Pain Management Malpractice
People develop significant pain for many different reasons including injuries, surgeries, nerve damage and metabolic issues. Because living with daily pain may be challenging, some patients consult with a pain management specialist who has training in evaluating, diagnosing and treating pain. These specialists possess in-depth knowledge of the physiology of pain and can provide treatment appropriate to the nature of the pain. However, pain management malpractice can occur when doctors fail to monitor patients for side effects or addiction. If a pain management specialist misdiagnosed or mistreated your pain, you should talk to the Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano.Pain Management Malpractice
To establish that a pain management doctor committed medical malpractice, you must show it is more likely than not: (1) you were owed a professional standard of care by the pain management doctor, (2) this professional standard of care was breached, (3) the breach caused injuries, and (4) damages. Negligent care may include failing to perform medical tests that would have shown the presence or risks or complications of a particular pain medication, failure to conduct a necessary procedure or study, failing to reevaluate a patient to change medications, failure to monitor, refilling prescriptions without in-person contact with the patient, failing to offer alternatives to pain medication, failure to warn about potential side effects, failing to notice signs of addiction, and failing to notice adverse drug interactions.
Some of the conditions that are frequently involved in medical malpractice claims for improper pain management are degenerative joint disease of the spine and failed back surgery syndrome. If, for example, your pain management specialist mistakenly prescribes Fentanyl for a herniated disc without taking into account that Fentanyl may interact adversely with another medication you take for a different condition, you may be able to obtain damages by bringing a medical malpractice lawsuit if the adverse reaction required substantial medical care. You would need to show that the actions of the pain management doctor fell below the professional standard of care.Expert Opinions
Medical malpractice lawsuits often turn into legal battles between the experts. Plaintiffs must retain an expert witness on pain management to provide an opinion on the professional standard of care and whether it was breached. The professional standard of care depends on how a competent pain management doctor in or around Syracuse would have acted under similar circumstances. In a pain management malpractice case, the professional standard of care can vary based on personal characteristics of the patient, including the underlying condition, gender, age, and other health problems.
In some cases, the plaintiff’s lawyer may retain more than one expert to address issues from different fields. For example, if a pain management error results in a patient not being able to work at his job, such that he suffers lifelong wage loss, it may be necessary to retain an economist to look at the patient’s life expectancy in order to quantify the future wage loss.Damages
Plaintiffs who can establish liability for pain management malpractice may be able to obtain compensatory damages, which are composed of both noneconomic and economic losses. Noneconomic losses are intangible losses that the jury must quantify. They can vary significantly depending on your testimony, along with how your losses are framed. They may include emotional distress, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium. Economic losses can include medical bills and lost wages, as well as the costs for replacement services, therapy and rehabilitation.
When a loved one dies due to improper management of pain medications, it may be appropriate to bring a wrongful death lawsuit for damages. For example, you may have a claim for wrongful death if a loved one’s multiple pain medication prescriptions accumulate in her system, leading to toxicity and death. In New York, wrongful death damages are pecuniary losses flowing from the death. They can include medical expenses, funeral and burial expenses, lost wages, reduction in inheritance, loss in parental guidance, and services such as childcare provided by the decedent.Consult a Seasoned Attorney in Syracuse
If you are harmed or a loved one is killed by pain management malpractice, you should consult a seasoned lawyer. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, we provide tough, compassionate representation to patients and their families in Rochester, Syracuse, and other cities in Upstate New York, including in Oneida, Cooperstown, Auburn, Lyons, Canandaigua, Oswego, Binghamton, Wampsville, Watertown, Ithaca, Elmira, Herkimer, Utica, and Lowville. Contact DeFrancisco & Falgiatano at 315-479-9000 or by completing our online form.