Yonkers Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Unfortunately, doctors and other healthcare providers do not always provide the standard of care required of them. If you believe that a medical provider’s negligence or error caused you harm, you may be entitled to pursue a medical malpractice claim. Contact Fiedler Deutsch, LLP today to arrange a free consultation to discuss your case. Call (914) 993-0393, or you can send us a message online.
Why Choose Our Yonkers Medical Malpractice Attorney
- With our extensive experience and vast resources, we ensure that medical malpractice victims receive the maximum amount of compensation possible.
- Our Yonkers personal injury lawyers are dedicated to and care about our clients and have recovered millions on their behalf.
- There are no out-of-pocket costs, and you will not owe any fees for our representation if we do not win your medical malpractice claim.
Yonkers Medical Malpractice Resources & FAQs
- What is Considered Medical Malpractice in Yonkers?
- Common Types of Medical Malpractice Cases in Yonkers
- What to Do if You Believe You Have a Medical Malpractice Claim
- How to Prove Medical Malpractice in Yonkers
- Who Can File a Medical Malpractice Claim in Yonkers?
- Common Signs of Medical Malpractice
- How Much Does a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Cost?
- What is the Certificate of Merit, and How Does it Apply to Yonkers Medical Malpractice Cases?
- What is the Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Claims in Yonkers?
- What Damages Can Be Recovered From a Yonkers Medical Malpractice Claim?
Why You Need a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Yonkers
Taking legal action against a medical provider can be intimidating. They will often be represented by a major insurance company as well as an attorney. Having a trusted and skilled accident lawyer in Yonkers on your side that is looking out for your best interests is critical. Recovery from your illness or injury may be extensive and require long-term care. That also means missed time from work, along with the physical pain and suffering you must endure. With so much on the line, settling for an amount lower than you need is a huge risk. An attorney will know the value of your case and will ensure you obtain the justice and compensation you deserve.
What is Considered Medical Malpractice in Yonkers?
Healthcare providers are held to certain medical standards under the law, and patients have the right to expect the same level of care from a provider, as shown by other health professionals in their community that are in the same field. Medical malpractice refers to almost any situation where a healthcare provider fails to provide the standard of care expected of them, and you are injured as a result. An honest mistake by a doctor or being unhappy with the care you received does not necessarily mean it amounts to medical malpractice.
Common Types of Medical Malpractice Cases in Yonkers
Claims for medical malpractice in Yonkers most often arise due to the following:
Misdiagnosis or Failure to Diagnose
When a doctor misdiagnoses a condition or fails to diagnose one, the patient may suffer complications or wrongful death in Yonkers.
Common errors include a physician prescribing the wrong drug for a particular patient or the incorrect dosage, or a pharmacist filling the wrong medication.
When a surgeon makes a preventable error, such as operating on the wrong patient or part of the body or leaving a foreign object inside the body (e.g., surgical instrument or sponge).
Too much anesthesia can be administered or not enough, or the breathing tube improperly placed.
A mother or infant can suffer a preventable injury or illness during pregnancy, labor, delivery, or after the baby is born. For instance, a physician failing to perform a cesarean section when necessary or failing to respond to signs of fetal distress.
Lack of Informed Consent
Under New York law, patients must be given the information they need to make informed decisions about their medical treatment. If a healthcare provider takes that right away or fails to disclose the risks of treatment, they can be liable for any resulting harm.
Improper testing procedures or lab errors can cause serious injury or death to a patient. For example, incorrect results from a biopsy can lead to a misdiagnosis and the wrong course of treatment or no treatment when needed.
Defective Medical Devices
If a medical device is poorly inserted or defective, a patient can suffer severe internal injuries. They often must undergo revision surgery and may experience additional complications that require further treatment. When a defective or improperly placed medical device causes harm, medical providers and the device manufacturer can be liable.
Medical Record Mistakes
Errors in medical records can lead to adverse drug interactions, severe allergic reactions, the wrong types of treatment, and other incidents of medical malpractice.
Emergency Room Errors
Many emergency rooms are understaffed and filled with overworked employees. As a result, they may have more patients than they can properly treat. Unfortunately, this type of environment can lead to medical malpractice.
What to Do if You Believe You Have a Medical Malpractice Claim
If you believe you have a medical malpractice claim, take the following steps:
- Write down how the medical malpractice incident occurred, and the events leading up to the injury or illness. Create a timeline that shows when your injury or illness was first treated and/or discovered.
