Hospital malpractice can result in serious injuries or death. Mistakes may be made by doctors, as well as nurses, nurse's assistants, doctor's assistants, or lab techs. The mistakes might be results of inadequate supervision, inadequate staffing, a failure to adequately monitor a patient, a failure to conduct the proper tests, or a failure to diagnose a patient correctly. We rely on hospitals for emergency care as well as medical treatment for existing conditions. Hospitals should be held accountable when they or their employees make mistakes. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, our Syracuse hospital malpractice lawyers provide tenacious, compassionate representation to victims in Upstate New York.Common Forms of Hospital Malpractice
Hospital malpractice may include medication errors, emergency room mistakes, errors in anesthesiology, surgical errors, or nursing errors. Hospital malpractice happens if staff members give improper care or negligent care to a patient, and they are injured or die as a result. The staff whose errors may give rise to hospital malpractice include anybody employed by the hospital, from doctors to pharmacists.
To prove malpractice, you will need to show that a staff member's actions fell below the professional standard of care. The standard of care is defined as what a reasonable health care professional following the accepted standards of the medical community would provide under the same circumstances. For example, if a competent nurse would have tested your father for a heart attack after he came into the ER with symptoms suggesting a heart attack, a nurse can be held liable for failing to diagnose if your father suffers a heart attack and dies.
Similarly, if a reasonable anesthesiologist would have provided more oxygen during an emergency surgery, but your daughter's anesthesiologist failed to do so, resulting in brain damage, this may be hospital malpractice. Although many people assume that malpractice is the fault of doctors, nurses have an important role in hospitals, and a negligent act or omission by a nurse can be considered medical malpractice. A hospital malpractice attorney can help Syracuse or Rochester patients bring a claim against a nurse as well as a doctor.
Emergency room errors are especially common in hospitals. This may be because doctors and nurses in an ER setting are rushed and overworked. They may fail to obtain informed consent for a procedure or inadequately document a problem for the next doctor or nurse to take the case. These errors can be fatal, resulting in serious injuries and financial losses.
Most health care providers who work in hospitals are independent contractors rather than employees. Hospitals cannot be held liable for acts by their non-employee staff members. However, there are situations in which a hospital exercises control that turns an independent contractor into an employee in fact or holds the contractor out as an employee. In those cases, the hospital can be held liable for the independent contractor's actions by a Syracuse hospital malpractice attorney. Hospitals are also liable for their actual employees' negligence. For example, a hospital can be held liable if its surgeon employee operates on the wrong body part.
Damages that you may be able to recover for hospital malpractice include lost wages, pain and suffering, further medical treatment, mental anguish, and any other compensation necessary to put you back into the place in which you would have been had the malpractice not happened. It may be possible for a patient's loved ones to recover pecuniary losses for a patient's wrongful death as a result of hospital malpractice.
Sometimes hospitals are owned by a city government. In that case, you have a short window of time (90 days after the claim arises) to serve a notice of claim against the municipal entity. Courts have the discretion to allow for a late notice of claim to be served if you have a reasonable excuse for the delay, the delay did not prejudice the municipality's defense, and the municipality acquired actual knowledge of essential facts making up the claim within 90 days after the claim arose. There is actual notice when there is a contemporaneous medical record containing the essential facts that make up the malpractice. In other words, the records need to show on their face that the hospital staff or hospital inflicted injuries on the patient.Consult a Hospital Malpractice Lawyer in Syracuse or Rochester
If you are harmed due to hospital malpractice, our law firm may be able to help you recover damages from responsible parties. We represent injured patients in Syracuse, Rochester, Binghamton, Auburn, Elmira, Norwich, Cortland, Delhi, Herkimer, Watertown, Lowville, Oneida, Wampsville, Utica, Canandaigua, Oswego, Cooperstown, Ithaca, Lyons, and all of Upstate New York. Call us at 315-479-9000 or contact us via our online form.