You don't plan for injury or death at the hands of people responsible for your healthcare and medical treatment. When medical professionals are careless or negligent, they can cause severe bodily harm and even death. As someone who has entrusted your wellbeing to a medical professional, you deserve care that at least meets accepted medical standards.
If you or one of your family members has been the victim of medical negligence, please contact the Maurer Law Firm at 845-244-8343 for a free case evaluation with our experienced medical malpractice lawyer. We proudly serve those who live in Dutchess County including Fishkill and other nearby Hudson Valley areas of New York.
- What is Medical Malpractice?
- Surgical and Anesthesia Errors
- Misdiagnosis and Failure to Diagnose
- Medication Errors
- Emergency Room Errors
- Hospital Errors
- Dental Malpractice
- Compensation We Can Pursue
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Health care professionals have a legal and ethical responsibility to perform their duties with the applicable "standard of care" in the community in which they practice medicine. Most of the time, they do so with skill and dedication.
But when a doctor, nurse or dentist does make a mistake, the results can be catastrophic and life-altering, such as:
- Brain injury
- Birth injury
- Physical injuries
- Worsened medical condition
- Undiagnosed terminal disease
More often than not, a medical mistake is a mistake that has arisen even though the medical professionals did everything they could to provide proper care. Not every negative medical outcome is a reason to accuse a healthcare professional or hospital of negligence. Only through careful investigation by medical experts can it be determined if malpractice did indeed occur.
Medical malpractice can involve many scenarios in which a medical professional is careless. In the sections below, we'll outline a little more about each of these types of medical malpractice to help you understand if you have a case.
Surgical and Anesthesia Errors
Americans do not undergo surgical procedures lightly. We often seek second and third opinions from our doctors. When we go into an operating room, we are putting our lives in the hands of surgeons, anesthesiologists, and nurses. We need to trust that everything that happens will meet the standard of care expected by the medical profession and society.
Examples of the serious injury that can be caused by the carelessness or negligence of a surgeon or anesthesiologist include:
- Surgical procedure resulting in serious injury
- Surgery on wrong part of body
- Unnecessary surgery
- Injury caused by anesthesia
- Injury caused by pre-surgical tests, such as MRI dye injuries
- Post-surgery infection
- Emergency room surgery mistakes
- Birth surgery errors
- Neurological and musculoskeletal injuries
- Scarring and disfigurement
Medical malpractice claims involving possible surgeon or anesthesiologist error are complex and require an in-depth knowledge of medical care expectations, timelines, and surgical procedures. To thoroughly investigate and prepare your case, we will call on the expert testimony of leading independent medical experts in the region. When it is time to sit down and begin negotiating a full and fair settlement with the insurance company, we come prepared with clear, strong evidence on your behalf.
Misdiagnosis and Failure to Diagnose
Effective medical treatment begins with a proper, timely diagnosis of the condition and best treatment options. At any level of health care—from a general practitioner to a medical specialist and surgeon—getting a diagnosis wrong can lead to costly delays and can cause more harm than good. When the misdiagnosis involves a life-threatening condition like cancer, getting it right can be a matter of life and death.
We have experience with cases of misdiagnosis made by health care providers including:
- Misdiagnosis leading to medications errors
- Misdiagnosis resulting in surgical errors
- Misdiagnosis resulting in emergency room errors
- Hospital mistakes
- Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of cancer
- Birth injuries resulting from improper diagnosis or treatment
Failure to Diagnose Breast Cancer
A physician has a duty to properly identify and diagnose certain conditions, including breast cancer. When he or she fails to do so, the patient may have cause for a medical malpractice action and the right to claim compensation.
The fact that a woman was eventually diagnosed with breast cancer is not in itself a sufficient basis for a medical malpractice lawsuit. It’s necessary to show that the doctor's actions, or lack of action, failed to meet the expected standard of care. This may include:
- Failure to order a biopsy
- Failure to order an MRI, CT scan, or other diagnostic tests
- Improperly interpreting a mammogram, biopsy result, or other test results
- Diagnosing a tumor as benign or mistaking a tumor as a cyst
- Failure to inform the patient of the existence of a cancerous or pre-cancerous condition
- Failure to refer a patient to a specialist
Failure to Diagnose Heart Attack
Failure to diagnose a heart attack or serious vascular problem can have catastrophic effects. This failure can happen in any one of a number of venues, including an emergency room, a general practitioner's office, or a specialist's examination room.
The medical professional may fail to recognize the classic symptoms of a heart attack, which include:
- Chest pain
- Left arm and shoulder pain
- Shortness of breath
The malpractice may also involve the failure to order further medical tests or the failure to treat an aortic aneurysm or symptomatic coronary artery disease (CAD).
Many people with heart or cardiovascular problems feel fine until the moment a heart attack or stroke strikes. When they see a doctor or go to the emergency room and the problem is overlooked or misdiagnosed as anxiety, muscle aches, or even indigestion, precious time is lost. It's that time that could be used to pinpoint the exact nature of the problem and commence a surgical procedure or a treatment regimen.
