Doctors and other healthcare providers frequently perform heroic, life-saving work. They often do their profession with integrity and great care. However, they are still human and are not infallible. A medical error can sometimes result in severe injury or even death for the patient. According to John Hopkins Medicine, 250,000 patients in the U.S. die yearly from medical malpractice.
At The Pagan Law Firm, we have a team of experienced New York medical malpractice attorneys who will thoroughly review your case, determine responsibility for your injuries, and pursue financial compensation. Our attorneys have over 30 years of combined experience litigating medical malpractice cases. They can help you explore your options for seeking fair or maximum compensation.
If you believe you or your loved ones have sustained severe injuries due to mistreatment, it is crucial to understand the medical negligence indicators. Therefore, our New York medical malpractice lawyers have compiled the following relevant information showing signs that you may have been a victim of doctor negligence. This data would equip you to pursue medical malpractice claims.
Medical Malpractice: A Quick Overview
Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional fails to provide adequate care or follow accepted standards of practice in the course of treatment. This can be justified by arguing that if a doctor’s peers in similar situations could have avoided this medical malpractice, your specific physician could have.
If a medical provider fails to perform the procedure correctly, which leads to injury or even death, they can be charged with medical malpractice. A medical professional can also be charged if they deliver poor care to the patient. The injured patients can sue the healthcare provider for medical malpractice claims if they can prove that medical negligence has happened.
Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional’s action or inaction causes a patient harm. This can be defined either subjectively or objectively, depending on the circumstances. Most successful medical malpractice lawsuits examine errors that deviate from established and widely accepted guidelines for medical care.
Signs You May Be a Victim of Medical Negligence
Since they are medical experts, we trust our physicians to give us the best health care possible. While doctors are expected to be compassionate, understanding, and trustworthy, medical errors can occur anywhere. Every year, thousands of patients are injured due to preventable hospital negligence. When healthcare providers are negligent in providing proper care, treatment, or diagnoses, their actions can lead to injuries or complications for their patients.
Sometimes, doctors make errors that harm their patients. Due to the nature of the error or the circumstances in which it occurred, the patients may not be aware of them. By actively looking out for the signs, you may realize you have been a victim of medical malpractice. These indicators may include the following 10 circumstances.
1. Absence of Informed Consent
New York City law requires that medical professionals obtain consent from the patient before a treatment or surgery. Your healthcare provider should inform you about the benefits and risks of your treatment plan. This step is crucial to ensuring you can make an informed decision about your treatment options.
The failure to obtain informed consent may be considered medical malpractice, which can lead to significant monetary damages for the patient involved. Sometimes, it can also result in criminal charges for the responsible healthcare provider. Suppose you suffer from a condition or complication your doctor could have reasonably foreseen but not informed about. In that case, you may be able to file a medical malpractice claim against your healthcare provider.
Exceptions may apply, but lack of informed consent may be medical malpractice if:
- Your physician didn’t obtain consent from you before performing a medical procedure.
- Your doctor failed to explain the risks of your treatment.
- You would have declined the treatment or chosen an alternative if the risks had been explained adequately.
- Your healthcare provider failed to identify all potential complications of your treatment.
2. Persistent Symptoms
A worsening condition can indicate medical malpractice because it suggests that an injury has not been treated properly. In most cases, doctors are expected to treat injuries properly and administer treatment under accepted standards of care. If they fail, they may be liable for damages resulting from their negligence.
A typical example that leads to this medical malpractice is misdiagnosis. For example, you were told that you had an infection and were given antibiotics to treat the symptoms. However, after completing the round of medication, your symptoms didn’t go away or worsen. Your doctor may have misdiagnosed or mismanaged your condition.
To determine if you have grounds for a medical malpractice claim, consult a New York medical malpractice attorney. They will be able to help you understand if your case qualifies for damages and what your options are to recover compensation.
3. Delayed Diagnosis
A delayed diagnosis is the failure of a doctor to deliver a timely diagnosis. Early detection is crucial to the survival and complete recovery of a patient. If healthcare providers fail to diagnose an illness on time, it can have grave consequences for their patients. Although patients may not be on their deathbeds if the diagnosis comes late, there may be functional impairment later in life due to the delay.
An example of this is cancer. When medical professionals diagnose cancer in its early stages, there is a possibility of treatment so you can have the opportunity to fight the cancer. In some cases, if it is not curable, early detection can delay the onset of the disease.
