Medical Malpractice Lawsuits and Settlements: An Overview

Medical Malpractice Lawsuits and Settlements: An Overview

Steven Schwartzapfel -Founding Partner Apr 19, 2022

For more than 35 years, Steven Schwartzapfel, the founding member of Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C., has been one of New York’s most prominent personal injury attorneys. Steve represents clients in all types of personal injury cases. His experience, skill, and dedication have enabled Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. to recover hundreds of millions of dollars for their clients.

There are over 500 medical malpractice claims filed in New York City every year, each of which ranges in its effects and circumstances.

Year after year, hundreds of patients who seek medical treatment are subjected to injuries and personal losses due to the malpractice of a physician or health care professional.

If you or a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice, you may be eligible to receive financial compensation through filing a claim.

Because medical malpractice can have serious effects on victims, medical malpractice claims can result in large settlements.

Recently, our legal team at Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. was able to secure $5.5 million for the victim of a birth injury case where medical malpractice occurred.

However, the amount of compensation an individual receives generally depends on the nature of the case and injuries incurred.

Before you file a claim, learn more about the causes of medical malpractice, how to file a lawsuit, and how a settlement amount is determined. Call 1-800-966-4999 to speak with one of our expert medical malpractice lawyers directly at no charge. Alternatively, if you would prefer to first research the subject yourself, please continue reading.

What Is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when doctors or other medical professionals do not follow the correct procedure or protocol in treating a patient. Medical malpractice can lead to injury and health complications. When a health care provider neglects a patient or willfully ignores the standards of care, the patient often ends up suffering unwarranted physical pain and emotional distress.

In some cases, medical malpractice may also lead to death. According to studies, medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the United States, following heart disease and cancer. As well, medical malpractice of any kind can put patients at risk of life-threatening illnesses.

Malpractice or a Mistake?

Medical malpractice is not the result of an accidental medical mistake made by a doctor or health care professional. To be classified as malpractice, an incident must incorporate intent in action. However, in cases of surgical errors, emergency room errors, anesthesia errors, or the accidental administration of the wrong medication, health care providers might still be accused of malpractice.

Does this mean that a responsible party wanted to harm the victim and acted with full intention to do so? Most likely not. However, these situations are often complex, and even a medical expert cannot always determine a defendant’s intent without carefully examining the evidence.

Unlike mistakes that can happen in more commonplace situations, medical malpractice typically occurs when an individual or institution purposefully neglects responsibilities and duties in treating patients. These situations usually involve treatment that falls below the medical standard of care or doctors and nurses neglecting their duty of care for patients.

For example, a doctor who does not want to provide a patient with necessary tests and falsely diagnoses them may be held liable for medical malpractice.

For a more detailed analysis of what constitutes medical malpractice, call Schwartzapfel Lawyers at 1-800-499-9666. Your consultation will be free and the advice provided to you invaluable in protecting your financial future.

Common Causes of Medical Malpractice

Because medical malpractice can occur under several different circumstances and as a result of several different actions, it can lead to various injuries and losses.

Accordingly, you should familiarize yourself with some of the common causes of medical malpractice, which can be attributed to a wide range of cases.

Diagnosis Issues

Many medical malpractice cases are a result of problems in diagnosing a patient. Such problems include failure to diagnose, delayed diagnosis, and incorrect diagnosis, all of which can occur if a doctor does not perform all necessary medical tests or screenings.

Diagnosis issues are especially detrimental when a patient’s condition requires immediate care to avoid damage. For example, failure to diagnose a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can lead to lifelong impairment or even death, as brain damage cannot be easily reversed.

Miscommunication and Lack of Organization

Miscommunication between doctors and their patients can lead to a lack of proper care for a patient’s condition.

A lack of organization, specifically regarding paperwork and lab reports, can result in a physician overlooking important results or patient information in treatment.

Miscommunication and lack of organization can occur when a doctor takes on more patients than they can handle and cannot give each patient the proper attention and care.

Wrong Medicine Prescriptions

Another leading cause of medical malpractice is the prescription of medication that does not correspond with a patient’s condition or interacts with other medications causing adverse effects.

This can occur when a doctor misdiagnoses a patient or does not thoroughly review patient information for other medications and preexisting conditions.

For example, a patient with a kidney condition may suffer kidney failure if they are prescribed medication that can be damaging to the kidneys.

