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
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$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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When a doctor or other healthcare professional makes an error, serious consequences, including personal injury and wrongful death, can occur. In order to assert a claim against an allegedly negligent healthcare provider in a medical malpractice lawsuit, the plaintiff must be prepared to introduce evidence of the standard of care that applied to his or her medical situation, how that standard was allegedly breached, the damages that he or she experienced, and the relationship (or “proximate causation”) between the doctor’s mistake and the harm that befell the plaintiff.

A medical malpractice case can take a long time to resolve, much longer than many other types of personal injury cases, such as those arising from an automobile accident. This can be discouraging for a would-be litigant, even one with a really strong case. Unfortunately, this is often the very intent of malpractice insurance companies and the attorneys who defend careless doctors in court.

If you believe that you have been hurt or may have lost a loved one due to a physician or other medical professional’s failure to follow the acceptable standard of care, you should talk to a lawyer as soon as possible. The sooner your case is started, the quicker it can be resolved – even if there are delays along the way as the defendants fight a finding of liability.

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New York is a “no fault” state for purposes of automobile accident claims. While “no fault” does not mean that a negligent driver can never be held liable for a Syracuse car accident caused by his or her failure to act in a reasonably prudent manner, it does require an injured individual to first look to his or her own insurance coverage in relatively minor accidents.

When the provisions of no fault apply, each person’s own insurance company should pay his or her medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs relating to a motor vehicle accident.

In order to take a car wreck case outside the each-party-pays-their-own-expenses concept of the no fault law, an injured person must be able to prove that he or she suffered a serious injury. Examples of such an injury include fractures and broken bones, disfigurement, disability, and limitation of the use of part of the body.

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In a Syracuse medical malpractice case, the plaintiff has the burden of proving his or case by a preponderance of the evidence. Often, a defendant (doctor, hospital, or other medical provider) will attempt to circumvent the usual trial practice by filing what is known as a summary judgment motion. Such a motion is granted when the court finds that there is no triable issue of fact.

When a court grants such a motion for summary judgment, the plaintiff’s case may be dismissed in part or even in its entirety. Thus, it is important that the plaintiff be able to offer sufficient proof of his or her claim in opposition to the motion. Consulting an experienced medical malpractice attorney early on in the process is essential to securing the necessary evidence of negligence to survive a motion for summary judgment and, ultimately, the prevail at trial.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case, the plaintiffs filed suit against the defendants, a medical center, a doctor, and others, asserting claims for medical malpractice, lack of informed consent, and the wrongful death of their decedent, a man who allegedly died from complications of gallbladder removal surgery. One of the doctors filed a motion for summary judgment. The Supreme Court for Kings County denied the motion, and the defendant doctor appealed.

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A Syracuse medical malpractice case may involve allegations against multiple defendants – a hospital, one or more doctors, and possibly other healthcare providers, as well. Generally speaking, the more defendants there are in a case, the more expensive and time-consuming the litigation is likely to be. For this reason, a plaintiff may opt to dismiss his or her claims against one or more defendants and proceed against those remaining.

In some cases, the defendants themselves may oppose such a measure and may file a cross claim aimed at keeping a co-defendant actively engaged in the lawsuit so as to have the option of shifting – or at least sharing – liability and blame if the case proceeds to trial.

Facts of the Case

A recent appellate case originating in the Supreme Court of Westchester County, the plaintiffs sought to assert a medical malpractice claim against a doctor and medical center following the death of their decedent from a stroke. According to the plaintiff’s complaint, the doctor (who was an emergency room attending physician at the medical center) negligently failed to recognize the symptoms of a stroke, thereby contributing to the decedent’s death. Four years after filing their suit, the plaintiffs signed a stipulation to discontinue their cause of action against the defendant doctor. However, the medical center did not agree to the stipulation and sought to amend its answer to add a cross claim against the doctor for indemnification and contribution. The doctor, in turn, amended his answer to assert similar cross claims against the medical center.

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In any Syracuse medical malpractice case, time is of the essence. When a claim is not filed within the time allowed by law, it is very difficult – and often impossible – to proceed with what might otherwise have been a good case. This is unfortunate, as the plaintiff’s suffering goes uncompensated and the defendant gets away with poor treatment of a patient.

The exact time during which a claim can be made can vary significantly from case to case, with some situations calling for action to be taken within a very short time (especially if a governmental entity may be liable or if a defective product caused harm to a user).

