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gavelIf you or someone close to you has been injured in what seems like a clear case of medical malpractice, we can help. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, our experienced Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys can help you seek the compensation you need to put your life back together. We understand that these cases can be daunting, but you can rest assured we will try to make the process as seamless as possible for you.

“Res ipsa loquitur” is Latin for “the thing that speaks for itself.” When a case is tried on the legal theory of res ipsa loquitur, the circumstantial evidence in the case is so convincing that it removes possible causes of the patient’s injury other than the doctor’s negligence. Put another way, in situations in which a specific cause of an injury is unknown, res ipsa loquitur permits negligence to be inferred from the circumstances under which a injury took place, if the injury would not normally occur in the absence of negligence.

The doctrine may be applicable to certain medical malpractice cases, especially cases involving injuries during surgical procedures. For example, if an injury to an anesthetized patient occurs during surgery in an area remote from the operating site, res ipsa loquitur may be appropriate to establish malpractice. In such a scenario, the plaintiff would have to show that the surgeon can be presumed negligent because he or she had exclusive access to the patient’s body at that time, the injury would not have occurred in the absence of negligence, and the plaintiff did not contribute to the injury in any way. It is important to note that to rely on res ipsa loquitur, the plaintiff need not conclusively eliminate the possibility of all other causes of injury.

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heart

If you have been injured or your loved one has died due to a medical professional’s failure to correctly diagnose a heart attack, you may be able to recover compensation for your harm. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, our Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys understand how to navigate these complex claims and can put our knowledge to use in your case.

A heart attack happens when the blood supply to part of the heart muscle itself is seriously reduced or stopped. Put another way, a heart attack takes place when there is inadequate blood supply to the heart. When blood flow is restricted, the heart muscle starts to fail, resulting in severe chest pain. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, someone dies from a heart attack every 40 seconds in the United States. About 20 percent of cardiac events are characterized as “silent,” meaning the victim is unaware that the heart attack occurred, even though the body is dealing with the detrimental effects.

In most cases, a patient will experience certain things before the onset of a heart attack, such as chest pain, left shoulder pain, nausea, fainting or light-headedness, cold sweats, and having difficulty breathing. In addition to these signs, certain patients often have higher risk factors for heart attacks, some of which include high blood pressure, obesity, smoking, lack of physical activity, and diabetes.

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babyIf you believe your child is suffering from cerebral palsy due to a medical professional’s negligence, you need to reach out to a seasoned Syracuse cerebral palsy attorney who can handle your case. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, we can meticulously analyze the facts of your case and advise of you of your rights and options.

Approximately 764,000 children and adults have cerebral palsy in the United States. About 10,000 babies born each year will develop the condition. Cerebral palsy is a broad term that refers to a number of neurological disorders that can affect the development of the part of a child’s brain that controls motor skills and movement. ‘Cerebral’ means having to do with the brain, whereas ‘palsy’ means weakness or problems related to the muscles. As a result, cerebral palsy can lead to serious physical disabilities stemming from tremors, joint and bone deformities, and balance problems. In some cases, the condition can cause cognitive problems and seizures as well.

In a lot of cases, cerebral palsy is a direct result of medical mistakes. Cerebral palsy can result from a number of acts or omissions by a medical professional, including:

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anesthesiaAnesthesiologists play a vital role in keeping patients safe during surgical procedures. If you or a loved one has suffered harm due to an anesthesia error, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, our skilled Syracuse anesthesia malpractice attorneys understand the serious consequences that can result from such errors, which is why are committed to providing aggressive yet compassionate representation at every step of the way. You can rest assured that we are here to answer your questions and address your concerns.

Whether it is a local anesthetic or a general anesthetic that puts you to sleep, the goal of anesthesia is the same:  to reduce or prevent pain and allow physicians to work. While the use of anesthesia is normally safe, mistakes involving anesthesia can lead to serious injuries and even death. Anesthesia errors affect many people in New York and throughout the United States each year. In fact, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations states that 21,000 to 42,000 Americans experience anesthesia awareness each year – a condition in which the intended state of complete unconsciousness is not maintained throughout the whole surgical procedure. In other words, the patient can recall the surroundings or an event related to the surgery while under general anesthesia. Other examples of anesthesia errors include:

  • Dosage error (too much or too little);
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casketLosing a loved one is a shattering experience in anyone’s life, especially when the death was untimely and unexpected. If you lost a loved one during or shortly after a medical procedure, you may be entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, our skilled Syracuse wrongful death attorneys will thoroughly review your claim and determine how we can help. With years of experience, you can rest assured that we understand how to pursue the compensation you need to move on with your life.

Unfortunately, medical malpractice is more common than you may think. In fact, one Johns Hopkins study found that medical malpractice deaths are the third-leading cause of death in the nation. According to data collected by the Institute of Medicine, one of five medical errors are potentially serious or fatal. Additionally, an estimated 98,000 Americans die each year due to preventable medical errors, including 7,000 deaths caused by medication errors.

When your loved one’s death is caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party. New York places the responsibility of filing the wrongful death claim on the “personal representative” of the deceased person’s estate. This means family members are not allowed to file a wrongful death claim in civil court unless that family member is also the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate. However, the wrongful death claim may seek damages for losses suffered by the deceased person’s heirs, beneficiaries, or devisees, as well as any losses suffered by the decedent’s estate.

