Medical Malpractice

When a healthcare provider fails to meet established standards of medical care due to negligence, lack of communication, or diagnostic error, patients often suffer the consequences. Those consequences can be grave. The New York medical malpractice lawyers at Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. are here to help when negligence occurs.

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Not Your Average New York City Medical Malpractice Attorneys

Although we may take them for granted, there is a certain comfort that we live with, knowing that we can seek competent medical treatment at the hospital with trained and trusted doctors. We have the confidence that they will operate in a professional manner and take every precaution to ensure our safety.

However, even doctors and hospitals make mistakes. The New York medical malpractice lawyers at Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. are here to help when negligence occurs.

How Prevalent Is Medical Malpractice?

Medical mistakes are widespread and can occur in a variety of different ways. For example:

  • The FDA has received over 95,000 reports of medication errors since 2000.
  • The CDC estimates that over 99,000 lives are claimed from healthcare-associated infections each year.
  • The Journal Of Patient Safety reports that preventable medical errors cause over 210,000 deaths per year and serious harm numbers are 10-20 times more common.

Medical malpractice can occur in numerous situations. Common scenarios include:

  • Labor and delivery-related injuries, including erb’s palsy and brain damage
  • Failure to diagnose and treat in a timely manner – this includes all types of cancers, heart attack, stroke, and pulmonary embolism, among other conditions.
  • Anesthesia errors
  • Surgical injuries, including those that occur during a gastric bypass surgery
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Medication errors

Medical Malpractice v. Ordinary Negligence

Medical malpractice requires special scientific and/or medical knowledge and skill that the ordinary layman does not possess. In contrast, ordinary negligence can be assessed by a judge or jury members’ everyday experiences. For this reason, expert medical witnesses are required to prove a medical malpractice claim. The medical malpractice attorneys at Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. have a network of experienced and knowledgeable medical experts to help prove your claim.

Medical Malpractice Statutes of Limitations In New York

Ordinary negligence and medical malpractice differ regarding their statutes of limitations. In New York state, ordinary negligence has 3 years, while medical malpractice has only 2½.

Moreover, if you are suing a municipality – such as a city hospital or other city healthcare facility – the statute of limitations may be as short as 90 days to file a notice of claim and 1 year and 90 days to file a lawsuit. This is why speaking with a medical malpractice attorney early on is critical in securing your rights.

Proving Your Case

To succeed in a medical malpractice action, you must demonstrate that:

  1. your health care provider deviated from accepted practice and
  2. such deviation is proximate cause to the injury.

The New York medical malpractice attorneys at Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. have the experience and know-how you need to pursue a multitude of medical malpractice claims.

Birth Injuries

The birth of a child should be a joyous occasion. Nothing can cast a pall on the occasion more than finding out that your child has been harmed during the delivery. If your child has suffered a birth injury, you deserve to understand what caused your baby’s medical condition. If the injury stems from medical malpractice, the doctor, hospital, and staff must be held accountable.

Brain injuries are among the most common types of birth injury, often caused when medical providers fail to properly assess conditions prior to or during labor. There are three broad categories of preventable birth injuries to the brain:

  1. Oxygen deprivation
  2. Trauma
  3. Reduced glucose

These types of injuries can be caused by:

  • Failure to perform a timely cesarean section
  • Improper use of Pitocin
  • Inappropriate use of forceps and/or vacuum extractors
  • Failure to timely correct low glucose levels
  • Applying excessive lateral traction to the baby’s head

Surgical Errors

Surgical errors can cause permanent injury or death in patients. Some of the most common surgical errors and complications include:

  • Operating on the wrong area of the body
  • Performing the wrong surgery
  • Performing surgery on the wrong patient
  • Post-operative infections
  • Leaving items in the patient during surgery (sponges, clamps, etc.)
  • Causing damage that was not explained to the patient as part of the pre-surgical briefing

Diagnostic Mistakes

Failing to diagnose medical issues such as cancer, stroke, and heart attacks can have dire consequences that affect not only the victim, but also family, friends, and co-workers.

