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November 2014 Archives

Young stroke patients frequently misdiagnosed

Young people in New York who suffer from a stroke are likely to be misdiagnosed when they go to the emergency room, according to a new research study conducted by the Comprehensive Stroke Center at Wayne State University. The study entitled Misdiagnosis of Acute Stroke in the Young During Initial Presentation in the Emergency Room looked at data that was collected from 57 stroke patients who ranged in age from 16 to 50 years old.

What does it mean when a Jury Asks for a Calculator in a Medical Malpractice Case

If the jury asks for a calculator during jury deliberations in a medical malpractice case, then does it mean it is time for the defense to try to settle your case? You have suffered harm and loss due to the negligence of a doctor and gone through the entire litigation process. Now the trial has ended, and the jury goes and starts deliberating. Now if the jury comes back and asks the court for a calculator, do you think the defense will start negotiating?

Juries Seem to Enjoy Show and Tell in Medical Malpractice Cases

Juries seem to like show and tell for the same reason kids love it in elementary school. In school, kids are asked to bring in something to show and tell to the class. This activity is interesting, lively, and fascinating, and kids get to see something that they may have not seen previously. The kids bring in some new toy or some shiny object to class and tell what they know about it, which makes it interesting for everybody.

Why Lawyers Try to Antagonize the Doctor in a Medical Malpractice Case

While questioning the doctor at the deposition or during pre-trial testimony, the plaintiff's lawyer will try everything to push the doctor's buttons. There is a key strategic reason why the lawyer does this. When an injured victim brings a lawsuit seeking compensation for the harms and losses he has suffered because of the doctor's carelessness, the victim's lawyer will have the opportunity during the litigation process to question the doctor under oath and at the attorney's office. This is known as the deposition or examination before trial.

Who Pays the Expenses in a Medical Malpractice Case

When an attorney accepts your medical malpractice case; who will be paying the expenses for prosecuting the case? The lawyer will be charging his fees on contingency basis, which means he will only be paid if you receive any compensation.

A Gag Order in a Medical Malpractice Case

A gag order is usually a court order. It might be passed by the judge to remove a person from the court who is causing disturbances, or it could be for restricting prejudicial publicity that the participants in the trial are trying to give to the press. However, in a medical malpractice case, the defense attorney might ask for a gag order, as a condition to the settlement.

What happens when the Jury is Deadlocked

In medical malpractice case, it is possible that the jury is unable to reach a decision or is deadlocked. In such instances, the defense lawyer will most probably want the judge to declare a mistrial, whereas the plaintiff's lawyer will want the jury to go back and continue deliberating until they reach a verdict. In any civil case in New York, when the jury deliberates, it needs five jurors out of the six, to agree on any one of the issues, in order to reach a verdict.

What happens when an Expert Witness Lies about Payment

A lie told by the expert witness on the stand can change the whole course of the case. In a medical malpractice case, the defense attorney puts an expert witness on the stand. This witness is an orthopedic doctor, who is brought in to testify on behalf of the defense. During the questioning, the defense lawyer asks the orthopedist whether he is being paid to come and give his expert testimony.

Witness not Qualified in a Medical Malpractice Case

In a medical malpractice case, the defense lawyer might object that the expert witness we have called to the stand is not qualified to testify. This objection can be raised for a medical expert who is just about to testify, for whatever reason the defense lawyer believes, he is not qualified to testify.

What happens when the Doctor does not Release Your Records in a Medical Malpractice Case

When you are injured due to the negligence of your doctor, you may have a valid basis for a medical malpractice case. However, what do you do, if the doctor is refusing to release your medical records? You have the right to take copies of your medical records from any doctor, you have been consulting in the state of New York. In order to get the records, you have to write the doctor a permission slip, which simply asks for the copy of the records.

Treatment guidelines for Erb's palsy

Erb's Palsy is a condition often resulting from birth injury caused by medical malpractice. Approximately 0.1 percent of babies are born with this condition, typically caused by improper delivery procedure. This can result in the child's neck being twisted and stretched to the side. The strain can create inhibited movement and feeling in one arm due to injury to the brachial plexus, a network of nerves near the neck.

