Patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatment may experience significant unpleasant side effects such as vomiting, loss of appetite, nausea, and burns. Sometimes physicians and healthcare professionals make mistakes when prescribing or administering chemotherapy treatment. If you have experienced chemotherapy malpractice, you can take action to assert your legal rights. The experienced Syracuse medical malpractice lawyers of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano can assess your case and help you determine your options.Chemotherapy Malpractice
When patients are diagnosed with cancer, their physicians may prescribe chemotherapy to treat the cancer by destroying the cancerous cells. Unfortunately, the drugs used for chemotherapy may be extremely toxic. Some patients feel that chemotherapy is nearly as unpleasant as the disease’s symptoms due to the significant side effects. However, if chemotherapy is not appropriately prescribed or administered, more serious harm can result than mere side effects. Overdosing on chemotherapy medications can result in fatal consequences, such as blood complications or serious infections. If you have been harmed by chemotherapy malpractice, you may be able to obtain damages.What Constitutes Malpractice?
To recover damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit, you must show by a preponderance of the evidence: (1) you were owed a professional standard of care, (2) breach of the professional standard of care, (3) the breach caused you harm, and (4) actual damages. You’ll need to show your doctor failed to meet the professional standard of care that a reasonably competent doctor would have used in treating your cancer. When determining the relevant standard of care, New York follows the locality rule. Under this rule, the standard of care takes into account the geographic community where the defendant doctor or hospital gives treatment. The healthcare provider will be judged by the standard of care in the same or a similar community. If your oncologist was less careful than a reasonable oncologist in or around Syracuse would have been under the circumstances, you may be able to show a breach in the professional standard of care.Expert Testimony
It can be challenging to establish medical malpractice. In most cases, an attorney will help the plaintiff retain a credible expert to testify regarding the professional standard of care, how it was breached, and how the breach caused your injuries. The expert is usually someone who has practiced in the same specialty as the defendant, and may be board-certified in the practice area at issue. For example, a lawyer may retain a board-certified oncologist to provide an expert opinion if you were harmed by chemotherapy malpractice. Sometimes healthcare providers defend against these claims by arguing that you would have suffered the same outcome even if the chemotherapy had been correctly prescribed and administered.Expert Certificate
Medical malpractice cases are different from other personal injury lawsuits. In Syracuse, even before attorneys may file a medical malpractice lawsuit, they must consult with an expert to review your case and provide a certificate of merit under New York Civil Practice Law and Rules section 3012-a. This requires them to send your medical records and the facts to a doctor who is licensed to practice medicine and is knowledgeable in relevant issues.Compensatory Damages
Chemotherapy malpractice can result in significant harm. If you can establish liability, you may be able to recover compensatory damages, which are intended to return you to approximately the position you would have been in had you not suffered harm from malpractice. Compensatory damages cover the economic losses that you suffered out-of-pocket as well as any noneconomic damages. Economic damages might include medical bills, lost wages, therapy, replacement household services, and out-of-pocket expenses. Noneconomic losses you may be able to recover can include loss of enjoyment, loss of consortium, and pain and suffering.
Where chemotherapy malpractice causes a patient’s death, survivors may be able to obtain economic losses that result from the untimely death by bringing a wrongful death lawsuit. The damages may include funeral and burial costs, lost wages, loss for services provided by the decedent, inheritance losses, and lost parental guidance.Consult a Seasoned Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you suffered harm due to chemotherapy malpractice in Syracuse, you should talk to an experienced medical malpractice attorney. DeFrancisco & Falgiatano can represent cancer patients in Rochester, Syracuse, and everywhere in Upstate New York, including in Canandaigua, Oswego, Watertown, Herkimer, Lowville, Utica, Binghamton, Oneida, Cooperstown, Wampsville, Ithaca, Elmira, Lyons, and Auburn. Contact DeFrancisco & Falgiatano at 315-479-9000 or via our online form.