VA Medical Center (Syracuse)
The Syracuse VA Medical Center is a tertiary care and teaching facility in Upstate New York that opened in 1953. It provides health care to more than 40,000 veterans. Since opening, it has expanded and now includes eight Community Based Outpatient Clinics in other cities. It is also home to outpatient mental health programs. When you go to see your doctor, you assume that not only the doctor but also the nurses will do what they can to help you with your medical problems and will not do anything to harm you. However, this trust is not always well placed, and sometimes doctors and nurses do not meet accepted medical standards and practices. If you suffer harm due to medical malpractice at the Syracuse VA Medical Center, you should consult a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer. The attorneys at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano can investigate your case and represent you in a claim if appropriate.Claims Against the VA and its Doctors
Medical malpractice cases are more complicated than other kinds of personal injury lawsuits. There are numerous complicated procedural requirements that were put in place as part of tort reform in New York to deter frivolous claims. Among these requirements is the need to retain an expert even before filing a lawsuit.
Under the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules, Rule 3012-a, a plaintiff alleging injuries caused by medical malpractice needs to file a certificate along with the complaint that initiates the lawsuit. Generally, the certificate is filed by the plaintiff's attorney, who must declare that they reviewed the case and consulted a health care expert who is licensed to practice. The attorney must certify that they believe that the expert is knowledgeable about the medical issues relevant to the plaintiff's claims. The certificate must state that based on the review of the claims and the consultation with the expert, the attorney concludes that there is a reasonable basis to sue.
If an attorney cannot get the expert consultation in time to comply with the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims, the attorney can file it 90 days after serving the complaint on the health care provider that is being sued. However, it is a good idea to consult an experienced lawyer as soon as you suspect that you may have been a victim of medical malpractice at the Syracuse VA Medical Center to give your lawyer enough time to find an appropriate expert and to give the expert adequate time to review medical records and other evidence. Attorneys who are not able to meet the requirement of consulting an expert after trying three times in good faith with three different doctors who would not agree to consult on the case need to declare this in certificates to be filed with the complaint.
There are situations known as never events that are fairly shocking. A never event could include operating on the wrong limb or putting contaminated blood into a surgical patient. It could also include conducting an unnecessary surgery on the wrong patient. In these cases, a plaintiff may rely on the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur (translated, this means that the thing speaks for itself). The certificate should indicate that this is the theory under which the plaintiff plans to proceed.
Often, there is more than one defendant in a medical malpractice lawsuit. For example, there may have been deviations in the accepted standards and practices not only by a surgeon but also by a nurse or an anesthesiologist. Even if there are multiple defendants in a medical malpractice action, the plaintiff's complaint need only have one certificate regarding a consultation with an expert.Retain an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer in Syracuse
If you suspect that you were a victim of medical malpractice while you were being treated at the Syracuse VA Medical Center, whether it involved a surgical mistake, a misdiagnosis, or a medication error, or any other form of medical malpractice, our law firm may be able to help you recover compensation from the parties responsible for your harm. We understand the challenges that you are facing and can navigate the complex procedural rules on your behalf. Call us at 315-479-9000 or contact us via our online form.