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Legal Guidance for Long Island Residents Harmed by Negligent Doctors
Most patients are reluctant to believe that a medical professional caused them greater harm than they would have suffered with a different, more prudent doctor. Unfortunately, the failure to diagnose or properly treat an illness or injury happens every day, but only a small number of people affected by malpractice take action against it by filing suit. At Duffy & Duffy, we believe that a careless health care professional can and should be held legally accountable. A medical negligence lawsuit also allows future patients to be warned about the doctors’ actions and the standard of care that should be applied to the circumstances that were at issue.
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Many cases of malpractice involve physicians who have failed to pay attention to their patients’ complaints. For example, in a cancer case, if your doctor did not listen to your concerns or claimed a tumor was benign when it was not, it is possible that he or she committed malpractice. Every case is different, however, and the outcome depends on specific facts. In all New York medical malpractice lawsuits, your attorney will need to consult with an expert physician to make sure there is a reasonable basis to believe medical malpractice occurred and file a certificate of consultation within 90 days of filing your complaint.
Failure to Diagnose
In order to successfully prosecute a medical malpractice lawsuit, the patient must have a demonstrable injury, rather than just symptoms of the underlying condition. Your attorney will have to prove that you are in a worse condition than you would have been in if the diagnosis had been made in a timely manner or if appropriate treatments had been offered to you. Failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis accounts for a significant percentage of medical malpractice cases including heart attack malpractice cases.
Some common reasons physicians fail to diagnose or misdiagnose include misinterpreting test results, misdiagnosing a tumor as benign, conducting an inadequate physical examination, failing to perform regular screenings, failing to recognize indications of a problem, failing to attend to a patient’s complaints, failing to order appropriate tests, failing to provide adequate follow-up care, or delaying referral of a patient to a specialist. The most commonly misdiagnosed conditions include colon and breast cancer, brain injuries or strokes, allergic reactions, and cardiac disease.
Delay or Failure to Provide Appropriate Treatment
Failure to provide the appropriate treatment for an illness can occur with a wide range of illnesses. Medication errors are some of the most common ways that doctors inappropriately treat a patient. Sometimes, a patient gets too much or too little of a particular drug because the doctor writes an incorrect dosage or because a nurse administers an incorrect amount.
Other common errors occur in connection with anesthesia and surgery. Even small errors in anesthesia can result in brain damage or death. All anesthesiologists must investigate a patient’s medical history for possible complications and must inform the patient of risks involved if certain preoperative instructions aren’t followed, such as not eating before surgery. While administering anesthesia, there may be other errors. An anesthesiologist may give too much anesthesia to a patient, fail to monitor the patient’s vital signs, improperly intubate the patient, or use defective equipment.
When it comes to the surgery itself, there are a number of ways a surgeon can be negligent during the operation. They may operate on the wrong body part, leave a surgical instrument or sponge inside the body, or puncture internal organs.
Consult a Medical Malpractice Attorney After an Injury Near Long Island
All complaints to a physician should be taken seriously. The medical malpractice lawyers at Duffy & Duffy are dedicated advocates for people on Long Island and beyond who have suffered serious injuries due to professional negligence. If you complained to a physician about symptoms over a period of time without a diagnosis, you should investigate whether malpractice may have occurred. Contact us by calling (516) 394-4200 or using our online form to arrange a meeting with one of our attorneys to discuss your situation and answer medical malpractice questions you may have. We represent individuals in the Bronx, Queens, and elsewhere in New York, including Nassau, Suffolk, and Kings Counties.
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