital. This time period is referred to as the “statute of limitations” or “limitations period.”

Calculating the exact deadline for filing a Syracuse medical malpractice claim (or, for that matter, a wrongful death or personal injury claim) can be tricky, so it is important to talk to a lawyer about your case as soon as possible. An attorney knowledgeable in negligence law can help make sure your claim is timely filed after talking with you about the details of your case.

Each case is unique when it comes to the statute of limitations because, while there are general guidelines about timeliness, there are also situations in which a filing period can be shortened or extended. It is, thus, imperative that you can legal advice about your case as soon as you can. Cases not filed in a timely manner are likely to be dismissed, with the plaintiff receiving nothing for his or her injuries or loved one’s wrongful death.

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Each Syracuse medical malpractice case rests on its own unique set of facts. In some cases, it is alleged that a doctor failed to make a proper medical diagnosis and that a patient was harmed or died as a result.

Other cases pertain to procedures that were allegedly carried out in a careless or negligent fashion. Sometimes, the mistake may be glaringly obvious, such as a situation in which the wrong body part was removed or medical tools were left inside a patient’s body cavity. In other cases, an expert witness must painstakingly explain the alleged error to the jury so that they can understand the applicable standard of care and the manner in which it was supposedly breached.

Another possible claim in a medical negligence case involves a lack of informed consent. Under New York law, a physician or other medical professional has certain duties to explain both the risks and benefits of a particular medical procedure to a patient prior to him or her agreeing to such treatment.

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It is frequently said that “time is of the essence” when it comes to medical malpractice lawsuits in New York, especially those involving governmental entities. While it is certainly true that Syracuse medical malpractice claims should be made in a timely fashion in order to have a reasonable chance of a successful outcome, there are, in a few, very limited circumstances, some exceptions to the general rule regarding the time period for filing suit.

However, these limitations are subject to judicial interpretation, and the case law concerning the rules allowing for an exception can evolve over time. This happened in a recent case, as set forth below.

It was unclear exactly when the alleged act of medical negligence took place, but the case had apparently been in litigation for many years. Had the plaintiff acted in a more timely fashion, it is possible that the matter would have been resolved much sooner.

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We depend heavily upon the expertise of doctors and hospital personnel to properly diagnose and treat our medical conditions, illnesses, and injuries. Most of the time, they do, and we are grateful for their help.

Sometimes, however, mistakes are made, and the patient suffers great physical harm, pain, and suffering as a result. Most hospitals and physicians carry medical malpractice insurance that covers them in such situations, if the injured person is able to make out a claim for medical malpractice.

However, proving negligence against a medical provider is not always easy. Medical experts must be retained, records must be reviewed, and various court proceedings are likely to ensue if the case is not settled early.

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One of the first considerations in filing a Syracuse medical malpractice lawsuit is the proper party or parties to name as defendants. Another important issue that may need to be addressed is the correct court for purposes of jurisdiction and/or venue.

When a defendant disagrees with the plaintiff’s choice of forum, he or she may seek a change of venue. Even if such a motion is not successful, the filing of such a motion can cause a delay in the plaintiff’s attempt to seek fair compensation.

If the motion is successful, the case may continue in another court. Unfortunately, that court may be less convenient or less desirable from the plaintiff’s perspective. A party who is dissatisfied with a trial court’s ruling on an issue of venue may have an option to seek appellate review prior to trial.

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A Syracuse hospital malpractice case may be based on one or several alleged breaches of the duty of care towards a patient. Failing to properly diagnose and treat an infection is one possible issue that could arise in such a case.

In order to prove negligence against a medical provider, the burden of proof rests on the plaintiff to establish, by expert proof, the duty of care that was applicable to the patient at the time in question. The plaintiff must also show that this duty was breached and that the breach of duty was the proximate cause of the injuries for which he or she seeks monetary compensation in the lawsuit at hand.

If the plaintiff is unable to produce competent and convincing medical expert testimony to support his or her theory of negligence, his or her case is likely to get dismissed on the defendant’s motion for summary judgment. In such a situation, the plaintiff’s case will not reach the jury, and he or she will receive $0 in compensation.

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