Nurses respond to patients’ actual or potential health problems in a variety of ways. They have an integral role to play in hospitals and clinics, and when they make a mistake there can be huge consequences for a patient. In New York, the Nurse Practice Act defines the rights and responsibilities of nurses. Nurses are not permitted to provide nursing services they’re not personally competent to perform, even when the law allows the nurse to give service. When a nurse practices outside their personal scope of competence or outside of what is allowed by New York law, he or she could be charged with professional misconduct. If you believe you have been harmed by negligent nursing, a knowledgeable Syracuse medical malpractice attorney can help you assert your rights.Nursing Malpractice
A nurse’s role in caring for patients is an important one, and they are trained to know the signs and symptoms of various diseases and injuries and what it might mean when these signs and symptoms change. They are supposed to report changes in signs and symptoms and keep proper records of them. When a nurse makes a mistake, the result may be catastrophic injury or death.
Not every mistake a nurse makes is actionable as nursing malpractice. Rather, a nurse who fails to abide by the accepted standards of nursing and thereby causes harm to a patient may be held accountable. Nursing malpractice is a form of medical malpractice. In order to prevail in a malpractice lawsuit in this area, you’ll need to show: (1) the nurse owed you a professional standard of care, (2) breach of the professional standard of care, (3) causation, and (4) damages.
Nursing errors that may constitute malpractice can include documentation errors, medication errors, failure to intervene, failure to assess, improper use of an instrument, failure to carry out doctor’s orders, failure to recognize symptoms or signs, and failure to let the doctor know about changes in the patient’s condition or other new information. An attorney with experience handling nursing malpractice cases can advise you as to whether the facts of your case can support a potential claim.Damages
If you are able to establish nursing malpractice, you may be able to recover compensatory damages. These are damages designed to put you in the position you would have been in had you not been injured by the nursing malpractice. Compensatory damages often include medical bills, lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and replacement services. For example, if nursing malpractice causes you to lose the use of your legs, you may need to make certain alterations to your home, and you may need special equipment like a wheelchair in order to be able to get around. There is often a huge mental adjustment required under circumstances like this, and the victim may experience significant pain and suffering. All of these losses may be compensable if you can establish liability.
Sometimes nursing malpractice results in a patient’s death. In that situation, a personal representative of the decedent may be able to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful death lawsuits can proceed when a decedent’s death is caused by the defendant’s neglect, wrongful act, or default. Only pecuniary losses can be recovered in a wrongful death lawsuit. Pain and suffering of the survivors cannot be recovered in New York, though parental guidance and services as well as spousal services can be recovered. In a lawsuit, the personal representative recovers these damages on behalf of beneficiaries, devisees, and heirs of the estate, and holds them in trust after winning them.Medical Malpractice Attorneys for Syracuse Area Residents
If you were harmed or a loved one was killed due to nursing malpractice in Syracuse, it’s advisable to talk to a skillful trial lawyer about whether you have a viable medical malpractice claim. DeFrancisco & Falgiatano handles personal injury and medical malpractice lawsuits in Syracuse, Rochester, and throughout Upstate New York, including in areas such as Utica, Canandaigua, Binghamton, Cooperstown, Lyons, Elmira, Wampsville, Auburn, Herkimer, Oneida, Oswego, Ithaca, Watertown, and Lowville. Please call us at 315-479-9000 or contact us via our online form.