ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Those who’ve suffered due to a medical mistake often wonder why suing a doctor can be so difficult. A Rochester medical malpractice lawyer says proving negligence can be challenging since a bad medical outcome isn’t indicative of malpractice. Even more upsetting is when an error does happen, it still might not meet the criteria for negligence.
Why is suing for medical malpractice difficult? There are many reasons, scenarios, and even legal statutes that make this process feel nearly impossible. Before giving up hope, understand these factors and discuss them with an experienced medical malpractice attorney in Rochester to learn what options are available to you.
Factor #1: New York’s Narrow Deadline for Malpractice Suits
New York law gives victims of medical malpractice just two and a half years to pursue a lawsuit for injuries related to a doctor’s negligence. One can also file suit if the mistake happened while under their care and the deadline window doesn’t begin until that treatment has finished.
New York’s Discovery Rule
New York’s Discovery Rule offers limited provisions to accommodate a patient. If it’s discovered that a foreign object like a surgical instrument or gauze remained in a patient’s body, a malpractice suit must take place within one year of that discovery. The same applies to situations where facts become known that would lead to the discovery of the item left behind.
Factor #2: Does Your Experience Constitute Medical Negligence?
This factor is critical for medical malpractice suits because it’s necessary to show that a healthcare provider acted in a way that was unreasonable under the circumstances. This often requires the use of experts to testify under oath about the circumstances surrounding the physician’s actions. Obtaining testimony can be costly, but it’s usually necessary to prove negligence.
Factor #3: Were You Injured By Your Doctor’s Negligence?
Once a medical malpractice attorney in Rochester proves a physician acted negligently, the patient’s injuries must also be a result of that action. This is important because, as a patient, you already had a medical issue needing treatment prior to getting hurt. Your doctor’s mistake had to make your condition worse or created another health problem as a result.
This typically requires having an outside expert testify how your healthcare provider’s negligence harmed you.
Factor #4: The Burden of Proof is on the Patient
Another factor that makes medical malpractice suits so difficult to pursue is the burden of proof that the victim must bear. In these types of cases, it’s not the doctor’s responsibility to convince the court of their innocence. This requires plaintiffs and their legal teams to thoroughly investigate every aspect of the claim, gather evidence, get expert testimony, and depose any witnesses. The amount of time that evidence preparation can take varies from case to case and will require resources, patience, and clarity.
Seasoned New York Medical Malpractice Attorneys
It’s an arduous undertaking to sue a doctor for medical malpractice. Victims who pursue claims in court against healthcare providers that negligently hurt them may find the process to be emotional and exhausting. Scientific proof must support your case, and the costs associated with obtaining expert testimony often make malpractice cases cost-prohibitive.
However, many cases are worth pursuing, and an experienced medical malpractice attorney in Rochester can help you determine whether you should file a claim or not.
For more than 60 years, the attorneys with The Law Firm of Cellino & Barnes have represented thousands of New Yorkers who’ve suffered injuries due to trusted physicians making unreasonable mistakes. We fight tirelessly to secure your future treatment and finances so that you can move forward and focus on healing. Our membership with the Million Dollar Advocates Forum demonstrates we have the experience and track record to successfully bring medical negligence suits to trial. We do this without ever asking for a penny upfront. Learn more about how our malpractice legal team can help you by contacting us today.
BUFFALO, N.Y. — When you require a surgery or extensive treatments, you expect high-quality medical care and a competent doctor. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way. A medical malpractice attorney in Buffalo, NY says thousands of patients unknowingly put their lives in the hands of an unqualified healthcare team every year.
Those who’ve been hurt in a personal injury accident and sustained severe trauma understandably want to do all they can to ensure the doctor treating them will do their best to get them back on their feet. One way patients may choose to research doctors is to find out if a particular doctor has ever been sued for medical malpractice in New York or another state.
