Parker Waichman LLP – Experienced and Dedicated Medical Malpractice Attorneys in Long Island, New York
Long Island and New York, in general, are known for having some of the best medical professionals in the field who perform life-saving medical procedures on a regular basis. However, there are still many medical professionals who do not adhere to the same level of care and instead commit acts of medical negligence that cause innocent victims to suffer injuries or death. The consequences of medical malpractice injuries can be minor if a patient is lucky, or they can be catastrophic and debilitating for those patients who are not so lucky.
The Long Island Medical Malpractice Attorneys of Parker Waichman LLP dedicate a large portion of their law practice to protecting the rights of individuals who have suffered injuries through no fault of their own. Because medical malpractice victims face a long road to recovery and may never be the same again after suffering injuries, victims and their loved ones may find peace of mind by speaking with a Long Island Medical Malpractice Attorney about a potential medical malpractice lawsuit.
Parker Waichman LLP – Obtaining More than $2 Billion in Compen-
sation for Injured Clients
At Parker Waichman LLP, our nationally-recognized Long Island Medical Malpractice Attorneys continue to provide superior legal representation to their clients and have recovered more than $2 billion collectively through settlements and verdicts at trial. The legal community as a whole has provided Parker Waichman LLP with honorable ratings that include the following:
- 9.8/10 Rating by AVVO (Rating Every Attorney in the U.S.);
- “Preeminent Lawyers” AV Peer Review Rating (Martindale-Hubbell®);
- Highest Ranking of “5 Dragons” Based on Peer Review by Lawdragon; and
- Listing in Best Lawyers Publication Determined by Extensive Peer Review.
Positive peer-reviewed ratings demonstrate a law firm’s ability to help injured victims recover compensation, but there is more to a law firm’s success than ratings. The Long Island Medical Malpractice Attorneys of Parker Waichman LLP encourage individuals considering legal action to contact our legal team to find out why we have been so successful in helping our clients.
Long Island Medical Malpractice Lawsuits and Settlements
Understanding Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice is a type of negligence that causes far too many injuries and deaths each year. Because medical professionals have specialized degrees and training, they are held to a higher standard of care than someone who is not a medical professional. As such, when evaluating whether a medical professional has been negligent, the conduct will be measured by what a reasonable medical professional would do in the same or similar situation. If a medical professional’s conduct does not meet the “standard of care,” and there is a link between the negligent conduct and a patient’s injuries, the medical professional may be found liable for causing the patient’s injuries.
The following elements must be satisfied to prove a medical malpractice case:
- The medical professional owed a duty to provide care to the injured patient as any other reasonably prudent medical professional would provide in the same field and in the same or similar situation;
- The medical professional breached the duty of care to the patient by failing to meet the standard of care;
- The medical professional’s failure to meet the standard of care caused a patient to suffer injuries; and
- The patient did, in fact, suffer identifiable injuries and measurable damages because of the medical professional’s conduct.
Because we are all humans, mistakes are going to happen. However, medical professionals who take on the responsibility for placing lives at risk must adhere to a certain standard to prevent injuries from happening. More often than not, injuries sustained in cases of medical malpractice are preventable.
The Most Common Types of Medical Malpractice in Long Island
Medical malpractice can be committed in a variety of ways which include, among others, the following:
- Failure to diagnose a medical condition, misdiagnosis of a medical condition, or delayed diagnosis of a medical condition;
- Radiology errors (failure to accurately read and interpret diagnostic imaging, such as X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, mammograms, and ultrasounds);
- Surgical errors;
- Anesthesia errors;
- Failure to obtain informed consent before operating on a patient;
- Prescription errors (prescribing or dispensing a medication that counteracts with the patient’s other medications);
- Lack of postoperative follow-up care to identify complications associated with a procedure; and
- Birth injuries.
Many patients who suffer injuries often suspect that something went wrong, but it is difficult to pinpoint what exactly went wrong until a qualified Long Island Medical Malpractice Attorney evaluates the case and determines there is a link between a medical professional’s conduct and a person’s injuries.
How Medical Experts Are Used in Long Island Medical Malpractice Cases
All medical malpractice cases involve medical experts who are used to help support each side’s case. For example, an injured plaintiff will have experts who evaluate the case and testify that a doctor or other medical professional failed to meet the standard of care and caused a patient to suffer injuries. Likewise, the defendant doctor(s) will also have experts to testify that the defendant did not fall below the standard of care and that the injuries were not caused by the defendant’s negligent conduct.
Even if medical malpractice seems evident to even a non-expert, it takes highly qualified medical experts to accurately evaluate what went wrong and why a medical professional it to blame for committing medical malpractice and causing an innocent person to suffer injuries or death.