How can cancer be diagnosed?

New York residents might be aware that cancer is a disease that is characterized by abnormal cell growth. As the abnormal cells grow, they affect the functioning of normal cells and eventually take over. This results in the breakdown of normal organ function, which can ultimately lead to death depending on the area of the body affected.

Certificate of Merit in a Medical Malpractice Case

In order to start a medical malpractice lawsuit in New York, the plaintiff's attorney has to submit a certificate of merit to the court. In New York, the law requires that when you want to start a medical malpractice case, you must acquire confirmation from a medical expert, who has treated you or reviewed all your medical records. The medical expert must confirm that:

Can You Change Your Attorney during a Medical Malpractice Case

If you have hired an attorney to handle your medical malpractice case in New York, and you are not happy with his performance, then can you switch attorneys? The answer is yes, as you have the legal right to go to any attorney you wish, and at any time that you wish. You may have started your medical malpractice case with one lawyer and by the time the case has progressed halfway, you may not be satisfied with his performance for whatever reason, you have every right to hire another attorney, and even another attorney after that, and so on.

Missing Evidence in a Medical Malpractice Case

Suppose an important piece of evidence in your medical malpractice case has gone missing. Can this information be used at the time of trial? The answer is yes, and you can use that information of missing evidence at trial. Now, let say your case is about failure to timely diagnose and treat a fracture, and the key piece of evidence in your case are the x-rays that were taken in the orthopedics office. Once the lawsuit is initiated by you, these x-rays mysteriously disappear. So, now what happens next?

Can You Take Photos in the Hospital

If you think you are the victim of medical malpractice, you may often wonder why the hospital does not want you taking photos of you inside the intensive care unit. When you are in the hospital and you start taking pictures, people start asking many questions. Why do you need to take photos? Why are there so many people in here? The fact is you are documenting something, and you have every right to document exactly what is happening to you.

In Camera Review by a Judge in a Medical Malpractice Case

There will be instances during civil litigations such as medical malpractice, wrongful death, and accident matters, where one of the parties to the case will have certain documents or evidence that they believe should be coming into evidence, or should not be coming into evidence at the time of the trial. When this happens, the concerned side will ask the judge to review the particular piece of evidence in camera or in private.

Do Juries Like Doctors and Hospitals

When you bring a claim against a hospital or a doctor in the state of New York, the medical malpractice case will be tried in court and a jury will ultimately decide on the case. Did you know that juries generally like doctors? Many lawyers refer to this, as the elephant in the room. Lawyers discuss it with their clients, and it is discussed with juries as well. Attorneys should definitely broach this subject, and it should not be kept hidden.

Why the Doctor is Called Upon First in a Medical Malpractice Case

Usually in any medical malpractice case in the state of New York, the doctor who has treated the plaintiff will be called first to the witness stand to provide his testimony. When a medical malpractice lawsuit is initiated, the plaintiff's lawyer has to prove the case by a preponderance of evidence. This means the lawyer has to establish that his client is more likely right than wrong, in what he is claiming to be true.

Do Juries Like Doctors and Hospitals

When you bring a claim against a hospital or a doctor in the state of New York, the medical malpractice case will be tried in court and a jury will ultimately decide on the case. Did you know that juries generally like doctors? Many lawyers refer to this, as the elephant in the room. Lawyers discuss it with their clients, and it is discussed with juries as well. Attorneys should definitely broach this subject, and it should not be kept hidden.

Is it Wise to Handle Your Own Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

Can a person handle his or her own medical malpractice case in New York? Even though a person is legally allowed to handle his own case, it would be highly impractical to do so, due to several reasons. Unless the person knows how the litigation process works and all the rules and regulations that go into handling the procedural issues of a medical malpractice lawsuit, the person should not handle such a matter on his own.

