Anyone can suffer from an orthopedic injury or condition. Orthopedic medicine focuses on care provided to people who require surgery to correct injuries or defects of their musculoskeletal system. Surgical intervention may be necessary to treat problems in the spine, hip, feet, or ankles. Surgery is not always necessary, however, and in some cases, other treatment may be appropriate for orthopedic injuries. If you are harmed or a loved one dies as a result of an error by an orthopedist, you should consult the Syracuse orthopedic malpractice lawyers at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, LLP.Holding an Orthopedist Accountable for Your Harm
To win a lawsuit for orthopedic malpractice, you will need to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the orthopedist owed a duty to abide by accepted medical practices and in failing to do so proximately (legally) caused your injuries. All orthopedists are obligated to provide care according to the prevailing standards among orthopedists in a particular geographic area when faced with a similar type of patient.
The professional negligence must be a substantial factor in causing the injury in order to be the proximate cause of it. You will need to show that the defendant's action or omission diminished your chances of a favorable outcome. In other words, if you would have suffered the injury regardless of what the orthopedist did, you cannot recover damages for malpractice.
There are a number of ways in which orthopedic malpractice can occur. For example, if a surgeon should operate on a patient because other reasonable orthopedists would do so when faced with a similar patient, they may cause an injury because of waiting too long. On the other hand, if a surgeon operates when it was not appropriate, there may be an adverse outcome, such as an infection. A surgeon who fails to adequately treat an infection or who fails to be aware of the signs of it can also be held liable by an orthopedic malpractice attorney at our Syracuse firm. If there is a fracture in the musculoskeletal system, there is also a greater chance of embolism or blood clot, and an orthopedist who fails to monitor this could be liable for the resulting damages.
Harm that can result from orthopedic malpractice may include a need for additional surgeries, embolism or fatal blood clots, joint problems, fractures, an inability to walk or paralysis, infection or sepsis, a loss of motor function, an inability to work, a need for medication, a need for rehabilitation, or even death.
Most orthopedic malpractice cases are complex, and it is difficult for a layperson to understand whether a certain patient was a victim of malpractice. We will usually need to consult an expert to determine whether there was malpractice in a particular case, and in most cases, we will need to present expert testimony on the issues of what the prevailing standard of care was, how there was a deviation, and how the deviation was the cause of the patient's injuries. Generally, the standard of care that an orthopedist must meet is determined by other orthopedists, making it important for a Syracuse orthopedic malpractice attorney to present a credible and accomplished orthopedist's expert opinion. Like other doctors, an orthopedist will be held to the same degree of care, skill, and diligence that other orthopedists in the same area and line of work would use in a similar case.
Of course, there are certain cases in which the malpractice is obvious. For example, if an orthopedic surgeon operates on the wrong hip, this would be an obvious type of malpractice for which it might not be necessary to present expert medical testimony. Similarly, it might not be necessary to present expert medical testimony if an orthopedic surgeon leaves an instrument in a cavity after sealing up the body.Discuss Your Case with an Orthopedic Malpractice Lawyer in Syracuse
If you suffer injuries due to orthopedic malpractice in Syracuse, Rochester, or the surrounding areas, our law firm may be able to help you recover damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. We also represent injured patients in communities such as 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 for an appointment if an incident of medical malpractice has changed your life.