What is medical malpractice?
Malpractice is a professional mistake that directly causes an injury to a patient. This can result from a lack of knowledge, experience, or skill that can be expected by other doctors. This can also result from a failure to use reasonable care or judgment.
Furthermore, before a doctor can perform any kind of "invasive" treatment (typically surgery) on you, they are required to have your informed consent. This means that doctors are not only required to have your permission to do the procedure, they are also required to explain all of the risks associated with the procedure and all of the alternative treatment options.
Is there a time limit for bringing a medical malpractice case?
Yes. A malpractice action must be filed within 2 1/2 years after the date that the malpractice occurred or the last date of treatment with the health care provider who committed the malpractice (however, the treatment must be related to the condition which is the subject of the malpractice action).
Also, if the act of malpractice occurred at a facility owned by the City of New York and operated by the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC), then the city agency must be notified of a potential claim within ninety days or the claim will most likely be lost. (A listing of HHC facilities can be found at http://www.nyc.gov/html/hhc/html/facilities/map.shtml).
Because medical malpractice cases require thorough investigation and expert review, we strongly advise that, if you suspect that you or a loved one has been a victim of malpractice, you contact us immediately.
What are some common birth injuries that may be a result of medical malpractice?
If your newborn has been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, Erb's Palsy, Group B Strep, Spina Bifida, or HIV, you should contact us immediately so that your case can be investigated promptly. Also, if your child was stillborn or if a Placental Abruption (a separation of the placenta from the uterine wall) occurred, you should contact this office immediately.
Why might I have a claim for a birth related injury?
These kinds of injuries are often avoidable if a physician timely detects signs of fetal distress during the labor and delivery and takes appropriate steps. For example, when a uterine rupture occurs, the lives of the mother and child are in jeopardy and every second that the delivery is delayed results in additional permanent injury.
If you suspect that a nurse or doctor has failed to properly detect and/or properly treat your child's fetal distress, you should contact us immediately. The horrific consequences to the newborn that result from birth related injuries can last a lifetime.
What are some other examples of medical malpractice?
Common examples of medically related errors that might be pursued as malpractice include:
- Failure to diagnose, delay of diagnosis or misdiagnosis of an illness - Errors or delays in diagnosis decreases the likelihood of successful treatment and full recovery;
- Surgical Complications - Problems resulting from incorrectly performed surgeries;
- Failure to provide treatment - Failure to provide any treatment or the right type of treatment;
- Failure to follow-up on a patient - Failure of a treating physician to check on a patient's condition, or failure of medical staff to inform the treating physician of changes in a patient's condition;
- Anesthesia-related complications - Failure to safely administer anesthesia;
- Failure to prevent patient injuries (such as falls) on medical facility property;
- Failure to correctly dispense medications;
- Prescription errors - Failure of hospital staff or a pharmacist to dispense the right medicine to the right patient in the correct amount.
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