4 Ways to Search for Your Doctor’s Malpractice Records
Become Familiar with the State Medical Licensing Board
Your go-to resource when researching a prospective physician is your state’s medical licensing board. In New York, you’ll want to search for any disciplinary action through the Office of Professional Medical Conduct, a division of the New York State Department of Health. You can also begin your search with the American Medical Association’s Doctorfinder tool.
Check the Licensing Boards of Other States
When researching your doctor, you should be able to come across information about their education, whether or not they’re board-certified in their practice, and where they’ve practiced medicine. Since it’s possible for doctors to face lawsuits and disciplinary actions in one state and move to another state (and acquire a new license in that state) with a clean record, it’s crucial to contact the medical boards of each state in which the doctor you’re considering has practiced to find out if there are any complaints against him or her.
Watch Out for Medical License Suspensions
Our best medical malpractice attorney in Buffalo says any medical license suspension should raise a red flag. This indicates that the medical board has found an actionable offense and the doctor is currently barred from practicing.
Ask Your Doctor if He Has Been Sued for Malpractice Directly
Sometimes, the best way to learn about your physician’s professional past is to ask them about it directly. While on your search, you might find little information about your doctor, which can mean one of a few things: your doctor has a perfect record and no patient has ever complained about them, your doctor has had an infraction removed from their record, or your doctor has not been practicing medicine for very long.
Most Physicians Have Been Named in a Malpractice Lawsuit
Believe it or not, most physicians have been named in a malpractice lawsuit at one point or another. According to Medscape’s Malpractice Report 2017, 48% of all physicians were involved in suits where other parties were named, and 13% were the only ones named in the lawsuit. The remaining 45% of physicians surveyed had not been named in a lawsuit. Yet, according to the American Medical Association, plaintiffs do not win the majority of claims. Studies show that, of all types of physicians, surgeons and ob-gyns are the most likely to face a lawsuit.
Medicine is a complex and challenging practice that plays a critical role in the continuous improvement of our quality of life. Unfortunately, mistakes and unwanted outcomes take place. Our best medical malpractice attorney in Buffalo says there are many cases in which lawsuits against physicians are not justified. Sometimes, things happen beyond a doctor’s control which may lead to a lawsuit. If you select a physician you like who happens to have an action on their record, the best thing to do is confront them about it and hear their side of the story. Then, use your best judgement to decide whether you wish to remain their patient.
New York Medical Malpractice Lawyers
When licensed medical professionals act negligently, victims and families deserve justice. At Cellino and Barnes, we’ve been advocating for patients impacted by medical malpractice in New York for over 60 years. Our goal is to collect the just compensation patients and their loved ones deserve.
We have an expansive team of experienced medical malpractice attorneys who represent patients all over New York. Our lawyers have successfully litigated a wide array of medical malpractice cases, and we are fully prepared to go to court. We guarantee that you will not pay us a fee unless we win your case. Contact us for a free consultation at any time.
BUFFALO, N.Y. – When you’re injured or sick, your first diagnosis from your primary care doctor is often incomplete or just plain wrong, a newly published study has found.
Diagnostic error is one of the most common causes of injury in American hospitals today, and the new research conducted by health experts at the Mayo Clinic estimated that more than 20-percent of those who get a second opinion from another doctor find out their original diagnosis was wrong.
The new information is similar to other research on diagnostic errors in hospitals, but it gives safety advocates more evidence that there’s a fundamental flaw in the health care system, and there’s room for improvement.
A Buffalo medical malpractice lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says misdiagnosis is extremely common, and many patients can receive the wrong treatment and become seriously ill or injured.
“Almost everyone will receive a late diagnosis or one that’s completely incorrect at least once in their lives,” Buffalo medical malpractice attorney Steve Barnes said. “These errors can have traumatizing effects on a patient, and in some cases they have even resulted in death.”
According to the National Academy of Medicine, at least 12 million people are misdiagnosed every year. Researchers believe these incidents are also under-reported, so the true number of those impacted by incorrect medical opinions could be far greater.
