When New York residents seek medical care, they put a great deal of trust in their physicians. The expectation is that the doctor is the expert who will make the best decisions possible to preserve the patient’s life and health. Unfortunately, some doctors make mistakes that can have a devastating impact on a patient’s well-being.
There are several reasons why doctor errors happen. In some cases, a physician may overreach his or her capabilities and fail to consult with a more experienced doctor before offering a diagnosis or prescribing treatment. In other cases, poor logistics in a clinical setting or a breakdown in communications may be the culprit.
Whatever the reason for medical error, there are things that patients can do to avoid or mitigate them. It is important for health care consumers to take responsibility for themselves by monitoring their own health, asking doctors to clarify diagnoses and questioning hospital staff about treatments and medications.
Unfortunately, some patients are unable to advocate for themselves in this way. This may be because they are children, elderly or are so sick they are unable to ask good questions or challenge medical personnel. These individuals can be particularly vulnerable when a negligent doctor fails to provide an appropriate standard of care.
Individuals who believe that they have been harmed by a medical error may benefit from speaking with an experienced malpractice attorney. The lawyer might be able to review the case to determine whether a physician was negligent and make recommendations regarding negotiating a financial settlement or even pursuing a lawsuit.