Other Causes of Medical Malpractice

As mentioned, there are many different causes of medical malpractice. While the previous three are the most common causes, others include but are not limited to:

  • Surgical and medical procedure errors
  • Malpractice in childbirth and prenatal care
  • Malpractice in anesthesia administration
  • Lack of hygienic environment leading to infection
  • Lack of allergy testing before medication is administered

Regardless of the circumstances surrounding a medical malpractice case, filing a claim may be the best way to determine eligibility for a settlement.

In filing a claim, you may be able to receive the compensation you deserve for any losses you suffered. Call Schwartzapfel Lawyers at 1-800-499-9666 to find out if your claim qualifies.

Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim

Filing any type of lawsuit can be a long and arduous process. To ensure the best results, there are certain steps you should take.

Seek Legal Assistance

Because medical malpractice cases can be difficult to prove, you should hire a competent lawyer to help file your claim.

Medical malpractice lawyers have experience dealing with medical malpractice cases and have the necessary knowledge of the law to prove eligibility for compensation and ensure your rights are secured.

They also have access to resources that you may not have, and therefore be able to request documentation and records to help solidify your case. They can also help you stay organized regarding all the different kinds of paperwork that you need to handle.

For more information, you can call the experienced team at Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. at 1-800-966-4999. And while you will be able to speak with a well-qualified member of our team 24/7, you shouldn’t wait. Act now and protect your financial future before it’s too late!

Gather and Secure Documents

Depending on the nature of your case, you should gather as much information and documentation as you can regarding the incident.

Significantly, this can include witness statements or anecdotes from others who are aware of the malpractice. If you are seen by another health care professional, make sure to obtain all medical records detailing the damages incurred.

It is important to note that in New York, the statute of limitations, or the amount of time you have to file a claim after a medical malpractice incident, is two and a half years from the date of the incident.

Settlement Negotiation

If you or someone you love is considering filing a medical malpractice claim, you may be curious as to how much compensation will be awarded as a result.

Negotiating a settlement is one of the final steps in filing a lawsuit, a step that is often undertaken by your lawyer with the opposing legal team. If a settlement is not reached, the case might go to court.

Before negotiating a settlement, your lawyer will first assess the value of your case and how much compensation you are eligible to receive.

Determining Case Value

To determine the value of your case, there are several important factors your lawyer will consider. These include but are not limited to:

  • Costs of medical treatment, including hospital stays, transportation, medication, rehabilitation, and testing.
  • Whether or not an individual suffered injuries that will lead to life-long health problems and, therefore, life-long financial responsibility.
  • Whether or not an individual is permanently disfigured or disabled.
  • The extent of emotional trauma suffered after an incident or after losing a loved one.

Settlements for a victim who has incurred or will incur substantial financial deficits after an incident are referred to as economic settlements.

They are typically larger in amount than those for victims who have only suffered emotional or physical trauma. Such settlements are referred to as non-economic outcomes.

While economic settlements are meant to cover medical costs after an injury occurs, you do not have to reimburse your health insurance company if it covers any medical costs.

A skilled lawyer can help you receive the settlement you are eligible for depending on your case and help protect your rights through every step of the process.

While there is no set range in compensation amounts for medical malpractice claims, your lawyer will help you determine how much you may be able to receive.

Takeaways About Medical Malpractice Lawsuits and Cases

While medical malpractice cases can result from a wide range of different circumstances, you may be entitled to compensation despite the extent of the injuries you suffered.

Medical malpractice is caused by an intentional act of a doctor, health care professional, or medical institution.

While this does not mean that a responsible party purposely planned on harming a victim, it differs greatly from a party making an accidental mistake or error.

Fortunately, with the help of a competent medical malpractice lawyer, you can prove liability for your injuries as well as file a claim to secure your rights.

While compensation amounts may differ from case to case, an experienced lawyer can help you determine your case value as well as negotiate a settlement with the opposing legal team.

At Schwartzapfel Lawyers, we will provide you with a top-notch lawyer who will suit your legal and personal needs by way of extensive medical malpractice knowledge and a successful track record in handling similar claims.

To learn more, you can book a free consultation with one of our team members today. Call us at 1-800-966-4999 and allow us the honor and privilege of fighting for you!

Sources:

Fighting For You | Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C.

Annual Claims Report | Office of the New York City Comptroller Brad Lander

Estimates of preventable hospital deaths are too high, a new study shows | Yale News

Medical Error – StatPearls | NCBI Bookshelf

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