The Damages Resulting from Medical Malpractice in Long Island
Some injuries resulting from medical malpractice may be temporary. However, most cases of medical malpractice lead to injuries that require life-long medical treatment or the need for future medical procedures. Physical pain is one of the most substantial consequences of medical malpractice, but there are other damages that, as a whole, make a person’s life miserable. Physical pain may require the use of pain medications, some of which may be addictive. Such pain may also require the need for physical therapy to help a person function on a basic level. The emotional consequences of a medical malpractice injury can be equally debilitating and can take a toll on an injured person’s family. The aftermath associated with medical malpractice injuries is far-reaching, and victims of medical malpractice may rightfully wish to seek compensation for their suffering.
The Economic Consequences of Long Island Medical Malpractice Injuries
Medical costs are one of the main reasons why people file for bankruptcy. Additionally, debt can tear a family apart, causing rifts that may be difficult to repair. When medical costs are related to injuries sustained because of medical malpractice, the situation can be much more stressful and debilitating. After all, had a doctor or other medical professional not committed medical malpractice, the injured person would not have incurred medical bills that reach into the six-figure range, and sometimes exceed $1 million.
Lost wages and the inability to work also make an injured individual’s economic situation more stressful. Without the ability to go to work and make a living, the injured person may not be able to pay the bills and make ends meet. Another family member may have to take on extra work to support the family. Lost income only adds to the already stressful situation of trying to keep up with medical bills.
The economic consequences of medical malpractice injuries are one part of the puzzle when pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit. Lost wages, the inability to work and total medical expenses are all measurable damages, and a lawsuit will seek reimbursement of such damages. Damages for pain and suffering are not easily measured, and a jury can decide what amount it believes is fair given the severity of a person’s injuries and the prognosis for the injured person’s recovery. If the injured person is never able to work again, the amount of compensation may be greater.
The Statute of Limitations for New York Medical Malpractice Cases
One of the biggest hurdles to filing a Long Island medical malpractice lawsuit is the statute of limitations, which is a limitation on how long an injured person has to file a lawsuit. If the deadline has passed to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, it could be too late to ever bring a claim in court. As such, anyone wishing to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in New York should be aware of the following statutes of limitations:
- Medical Malpractice – A person injured because of medical malpractice has two and one-half years from the date of injury, or last date of continuous treatment, to file a lawsuit.
- Wrongful Death – The representative of a deceased victim’s estate has two years from the loved one’s date of death to file a lawsuit for wrongful death related to medical malpractice.
- Exceptions to the General Rules – In some cases, the statute of limitations period may be extended beyond two years. However, because exceptions do not apply to every case, it is imperative to speak with a Long Island Medical Malpractice Attorney right away after suffering injuries as it may be too late once two years have gone by. In fact, the New York State Legislature recently passed a law that allows a one-year window to sue, after the statute of limitations has expired, in cases where cancer is discovered at a point after the end of treatment when the medical provider did not diagnose the cancer.
Filing a lawsuit after a statute of limitations has passed is a common reason why cases get dismissed from court. Determining the last date on which a lawsuit can be filed is the most important first step when an injured person contacts a Long Island Medical Malpractice Attorney. It can be devastating for a severely injured person to suffer and miss the opportunity to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the medical professional responsible for causing the injuries. It cannot be stressed enough just how important it is to speak with an attorney right away after sustaining injuries.
What You Should Know When Considering Legal Action for Medical Malpractice in Long Island
Medical malpractice lawsuits can be time-consuming and complex, especially if a person’s injuries are severe and permanent. Before considering legal action, it is important to have a general understanding of how the case process works. While legal matters can be stressful, the right Long Island Medical Malpractice Attorney can help a client get through the process. An injured person can expect to go through the following steps when pursuing legal action:
- Free Case Consultation – An initial case consultation and evaluation is the first step in the legal process. An attorney will review the basic facts of the case with the potential client to determine if the injuries may have been the result of medical malpractice.
- Case Decision – After evaluating all available facts, the attorney will determine if a medical malpractice case can be filed. If a case is rejected, the attorney will explain the reason for rejection to the potential client. If a case is accepted, a medical expert must state, with a reasonable degree of medical certainty, that the malpractice occurred due to a departure from good and accepted medical practice AND that the departure was the cause of an injury.
- The Lawsuit – Once the attorney and client agree to move forward, a complaint for damages and jury demand will be filed.
- The Investigation Stage – After a case is filed, the “discovery” process will begin, which is the stage where the parties exchange information and gather evidence to support their side of the case. There will be an exchange of documents and deposition testimony will be taken of both fact witnesses and medical experts.
