Negligent medical errors can leave patients with serious injuries and even lead to death in some cases. If you or someone you love was harmed by a medical professional’s mistake, you are probably wondering whether you should bring a medical malpractice claim. If you have questions about your injuries and your options for recovery, an experienced Rochester medical malpractice lawyer can help.
Since 1987, Powers & Santola, LLP, has fought for justice on behalf of clients who have been seriously injured as a result of medical mistakes and other catastrophic accidents. Three of our attorneys, John K. Powers, Daniel R. Santola and Laura M. Jordan have been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America© 2015 for their excellence in the field of medical malpractice law, and our firm has been noted as one of the “Best Law Firms” in the country for medical malpractice law.
If you’ve been injured by medical malpractice, we’ll listen to you, review your case, and help you seek the compensation you need. If you have questions, we can help you find answers. For a free and confidential initial consultation, contact us online or call our Rochester law office.
Should I File a Medical Malpractice Claim in New York?
After medical procedures, some patients are unhappy with the results, but this doesn’t mean that the doctor’s actions rise to the level of medical malpractice. Surgeries can be extremely complex, and even with the best diagnostic tests, doctors may find unexpected problems that complicate the procedure. Doctors will have to adapt after beginning a procedure, and even the most skilled doctor may perform a procedure that has a bad outcome for a patient. There are no guarantees in medicine, but there are standards of care.
A standard of care is the level of skill and knowledge that other doctors in similar circumstances hold. That is the yardstick that the defendant is measured against, so it’s important to understand the applicable standard of care in your case. Once the standard of care is established, you can measure how your doctor performed, and whether there was a gap between the two. Before you bring a claim, it is worth getting second opinions, expert analysis, and as much information about your doctor and your injuries as you can.
Medical negligence cases can take a long time to resolve. Medical malpractice claims deal with complex records and standards of care involving advanced medical techniques and practices. Experts and attorneys will need a significant amount of time to review the case, and even then, the other side may not admit they’ve done wrong. Our Rochester medical malpractice lawyers can help.
An experienced medical malpractice attorney knows how to investigate your injuries and hold doctors accountable when they don’t live up to the standards that they should. If you’ve suffered injuries resulting due to a negligent medical error, speak with a Rochester medical malpractice attorney about the next steps you should take.
Medical Malpractice Claims Our Law Firm Handles
Powers & Santola, LLP medical malpractice attorneys understand what goes into building a persuasive and effective medical malpractice claim. With years of experience representing victims of negligent medical errors, we can build your claim and help you pursue the compensation that you need to move forward.
Our firm handles many types of medical malpractice claims including:
- Obstetrical Medical Malpractice Injuries. Birth injuries are an avoidable type of injury that can shape a child’s future. During the birthing process, a mother and her child may not be given the care they need, or they may be given incorrect care. The mother may suffer infections, internal injury, and many other complications. The child may suffer from a lack of oxygen, brain damage, physical injuries, and many other serious injuries. These injuries may result in permanent, life-long conditions that can affect the quality of a child’s life.
- Surgical Errors. Even the most basic surgeries have many steps and many moving pieces. Although surgery is complex, adequate planning and procedures can reduce a patient’s risk. Preparation for surgery requires dedicated planning and work to prevent errors. During the surgery, anesthesia must be administered correctly, and surgeons must meet their standards of care. After surgery, medical personnel must tend to the patient and monitor their condition during recovery. Negligent errors at any stage in the surgical process can cause serious patient harm.
- Emergency Room Errors. In an emergency, time is everything. Staffers are pushed to their limits dealing with critical problems, and it’s easy for miscommunications and other errors to result in harm to patients. Misdiagnosis, failure to identify problems, treatment errors, and many other problems can arise in an emergency room. If you’ve been injured while being treated in an emergency room, you may be able to obtain compensation for your injuries.
- Hospital Errors. Hospitals should be places of healing, but due to poor policies and procedures, they can instead lead to injury. Poor sanitation can lead to life-threatening infections and poor communication about patients can lead to medication and care mistakes. Hospitals may also be liable for the negligent actions of their personnel, such as nurses, pharmacists, lab techs and others.
- Medication and Prescription Errors. It’s up to doctors to prescribe the appropriate medication for patients. It’s also up to pharmacists and pharmacy staff to make sure that the patient gets what the doctor ordered and identify potential problems with drug interactions and other issues. Mistakes during the prescription or fulfillment phase can result in patients getting medication that harms rather than heals. Common medication errors include prescription of an improper or harmful drug, failure to provide the medication a patient needs, administering the wrong drug or dosage, and incorrect timing on drug administration.