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surgeryWhen we visit a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility, we expect that any instruments used will be sterilized. If you or someone close to you has been adversely affected by contaminated instruments, it is imperative to reach out to a knowledgeable Syracuse surgical malpractice attorney who can help. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, we understand how dirty instruments can cause serious health problems, such as infections and illnesses. You can rest assured that we will analyze the facts of your case and help you mount a strong case for financial compensation.

Unfortunately, the use of contaminated instruments may be more common than you think. According to a pilot program conducted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, out of 1,500 outpatient surgery centers that were inspected, about 28 percent were cited for infection control deficiencies related to surgical instrument cleaning and sterilization. Using unclean instruments can lead to a number of adverse consequences, including infections, loss of limb, and even death.

Hospitals have a duty to make sure that germs, disease, and contamination are kept in check through proper sterilization methods. When a dirty instrument injures a patient, that patient may be able to recover compensation through a medical malpractice claim. Medical malpractice is defined as a failure to render care or treatment in accordance with the accepted standards of medical practice. In other words, medical malpractice takes place when a person or entity causes a patient harm by deviating from the level of care that a reasonably prudent person or entity would have used in the same or a similar situation. For example, a hospital adhering to the accepted standard of care would have a system in place to ensure each instrument was sterilized before it was used on a patient. As a result, a hospital that caused a patient harm by failing to do this would likely be liable for malpractice.

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moneyIf you or a loved one has been injured due to a medical professional’s error in judgment, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, our Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys have the experience and determination that is needed to handle your case. You can rest assured that we can scrutinize the facts of your case and inform you of your legal rights and options.

In New York, medical malpractice is negligence on the part of a doctor or another health care provider. Negligence is defined as a failure of the doctor or health care provider to use reasonable care under the circumstances, thereby causing injuries or death to a patient. In other words, medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional causes harm by deviating from the accepted standard of care expected in that particular situation. The standard of care will vary from case to case depending on a number of factors, such as the patient’s age and medical history.

Damages in a medical malpractice case are designed to make a victim “whole again” by providing compensation for losses. In a New York medical malpractice case, the plaintiff is typically eligible for two types of compensation:  economic and non-economic. Economic damages are awarded to compensate the injured patient for losses resulting from the defendant’s negligence. Economic damages typically include things like medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and rehabilitation costs. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, compensate an injured patient for losses that are intangible or harder to quantify through a dollar amount, such as pain and suffering.

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backacheWe trust medical professionals to provide competent care, but the unfortunate reality is that mistakes do happen. Spinal cord injuries due to medical malpractice can have devastating consequences for a patient’s life. If you or someone close to you has suffered a spinal cord injury due to a medical professional’s negligence, our Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys can help. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, we are committed to helping our clients pursue the compensation they need to move on with their lives.

The spinal cord is the column of nerve tissue protected by the spine and is in charge of delivering messages from the brain to the rest of the body. Our spinal cords are fragile, and injuries to this part of the body can lead to serious damage to the nervous system. As a result, spinal cord injuries often result in a disability and even partial or total paralysis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 11,000 people sustain spinal cord injuries each year. Unfortunately, some of these spinal cord injuries are results of medical malpractice.

Under New York law, medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional breaches the accepted standard of care, which then causes injuries to the patient. The standard of care refers to the level of care that another medical professional in the same specialty would have used under the same or similar circumstances. The standard of care will vary in each case depending on a number of factors, including the patient’s age and medical history. It is not enough to show that a medical professional breached the duty of care; a plaintiff must also show that the breach was a direct and proximate cause of his or her injury. This is typically established through the testimony of an expert witness.

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Surgical ProcedureMedical malpractice claims require testimony from expert witnesses in order to articulate the relevant standard of care for the medical professional who allegedly committed the negligent act. Not all expert testimony is admissible in New York medical malpractice cases. In fact, the United States Supreme Court articulated several factors that expert testimony must meet in order to be admissible. A November 16, 2017 decision, Norman v. All About Women PA, et al., case number K14C-12-003, reviewed an expert’s testimony on the standard of care in a medical malpractice lawsuit.

The plaintiff went to a clinic and received a diagnostic laparoscopy procedure, and during the operation, her bladder was punctured. She also alleged that the doctor closed her up without fixing the wound, requiring additional surgeries and hospital visits. The plaintiff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit and offered the expert testimony of a doctor to define the relevant standard of care broadly accepted within the medical community.

New York law has two primary elements in medical malpractice lawsuits. The plaintiff must establish that the actions of the medical professional deviated from the accepted standard of care and that such a deviation caused an injury to the plaintiff.

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MRIWhen it comes to surgery, timing can be everything. If the body reacts in unexpected ways to a surgical procedure, the physician performing the operation needs to react quickly in order to prevent long-term injuries or even death. It’s unfortunate, but instances of New York surgical malpractice are not uncommon. In a recent surgical malpractice case, the plaintiff alleged that he suffered permanent injuries because the surgeon performing the operation failed to act fast enough and caused permanent injuries.

The plaintiff was admitted to a medical center to treat what doctors speculated was a spinal epidural abscess. This condition involves the build-up of pus in the spine. The result is a compressed spinal cord and can be treated by antibiotics or, alternatively, by draining the build-up of pus. The medical center’s resident physician was assigned to the plaintiff’s care, and he correctly surmised that the plaintiff had a spinal epidural abscess before he consulted with another doctor.

What the plaintiff alleged in the lawsuit was troubling. Even though the assigned physician had initially speculated that the plaintiff had an abscess, the physician allegedly did not order an MRI or another method to confirm the diagnosis. In addition, he did not seek to remove the abscess until the plaintiff could no longer move his legs.

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