- Refrain from contacting the medical provider to ask for help or report the incident.
- Keep a journal of your daily pain and any limitations.
- Obtain copies of all relevant medical records.
Lastly, speak to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible. They can review the facts of your situation and advise you whether you have a legitimate claim.
How to Prove Medical Malpractice
To prove you were injured or became ill as a result of medical malpractice from a Yonkers healthcare provider, you must be able to provide evidence of the following elements of negligence:
A doctor/patient relationship must be proven to establish that a duty was owed. This means that you saw the healthcare provider in a professional capacity to receive medical treatment, which is typically easy to demonstrate with medical records.
Proof that the healthcare provider breached their duty of care by violating the standard of care expected of them. This means that the provider’s actions or failure to act does not match what another reasonable healthcare professional would have done in a similar situation.
The medical provider’s negligence directly led to your injury or illness and that it would not have occurred otherwise.
The injury or illness resulted in significant financial and/or personal losses (e.g., medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, etc.).
The success of most medical malpractice cases hinges on proving what the medical standard of care was in your specific situation and how the provider violated it. The reason is that many treatments and procedures come with potential complications and risks. As a result, testimony from a medical expert is critical to establish medical negligence in your case.
Who Can File a Medical Malpractice Claim in Yonkers?
Any patient who suffers an injury or illness due to a healthcare provider’s negligence in Yonkers has the right to file a medical malpractice claim. In most cases, the victim must be the one who pursues their case, but in some circumstances, another party may be able to do so on the victim’s behalf. For example, if the victim is a minor, their parents have the right to file a medical malpractice claim on their behalf. In addition, when medical malpractice causes a victim’s death, surviving family members can file a wrongful death claim.
Common Signs of Medical Malpractice
It is important to be aware of the following common signs of medical malpractice.
Treatment Isn’t Working
Suppose you have followed through on all recommended treatments, taken prescribed medications, had required procedures, etc., and your medical condition is not improving. In that case, it can be a sign of medical malpractice and you may have been misdiagnosed, or your doctor may have not recommended the correct treatment plan.
Treatment Doesn’t Make Sense
If you have a relatively common medical condition that is not serious and your doctor has made drastic treatment recommendations—for example, prescribing medications with severe side effects or ordering invasive surgeries— you may have a malpractice case. In contrast, if you have a severe condition and your doctor is not ordering aggressive enough treatment, you may also be a victim of medical malpractice.
Only Basic Lab Tests Were Ordered
Serious illnesses require extensive lab tests to diagnose, and if only basic lab tests were ordered before a diagnosis, you may have been misdiagnosed. On the other hand, if you believe you have a serious condition and your doctor has failed to order extensive lab tests, that can be a sign of failure to diagnose or delayed diagnosis.
Second Opinion is Different Than Your Diagnosis
If you seek a second opinion and it is different from your original doctor’s diagnosis, it can be a sign that they did not do their job correctly.
Error During Surgery
Healthcare providers, such as a surgeon or anesthesiologist, will typically admit when an error or complication arose during surgery. However, if you discover a mistake on your own, for instance, because you develop new symptoms that indicate a mistake was made or are unrelated to your original medical issue, it can be a sign of medical malpractice.
Understaffed hospitals and medical facilities are a significant cause of medical errors and negligence. For example, if you had to spend time in a hospital and the staff failed to meet your needs, it can be a sign of medical malpractice.
No Follow-Up Care
If your healthcare provider fails to provide follow-up care after you have undergone a procedure, were prescribed a new medication, or received other new types of treatment, it may signal medical malpractice. Your doctor must provide follow-up care to determine whether the treatment has helped or been detrimental; otherwise, it can be dangerous.
How Much Does a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Cost?
Many medical malpractice lawyers, including Fiedler Deutsch, LLP, accept cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that there is no money charged upfront, and you only owe legal fees if you successfully recover compensation in a settlement or jury award. If you do not recover compensation, you do not have to pay for your attorney’s services and representation. As a result, there is no risk to you. The majority of medical malpractice lawyers will deduct one-third or 33.3% of your awarded compensation. So, for example, if a settlement yields $100,000, your lawyer will keep about $33,000 as their fee for representing you, plus court costs and expenses. However, this fee can vary by attorney and/or the amount of work involved in your case. For instance, the contingency fee may be lower if your case is quickly resolved in a settlement and may rise if your attorney must file a lawsuit and try your case in court.
