Cayuga County Medical Malpractice
Cayuga County in New York has a population of over 80,000 residents. It is well-known for being a swing county in national elections. The county is home to Auburn Community Hospital, among other health care facilities. When you go to the doctor, you trust that they will diagnose and treat you appropriately. You do not expect to suffer major injuries. However, doctors and other health care providers in Cayuga County and elsewhere do make mistakes, and when those mistakes cause injuries or a worsening of a medical condition, it may be appropriate to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit to hold a health care provider accountable. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, our Cayuga County medical malpractice lawyers may be able to counsel and represent you.Taking Legal Action Following an Incident of Medical Malpractice
Mistakes made by a health care provider count as medical malpractice only if certain elements are present. To establish medical malpractice, you will need to show a doctor-patient relationship, conduct that failed to meet the professional standard of care, causation leading from the conduct to your injuries, and actual damages. In most cases, it is necessary to retain an expert on the issue of what the professional standard of care was in your situation, whether it was breached, and causation.
A failure to diagnose or even a delay in diagnosis can count as medical malpractice. Delays can result in serious complications. Generally, when a patient is at high risk of developing a specific medical condition, doctors are supposed to be aware of the increased risk of developing the condition.
The element of proximate cause requires a medical malpractice attorney in Cayuga County to show that the deviation from the standard of care was a substantial factor in causing the injuries. Proving this element can be challenging, depending on the specific deviation of care at issue. It is easy to establish, for example, that a doctor who operated on the wrong limb caused injuries. However, it is more challenging if you are claiming that a defendant negligently misdiagnosed or negligently delayed in diagnosing and treating a particular condition, such as cancer. In that case, proximate cause might be based on the theory that the defendant diminished your odds of a better outcome or increased the harm to you.
However, an expert's inability to precisely quantify the extent to which the delay or misdiagnosis diminished your chance of a better result or increased your injuries is not fatal to establishing proximate cause. Instead, a Cayuga County medical malpractice attorney must present evidence from which a jury can infer that the defendant's actions reduced your chances of the better outcome or increased the harm.
For example, in one case in New York State, the plaintiffs argued that a defendant's failure to order a CT scan of their child's pelvis and abdomen soon after seeing him caused the child's appendicitis to turn into a perforation and then an abscess. In that case, the expert testified that the child's records showed that he had repeatedly complained about abdominal pain for several days and had an abnormal white blood cell band count. Among other things, the expert testified that this showed that the condition was not resolving.
The plaintiffs' expert gave an opinion that the defendant deviated from accepted medical practice by failing to order the CT scan before a particular date and expand his diagnosis. The defendants argued that the expert's testimony did not show that the departure from accepted medical practice was a substantial causal factor. They also argued that diagnosing the child earlier could have resulted in a more invasive surgical procedure than what the child eventually needed to go through. The appellate court disagreed with these arguments and found that jurors could rationally decide that the failure to expand the diagnosis and order the CT scan on or before a particular treatment date caused the underlying condition to remain without being detected and worsen, resulting in further pain and suffering.Retain an Experienced Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Cayuga County
If you are harmed due to a doctor's failure to properly diagnose or treat you in Cayuga County, you may have a basis to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit. Our firm provides aggressive representation to patients and their families, including the parents of children who suffer from birth injuries during labor and delivery. Call us at 315-479-9000 or contact us via our online form.