Pulmonologists are doctors who specialize in the respiratory system and treat conditions affecting the mouth and nose, throat, sinuses, voice box, windpipe, bronchial tubes, diaphragm and lungs. Patients may visit a pulmonologist if they are suffering from asthma, chronic bronchitis, COPD, emphysema, lung cancer or respiratory infections. If you were harmed by a misdiagnosis of your condition by a pulmonologist, you should speak with the Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano regarding your pulmonologist malpractice case.Pulmonologist Malpractice
Like other doctors, pulmonologists may make mistakes. However, not all errors made by a pulmonologist constitute malpractice. To establish pulmonologist malpractice, you must demonstrate that (1) your pulmonologist owed you a professional duty of care, (2) he or she deviated from the professional standard of care, (3) the deviation caused you injury, and (4) you suffered actual damages.
Pulmonologists may make mistakes in connection with diagnosis, medication prescriptions, improper performance of procedures, failure to recognize that complications have arisen during or after a procedure, and failure to monitor care. For example, if you experience shortness of breath and cough up blood, but the pulmonologist misdiagnosed you with COPD because an adequate differential diagnosis was not performed, you may have a claim for malpractice if you have lung cancer and the misdiagnosis allowed your lung cancer to progress to an advanced stage. Similarly, if your spouse had thoracic Hodgkin’s and his pulmonologist botched the procedure to treat it such that your loved one died, you may be able to recover wrongful death damages for pulmonologist malpractice.Certificate of Merit
In medical malpractice cases, you will need to retain an expert even before filing suit to determine the applicable professional standard of care and whether the pulmonologist’s actions deviated from that standard. The professional standard of care will depend on what a competent pulmonologist in the same geographical region would have done. You will need to show that your pulmonologist departed from the professional standard of care for pulmonologists in or around Syracuse.
In addition, New York law requires the filing of a certificate of merit with the complaint. Under NY CPLR section 3012-A, in any action for medical malpractice, a complaint needs to be accompanied by a certificate by the plaintiff’s attorney declaring that the attorney consulted with at least one doctor who is licensed to practice and who the attorney reasonably thinks is knowledgeable about pertinent issues involved in a specific action and that on the basis of the consultation, the attorney has determined a reasonable basis to sue exists.Damages
If you can establish liability, you may be able to recover compensatory damages in your case. Compensatory damages are economic and noneconomic losses and they are intended to put you back in the position you would have been in had there been no malpractice. Economic losses are tangible losses, often documented, that flow from the malpractice, such as medical bills, out-of-pocket costs, replacement services, medical equipment, and medication. For example, if you required more intensive, expensive treatment because your lung cancer progressed to Stage 4, you may be able to recover the costs of that treatment in a lawsuit.
Noneconomic losses are intangible losses that the jury believes flow from the malpractice. These losses may depend on your personal characteristics and your testimony along with your lawyer’s presentation of how your life was changed by the pulmonologist malpractice. They may include pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life and loss of consortium. Suppose for example, you frequently played recreational sports prior to a pulmonologist’s failure to diagnose your tuberculosis, but after the malpractice, your lung capacity is severely reduced, making it impossible for you to play, this may reduce your enjoyment of life. The jury may quantify this loss and award it as damages.
If you lost a loved one due to pulmonologist malpractice, you may be able to recover wrongful death damages. These damages are limited to pecuniary losses under New York law.Retain a Seasoned Attorney in Syracuse
If you’re harmed by pulmonologist malpractice in Syracuse, you may be able to recover damages by filing a lawsuit. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, we represent patients and families in Syracuse, Rochester, and other places in Upstate New York, including in Cooperstown, Auburn, Oneida, Canandaigua, Binghamton, Lyons, Oswego, Watertown, Wampsville, Elmira, Herkimer, Ithaca, Lowville, and Utica. Please contact DeFrancisco & Falgiatano at 315-479-9000 or by completing our online form.