Medication Errors

Medication errors can occur when a physician prescribes:

  • The wrong medication for the issue
  • A medication the patient is allergic to
  • A medication that is contra-indicated for the patient-type

Medication errors can also fall on pharmacists who distribute the wrong medication, even if the right medication was prescribed.

Contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C. – Your New York City Medical Malpractice Attorneys

When you’re fighting for justice in a medical malpractice case you need the New York lawyers of Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. at your side. With more than 150 years of combined experience, our attorneys are well-prepared to handle all your legal needs.

Call us at 1-888-575-6410 or fill out our online contact form for a free case evaluation. At Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C., we have extensive experience handling the most difficult medical malpractice cases. All New York doctors, nurses, hospitals, and medical facilities that provide care for their patients must do their utmost to ensure your safety. If you are a victim of medical malpractice, call us, we can help. We will fight for you!

The doctor botched my procedure. Schwartzapfel Lawyers took proper care of me.

I was treated with compassion and they are very attentive and always answered my questions and addressed all of my concerns. They have a very wonderful staff and were kind and patient. They are the best and honest Law firm. EXTREMELY KNOWLEDGEABLE IN THEIR FIELD AND I WOULD HIGHLY RECOMMEND THEM.
– Karen Lawler
Ok, so aside from the fact that the settlement was amazing, what I loved most about these guys are there level of communication. I would not only receive calls updating me on my case but they would call just to check in and see how things were going. I definitely recommend Schwartzapfel Lawyers.
– Peter Tyson

Medical Malpractice FAQs

What Are the Most Common Medical Malpractice Cases?

Birth Injuries

The birth of a child should be a joyous occasion. Nothing can cast a pall on the occasion more than finding out that your child has been harmed during the delivery. If your child has suffered a birth injury, you deserve to understand what caused your baby’s medical condition. If the injury stems from medical malpractice, the doctor, hospital, and staff must be held accountable.

Brain injuries are among the most common types of birth injury, often caused when medical providers fail to properly assess conditions prior to or during labor. There are three broad categories of preventable birth injuries to the brain:

  1. Oxygen deprivation
  2. Trauma
  3. Reduced glucose

These types of injuries can be caused by:

  • Failure to perform a timely cesarean section
  • Improper use of Pitocin
  • Inappropriate use of forceps and/or vacuum extractors
  • Failure to timely correct low glucose levels
  • Applying excessive lateral traction to the baby’s head

Surgical Errors

Surgical errors can cause permanent injury or death in patients. Some of the most common surgical errors and complications include:

  • Operating on the wrong area of the body
  • Performing the wrong surgery
  • Performing surgery on the wrong patient
  • Post-operative infections
  • Leaving items in the patient during surgery (sponges, clamps, etc.)
  • Causing damage that was not explained to the patient as part of the pre-surgical briefing

Diagnostic Mistakes

Failing to diagnose medical issues such as cancer, stroke, and heart attacks can have dire consequences that affect not only the victim, but also family, friends, and co-workers.

Medication Errors

Medication errors can occur when a physician prescribes:

  • The wrong medication for the issue
  • A medication the patient is allergic to
  • A medication that is contra-indicated for the patient-type

Medication errors can also fall on pharmacists who distribute the wrong medication, even if the right medication was prescribed.

Medical Malpractice v. Ordinary Negligence

Medical malpractice requires special scientific and/or medical knowledge and skill that the ordinary layman does not possess. In contrast, ordinary negligence can be assessed by a judge or jury members’ everyday experiences. For this reason, expert medical witnesses are required to prove a medical malpractice claim. The medical malpractice attorneys at Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. have a network of experienced and knowledgeable medical experts to help prove your claim.

What are Important Medical Malpractice Resources & Information?

Medical Malpractice Resources & Information

Federal Resources:

Part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, this organization is the lead federal agency dedicated to “advancing excellence in healthcare.” Find information on this site pertaining to research on healthcare quality, patient safety, clinical information, data, and surveys.

