Long Island Lawyers Skilled in Surgical Related Medical Malpractice Claims

When a person goes in for surgery, he or she expects to come out in better condition than when he or she went in. Errors during procedures, however, can cause serious and potentially lethal injuries. At Duffy & Duffy, our medical malpractice attorneys guide individuals across Long Island and elsewhere in New York through claims stemming from improper or deficient health care services. That includes cases involving injuries or illnesses that are caused or made worse by surgical errors. Our lawyers understand the pain and stress that these mistakes cause patients and their families, and we work unwaveringly to help them seek the legal remedies they deserve.

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Hold Negligent Health Care Providers Accountable for Surgical Errors

Cases involving surgical errors typically center on claims for medical malpractice. Unlike in ordinary negligence cases, where courts consider whether the person being sued acted as a reasonable person would have behaved, doctors and other professionals are held to a more specific standard based on their specialization and training. To prove malpractice in a surgical error case, for example, a patient will have to show that the physician made a mistake that an ordinary doctor with similar knowledge and experience would not be expected to make under the circumstances. In other words, the victim has to establish that the doctor did not meet what the law refers to as the “standard of care.”

The injured person also has to show that the health care provider’s breach of the standard of care actually caused him or her to suffer harm. That might mean, for instance, showing that a surgical error led to specific conditions or that the mistake made an existing illness worse than it was before the procedure. A person who successfully proves malpractice may be entitled to money damages for medical bills, missed wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.

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Punitive Damages May be Available for Malpractice Injuries During Surgery

In some cases, an injured patient may also be entitled to punitive damages. This form of legal recovery is intended to punish a person or entity for wrongdoing instead of compensating a victim for his or her injuries. The severity of the  injury may also impact the settlement, for example, malpractice causing a stroke would lead to a larger punishment than a smaller injury. To obtain punitive damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit, the patient has to show that the doctor’s conduct was “malicious” or “wanton and reckless.”

Sometimes, that standard is interpreted as limiting these damages to cases where the defendant engaged in behavior that borders on criminal activity. Generally, however, it means either that the malpractice happened purposely or that the doctor’s actions were performed with “conscious indifference and utter disregard” for the impact they might have on the patient. Although simple accidents may rise to the level of negligence, they are unlikely to warrant a punitive damages award. It is important to seek the counsel of an experienced personal injury lawyer who has investigated and handled many malpractice claims to consider this issue.

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Protect Your Rights After an Injury by Consulting a Long Island Attorney

At Duffy & Duffy, we have a long track record for helping people harmed by surgical errors pursue the full amount of the compensation to which they are entitled. That includes taking cases all the way through trial in some instances and negotiating favorable settlements in others. We have successfully settled more than 250 medical malpractice cases since 2006, including about 70 multi-million dollar settlements.

If you or a loved one has been hurt as a result of a surgical error in Long Island or the surrounding area, contact the injury lawyers at Duffy & Duffy. We have assisted victims of malpractice in the Bronx and Queens as well as Nassau, Suffolk, and King Counties. Contact us online or call us at (516) 394-4200 for a free consultation.