A delayed diagnosis is considered malpractice when the illness is curable if only detected early enough. When a patient has certain undetected health problems or the doctor delays obtaining a diagnosis, this is considered medical malpractice.
Contact a medical malpractice lawyer in New York if you think your doctor diagnosed your condition too late. You may be able to receive compensation for it.
4. Unusual Bruising, Bleeding, and Swelling After Surgery
When a patient undergoes surgery, they rely on the skills of their surgeon to ensure that the procedure is performed correctly and safely. While some surgical errors may not cause significant damage to the patient, others can lead to life-threatening complications or even wrongful death.
Some of the most common types of surgical errors include:
- Operating on a different part of the body than intended.
- Practicing poor hygiene that results in complications.
- Leaving foreign material or an instrument in your body.
- Incorrectly identifying tissue during surgery.
- Treating infections improperly.
You may wonder about your legal options if you or a loved one has suffered a surgical error. The good news is that in most cases, the answer is simple: you have a malpractice case. Contact a personal injury law firm immediately, such as The Pagan Law Firm. A New York medical malpractice lawyer can help you determine whether your case will likely succeed.
5. Not Getting the Expected Results From Your Treatment
When we undergo treatment, we expect that our condition will improve. However, this isn’t always the case. Instead of getting better, your condition may persist. The reason may be a doctor’s inability to deliver the standard of care for your illness or because you have been treated inappropriately.
If you have experienced any of the following symptoms, you may have grounds for medical malpractice claims:
- Pain or discomfort during or after your procedure.
- Infection in the area where the procedure took place.
- Late effects from the treatment, such as scarring, pain, or loss of sensation.
- Inability to perform daily activities due to complications from your procedure.
6. Your Doctor is Dismissive of Your Concerns or Questions
A reasonable doctor should not be dismissive of your concerns or questions. They should listen and address your concerns correctly. If they aren’t doing so, it could be because they are trying to hide something from you or not acting in good faith to treat your illness or injury. This can be a sign of medical malpractice.
Unfortunately, it is common for physicians to brush off a patient’s concerns. They will tell you that your issue is nothing to worry about. That kind of dismissal is usually a part of the doctor-patient relationship because they are trying to put you at ease and make you feel better. However, if they keep telling you that it’s nothing when you know something isn’t right, that could be a sign of medical malpractice.
You deserve better treatment from someone who is supposed to care for your health. If your doctor dismisses your concerns, it might be because they don’t want to deal with actually investigating them or giving you answers.
7. You Feel Uncomfortable With Your Doctor or Medical Staff
Many doctors are skilled, compassionate healthcare professionals who genuinely care about their patients. They do everything they can to ensure that their health is prioritized. However, some doctors abuse their power and trust by taking advantage of their patients.
If you feel uncomfortable with your doctor, this may indicate that they have violated your right to proper care and treatment, which can lead to a medical malpractice case. Talking to the best medical malpractice lawyers in New York, like The Pagan Law Firm, can help prove your instinct.
8. Understaffed Healthcare Facility
Hospitals and other care facilities can sometimes be understaffed, leading to lower-quality care. The problem with this is that it can lead to a hospital or facility being unable to provide the level of service that their patients expect, which can harm their health.
For example, if medical professionals are exhausted due to a lack of support from physician assistants, they may not be able to deliver the expected standard of care expected. Extended working hours can also result in medical malpractice, including neglecting a patient and giving the wrong medication.
Everyone has the right to a standard of care in a clinic that provides medications and emergency services. If you believe that a medical professional’s error or omission has compromised your health, you may have grounds for a malpractice claim.
9. Contradicting Opinions Between Medical Professionals
A second opinion isn’t mandatory in all situations but can be pivotal if you have symptoms that don’t seem to get better or experience severe side effects from treatment. Second opinions also tend to be useful for complex cases. Unlike the primary diagnosis of a disease, a second opinion can give you peace of mind about your treatment options for your condition. Also, it can be the key to receiving better care.
If the second opinion differs significantly from the first, your doctor likely misdiagnosed or treated you negligently. When the opinions differ, a third or even a fourth opinion is paramount so that you can be satisfied knowing that you took the necessary steps to find an accurate diagnosis. If you suffered in any way due to negligent medical care, it may constitute errors, which could be grounds for malpractice lawsuits.