Ectopic Pregnancy and Medical Malpractice

Ectopic means misplaced, and therefore ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy that occurs outside the womb or uterus. In a normal pregnancy, the baby will be born within the uterus, where it grows in the course of nine months. A pregnancy that winds up going outside the uterus is potentially quite deadly. When the embryo is growing in an enclosed space, it cannot go anywhere, it will keep getting bigger, and the woman will experience various symptoms.

Contracting Sepsis and a Possible Lawsuit

Sepsis in its basic definition means a massive infection in your body. The question is how it occurs, why it should matter to you, and how it could be grounds for a medical malpractice case. For instance, say you have undergone a surgical procedure, and the surgeon has inadvertently injured your bowel or colon during the surgery, and does not know about it.

Differential Diagnosis and Medical Malpractice

When you are receiving medical care, the doctor might want to do a differential diagnosis to determine the most likely cause of your health problem. When you go to a doctor with a complaint, the doctor will ask many questions, to narrow down what the most likely cause is for your sickness.

Lack of Informed Consent

Lack of informed consent can be grounds for a medical malpractice case. It deals with what the doctor informed you, before prescribing a treatment or doing a procedure. When a doctor is proposing a certain form of treatment, he is obligated to discuss with you, the risks, and benefits of the treatment and if any alternatives are available.

The Importance of Past Medical History in a Medical Malpractice Case

When a patient goes to a doctor for medical care, he has to fill out certain forms, and when he meets the doctor, he needs to narrate to the doctor his past health issues. The patient will have to be honest with the doctor and should narrate whatever has happened in the past. The patient might have suffered some type of injury due to someone's carelessness, whether it was from a doctor's treatment or an accident. It will form part of the medical history, and he will have to mention this to the doctor.

Why Ask Hypothetical Questions in a Medical Malpractice Case

When a medical expert takes the stand, either for supporting the victim or defense's position, the two lawyers have the chance to ask the witness several questions. One of the important questions would be asking the doctor, his opinion, and conclusions he has reached after reviewing the medical records of the patient. The defense attorney will ask similar questions. The question is why the attorneys would do that.

Continuous Treatment Rule in Medical Malpractice Cases

The procedural rule of statute of limitations provides the plaintiff a certain amount of time to bring in a lawsuit from the time the incident has occurred. In case of medical practice in New York, the patient has two and half years to start the case against the negligent doctor. However, there is a doctrine in the law called the continuous treatment rule. This rule will extend the time that the patient has for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in New York, even when the statutes of limitation has expired. Hence, this rule tolls or extends the statutes of limitations.

What happens When a Doctor Alters Someone's Medical Records

In a medical malpractice case, the plaintiff's attorney receives the opportunity to ask questions to the doctor regarding the incident, at the deposition. This question and answer session takes place in an attorney's office, under oath, and whatever is said during the deposition can be presented as evidence during the trial. Before the deposition, the plaintiff's attorney reviews the case file and medical records of the patient.

Duces Tecum Subpoena

A subpoena is generally a document that is meant for compelling someone to do a particular thing. In most cases, subpoenas are required for compelling certain people to show up at the trial, and take the witness stand. However, in medical malpractice cases, subpoena duces tecum is served. Duces tecum is a Latin phrase, and this type of subpoena compels someone or some authority to provide the copies or original medical records of a particular person.

Types of Questions that should not be Asked at a Medical Malpractice Trial

In a medical malpractice trial, there are certain types of questions that should never be asked while cross-examining the defense witnesses, especially the doctor.

Medical Literature in Support or Against the Doctor's Position

In a medical malpractice trial, the plaintiff's lawyer will have the opportunity to question the doctor, who is being sued. Many questions can be asked surrounding the incident, at the deposition, or at the examination before trial, and during the trail as well. However, there are certain restrictions to the type of questions that can be asked during the deposition, and the defense lawyer can object to inappropriate questions.

How a brachial plexus injury occurs

An expectant parent in New York might be concerned about the potential for a birth injury as the time for delivery approaches. It is helpful to know how injuries such as brachial plexus occur so that these issues can be discussed with a physician in advance of the delivery. As a physician evaluates risk factors for brachial plexus, plans may be made to use safe maneuvers or a cesarean section to protect a baby from this condition.

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