What is the Certificate of Merit, and How Does it Apply to Yonkers Medical Malpractice Cases?
Individuals pursuing a medical malpractice claim in Yonkers must include a Certificate of Merit with their initial complaint. A Certificate of Merit is a document that can be filed by your attorney, which contains a medical expert’s certification that they have reviewed your claim and agree that it has merit. In other words, they believe there is evidence of medical malpractice. The purpose of requiring a Certificate of Merit is to deter alleged victims from filing baseless claims.
Medical Malpractice and Wrongful Death
When medical malpractice results in the death of a patient, New York law allows the personal representative of the deceased’s estate to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of surviving heirs, beneficiaries, or devisees. The estate representative is typically named in the deceased’s will or estate plan, and it may be a trusted friend, family member, or legal representative. If the deceased did not have an estate plan, the court can appoint a personal representative.
In Yonkers wrongful death cases, damages are awarded most often to the surviving spouse and children, but it will depend on the deceased’s will and whom they were financially supporting at the time they passed. If the deceased did not have a will, compensation will be distributed as follows, according to New York intestate law:
- Surviving spouse and no children, damages go to the spouse.
- If there is a surviving spouse and children, the first $50,000 and half of the rest goes to the spouse, while the other half is divided equally among the children.
- If there are surviving children and no spouse, damages are divided equally among the children.
- If there is no surviving spouse or children, compensation goes to the deceased’s parent(s).
- If there is no surviving spouse, children, or parents, damages are divided evenly between the deceased’s siblings.
A wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within the time limit specified by the state’s statute of limitations.
What is the Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Claims in Yonkers?
Yonkers medical malpractice victims have a specified amount of time to pursue a claim under New York law. This law is known as the statute of limitations, which is as follows:
- Two and a half years, or 30 months, from the date of the injury.
- If there was a series of medical treatments, the 30 months began to run once the final treatment concluded.
- If a foreign object was left in a patient’s body during surgery, a claim “may be commenced within one year of the date of such discovery or of the date of discovery of facts which would reasonably lead to such discovery, whichever is earlier.” (Section 214-A(a))
In some cases, a “discovery rule” may apply, which “tolls” or delays the statute of limitations until the patient discovers or should have known about a medical malpractice injury. However, in any case, once the statute of limitations has run, you will be unable to pursue a claim or recover any compensation.
What Damages Can Be Recovered From a Medical Malpractice Claim?
If a medical professional’s negligence led to an injury or worse, you have the right to pursue compensation for your losses. There are two types of recoverable damages:
Economic damages are awarded to reimburse measurable losses, such as:
- Medical expenses: Any bills related to the care and treatment for the illness or injury caused by the provider’s negligence.
- Anticipated Future Medical Expenses: Any costs for ongoing medical care and any treatment you may require in the future.
- Lost Wages: Compensation for the time missed from work while recovering up until your case is resolved, and in the future.
- Diminished Earning Capacity: If the harm done interferes with your ability to earn wages in the future by either being unable to work or forcing you into a different line of work.
Compensation for incalculable or subjective losses, such as:
- Pain and Suffering: Compensation for the physical pain you have had and will endure.
- Emotional Distress: Any emotional distress caused by the injury or illness, for example, depression, loss of sleep, anxiety, and other psychological symptoms.
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life: If your injury or illness has impacted your quality of life. For example, being unable to do things you were able to do before.
- Disability or Disfigurement: If the injury or illness resulted in a permanent disability or disfigurement that has lasting physical, emotional, and social consequences.
- Loss of Consortium: A spouse can recover this type of compensation for the loss of marital benefits, such as affection, companionship, or sexual relations.
Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages are not measurable financial losses. Therefore, it is ultimately up to a jury to decide their worth. If the healthcare provider exhibited gross negligence, the court might also award punitive damages as a form of punishment.
How Our Yonkers Medical Malpractice Attorneys Can Help
As a victim of medical malpractice, you are entitled to different forms of compensation for your medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and more. Discuss your case and legal options in a free consultation. Call (914) 993-0393 or send us a message online today.