10. Wrongful Death
When a doctor fails to provide the appropriate standard of care, and your loved one dies, this constitutes medical malpractice. The most common form of wrongful death occurs when a doctor or nurse practitioner fails to diagnose or treat a patient properly. This could happen if they fail to order additional tests that would have revealed an illness or condition early enough for it to be treated effectively. It can also occur in severe surgical complications.
A medical malpractice lawsuit can be filed only after the deceased’s family has received a second opinion. That opinion should identify a doctor or hospital’s negligence. For example, suppose your loved one dies from complications related to surgery. In that case, you should seek an expert surgeon who can identify whether or not a surgical error was made during surgery.
New York Medical Malpractice Lawsuit: What to do if You Are the Victim
You should understand and know how to protect yourself from negligence. If you suspect you are a victim of medical malpractice, you should do the following.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
If you believe you have been a victim of medical malpractice, we recommend seeking immediate medical attention. Seeking medical attention is crucial for two reasons:
- It is imperative to get the proper treatment for your injuries.
- Getting medical attention will help you document your injuries, which can be vital if you decide to take legal action.
If possible, you should seek a second opinion. This will help you confirm your misdiagnosis that was mistreated. Also, it will give you peace of mind that treatment was necessary. If another medical professional sees things differently, it may be a sign that your original doctor missed the mark in diagnosing or treating your condition due to medical malpractice or incompetence.
To win a medical malpractice lawsuit, it is necessary to have evidence that proves the doctor’s negligence caused harm. Seeking help from other professionals experienced in the medical field can also help you know whether a medical process is to blame.
Furthermore, recording relevant information will help win your case. If possible, document your interactions with doctors, nurses, and other hospital staff and keep a timeline of events from start to finish.
Obtain Your Medical Records
Your medical records are critical evidence for your upcoming malpractice claim. These records are also crucial to building your case. As a patient, you have the right to request your records; no reason is required.
After you have the records, review them and ensure they are complete. You can also keep other significant documents, such as:
- Medical history
- Laboratory test results
Consult With an NYC Medical Malpractice Attorney
When planning to pursue a New York medical malpractice case, it is critical to have the best legal representation. A team of experienced malpractice attorneys, such as The Pagan Law Firm, increases your chances of success. Our team will also help you learn whether your case is worth pursuing and provide realistic expectations of the outcome.
Proving a New York malpractice case is demanding and time-consuming. However, The Pagan Law Firm’s legal team follows a proven strategy of data-gathering and evidence-finding to secure the best interests of our clients. When you contact us, we will give you a free consultation, so you can ask your questions and make the best choice for your case.
Possible Compensation Covered in Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
The consequences of medical errors could be immediate and life-threatening. They could also result in long-term complications that cause extended pain and suffering. Compensation is intended to recognize the physical and emotional injuries sustained due to medical malpractice.
If you win the case, you can receive the following compensation.
In New York City, the compensation amount is determined by the extent of your injury and an estimate of how much money you would have earned if the medical mistake had not occurred. This figure is calculated with the average wages you made before the event until you can return to work.
If you were unemployed at the time of the incident, you might still be entitled to fair compensation because you were prevented from looking for a job.
Suppose you have complications due to a doctor’s failure to provide proper medical care. In that case, you need the assistance of a medical malpractice lawyer who will help you fight for the damages accrued. When done correctly, you can recover the costs associated with your medical bills. You may also receive compensation for future medical expenses.
Medical malpractice can have a significant impact on you and your family. It can deprive you of a happy, pain-free life, plaguing you with medical bills and the effects of lost income. It is crucial to claim compensation to bring this awful situation to an end. If you or a member of your family has been injured due to the negligence of a medical professional, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses and suffering.
Medical Malpractice Lawyer in New York: Have the Best Legal Counsel on Your Side
Have you or a family member recently experienced a bad outcome after receiving treatment? Determining whether or not to pursue a medical malpractice claim is often challenging and confusing. In addition, dealing with an insurance company and a negligent healthcare provider on your own can be overwhelming.
The team at The Pagan Law Firm is committed to helping New York residents win their medical malpractice battle. Our law firm has resolved hundreds of New York medical malpractice cases, and we want to do the same for you. If you are ready to fight for your rights and get the maximum compensation you deserve, click here for a free consultation.