When we visit a doctor, we expect to receive competent care. While it is important for medical professionals to be diligent, the reality is that overtreatment of patients is a serious problem in New York and throughout the United States. If you believe that you or someone close to you suffered an injury caused by unnecessary treatment or care, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, our Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys can examine what happened in your case and help you determine your legal rights and options.
A study released by PLOS One exposed the issue of overtreatment in the United States. The study found that at least 15 to 30 percent of overall medical care is unnecessary. About 21,000 doctors participated in the survey, administered by researchers from Johns Hopkins and Harvard Medical School. The data revealed that about 22 percent of prescription medication, 25 percent of tests, and 11 percent of procedures that are given are not necessary. For instance, not every patient with back pain needs an x-ray, but an x-ray is ordered a lot of the time.
Nearly 85 percent of the doctors in the study said the reason for overtreatment was fear of malpractice lawsuits, while nearly 60 percent of doctors said patients demand unnecessary treatment. More than 70 percent of doctors conceded that physicians are more likely to perform unnecessary procedures when they profit from them, while only 9.2 percent admitted that their own financial security was a factor.
Overtreating patients can lead to serious health problems, including false positives, infections, overmedication, unnecessary procedures, and even unnecessary operations. If you have suffered harm due to overtreatment, you may be able to recover compensation through a medical malpractice claim.
In New York, medical malpractice takes place when a medical professional causes an injury or death by failing to use the level of care that another medical professional in the same specialty would have used in the same situation. In such cases, the judge or jury will evaluate whether a similarly situated, competent medical professional would have acted the same way under the same or similar circumstances. In order to prove malpractice, the injured patient (i.e., the plaintiff) must establish the following by a preponderance of the evidence: i) the medical professional owed the patient a duty of care; ii) the medical professional breached the duty of care by overtreating the patient; and iii) the medical professional’s overtreatment of the patient was a direct cause of the patient’s harm.
Overtreatment by medical professionals can pose serious risks to a patient’s health. If you believe that you have been injured or you have lost a family member due to overtreatment, you may be able to pursue a medical malpractice claim against the at-fault party. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, our skilled Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys understand how to navigate these complex cases and can put our knowledge to use in your case. For more information about your case, call us at 315-479-9000 or reach us through our website.
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