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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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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In addition to proving that the defendant owed the plaintiff a legal duty of some sort and that this duty was breached in some manner, the plaintiff in a Syracuse motorcycle accident case must also be able to prove that this breach of duty was the proximate cause of the accident for which he or she seeks to recover money damages. Without proof of the element of causation, the plaintiff’s case will fail.

It is not unusual for the defendant in such a case to attempt to get the case dismissed on the grounds that there are no material facts at issue and that, thus, a jury trial is unwarranted. In such a situation, the defendant is basically saying, “Even if everything the plaintiff says is true, I can’t be held liable as a matter of law.”

A fair number of negligence cases end with just such a motion, but the entry of summary judgment is not necessarily fatal to the plaintiff’s case. The appellate court is there to review the trial court’s decision – and to set an erroneous entry of summary judgment aside, if necessary.

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Under New York law, there are many different types of professional malpractice. For instance, a Syracuse medical malpractice case may assert that a doctor or hospital failed to follow the standard of care for a surgical procedure, or the issue may pertain to an allegedly inaccurate diagnosis or failure to diagnosis.

Cardiologists, chiropractors, dermatologists, and even dentists may find themselves as defendants in professional negligence lawsuits. The burden of proof rests with the plaintiff (the patient or his or her family, if they patient died or was rendered legally incompetent due to the alleged negligence), which means that he or she must be able to provide competent evidence as to the four elements of negligence: duty, breach of duty, damages, and causation.

Malpractice cases are often highly technical legal proceedings, requiring a number of expert witnesses and knowledge of the many statutes, case law holdings, and procedural rules applicable to such matters. It is, thus, very important that the plaintiffs in such cases retain an attorney to assist them in their endeavors.

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A Syracuse product liability case may involve one defendant, two defendants, or a long list of defendants. There may be a single theory of liability, or there may be multiple claims involving a myriad of legal theories.

One thing that is common to all product liability claims is that they demand an appropriate amount of time and attention in order to be successful; product makers fight hard against a finding of liability! A primary reason for this is the fear of manufacturers and others in the supply chain that, if one plaintiff is successful, it may open a floodgate to additional claims, potentially costing the business millions of dollars in payouts.

Therefore, defendants in these types of cases are typically very aggressive in their efforts to avoid being held liable for injuries caused by allegedly defective products. Often, this process includes a motion for summary judgment attempting to get the case dismissed before it reaches the consideration of a jury.

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There are a seemingly endless variety of ways in which a medical provider’s neglect and lack of concern for patient safety can lead to a Syracuse medical negligence case. In addition to cases involving a doctor’s failure to diagnose a serious illness within a reasonable amount of time or a surgeon’s neglect to obtain informed consent before performing a risky medical procedure, there are many other situations in which a patient can be hurt by an act of negligence committed by a hospital, doctor, or other healthcare worker.

Of course, results are seldom guaranteed in the medical field, and opinions can vary about what was, and what was not, negligence. Sometimes, it is up to the jury to makes these decisions, but courts can enter summary judgment on the issue in certain circumstances.

Because summary judgment effectively ends the plaintiff’s case, at least as to some claims, and/or some defendants, a court’s ruling on this matter is reviewable on appeal. The burden on appeal rests on the party seeking to disturb the lower court’s ruling; if the appellate tribunal is not convinced that a mistake was made, the trial court’s opinion will likely stand.

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