Traditionally, diagnostic errors in hospitals have been a factor in roughly 10-percent of patient deaths, and they could account for nearly 20-percent of all adverse events in hospitals.
“Inaccurate medical opinions can have a wide range of negative effects on a patient,” Barnes said. “Not only is the patient not feeling better, but they could be prescribed drugs they don’t need, or risky surgeries that aren’t necessary.”
Doctors at the Mayo Clinic looked at nearly 300 patients who had recently seen their primary care doctors. In 62 cases, the second diagnosis was “distinctly different” from the original medical opinion. Only 12-percent of the diagnoses were the same. Doctors partially disagreed with each other’s opinions in the remaining 188 cases.
Buffalo medical malpractice lawyers say a second opinion can be valuable whenever a patient has a serious condition or requires a high-risk operation. In the end, that second opinion could save a lot time, money and heartache.
Unfortunately, mistakes continue to harm patients around the country. Some of the Buffalo medical malpractice attorneys at Cellino & Barnes are former doctors, and well-versed in modern medical procedures and illnesses. They’ve also helped many victims get compensation from an injury suffered as a result of medical malpractice.
If you or a loved one has suffered as the result of a misdiagnosis, botched operation, or other type of medical malpractice, contact Cellino & Barnes for a free case evaluation.
NEW YORK – A new analysis of hospital statistics found that over 200,000 people die each year in hospitals; and their deaths were preventable, if they were properly treated by doctors and hospital staff.
According to their research, medical campuses often have the knowledge to prevent accidents, but they tend to cut corners in the financial books.
The report calls on hospitals around the globe to invest more into patient safety, which could include mandatory nurse-to-patient ratios, which have been linked to fewer cases of medication errors, pressure sores, and falls.
Study authors admitted that their data does have a slight flaw, as the statistics included older and sicker patients, but researchers argued that the 200,000 preventable deaths may be an underestimate. That’s because their research didn’t include diagnostic errors, which are some of the most common slip-ups in the medical community.
“Advocates are not calling to prevent problems for which solutions are not known, but calling to implement known solutions to prevent all too common problems,” the report says. “What ties the occurrence of preventable adverse events and mortality together is the willingness and determination of facilities to adopt a culture of safety and to invest in patient safety.”
Researchers noted that the numbers add-up to over 5 preventable deaths each year, per hospital in the U.S., or one every five weeks. In addition, researchers believe that figure could be doubled or tripled if their data accounted for diagnostic errors.
Lead author, Dr. Kevin Kavanaugh wrote in the journal, “In what other industry would such a record be tolerated, let alone defended?”
WHAT CAN VICTIMS DO?
Medical errors are very common in the United States, and many families have felt hopeless when they tried addressing the issue with the doctors directly.
At Cellino & Barnes, our New York medical malpractice lawyers have helped many families get justice after an accident in a hospital. They understand how difficult it can be to get fair compensation for a medical incident, but our lawyers are trial-tested, and they’ve helped our clients obtain over $2 billion in settlements and verdicts.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed as a result of someone else’s mistake, you could be entitled to significant compensation. Contact a New York medical malpractice attorney at Cellino & Barnes today for a free case evaluation.
NEW YORK – Your job can be stressful, and that stress can affect the way you drive. So, it may not be surprising that those working long hours in a high-pressure environment have the highest premiums.
A new report found that those who work in the healthcare industry are also some of those most likely to cause a car accident – and general practitioners are twice as likely to make a claim than other careers.
According to the study, almost 13 percent of GPs have been in a car crash in the past five years, and several other healthcare professions dominated the list of jobs that have oddly high claim rates. The top ten most at-risk careers include:
District Nurse (10.46%)
Drug Addiction Counselor (10.49%)
Hospital Doctor (10.66%)
Hospital Consultant (12.65%)
General Practitioner (12.98%)
Experts say those who work in medicine are typically under a high amount of stress, and that kind of pressure has a huge impact on the way they drive – even when they aren’t distracted. Unfortunately, these careers are often demanding, and it can be difficult to leave work at the office when a person gets in their car, researchers said.
