St. Lawrence County Medical Malpractice
St. Lawrence is the largest county by area in New York. Named for the Saint Lawrence River, it county seat is Canton. There are several hospitals in St. Lawrence County including Gouverneur Hospital, Massena Memorial Hospital, Saint Lawrence Psychiatric Center, Clifton Fine Hospital, Claxton Hepburn Medical Center, and Canton-Potsdam Hospital. If you have suffered harm due to negligence at a hospital in this area, the experienced St. Lawrence County medical malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano can potentially help you take legal action.Medical Malpractice Cases
There are many different kinds of errors made by doctors that can give rise to a medical malpractice lawsuit. Errors may be made in connection with diagnosis, treatment, while performing surgical procedures, or while prescribing medication. For example, if an oncologist fails to provide the appropriate, timely treatment for cancer such that your mother's cancer progresses and she dies, there may be a basis to sue for medical malpractice. Medical errors are not actionable, however, unless they fall below the professional standard of care and cause injuries.Establishing Medical Malpractice in St. Lawrence County
To recover damages for medical malpractice, you will need to prove: (1) there was a doctor-patient relationship, (2) the defendant breached the professional duty of care, (3) actual and proximate causation and (4) actual damages. A skilled medical malpractice lawyer in St. Lawrence County can evaluate whether the facts of your case can meet these elements. It is usually straightforward to show you had a doctor-patient relationship with your own healthcare provider. But in most cases, it is necessary to retain an expert to explain technical issues to the jury such as what the professional standard of care was under the circumstances and whether the defendant breached it. The professional standard of care that should be used under the circumstances can vary depending on personal characteristics of a patient such as age, gender, and prior medical conditions.Experts
Before bringing a lawsuit on your behalf, you and your St. Lawrence County medical malpractice attorney will need to consult with a health care expert. The expert needs to look at your medical records and all other relevant documents to determine whether you have a reasonable basis to sue. After finishing a consultation with an expert who believes it is reasonable to sue, you can file the complaint that starts the lawsuit, as well as a Rule 3012-a certificate.
The Rule 3012-a certificate will state that you reviewed the facts and discussed your case with a health care expert who has a license to practice medicine and that you reasonably believe that the expert knows about the relevant medical issues. It will also state that on the basis of the review and consultation, there is a reasonable basis for commencing an action.
It takes time to consult an expert (or more than one) and make sure that you truly have a case. You have 2 1/2 years from the time of the acts you believe were medical malpractice to sue anyone responsible, and sometimes certain circumstances will enlarge or shorten the clock for bringing a suit. If you are considering legal action, it is important to consult an attorney as soon as possible so the appropriate expert consultation can be made.Damages
If you can establish the defendant's liability for medical malpractice, you may be able to recover compensatory damages. These are damages such as amounts for medical bills, lost income, lost earning capacity, replacement services, and out-of-pocket costs. Noneconomic damages are subjective losses like pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, loss of consortium, and mental anguish. These intangible losses can vary enormously based on the injuries and how your lawyer presents them.Skilled Medical Malpractice Lawyers in St. Lawrence County
When you go to see your doctor, you trust that she will diagnose and treat you competently and as other similar providers would under the circumstances. Unfortunately, medical malpractice is more common than we would like to think. Doctors can cause serious harm through errors in diagnosing, treating, prescribing medicine, or performing surgery on a patient. Sometimes doctors' errors cause the death of a loved one, and they can be held responsible through a wrongful death lawsuit. Please call us at 315-479-9000 or contact us via our online form.