Nursing malpractice happens when a nurse makes errors that fall below the standard of care such that a patient is injured. Many patients trust their nurses, but unfortunately, nurses sometimes do harm by failing to follow appropriate protocol or acting carelessly. They may administer the wrong medication or fail to check on a patient or otherwise make a mistake that results in grievous harm. If you are concerned about nursing errors, you may be able to recover damages by bringing a nursing malpractice lawsuit. It can be difficult to determine who is to blame for a nurse’s mistakes and who can be held accountable under the law. The seasoned Syracuse nursing malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano may be able to help you.Nursing Malpractice
Nurses often see patients more frequently than their doctors do. They are responsible for monitoring patients’ conditions. When a nurse sees something of concern or should notice it, the nurse can be held accountable for malpractice for not letting the attending doctor know. When a patient experiences an abrupt emergency, a nurse can be held accountable for not taking proper steps.
Nursing errors can take many different forms. For example, surgical nurses may commit malpractice when they injure a patient with medical tools or fail to notice a sponge or other instrument inside a patient. For another example, a nurse for a family care physician could be responsible for failing to follow a doctor’s orders, such as administering the wrong dose of a medication.
Nursing errors can include:
- Documentation errors
- Failure to intervene
- Failure to assess
- Improper use of an instrument
- Failure to recognize signs or symptoms
- Failure to inform a doctor of changes in a patient’s condition.
The circumstances will determine our strategy, as well as the relief that’s available to you. Not every mistake made by a nurse is considered malpractice. In order to show that a nursing error is actionable malpractice, we’ll need to prove: (1) you were owed a professional standard of care by your nurse, (2) breach of the professional standard of care, (3) causation and damages. For instance, a nurse handling your first infusion for cancer might breach the professional standard of care if she failed to inform the doctor that you were having an adverse reaction and as a result you experienced serious harm. We will need to retain an expert even before filing your case and then file a certificate of merit with the complaint attesting to our consultation.Hospital Liability in Syracuse
In some cases, a hospital can be liable for a nurse’s error. Certain hospitals understaff nurses resulting in each nurse caring for more patients than can be safely cared for and this negligence can result in nursing errors. A hospital might be responsible for hiring a nurse with a record of making mistakes or other incompetent behaviors such as coming to work inebriated. In other cases, a hospital doesn’t take care to adequately train or supervise a nurse.
Hospitals can be legally and financially responsible for their nurse’s error when our lawyers can show the following: (1) the hospital employed the nurse, (2) the nurse was fulfilling job duties at the time of the error, and (3) an independent doctor wasn’t in charge of the nurse.Wrongful Death
When a nursing error constitutes malpractice and results in a patient’s death, it may be appropriate to bring a wrongful death lawsuit in court. In New York, a wrongful death claim exists when a person dies due to the legal fault of another. It can only be filed by a personal representative of the decedent’s estate. However, the damages are obtained on behalf of survivors who suffer damage from a decedent’s death.Damages
If we can establish liability for a nursing error that causes injuries, damages we may be able to recover include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Out-of-pocket costs
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Replacement services.
Wrongful death damages we may be able to recover in connection with a nursing error include:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Health care expenses related to a decedent’s final injuries or illnesses
- Lost wages and financial support for family members
- Loss of the value of support and services the decedent would have provided
- Loss of the value of care, parental nurturing, and guidance to survivors
- Lost inheritance
If you suffer injuries due to nursing errors in Upstate New York, our seasoned Syracuse nursing malpractice lawyers may be able to represent you. of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano may be able to help you. We represent patients in Ithaca, Cooperstown, Elmira, Lowville, Rochester, Binghamton, Auburn, Watertown, Utica, Herkimer, Oswego, Lyons, Canandaigua, Oneida and Wampsville. Fill out our online form or call us at 315-479-9000.