Facts of the Case

The plaintiff in a recent case was the guardian ad litem for a paranoid schizophrenic adult male patient who claimed that an employee of the defendant hospital had “beat [him] up” when he was an in-patient there in 2009, causing him to lose consciousness and sustain injuries to his eye that required surgery and resulted in loss of vision. Somewhat in contrast to the patient’s testimony, the plaintiff’s complaint asserted that the patient had been “physically taken down, restrained, and controlled… in a negligent manner,” thereby causing his injuries; according to the plaintiff, the defendant was liable for the actions of its employees under a theory of respondeat superior.

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Under New York’s no-fault insurance laws, not every person who has been involved in a car accident has a right to sue the person responsible for the accident. Likewise, only those who meet certain exceptions to the no-fault rule can file the equivalent of a personal injury claim against their own uninsured/underinsured motorist carrier if the negligent party had no insurance (or too little insurance).

An experienced Syracuse car accident lawyer can review your case and help you determine whether your case meets the threshold for seeking compensation for personal injuries caused by another’s negligence.

In the event that suit is filed, it will ultimately be up to the trial court – and possibly the appeals tribunal, if review is sought – to determine whether the case falls within the purview of no-fault or whether your injuries were significant enough to take your case outside the limitations of the statute.

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Of the many Syracuse premises liability lawsuits that are filed, in addition to those filed elsewhere in New York, very few actually make it to trial. There are two main reasons for this.

First of all, as with other types of civil claims, many slip and fall cases are settled out of court. The defendant agrees to pay a certain sum of money to the plaintiff (sometimes without actually admitting liability), and the plaintiff agrees to accept that sum and dismiss his or her case.

Secondly, a significant number of cases are resolved via summary judgment procedure. When summary judgment is granted, a court is essentially saying that looking at the evidence in the light most favorable to the opposing party, the party seeking summary judgment is entitled to judgment as a matter of law, without the need for a jury trial.

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New York is considered a “no fault” state for purposes of automobile accident insurance. This means that, when a Syracuse car accident occurs, the driver of the two cars involved in the accident are reimbursed by their respective insurance companies, such that neither party must prove fault against the other.

There is an important exception to this general rule, however. In situations in which someone suffers a “serious injury” in an automobile accident, there is the possibility of a traditional personal injury lawsuit against the allegedly at-fault driver.

Serious injuries include, but are not necessarily limited to, situations in which the victim is disfigured, suffers a fracture, or has permanent physical limitations due to the accident.

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Construction workers face many dangers in the workplace, including the possibility of a fall if working on an elevated surface without the proper safety equipment. If a worker is hurt in such a situation, he or she should talk to an experienced Syracuse construction accident attorney about the process of holding the responsible party accountable for the worker’s injuries.

Such cases can be complicated, as there are several different laws that may come into play, and there may be multiple defendants (the employer, the building owner, the general contractor, etc.) who could potentially be liable.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case, the plaintiff was a man who was reportedly hurt when he fell from the scaffold of a building while performing plumbing work. He was not wearing a lanyard or harness at the time of the fall. The plaintiff filed suit against the owner of the building, asserting a common-law negligence claim, as well as violations of New York Labor Law §§ 200 and 240(1). The defendant then filed a third-party action against the plaintiff’s employer, seeking indemnification under a subcontract.

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A Syracuse medical malpractice lawsuit can take a long time to resolve. For starters, an investigation must be conducted, an expert must be retained, and suit must be filed – and that’s just to get the case started.

As matters progress, the parties usually exchange discovery requests in order to learn more about the evidence that will likely be presented at trial. This process takes at least a few months, and often much longer. In some cases, there can be additional complications that create unexpected delays, such as the filing of a bankruptcy petition by a party or its insurance company.

Facts of the Case

In a recent appellate case arising in the Supreme Court, Erie County, the plaintiff was a man who filed suit in 2011, seeking compensation for injuries that he allegedly suffered due to the negligence of the defendant health care center’s agents and employees. The parties exchanged discovery requests the following year, but then the action was dormant for several years as the plaintiff pursued relief from the defendant’s insurer in out-of-state bankruptcy proceedings. In late 2016, the plaintiff revived the action by resubmitting the discovery demands that he had originally made in 2012.

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