In contrast, some jobs make very safe drivers, like butchers. Only one-percent of those who work in the meat-packing industry have filed a claim in the last five years. Other relatively safe drivers included:
Construction Workers (3.49%)
THE CONCERN OFF THE ROAD
The new findings are not only concerning for those working in the healthcare industry – it should also concern patients and their families.
Occupational health experts say high-stress professions, like those found in a hospital, can dramatically affect a person’s cognitive functions and overall health. In many cases, a person can become clumsy or absent minded, and they can often struggle to concentrate on tasks.
Driving a vehicle is just one of those important tasks. In some cases, stress has been linked to medical errors.
Those mistakes are now the third leading cause of death in the United States, claiming over 250,000 lives each year. A New York medical malpractice lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says almost all of these accidents are preventable, but hospitals continue to place high demands on their doctors and support staff.
If you or a loved one has suffered as the result of a medical error, you may be entitled to significant compensation. Some of these errors include:
When any of these mistakes happen, you need someone to stand-up for your rights. The New York medical malpractice lawyers at Cellino & Barnes have represented injured victims in the Empire State for over 50 years, and they’ve helped clients obtain more than $2 billion in settlements and verdicts.
An experienced New York medical malpractice attorney can fully investigate your claim, to help you and your family get the best result possible. For a free consultation, contact Cellino & Barnes today.
In most cases, the insurer identified multiple factors led to surgery mishaps and usually included the following:
Improper performance of surgery (49% of claims)
Improper patient management (13% of claims)
Improper treatment or procedure (12% of claims)
Retained foreign items (6% of claims)
Breach of confidentiality (4% of claims)
Failure to obtain consent (3% of claims)
A Manhattan medical malpractice lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says the study also highlights the obligations and responsibilities doctors have while operating on or overseeing a plastic surgery.
“Plastic surgeons have many legal obligations, which protect patients from sloppy surgeries or unqualified practitioners in Manhattan,” medical malpractice lawyer Steve Barnes said. “Unfortunately, malpractice is not uncommon in the plastic surgery field and some doctors may not have the qualifications necessary to practice plastic surgery.”
In 2013, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASPS) issued a warning about an uptick in the number of unqualified surgeons. Some ‘surgeons’ have also been caught illegally conducting a plastic surgery practice.
“Many individuals have been arrested for performing illegal injections… without sufficient training or licenses,” the ASPS wrote in a release.
The issue is not just limited to fake or unqualified surgeons. Even credentialed plastic surgeons who are board certified can make mistakes, leading to serious physical and emotional injuries.
The most common patient injuries, according to The Doctors Company, include:
Emotional trauma (35% of claims)
Scarring (23% of claims)
Cosmetic injury (14% of claims)
Infection (12% of claims)
Burns (6% of claims)
Ongoing pain (6% of claims)
While no surgery is risk-free, patients have a reasonable expectation that plastic surgeons are medically competent in their advertised fields. As recent studies have found, failure to live up to these expectations can have disastrous consequences.
If you’ve suffered an injury or disfigurement as the result of a botched plastic surgery, you may be able to recover compensation for past and future expenses. The Manhattan medical malpractice lawyers at Cellino & Barnes say clients could recover the costs for corrective surgeries, loss of income, emotional pain and suffering, and more.
BUFFALO, N.Y. – There are many reasons you may want to go to a rehabilitation hospital. Rehab can speed-up your recovery time from injuries, surgeries or a stroke. But sometimes a stint in rehab can do more harm than good.
The doctors behind the study reviewed nearly 500 cases and said that nearly half of the incidents they identified were ‘clearly’ or ‘likely’ preventable. A Buffalo medical malpractice lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says errors in hospitals are some of the most common injuries Americans suffer.