The CDC website provides information designed to protect patients and healthcare workers, and to promote safety and quality in support of infection control in healthcare settings.

The FDA website contains information about drug approvals, warnings, and recalls, along with information on medical devices and additional pharmaceutical-related regulatory information.

This site serves as the FDA gateway for finding clinically-important safety information and reporting serious problems with medical products.

Public Resources:

Find information on safety measures for medical patients, certification requirements for physicians, and pertinent news on healthcare quality. This site also allows you to search a national database to find a board certified physician.

To educate and protect patients through awareness of hospital acquired infections, this organization supports patient advocacy and provides health and safety guidelines, as well as patient support information.

This nonprofit site was established to encourage patients in treatment to ask the tough questions of their medical team regarding surgical risks, the doctors’ skill and experience, and safe care procedures. (Note: While the organization stopped posting new content in 2012, their archives are still accessible and contain a good deal of useful information.)

This nonprofit organization offers research and findings on medical procedures, devices, drugs, and processes to enable healthcare professionals to provide quality patient care.

Comprised of members from the healthcare profession, this foundation’s primary goal is to prevent patient injury through early and appropriate response to evident and potential problems.

New York Resources:

This frequently asked questions page is focused on helping the public better understand the office’s role, and the state’s physician discipline program, when a patient has a medical complaint or when medical negligence is discovered.

This website was created in conjunction with the New York Patient Health Information and Quality Improvement Act of 2000 to make it possible for all citizens of New York to get information about physicians.

If I Contract an HAI, Is It Medical Malpractice?

The cause of the infection will come under scrutiny when determining whether a hospital is liable for an HAI. If the patient developed an infection after discharge due to improper care of their surgical wounds, the hospital may not be considered liable. If, however, the patient develops an HAI from iatrogenic, organizational, or patient risks, the hospital or clinic where they contracted the infection could be liable for the patient’s additional treatment, pain and suffering, financial losses, or wrongful death (if death occurs).

What Is Medical Malpractice and When Do You File a Medical Malpractice Claim?

Basically, medical malpractice occurs when doctors or health care providers provide substandard care to their patients. It is important to note however, that not all mistakes in treatment are considered medical malpractice.

Typically, medical malpractice falls into one of the following three categories:

Improper Diagnosis

Depending on the illness, an improper diagnosis can have serious consequences. If a patient is misdiagnosed, and if it reasonable that another doctor would have provided the correct diagnosis, medical malpractice may have occurred.

Medical Mistakes

If a doctor makes a mistake treating a patient, and it can be determined that another doctor would not have made the same mistake, the patient may have a medical malpractice claim. While sometimes the evidence of medical mistakes may be readily apparent, others are not. For instance, if a patient has back surgery to relieve pain, and the pain returns after 6 months post-surgery, it would be difficult to prove that the pain was due to a medical mistake from the initial surgery.

Informed Consent

Patients have a right to be informed of the care they are going to receive. Doctors should inform a patient of all of their treatment options, as well as any known risks. If a doctor fails to obtain the patient’s informed consent regarding treatment, medical malpractice may have occurred. Note, however, that there is an exception to this rule if the medical treatment was due to an emergency situation.

Medical Malpractice Articles

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Steven Schwartzapfel

Our founding partner Steven J. Schwartzapfel understands the frustrations and heartbreak of living with a serious physical disability. His father was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and often needed assistance with everyday activities. This childhood experience sparked Steve’s passion for helping injury victims and shaped Steve’s approach to legal practice. Our attorneys advise you in the same manner as we would our own family member. We provide honest, helpful advice and treat you with the honor, dignity, respect and compassion you should expect from a genuinely caring, concerned and committed attorney.
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Common Medical Malpractice Scenarios

Labor and delivery-related injuries, including erb’s palsy and brain damage
> Failure to diagnose and treat in a timely manner – this includes all types of cancers, heart attack, stroke, and pulmonary embolism, among other conditions.

> Anesthesia errors
Surgical injuries, including those that occur during a gastric bypass surgery
> Spinal cord injuries
> Medication errors