We count on our doctors to keep abreast of the latest medical knowledge regarding prescription medications. We also need them to understand our bodies and how our systems will react to possible dangerous side-effects. When a doctor prescribes a medication, we trust that it is part of an effective treatment for our medical condition. By the time we begin experiencing dangerous side-effects or an allergic reaction, it is often too late and our bodies have already suffered serious injury.
Fortunately, most people are able to stop taking a dangerous prescription medicine as soon as the side-effects begin to appear. Often, little harm is done. However, some defective and dangerous drugs don't react well with other medications and the real harm may take weeks or months to show up in the form of ineffective treatment and damage to internal organs.
Based on more than 30 years of trial experience, Mr. Maurer knows that not every side-effect of a dangerous medication is a reason to accuse a doctor or hospital of malpractice. He'll use his experience, as well as work with independent medical experts, when necessary, to analyze the case for its legal merits, while investigating the medical and technical evidence to determine whether you have a case. He will not steer you into pursuing litigation that you have little or no chance of winning.
Emergency Room Errors
When we suffer a serious injury in an accident or require emergency care for a serious medical condition, we typically don't have our choice of which hospital emergency room we are taken to for treatment. We must trust that the emergency medical technicians (EMTs) in the ambulance are well-trained and qualified to keep us alive en route to the hospital.
At the emergency room, our lives are in the hands of emergency medical specialists who must make split-second diagnoses and prescribe accurate treatment. A mistake can mean a critical delay in emergency treatment and a medical malpractice claim.
If you were seriously injured due to a mistaken diagnosis or negligent medical care by an EMT or emergency room staff, you may have a legitimate claim for financial damages associated with your improper medical treatment.
Examples of medical negligence in an emergency room setting may include:
- Failure to diagnose a heart attack
- Misdiagnosis of stroke
- Delayed diagnosis and treatment
- Excessive wait time which worsens your condition
- Emergency surgery errors
- Medication errors
- Hospital records errors
The American system of medical care is one of the best in the world. Not only are our doctors and surgeons the most highly-qualified in the world, but our system of communication between primary care physician, the hospital records office, and medical staff is set up to reduce hospital errors that were once very common.
Unfortunately, many hospitals in New York are understaffed, resulting in missed communications, chart errors, and shortcuts that cause serious mistakes and injuries. A case note that isn't passed on between shift changes, or between primary care doctor and hospital surgeon can result in a life-threatening medication error or mistake in diagnosis or treatment.
We can help if you believe you have sustained a serious injury due to misdiagnosis or improper treatment at a hospital. Mr. Maurer understands the legal criteria and basis for establishing a case for hospital negligence. He knows what the courts will expect in terms of hard and fast evidence that the hospital failed to meet the expected standard of care and how the failure resulted in medical and financial damages.
We trust dentists to provide services to the standard of care our society expects, and most of the time they do. Sometimes, however, a dentist makes a mistake that can lead to nerve damage or permanent injury to the face, tongue, or mouth. In rare cases, death can occur during or after a dental procedure.
If you or a family member has suffered harm due to the negligence of a dentist or dental technician, you may be able to obtain compensation for your financial losses and pain and suffering.
The Maurer Law Firm, PLLC, represents people in dental malpractice cases involving:
- Anesthesia errors
- Damage to oral and facial nerves
- Oral surgery errors
- Failure to diagnose oral cancer
- Permanent injury to the face, tongue, or lips
- Infections caused by improper procedures or administration of antibiotics
- Failure to treat periodontal disease
- Negligence in dental implant procedures
Severing of nerves during dental implant surgery is one of the more common malpractice injuries. An error made when implanting a tooth into the lower jaw can lead to permanent nerve damage to the lower lip, radiating out to the chin. Working with one or more oral surgeons, Mr. Maurer will document the negligence of your dentist and seek results for you.
Compensation We Can Pursue
At our law firm, Ira Maurer works to determine what in fact really took place and if the treatment provided failed in the legal sense to meet the standard of care. Mr. Maurer has the experience, resources, and determination to fight aggressively for the best possible outcome to your case.
Mr. Maurer works closely with medical experts to examine the circumstances related to your injury. He will document the ways the medical negligence has impacted your life physically, financially, and in all other ways.
In a medical malpractice case, compensatory damages may be awarded for things including:
- Costs of past, current, and future medical care
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
Contact Our Medical Malpractice Attorney Today
If you have been injured because of a medical mistake, or if a loved one was hurt or died as a result of medical negligence, please contact the Maurer Law Firm by calling 845-244-8343 to schedule a free consultation with experienced medical malpractice lawyer Ira M. Maurer. We welcome clients from Fishkill, Myers Corner, Beacon, Legrangeville, and nearby areas of Hudson Valley.