“The first rule of healthcare is ‘do no harm’ but some hospitals and medical centers are failing to do that in Buffalo,” medical malpractice attorney Steve Barnes said. “Medical malpractice is currently the third leading cause of death in America and little is being done to address this problem.”
A recent report published by the BMJ found that medical errors could be claiming over 250,000 lives every year. That’s more than car accidents, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and respiratory diseases. In fact, only heart disease and cancer claim more lives each year.
An oversight study on rehab facilities, conducted by the office of the inspector general (OIG) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, echoed many of those previous reports.
The OIG found that more than a quarter of the patients in hospitals and up to a third of those in skilled nursing facilities suffered an injury during their time in rehab. Still, some rehab centers are promoted as ‘healthier alternatives’ to typical hospital stays or a nursing home.
“Patients can suffer medical malpractice in almost every healthcare environment but many of those heading to rehab are getting misled,” Barnes said.
The injuries reported in the study added up to a total cost of around $7.7 million for just the one month researchers analyzed the data. The doctors who reviewed the cases noted that failure to provide care, substandard treatment and poor supervision caused the most harm.
Nearly half of the cases (46 percent) were attributed to medication errors and painkillers.
The inspector general has recommended that other government agencies work together to tackle the problem of medical malpractice in rehab facilities. One of the suggestions included making a list of all incidents but Buffalo medical malpractice lawyers say it could be a difficult challenge.
“Malpractice is often hard to identify and medical centers are not always willing to admit they’ve caused a patient harm,” Barnes said. “That’s why it’s important for patients and their family members to contact a legal professional when they believe they’ve been harmed by a doctor or hospital staff member.”
Cellino & Barnes has helped many victims of malpractice recover significant settlements and verdicts. If you’ve been injured in a rehab center or hospital, a consultation with an attorney won’t cost you a thing. With multiple Cellino & Barnes offices in Buffalo, medical malpractice lawyers are always available to answer your questions. Contact Us today to get started.
NEW YORK – There has always been risks associated with going under the knife. There are more than 75 organs in the human body and even the slightest change can cause a vital system to malfunction or it can cause severe pain.
Doctors often can’t predict how a patient’s body will react following surgeries. The body’s natural inflammatory response can be intensified and sometimes lead to complications. Other times, critical errors in the operating rooms can cause life-threatening reactions in patients.
Some of the effects of a botched surgery – the pain, the discomfort – may never go away.
“Medical malpractice is now the third-leading cause of death in Manhattan,” medical malpractice lawyer Ross Cellino said. “Only heart disease and cancer take more lives each year and some health care professionals continue to sweep this problem under the rug.”
Every year, between 200,000 and 400,000 patients suffer some type of preventable harm that leads to death. It is estimated that millions more suffer life-changing but preventable injuries while visiting the doctor or the surgeon.
A Dallas man complaining of back pain was given painkillers for six months following a surgery. The painkillers weren’t helping and doctors discovered bone fragments were left of the nerves. The surgeon who administered the operation was later found to be using drugs and drinking on the job. Making matters worse, the hospital suspected it but administrators did little to address the problem because they had invested more than a half-million dollars into bringing him to their medical center.
“These medical mishaps can cause slow and painful recovery times,” Cellino said. “The bottom line is, they shouldn’t be happening in the first place but the sooner a patient can recognize medical malpractice, the sooner they can receive a full and complete recovery.”
Manhattan medical malpractice lawyers say patients should seek a second opinion if they’re feeling unexpected pain or suffering in any way.
If you or your loved one suspect medical malpractice could be behind a painful recovery, contact the attorneys at Cellino & Barnes today for a free consultation.
NEW YORK – Americans often trust their doctors with their lives but each year, millions of patients discover they misplaced that trust. Medical errors are now the third leading cause of death in the U.S. and many experts say improvements are being swept under the rug in many states.
