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Articles Posted in Specialist negligence

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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Not every physician or healthcare provider is held to the same standard of care. For instance, in a Syracuse medical malpractice case, a doctor specializing in internal medicine is not necessarily expected to have the same knowledge or skill as one who works primarily in the field of physical therapy.

Thus, if a patient who is treated by both professionals is injured by an act of negligence, it is quite possible that a medical malpractice case will only reach trial as to one of the healthcare workers. It often comes down to a question of which specialist was responsible for the area of the body or the type of care that led to the harm about which the plaintiff complains.

Of course, there are some circumstances in which several different medical professionals could be potentially liable to a patient. Each case is unique and must be determined on its own particular facts.

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Syracuse medical malpractice cases often come down to a “battle of the experts.” The case begins with the plaintiff’s medical professional witness testifying that the defendant failed to follow the standard of care and, as a result, harmed the patient.

The defendant then puts his or her own expert witness on the stand, and a very different opinion is given. The jury, as the finder of fact, has to resolve the conflicting testimony.

Sometimes, however, the case doesn’t make it that far. Via a process called “summary judgment,” the trial court may decide that the expert opinion offered by the plaintiff is not sufficient to get the case in front of a jury.

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Syracuse personal injury cases have many steps. Once an attorney has been contacted and an investigation has been made into the facts of the event giving rise to the litigation, the next step is to file a formal complaint in a court of law. After that, the case proceeds to the discovery phase.

Just as the name suggests, the discovery phase of litigation is the time during which each side is allowed an opportunity to learn more about his or her opponent’s case. Of course, there are limitations on the scope of such discovery, and disputes can arise regarding whether one party or the other has stepped over the line of what is acceptable.

The trial court controls the discovery phase of litigation, ruling upon the various motions of the litigants as the matter progresses. When a ruling is unfavorable, the affected party may be able to have the matter reviewed by a higher court (although, in some situations, the matter cannot be appealed until after the case has proceeded to a later phase of litigation, such as trial or disposition by summary judgment).

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Sometimes a doctor or other medical provider will attempt to avoid a finding of liability in a Syracuse medical malpractice lawsuit by claiming that he or she did not exercise any independent medical judgment in the care and treatment of the patient. If a physician was truly just passing through the operating room at the time of the medical negligence, perhaps this is a justifiable defense. However, this argument is often revealed as less than truthful, once the facts begin to present themselves.

If the patient can establish that a doctor-patient relationship existed between the parties and that and the defendant doctor’s breach of the applicable standard of care was the proximate cause of the harm for which he or she seeks compensation, the patient may be entitle to payment for damages caused by the doctor’s negligent treatment or care.

The Facts of the Case

In a case appealed to the New York Appellate Division, Fourth Department the plaintiff was a mother who sought a monetary judgment for injuries that her daughter suffered when the defendant doctor allegedly failed to address certain postsurgery complications in a manner that was timely and appropriate. According to the plaintiff, the defendant’s treatment of her daughter had fallen below the applicable standard of care and this was a contributing factor for injuries for which she sought money damages.

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Not all doctors are held to the same standard of care. For example, it would probably be difficult to hold a podiatrist liable for failing to diagnose an abscessed tooth in a Syracuse medical malpractice case, even if the podiatrist was the only medical professional that the patient had seen recently. Rather, care and treatment by doctors who specialize in a particular field is measured according to others in that field. Would a reasonable podiatrist have diagnosed a problem tooth under the circumstances? Probably not (although he or she might have recommended follow-up with a dentist). In contrast, a podiatrist’s failure to recognize and treat a life-threatening infection in a foot wound might result in a finding of liability for negligence, as well as substantial damages at trial.

Likewise, certain knowledge and skill is expected of doctors who specialize in the care and treatment of expectant and laboring mothers. When this duty of care is breached, a family injured by this act of malpractice should have their day in court.

Facts of the Case

In a case originally filed in the Supreme Court for Putnam County, the plaintiff was a man who filed a medical malpractice lawsuit seeking compensation for the death of a woman who died from a uterine rupture and hemorrhage during a home birth assisted by a certified nurse midwife. According to the plaintiff, the decedent had previously given birth via cesarean section but was, at the time of her death, attempting to deliver a child vaginally. The plaintiff further alleged that the decedent’s uterus had ruptured during the attempted vaginal birth after cesarean section (VBAC) and that she had suffered a fatal hemorrhage as a result. Several different medical providers were named in the plaintiff’s lawsuit, including an obstetrician/gynecologist (OB-GYN) and his medical practice.

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Eye infections can be extremely serious. If you or someone close to you has suffered harm due to a missed or delayed diagnosis of an eye infection such as keratitis, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, our skilled Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys can examine the facts of your case and help you determine your legal rights and options.

Keratitis is an infection of the cornea that causes pain and inflammation. It may be mild, moderate, or severe. Keratitis occurs when germs invade the cornea, which is the clear dome that covers the color portion of the eye. Eye doctors are trained to recognize the signs and symptoms of keratitis, such as pain, tearing, redness, and blurring of vision. The patient may indicate that the eye hurts when they look at light. In addition, the eye may appear red and watery. In serious cases, the cornea may appear gray or have a grayish tinge. Keratitis can be classified in one of five ways:  viral, bacterial, fungal, amoebic, or parasitic.

When patients seek medical attention in a timely manner, an eye doctor can easily treat most complications of keratitis. If a medical professional fails to diagnose and treat the condition in a prompt manner, however, the results can be devastating to the patient, and the patient may experience an outcome such as limited vision, perforation of the cornea, long-term vision loss, or the loss of an eye.

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Radiologists use a variety of tests to make it possible to diagnose and treat many medical conditions. Unfortunately, radiology errors can result in serious medical setbacks and, in some cases, can even result in death. If you have suffered due to the negligence of a radiologist, the reputable and hardworking Syracuse radiology malpractice attorneys at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers can assist you. We can examine the facts of your case and help you seek the compensation you need to deal with your harm.

Radiology is the branch of medicine that deals with the use of radioactive tools, such as x-rays, MRIs, and CT scans, to diagnose and treat diseases within the body. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the specialty of radiology has a relatively high rate of malpractice claims. Data from the NIH shows that failures to diagnose account for approximately 40 to 54 percent of radiology-related medical malpractice cases. Radiology errors can take many forms, including mistakes made by radiologists, malfunctions of diagnostic equipment, and misinterpretations of radiological results. Examples of radiology errors include:

  • Misread x-rays;
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