Improper medical treatment can constitute medical malpractice. It occurs if a doctor accurately diagnoses a condition, yet doesn’t move forward with an appropriate treatment to address the diagnosis. Most patients don’t have the training to know whether the treatment they are being prescribed is appropriate or not. Unfortunately, mistakes do happen, and if there is improper treatment, the result may be serious harm or even death. If you were subject to improper treatment or a delayed diagnosis, the experienced Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano may be able to represent you.Improper Treatment
Often when an underlying medical condition is not properly treated, it worsens. For example, cancer that isn’t treated effectively at stage 1 can rapidly progress to stage 4 or become untreatable. When the treatment is improper, there may be dangerous side effects or problematic drug interactions with other medications. Sometimes a proper course of treatment isn’t started right away, though it should be. How quickly a doctor treats your medical condition can impact the outcome of it.Liability
You may be able to recover damages for harm caused by improper treatment by bringing a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, not every instance of improper treatment will count as medical malpractice. To prevail in your case, you will need to establish by a preponderance of the evidence: (1) you had a doctor-patient relationship, giving rise to a professional standard of care, (2) failure to meet the professional standard of care, (3) a causal relationship between the failure and harm suffered, and (4) damages.
In most cases, it is essential to retain an experienced and credible expert witness to testify as to what the professional duty of care was, how it was breached, and how a health care provider’s actions or omissions with regard to improper treatment caused the injuries to you. Selection of an expert witness to testify on how the treatment was improper and caused harm can be a critical aspect of a case, and a seasoned medical malpractice attorney can help you through this process.Statute of Limitations
You have two and a half years from the time of the alleged improper treatment to file a lawsuit for medical malpractice. However, you shouldn’t wait until just before the deadline to retain an attorney. Your legal counsel needs to work up the case and should, if at all possible, obtain a certificate of merit indicating that you consulted with an expert even before filing the lawsuit. You will need time to gather medical records and send them to a licensed doctor in the same field as the health care provider who may have harmed you. That health care provider should be knowledgeable about relevant aspects of the case and be able to let you know whether your claim has merit.Compensatory Damages
If you can establish liability by a preponderance of the evidence, you can recover compensatory damages. These are damages intended to put you back into the position you would have been in had there been no medical malpractice. The amount of damages available will depend on the particular harms caused by improper treatment. For example, if there was a delay in starting chemotherapy that constituted improper treatment, and as a result your early stage cancer progressed, you may require further aggressive treatment that you wouldn’t have needed had you been treated in a timely fashion. In this situation you may be able to recover those medical costs, as well as lost wages, replacement services, pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment.
As another example, if the improper treatment in your case involved an unnecessary amputation of a limb you needed to do your job, you may be able to recover for lost wages, disfigurement, a prosthetic, physical therapy, vocational rehabilitation, replacement services, and the mental suffering associated with losing a limb.Consult a Skilled Medical Malpractice Attorney in Syracuse
If you believe you were harmed by improper treatment in Syracuse, you can consult a medical malpractice lawyer. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, we represent patients who have been harmed in Syracuse, Rochester, and throughout Upstate New York, including in Binghamton, Oneida, Ithaca, Canandaigua, Wampsville, Watertown, Cooperstown, Auburn, Lyons, Herkimer, Elmira, Utica, Lowville, and Oswego. Call us at 315-479-9000 or contact us via our online form.