According to the National Practitioner Data Bank, as many as 400,000 patients are killed following a doctor’s mistake – and it costs the nation nearly $20 billion each year.
“Medical errors are still occurring at astounding rates in hospitals around New York and in the Bronx,” medical malpractice attorney Steve Barnes said. “Some hospitals and doctors have changed their policies but many others continue to ignore safe practices.”
Many cases however, result in minor injuries – but these injuries can be just as costly for patients.
When Bronx medical malpractice lawyers analyzed the total number of claims per capita, New York established itself as a risky place to receive medical care:
New York – 116 malpractice suits per 100,000 residents
New Jersey – 95 malpractice suits per 100,000 residents
Pennsylvania – 92 malpractice suits per 100,000 residents
Washington D.C. – 91 malpractice suits per 100,000 residents
Louisiana – 89 malpractice suits per 100,000 residents
The states where doctors were least likely to face a medical practice claim are:
Alabama – 18 malpractice suits per 100,000 residents
Wisconsin – 19 malpractice suits per 100,000 residents
Minnesota – 20 malpractice suits per 100,000 residents
North Carolina – 24 malpractice suits per 100,000 residents
Virginia – 29 malpractice suits per 100,000 residents
The statistics showed that New Yorkers also filed more Treatment and Surgery-Related lawsuits than any other state and nurse practitioners were defendants in 45-percent of all cases. Physicians were the objects in roughly one-third of the claims.
One recent study suggests that almost every American will receive at least one misdiagnosis in their lifetime, which can lead to serious consequences.
Bronx medical malpractice lawyers say safety must be taken seriously and it is important for patients to learn as much as they can about their conditions and seeking a second opinion if they are at all uncomfortable.
If you or a loved one have been misdiagnosed or suffered an injury as the result of medical malpractice, Cellino & Barnes has been recognized by Best Lawyers and with offices across New York State, they are always available to help.
NEW YORK – Almost everyone will become a victim of a medical mistake: that was the conclusion of a new report released by the Institute of Medicine this week. Sometimes these mistakes resulted in “devastating consequences” such as severe illness, injury and even death.
New York medical malpractice attorneys at Cellino & Barnes say medical errors are far too common and this new report further backs that statement.
“Some of these mistakes are unacceptable and they’re unfortunately very common in New York,” medical malpractice attorney Ross Cellino said. “What concerns us is that many of these mistakes go unrecognized.”
Researchers at the Institute of Medicine concluded that nearly everyone who has visited a doctor will get the wrong or delayed diagnosis at least once in their lives but many patients don’t connect the dots until it’s too late.
The new study, released on Tuesday, also determined ‘inattention’ and ‘neglect’ will probably become more common in hospitals and doctor’s offices as health care becomes increasingly complex. The report highlighted a number of factors that lead to medical errors, including communication and culture among physicians that discourages disclosure of a mistake.
Recently, many state legislatures have seen an influx of health care advocates lobbying for a low cap on the amount of compensation a victim can receive as the result of a medical error. New York currently does not impose any damage caps but lobbyists have successfully limited the timeframe patients have to file a claim.
Cellino, a legal partner at the law offices of Cellino & Barnes, says patients are already up against a tight timeline when a mistake happens.
“Patients only have two and a half years from the date of the misdiagnosis to file a medical malpractice claim,” Cellino said. “The problem is, many patients may not realize the doctor’s mistake until that deadline has passed.”
According to researchers, ‘urgent change’ is needed but experts concluded there’s not a quick way to fix the issues that lead to malpractice. One of the biggest problems for researchers is that there is a lack of data. Researchers said they made recommendations to both hospitals and the federal government; asking health departments to improve monitoring of how doctors are diagnosing their patients.
New York medical malpractice lawyers suggest using a checklist every time you visit a doctor or a surgeon. Cellino says it also important to pay attention to your own health after the diagnosis (or misdiagnosis) so you and your family can file a malpractice claim before your time runs out.
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