- September 20, 2016
As a New York resident, you have the right to expect that you and your loved ones will receive a certain level of care when seeking treatment at the hospital, in a doctor’s office, or at another medical facility. Doctors, hospitals, and other medical professionals and facilities owe a “duty of care” to their patients, and when they fail to meet this duty, the results can be devastating.
Consider, for example, the recent case of a Hudson Valley man who tragically died from a severe infection while awaiting treatment at the hospital. According to news reports, after being seen by an internist, a gastroenterologist was brought in to consult on his diagnosis. However, the two doctors never communicated, and no one ever returned to diagnose or treat the victim. In June, a jury awarded the victims’ family $4.65 million due to the two doctors’ and the hospital’s medical malpractice.
If You Suspect Medical Malpractice, You Should…
1. Seek a Second Medical Opinion.
If you are concerned that you or a loved one may have received an improper diagnosis (including a complete failure to diagnose), or that you or a family member may have been harmed by a surgical error, emergency room error, or other medical mistake, it is important that you seek a second opinion. Let your new doctor know that you suspect that your prior doctor may have made a mistake.
2. Not Confront the Doctor or Hospital Administrators.
At this point, you should not confront the doctor whom you suspect of malpractice or the health facility’s administrators. You do not want to say or do anything that could lead to complications, and it is always better to let an experienced attorney communicate with the appropriate parties on your behalf.
3. Not Sign Anything.
You also need to be very careful to avoid signing any paperwork that might include a waiver of your rights or an admission that you are to blame for your own medical condition. Facilities and their insurance companies will use a number of techniques to try to prevent patients from filing medical malpractice lawsuits, and you need to be sure that you protect your rights. If you have questions about any paperwork that you have received from a hospital or other provider, our attorneys are here to help.
4. Cease Care with the Physician and Facility You Suspect of Malpractice.
Perhaps this could go without saying; but, except in very unique circumstances, you will typically want to cease treatment with the physician and at the facility where the suspected malpractice occurred. If you feel confident in the doctor who provided your second opinion, consider continuing treatment with that doctor or asking him or her for an appropriate referral.
If you don’t know where to go for a second opinion, we can refer you to a trusted physician.
5. Speak with an Attorney Right Away.
Finally, you should speak with an attorney right away. While the tips outlined above are general rules, they should not be taken as legal advice, and the unique circumstances of your case may call for a unique approach to your medical malpractice claim. An experienced medical malpractice attorney will be able to deal with the doctors, hospitals, insurance companies, and defense lawyers for you, and will be able to walk you through the steps that you need to take to protect your right to maximum compensation.
Schedule a Free Medical Malpractice Consultation Today
With offices in Poughkeepsie and Wappingers Falls, the medical malpractice attorneys at Stenger, Diamond & Glass LLP represent individuals and families throughout New York’s Hudson Valley region. If you suspect that you or a loved one may be a victim of medical malpractice, call (866) 290-6929 or contact us online to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today.