- Missed or Delayed Cancer Diagnosis. Patients reasonably expect doctors to tell them if they’re facing any dangerous or life-threatening conditions. If a doctor fails to diagnose cancer in a patient, it can be a fatal mistake. Delayed treatment may allow cancer to progress beyond the stage where treatments are effective. The state of New York follows the loss-of-chance doctrine that allows victims to recover for missed treatment opportunities.
- Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect. We rely on nursing homes to look out for us and our loved ones during times of need. Unfortunately, those we rely on can fail us. When nursing home abuse or neglect takes place, residents may suffer problems such as bedsores, dehydration, and many other life-threatening problems.
If you suspect you’ve been injured by medical malpractice, contact our Rochester medical malpractice lawyers for a free initial consultation. We’ll review your case and speak with you about your options. We’re proud to represent the people of Rochester and help them recover from medical malpractice.
What Compensation or Benefits Can I Recover in a Medical Malpractice Claim?
In New York, there are many types of compensation that may be available in a medical malpractice claim. These include:
- Compensation for medical costs and medical treatment. When a doctor or other medical professional commits medical malpractice, it’s easy for victims to be saddled with huge medical bills during their recovery. A medical malpractice claim can include the cost of treating the injuries that you suffered, and it can include the cost of treatment that your injuries will need in the future.
- Lost wages and future earning capacity. A failed medical procedure can leave you in worse shape than before. When you’re injured by medical malpractice, you may be out of work for a significant amount of time, or you may never be able to work again. A claim can include the wages and income you’ve lost as a result of your injuries, and it may include the income and wages you’ll lose in the future due to your injuries.
- Pain and suffering. Medical malpractice can result in serious pain and emotional trauma. Injuries inflicted during a procedure can last for years and can severely disrupt a victim’s life. Medical malpractice can also inflict serious emotional harm in the form of depression, anxiety, fear, and many other conditions.
- Loss of consortium. Medical malpractice can hurt the victim, and it can hurt the victim’s family too. Loss of consortium damages attempt to compensate for the loss of guidance, support, services, and loss of the relationship that the spouse of a medical malpractice victim suffers.
- Punitive damages may be available in rare cases where a medical professional’s conduct was egregious. In New York, it’s rare for medical malpractice injury cases to meet this standard, but it is possible. A medical malpractice attorney can review your case and help you understand if punitive damages may be available.
These and other damages may be available in your case. An experienced Rochester medical malpractice lawyer can help you build your claim and pursue the full compensation you deserve for all your losses.
Proving a Medical Malpractice Case in New York
A medical malpractice claim in Rochester is built on medical records and expert testimony. However, all medical malpractice claims come down to a few straightforward parts. Any medical malpractice claim requires three essential elements:
- The medical practitioner was caring for the patient.
- The practitioner failed to meet the applicable standard of care.
- Because the practitioner did not meet the standard of care, the patient was injured.
In the medical profession, there are many times that a practitioner owes you a duty of care. For example, a surgeon who performs surgery on you is caring for you. A doctor performing an examination is caring for you. When a pharmacist fills your prescription, that pharmacist is caring for you. The medical provider’s duty will depend on the type of relationship you have with them, their specialty, and what they were doing at the time of the alleged malpractice.
In New York, the applicable standard of care for medical practitioners is that they must have a degree of knowledge and skill comparable to others in their field. This is a complex question in many cases. To determine the standard of care, experts may need to review your case, review procedure outcomes, and get input from specialists.
In many cases, patients already suffer from illnesses and advanced conditions that may come into play during a procedure. These pre-existing conditions may complicate a surgery or interfere with your outcomes. When pursuing a medical malpractice claim, you’ll need to show a direct link between the alleged malpractice and the damage it caused. Your testimony is important, but the case may also need the testimony of medical experts and others who can conclusively link the malpractice with your injury.
If you’ve been injured by medical malpractice, don’t wait to get the help you need. A medical malpractice lawyer in Rochester can help you understand what happened and how you may recover compensation for your losses. After an injury from medical malpractice, dedicate yourself to your healing and your recovery. Let an experienced Rochester medical malpractice lawyer handle your claim.
Contact Our Dedicated Rochester Medical Malpractice Law Firm
When you’re injured due to medical malpractice, you may feel unsure of what to do next. The attorneys at Powers & Santola, LLP can advise you and guide you every step of the way. With years of experience representing medical malpractice victims, we have the knowledge and resources it takes to build a medical malpractice claim.
No matter how you’ve been injured, our experienced Rochester medical malpractice attorneys know how to investigate your injuries and pursue the compensation you need.
For a free initial consultation, contact us online or call our Rochester office now. Click here for directions.