Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Syracuse Attorneys Helping People Hurt By Negligence
When treated by health-care providers, we expect that we're in good hands. While most people don't expect miracles, we do expect health-care providers to act professionally and responsibly at all times. Unfortunately, that doesn't always happen. The medical malpractice lawyers at Cherundolo Law Firm PLLC help people throughout Central New York who have suffered harm as a result.
Medical malpractice is not just making a simple mistake. It is an act of negligence that occurs when a medical professional did not do his or her job properly. There are accepted standards in the medical profession that all healthcare providers have a responsibility to follow. When they don't meet that responsibility, people can get hurt.
A patient can be harmed due to negligence by a doctor, nurse, physician assistant, anesthesiologist, pharmacist or other healthcare worker. There are different types of medical malpractice, and all can have serious consequences. Examples of medical malpractice include:
- Misdiagnosis or delay in diagnosis
- Failure to diagnose an illness
- Improper treatment of a disease or illness
- Failure to obtain proper consent prior to a procedure
- Surgical errors
- Anesthesia errors
- Emergency room errors
- Prescription drug error or improper medication
- Hospital infection
- Birth injury
- Cerebral palsy
- Brain damage
As a result of medical malpractice, a patient can be left with extensive medical bills, an inability to work, permanent disability and pain and suffering.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions our medical malpractice lawyers get:
How do I know if there was medical malpractice?
When your care doesn't go as planned, it doesn't necessarily mean there was malpractice. There must be a clear act of negligence. This could be a specific action taken, or a specific action not taken. A medical malpractice claim must be able to establish these elements:
- A doctor-patient relationship
- The care provided that falls below the accepted medical standard of care
- The negligence directly resulted in harm
- Evidence of harm to the patient.
What steps do I need to take in a case of medical malpractice?
If you think you may have a case of medical malpractice, here are steps you can take:
- Ask questions. If you're not sure why a procedure was done, or why something went wrong, ask your doctor. Don't be afraid to ask specific questions. Write down the doctor's answers.
- Write down an account of what happened. Start with the symptoms you first experienced, and include the doctors you saw, tests you were given and treatment you received. Also write down what you believe the negligence was. Include dates and times, if you remember them.
- Consult a medical malpractice attorney. During a consultation, a lawyer can review the details of your case and advise you on what to do next.
Should I get a second opinion?
Yes. This is especially important if you are diagnosed with a serious illness or injury, or are facing unpleasant treatment. If you are uncomfortable with the opinion your doctor has given you, you have the option of getting a second opinion from different doctor. Sometimes, the second opinion will be the same as the first, but a doctor may also suggest a different treatment plan, or possibly have a different diagnosis. If this is the case, it could be valuable information in any medical malpractice claim. While it may seem inconvenient, getting a second opinion could be very helpful.
How long will my medical malpractice claim take?
There is no simple answer to that question. Medical malpractice cases are complex, and it can take time to investigate and find evidence of negligence to build a strong case. It also depends on whether the medical professional, hospital and insurance companies are willing to negotiate a settlement. They will also have lawyers who will do whatever they can to delay your case and make it more difficult for you to recover damage. If your case goes to trial, it will take longer to resolve. Depending on these and other factors, a medical malpractice claim can take anywhere from several months to years to reach a resolution.
How long do I have to take legal action in New York?
In the state of New York, a medical malpractice lawsuit must be filed within 30 months after the date of malpractice or the last treatment if you had been receiving continuing treatment for the same illness. We encourage you to seek legal advice as soon as possible because it takes time to investigate medical malpractice claims and collect the evidence that proves injury. It is also important to gather evidence before it is lost, and interview witnesses before their memories fade. If you think you have been the victim of medical malpractice, don't delay.
What is my claim worth?
The value of your claim depends on many different factors. These include the severity of your injury, the amount of your medical expenses, whether you lost time from work and other factors. In some cases, you may also be able to seek punitive damage. A medical malpractice attorney can review the details of your case and determine the total amount of your damages.
Experience that wins big cases
Medical malpractice cases are often complex and difficult to prove. But our firm is up to the challenge. Our unparalleled experience has led to a track record of success that we continue to build on each day. We have the skills and the resources that get results for clients.
Our legal team conducts a thorough investigation of your case. We examine all related documents, including medication records, X-ray reports and lab test results. We interview witnesses who may be able to provide supporting evidence of negligence. And we consult medical experts who can help us determine whether standards of care were followed.
If you believe you or a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice, it's important to talk to an experienced attorney as soon as possible. In general, you have 30 months from the date of the negligent action (or inaction) to file a legal claim for damages.
However, medical malpractice claims can be complicated, and it can take time to build a strong case that establishes negligence. We can then help you recover damages, which may include:
- Medical expenses-these can include all costs related to the malpractice injury, such as hospitalization, surgery, medication, physical therapy and assistive devices
- Lost wages-compensation for lost income while your injury leaves you unable to work.
- Loss of earning capacity-compensation if your injury leaves you unable to earn money as before you were injured
- Pain and suffering- compensation for the physical pain caused by the injury, as well as the emotional distress it brought, such as anxiety, depression and fear
- Loss of consortium-this refers to the loss of marital benefits, such as loss of companionship, affection, comfort and sexual relations
Other damages may include loss of enjoyment of life, compensation for disability or disfigurement, and loss of parental support. We can go over the details of your case and help you determine your true damages.
Learn about your legal options during a free consultation with one of our attorneys. Simply contact us to set up an appointment. If you can't make it to our Syracuse office, we can come out to meet you.