- Mediation and Settlement Negotiations – While some cases may be settled before even going to court, settlement negotiations in most cases do not begin until closer to the trial date. Mediation is one way to discuss potential settlement with a neutral third-party mediator who can help facilitate communication between the parties.
- The Trial – If a case has not been settled by the time of trial, the case will be heard before a jury that will decide whether an injured person is entitled to compensation and the defendant(s) is at fault for medical malpractice. It is important to keep in mind that a trial date could be scheduled well over one or two years after a case is filed. It is normal for most lawsuits to take longer than one year to resolve.
- The Appeal – After the jury returns a verdict, the losing party will likely appeal and seek to have the verdict overturned. The overall appeals process can take two or more years.
Case results can never be guaranteed when pursuing a Long Island medical malpractice lawsuit. However, at Parker Waichman LLP, our attorneys are known for successfully helping many clients receive fair and just compensation for their injuries.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Long Island Medical Malpractice Lawsuits and Settlements
What if more than one medical professional is responsible for my injuries?
A medical malpractice lawsuit can be filed against more than one defendant. It is not uncommon for medical malpractice to involve the conduct of more than one doctor or medical professional. For example, if a doctor prescribes a medication to a patient that interacts with the patient’s other medications, and a pharmacist does not notice and fails to inform the patient about the drug interaction, the patient may have a valid medical malpractice lawsuit if he or she suffers injuries because of the drug interaction. Both the prescribing doctor and the pharmacist should be qualified enough to recognize prescription drug interactions and ensure a patient is not injured from taking two medications that interact.
If a doctor has been sued before, can this information be used as evidence in another medical malpractice case?
It depends. Overall, every medical malpractice case is evaluated on its own facts and circumstances. As such, whether a doctor has been sued before is not necessarily evidence that a doctor was negligent in a later case. However, if there is a documented pattern of conduct where a medical professional repeats the same mistakes, it may be possible to use such information as evidence of the medical professional’s negligent behavior.
If a surgeon was under the influence while performing surgery, can the injured person get punitive damages at trial?
Potentially. If a patient suffered serious injuries or death during a procedure, and there is evidence that the surgeon was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the procedure, it is certainly possible to file a claim for punitive damages as part of the initial complaint. However, to recover punitive damages at trial, an injured plaintiff must prove that the conduct was willful, wanton, malicious and in disregard for the health and safety of others. A jury will determine whether punitive damages should be awarded after deciding if the defendant was negligent in causing the patient’s injuries.
What if an attorney told me I had a potential medical malpractice case but that he/she could not take on the case?
Many attorneys and law firms may reject Long Island medical malpractice cases not because the cases are not valid, but because they simply may not have the resources and manpower to handle the cases. For example, small firms and solo-practitioners may already have a large caseload that diminishes their resources to take on another large case. Therefore, it is important to speak with more than one attorney and law firm when seeking a legal opinion about a potential medical malpractice case. At Parker Waichman LLP, our Long Island Medical Malpractice Attorneys have a large legal team and ample resources to take on a significant caseload, allowing them to help as many injured clients as possible receive compensation for their pain and suffering.
What if I was injured in Long Island but live in another state?
If you have suffered injuries because of medical malpractice that was committed in Long Island, you can still file a lawsuit in New York even if you live in another state. The location of where the negligence happened is one way to determine that a lawsuit should be filed in Long Island, New York. Additionally, even if medical malpractice happened in another state, Parker Waichman LLP has a large legal team that is licensed in multiple states and frequently helps clients from nearby states such as New Jersey.
What can happen if I post details about my lawsuit on social media?
It is never a good idea to discuss a lawsuit in the public forum. While lawsuits are public record, the substance of a lawsuit and conversations between an attorney and client are often privileged and protected. As such, if you post conversations you have had with your attorney on Facebook, Twitter or other social media platforms, you may have waived the attorney-client privilege. Additionally, because social media sites are available to the public (even if a profile is only viewable to certain people), postings regarding a lawsuit may be used in a deposition or even at trial. Therefore, when pursuing legal action, it is best to keep discussions about the lawsuit between yourself and your attorney.
Contact Parker Waichman LLP Today to Schedule Your Free Consultation
If you or a loved one has sustained injuries because of medical malpractice, it is time to consider how a Long Island Medical Malpractice Attorney may be able to help you receive compensation for your suffering. With nationally-recognized attorneys helping clients on a daily basis, the Long Island Medical Malpractice Attorneys of Parker Waichman LLP are standing by to evaluate your potential claim.
To learn more about what legal options may be available to you, contact Parker Waichman LLP today by calling (800) YOUR-LAWYER (968-7529) to schedule your free consultation to speak with one of our Long Island Medical Malpractice Attorneys. We have a team of Spanish-speaking attorneys, paralegals, and staff members to assist our Spanish-speaking clients.
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