When you seek medical treatment, you don’t expect that you’ll walk out of the doctor’s office or hospital in worse condition. Unfortunately, too many patients and families have learned that medical negligence is far too common. In fact, according to a recent study from Johns Hopkins University, medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the United States, responsible for more than 250,000 deaths each year.
When a doctor or other healthcare provider fails to meet the standard of care for their profession, it may be considered medical negligence. A patient who is injured because of a missed diagnosis, failure to diagnose, or other error can file a medical malpractice lawsuit to recover financial compensation for their injuries. If a patient dies due to medical malpractice, their loved ones may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
With offices in White Plains, New York, and Uniondale, the Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan represent injury victims throughout the state. We are committed to helping our clients recover maximum compensation for their losses. To learn more or to schedule a free initial consultation, reach out to our law firm.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
If you’re wondering what actually is a medical malpractice claim, it is defined as the failure of a physician or other medical professional to provide an individual with treatment that meets the customary standard of care provided by other healthcare providers. It may also be referred to as medical negligence. Medical malpractice often involves:
- A misdiagnosis
- Failure to diagnosis
- Surgical error
- Wrong medication or improper dosage
- Failure to warn of the risks and complications of a procedure
To succeed in a medical malpractice lawsuit, an injury victim (plaintiff) will have to show three things:
- That they were under the care of a doctor or other medical professional;
- In the course of advising, diagnosing, or treating you, the healthcare provider failed to act as a professional in their specialty should act (the standard of care); and
- As a result, you were injured, became ill, or your condition or injury worsened.
The critical issue in medical malpractice claims is often whether the physician or other provider met the applicable standard of care. The standard of care is the skill, knowledge, and procedures normally used and accepted in the medical community. Your medical malpractice lawyer will retain a medical expert – typically a specialist in the same field – to provide their opinion that the treating doctor did not meet the standard of care based on a review of your medical records and their own expertise.
For example, consider a situation where a doctor failed to appropriately monitor a mother and baby during labor and delivery for signs of distress. The baby suffered oxygen deprivation during the birthing process, leading to a cerebral palsy diagnosis. A medical expert in the field of obstetrics may write a report that explains what the treating physician should have done to avoid an otherwise preventable birth injury.
Medical malpractice lawsuits can be complex and require a thorough understanding of both New York law and medical terminology. At the Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan, we have more than 40 years of experience representing medical malpractice victims and their families. Our legal team has a track record of success, and the knowledge and skill necessary to help you get maximum compensation.
Who Can Be Sued for Medical Malpractice in New York?
Medical malpractice claims are often brought against physicians and surgeons. However, almost any healthcare professional or entity can be a defendant in a lawsuit for medical errors.
Our New York personal injury lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim, examining your medical record and other information to bring a lawsuit against the responsible parties. Whether your case involves hospital negligence or inadequate medical care by a provider, we will fight to ensure that you get the money that you deserve for your injuries.
A medical malpractice lawsuit may be brought against any number of parties, including:
- Physician assistants;
- Nurses, including nurse practitioners;
- Physical therapists;
- Medical clinics; and/or
As long as you can prove that the person or entity did not meet the standard of care for their profession, then you may be able to bring a claim against them for medical errors. For example, if your dermatologist sent a biopsy of suspected skin cancer to a laboratory, and the lab technician mistakenly determined that it was benign, you could file a claim against the lab for medical negligence. Similarly, if a primary care physician prescribed a medicine for you without checking to see if you had an allergy to the drug, they may have failed to meet the level of care required for their profession.
If you are able to bring a claim, you may be able to recover damages for all of your losses. This may include financial compensation for your medical bills, future medical treatment, physical and occupational therapy, lost wages, and reduced earning capacity. You may also be able to recover money for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, scarring, disfigurement, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. Unlike many other states, New York does not cap damages for medical malpractice claims.
