I receive many phone calls from potential clients regarding the substandard care that their family members have received in hospitals or clinics.
For example, patients who are gravely ill or taken to Emergency Rooms with serious injuries are sometimes prescribed the wrong medication causing patients to suffer terribly. Doctors have failed to properly review test results and patients’ conditions have been made worse as a result. Medical practitioners have administered improper care such as leaving objects inside the bodies of patients during surgery.
For some, their gravely ill family members may have days to live and then are caused to suffer further pain. On one occasion, a patient was days from death and a nurse placed a feeding tube inside the patient’s lungs. Of course, the patient died within hours instead of days.
These sad cases have led to phone calls to my office to obtain my professional opinion. They want to know their rights and whether they can sue a doctor for medical malpractice.
Firstly, a doctor’s negligence must be confirmed by another doctor. The family needs to obtain the medical records of the patient so a medical expert can review the records. These records are costly, but that is the only way another doctor can review the medical care given to the patient.
Once the records are reviewed, it must be established that the patient’s doctor committed malpractice. “Malpractice” is usually defined as care that is below what is generally accepted in the medical community where the patient received treatment.
If you can establish “malpractice,” then the question of “money damages.” It needs to be proven that the doctor’s malpractice caused you to suffer monetarily and/or “pain and suffering.” Much of this depends on specifically you suffered, your age, your prior health, etc. Are you unable to work for the rest of your life? Has you suffered a loss of a bodily function (for example, walking, speaking, seeing, etc)?
Also, I advise families to contact the Department of Health to file a complaint against a doctor or hospital. The effect is to create a file that the State of New York will have in the event that the doctor and/or hospital commit malpractice on other patients. Here is the link to make a complaint against a doctor or hospital: Filing a Complaint against a Doctor or Hospital in NY State
If you have any questions, please contact Charles DeStefano, and accident lawyer in your community. I can refer you to the best Medical Malpractice Attorneys that I know.