People often think that doctors are infallible, but they make mistakes like anyone else. However, when doctors make mistakes it can have dire consequences for their patients. A recent example was a diagnostic error committed where the head of a New York orthopedic surgery unit was held liable for failing to properly treat a serious infection on a patient.
If you think this is an isolated case, think again. The Legal Examiner’s Eric Chaffin recently covered the case and wrote about how, even the risk for getting infections from a stay in the hospital, can open the door for a slew of lawsuits from patients:
A 2011 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported that about 34 percent of medical malpractice claims involve surgical errors, while about 46 percent involve diagnostic errors. Hospital infections, however, are also a prominent cause of medical malpractice lawsuits, as they can lead to significant organ damage and even death. A 2013 study reported the five most common infections contracted by patients in hospitals cost the U.S. healthcare system nearly $10 billion annually.
These infections can include anything from pneumonia to bloodstream infections. All of these can cause significant hospitalization and generate large medical bills, which most people cannot afford. This is where an excellent NYC medical malpractice attorney such as those from The Law Offices of Joseph Lichtenstein would be able to help.
Malpractice cases happen when a doctor ends up harming a patient through incompetent performance of his or her duties. The matter can be complicated because negative results from treatments are known to happen; a bad outcome does not mean that malpractice has happened. There should always be a strong evidence to prove that the doctor has treated the patient in a way that a competent doctor would not have done. An experienced NYC medical malpractice lawyer should be able to determine for you whether the case has legs to stand on.
So the first thing to do is to know whether or not your case stands a chance to win. A malpractice lawyer also serves as your representative with insurance companies who usually pay for malpractice cases. As these companies don’t want to pay through the nose, they often encourage to settle with the injured person directly. Ordinary people usually end up on the losing end of these negotiations; an experienced attorney could help negotiate to get you more compensation.
Medical malpractice cases are expensive and time-consuming. It’s been noted that 80% of such cases often end with no payment made at all to the injured party or their survivors. The assistance of a skilled lawyer significantly increases the chance of your claim to succeed, ensuring that you eventually get compensated for what you had to go through because of your doctor’s negligence.
(Source: New York Orthopedic Surgeon Held Liable for Failing to Treat Infection, The Legal Examiner, September 29, 2014)