What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice may be defined as a failure on the part of a healthcare professional to provide a standard level of care or treatment to a patient, when this causes the patient harm. Virtually any act or failure to act, when this constitutes substandard care, may be considered malpractice. Doctors, surgeons, nurses, pharmacists, plastic surgeons and even dentists are held to a high standard when it comes to diagnosing and treating patients, administering and dispensing medication and providing pre- and post-operative care. Every aspect of the relationship between a medical professional and patient may be scrutinized if a patient comes to harm, and if it is found that the professional failed to uphold the currently accepted standard of care, that professional may be held accountable.
The Medical Malpractice Department of our New York City-based firm represents clients who have suffered from any type of misconduct or negligence on the part of their healthcare providers. In New York, victims of medical malpractice may be entitled to financial compensation for their medical care as well as for economic and non-economic damages like lost earnings, future medical care, pain, suffering and emotional trauma. Our goal in taking on these lawsuits is to seek maximum compensation that not only helps our client begin to rebuild but that serves to hold the at-fault hospital or doctor accountable for their actions.
Types of Medical Malpractice in New York
There are a number of different types of medical malpractice that may occur in medical facilities across New York. These may be committed by professionals in various settings and may cause only minor injuries or considerable trauma that even results in the death of the patient. The major types of malpractice are listed below:
When a patient is given the wrong medication or the wrong dose of the right medication, this can have serious consequences. Medication errors are one of the most common types of malpractice and may be committed by doctors, nurses or pharmacists.
Misdiagnosis, Delayed Diagnosis or Failure to Diagnose
The only way to administer proper medical treatment is by making the right diagnosis in the first place. If a doctor is negligent or fails to exercise due diligence in diagnosing a patient, this may be considered a form of medical malpractice if the patient is injured as a result.
Obstetricians, OB/GYNs, nurses and all other healthcare professionals who treat pregnant women and are involved in labor and delivery must provide the highest level of care. Malpractice during labor or delivery may cause serious developmental delays and health problems, such as cerebral palsy, mental retardation, paralysis or Erb's palsy.
Every surgical procedure has risks, but if a patient experiences unnecessary harm because of a mistake or carelessness on the part of a surgeon, anesthesiologist, nurse or other professional involved in the procedure or in administering pre- or post-operative care, this may provide grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Nurses play the lead role in patient care, often administering medication, monitoring equipment and tending to a patient's basic needs. If a nurse is careless or intentionally causes a patient harm, this may be considered malpractice.
Hospitals and other medical facilities may be held legally responsible for the negligent conduct of their staff. Many cases of nursing malpractice, emergency room errors, hospital infections and other types of medical malpractice can be traced back to the hospital in which they occurred.
Your Rights as a Patient: Talk to an Attorney to Learn More
As a patient, you have a right to expect a certain level of care when you go to the doctor. Even if it's a routine check-up, your doctor should take care to listen to your concerns and conduct a thorough physical examination to ensure you are in good health. If you seek emergency treatment or see your doctor for a certain symptom or symptoms you have been experiencing, you have the right to expect that the medical professional who treats you will conduct an initial exam and take any additional steps necessary to make an accurate diagnosis, consult with you regarding your options, get your informed consent, administer treatment properly and then conduct adequate follow-up care. If you do not receive this level of care, you have the right to hold the at-fault medical professional or facility responsible.
Interested in learning more? Take this opportunity to discuss your legal rights with a New York medical malpractice lawyer at our law offices. From our headquarters in the Empire State Building in New York City, we represent clients across the state. In addition to helping injured patients, we represent families of patients who have lost their lives due to medical negligence and wrongdoing. These are complex cases that require experience and resources - both of which we have an abundance of. Schedule a free consultation by contacting our firm.