Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

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In a New York medical malpractice case, there is a strong preference that matters be determined on their merits. This means, among other things, that such a case is rarely dismissed for failure to comply with discovery requests during the litigation process. Generally speaking, the courts prefer to use less drastic measures whenever possible.

Still, dismissal of an otherwise valid claim for failure to abide by procedural requirements is a possibility in some cases. Thus, it is important that a would-be medical negligence litigant seek the counsel of a qualified attorney who can assist with all aspects of the pre-trial, trial, and post-trial phases of the case.

The defendant’s insurance company will jump at any opportunity to have the plaintiff’s case dismissed, and an aggressive defense is to be expected. This typically includes an attempt to end the case prior to trial, either via a motion to dismiss or a motion for summary judgment.

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Syracuse Medical malpractice cases tend to involve multiple parties and a myriad of legal issues. Typically, all of the patient’s claims are tried in the same trial, complicated though it may be.

Occasionally, however, either the patient or the medical provider may ask that the issues be severed and that separate trials be had. It is unusual for a trial court to grant such a motion, as bifurcated trials are by far the exception rather than the rule.

Facts of the Case

The plaintiff in a New York County Supreme Court case was a former patient of the defendant medical doctor. After the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the doctor setting forth a claim for medical malpractice, the doctor asserted a statute of limitations defense. According to the doctor’s view of the case, the plaintiff had not brought his claim within the limitations period allowed by law, and thus his claim should be dismissed as untimely.

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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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The medical condition known as a “stroke” occurs when there is poor blood flow to the brain. Suffering a stroke can result in debilitating personal injuries and even death. High blood pressure is one of the main risk factors for strokes.

If a doctor’s negligence causes a patient to suffer a stroke, the patient may have a claim for medical malpractice. A Syracuse medical negligence attorney can help you review the facts of your case if you believe that you or a loved one may have a malpractice claim against a particular doctor or healthcare provider.

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Most Syracuse medical malpractice lawsuits revolve around the issue of whether the defendant healthcare provider deviated from the standard of care that applied to the plaintiff’s medical treatment and/or whether any such deviation was the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries or death. This is not always the only potential claim, however.

In addition, in some cases, the plaintiff may be able to assert what is known as a “lack of informed consent” claim. A plaintiff who asserts such a claim against a defendant medical provider is, in most cases, alleging that he or she was not given sufficient information about the risks, benefits, and alternatives to a course of treatment to make an informed choice in the matter.

Facts of the Case

The plaintiffs in a medical malpractice case appealed from the Supreme Court of Richmond County was a woman, joined by her husband (asserting a derivative claim), who sought to assert a medical malpractice claim against the defendants (a gynecologist and the medical practice that employed him). According to the plaintiffs, the defendants had failed to obtain informed consent for a sterilization procedure undergone by the woman and/or had departed from the accepted standard of care for the procedure. The plaintiffs further asserted that, as a result of the defendants’ negligence, the woman had suffered serious personal injuries and had required extensive medical treatment, including a quadruple bypass surgery.

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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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A delayed cancer diagnosis can be very costly to a patient. Lost time can greatly impact a patient’s treatment options and ultimate chance of recovery.

When this happens, the patient or his or her family may have the option of filing a Syracuse medical malpractice lawsuit against the physician whose negligence caused the delay. In some instances, multiple medical providers may be held accountable for the patient’s damages.

In oncology malpractice cases, as in other types of medical malpractice lawsuits, it is the plaintiff who has the burden of proof at trial. This requires expert testimony in most cases, usually from a doctor in the same specialty (or, sometimes, in a similar field) as the allegedly negligent medical provider.

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Syracuse Medical malpractice cases can involve many different claims, including a failure to diagnose allegation. When a plaintiff asserts a failure to diagnose claim, he or she is not saying that it is necessarily the doctor’s fault that that patient contracted the illness but that, because of a delay in a proper diagnosis and treatment, the patient suffered irreparable harm.

On the one hand, it might seem unfair to blame a physician for a disease that he or she did not cause or create. However, it must be remembered that the doctor’s job was to properly evaluate and treat the patient and that the patient was depending on (and paying for) a correct diagnosis to help him or her make proper decisions regarding medical care.

When a doctor misses a diagnosis, especially a diagnosis of a fast-moving and potentially deadly disease such as cancer, the mistake can be extremely costly to the patient. It may cost him or her a large amount of (otherwise unnecessary) medical costs, or it may ultimately cost the patient his or her life. For this harm, the medical provider must be held accountable.

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