Types of Cases We Handle
Our law firm has significant experience handling all types of medical malpractice cases. Common types of medical malpractice that our New York medical malpractice attorneys handle include:
- Failure to Diagnose Cancer
- Emergency Room Errors
- Failure to Diagnose Medical Conditions
- Surgical Errors
- Medication Errors
- Gastric Bypass Surgery Errors
- Birth Injuries (Gynecological, Obstetrical)
- Emergency Room Errors
- Failure to Diagnose Heart Attack or Stroke
- Cerebral Palsy
- Erbs Palsy Birth Injury
- Improper Administration of Anesthesia
- Neurological Injuries
- Failure to Diagnose
- Plastic Surgery Errors
- Orthopedic Injuries
- Failure to Diagnose Cervical Cancer
- Failure to Diagnose Uterine Cancer
- Failure to Diagnose Testicular Cancer
- Failure to Diagnose Skin Cancer
- Failure to Diagnose Prostate Cancer
- Failure to Diagnose Thyroid Cancer
- Failure to Diagnose Leukemia
- Failure to Diagnose Lymphoma
- Ophthalmology Errors
- Failure to Diagnose Breast Cancer
- Failure to Diagnose Colon Cancer
- Failure to Diagnose Ovarian Cancer
- Failure to Diagnose Stomach Cancer
- Failure to Diagnose Bladder Cancer
- Failure to Diagnose Kidney Cancer
There is no fee for the services we provide in a medical malpractice action unless we obtain money on your behalf. This is known as a contingency fee arrangement. All costs incurred pursuing your case, including expert fees, deposition costs, copies of hospital records, and trial costs will be paid by our firm in advance and deducted at the end of the case from the gross recovery. Our fees – which will be a percentage of your total recovery – are then calculated after the deduction of expenses.
Can Medical Malpractice Cases be Criminal in Nature as Well?
Most of these cases are civil (involve the pursuit of money damages). You are dealing with healthcare professionals who violated a standard of care, or failed to appreciate the potential harm in taking a certain course of action with respect to a patient. It is very rare that an action of a medical provider would rise to a level of a criminal act. However, it does not happen. We have seen doctors prosecuted for fraudulent billing, and in some instances, you can be prosecuted for negligent homicide if you are prescribing medications, and not monitoring the results, or the effects they have on your patients.
Are People Generally Hesitant to Bring Medical Malpractice Claims Against a Medical Professional?
People are hesitant when making a claim against most healthcare professionals. We want to trust our healthcare professionals and when they do something wrong we are hurt. Many times people will hesitate and say, “Well, it must not have been something that the doctor did; it must be something from an outside force, or something that I did. Maybe I made a bad choice”. I think that is just because we, as a society, want to believe that doctors and nurses and everyone in the healthcare profession has our best interests at heart, and most do. Nevertheless, when you are harmed because of a healthcare professional’s malpractice, there should be no hesitation about pursuing a claim.
Are You a Victim of Medical Negligence? Our Law Firm Is Here for You.
We go to doctors to get treatment for our illnesses and injuries. A physician failing to diagnose or treat us appropriately can cause disability or even death. If you have been hurt because a healthcare professional failed to meet the standard of care, our law firm can help.
The Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan, PLLC represents injury victims in all types of cases, including medical malpractice. We offer free initial consultations, and never charge a fee unless we recover money for you. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation with a New York medical malpractice lawyer, give us a call at 914-220-1086 or fill out our online contact form.
How Long Do I Have to File a Medical Malpractice Claim?
The statute of limitations for medical negligence lawsuits in New York is 2.5 years for private doctors or hospitals. If the case involves a government agency or employee, then the rules are different: you must file a notice of claim within 90 days and a lawsuit within 1.5 years.
The clock starts to run for a medical malpractice claim on the date that a person knew or should have known about the injury. Unlike car accidents – which have a specific date – patients don’t always know about medical malpractice immediately. As such, the statute of limitations starts when they first learn about the medical error (or should have learned). Call the Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan today to talk to a NY medical malpractice attorney.
Will My Medical Malpractice Case Go to Trial?
Most personal injury cases – including medical malpractice claims – are resolved outside of the courtroom. As a result, you probably won’t have to go to trial if you file a medical malpractice lawsuit. That said, your medical malpractice lawyer will still prepare your case as if it were going to trial to increase the odds of negotiating a fair settlement with the insurance company.
These types of cases are complex and can take time to resolve. The best way to get maximum compensation for your claim is by hiring an experienced personal injury attorney. In New York, contact the Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan for a free initial consultation.