Pegalis & Erickson
The blog of PEGALIS & ERICKSON, LLC: a medical malpractice law firm in Long Island representing those suffering from injuries caused by medical errors. Contact us for a free legal consultation today.

Focusing on Heart Health

Responsible for an estimated 1 out of every 4 deaths in the U.S., heart disease is America’s deadliest health problem. There are a number of steps you can take to lower your risk of developing heart problems, including maintaining a healthy weight, eating a nutritious diet, and getting plenty of exercise every day. One of the biggest risk factors for heart disease is high blood pressure. If your blood pressure is high, effectively controlling it could be a life-saving change for you. Don’t forget to remind your loved ones to have their blood pressure checked by their physician on a regular basis. High blood pressure can be asymptomatic, yet its danger lies in its connection to stroke and other serious vascular diseases. Given this aspect of high blood pressure, it is especially important to make sure your healthcare provider hears and responds to your concerns in a manner you are comfortable with—and, should your expectations go unmet, it is critical to speak up.

Pegalis & Erickson, LLC, has been fighting to protect the rights of patients who have suffered due to medical malpractice for nearly half a century. If you or a loved one has suffered cardiac arrest because your concerns were not treated seriously, call our Long Island legal office at (516) 858-2194 to schedule a consultation.

The Challenges in Diagnosing Cancer

Diagnosing cancer in its earliest stages can make an enormous difference in how successful treatment is. By the same token, failing to diagnose cancer on a timely basis can reduce the effectiveness of treatment. Even if medical practitioners are careful and conscientious, however, it can still be difficult to diagnose many forms of cancer. These are some of the types of cancer that present the greatest challenges:

Pancreatic Cancer
While it is considered relatively rare, pancreatic cancer also has one of the lowest survival rates of any type of cancer. The symptoms are subtle and can easily be mistaken for the signs of a different condition. There is also no widely agreed-upon method for effectively detecting this cancer at its earliest stages.

Liver Cancer
Like pancreatic cancer, liver cancer does not usually show any obvious symptoms in its early stages. Since the liver is located deep inside the body, the tumors are impossible to detect through self-examination. By the time it can be more easily diagnosed, the disease has usually spread to the point where it is much more challenging to treat.

Brain Cancer
Brain cancer is one of the most difficult forms of cancer to identify. There is no way to screen for a brain tumor, and the symptoms—which include headaches and muscle weakness—are readily confused with those of other illnesses. Unfortunately, brain cancer is not usually diagnosed until its later stages.

Ovarian Cancer
Cancer of the ovaries is the deadliest type of reproductive cancer. As with other hard-to-detect cancers, ovarian cancer does not present any obvious symptoms at first. It is also difficult to detect during pelvic exams, and it is not usually found during Pap tests. There is no reliable screening for ovarian cancer, so it’s important to see a physician if you notice any of the warning signs—which include bloating, feeling unusually full after eating, and more frequent urination. Women who are positive for the BRCA gene are at a greater risk for developing Breast Cancer but also Ovarian Cancer. You should discuss your particular situation with your physician to establish a plan for surveillance and care options.

If you believe that you or a loved one has suffered serious consequences because a medical professional failed to identify the symptoms of cancer, it’s time to talk to Pegalis & Erickson, LLC. Our legal team has nearly 50 years of experience bringing successful medical malpractice suits on behalf of our clients. For a free consultation at our law office in Long Island, New York, call (516) 858-2194.

Focusing on Women's Heart Health

Did you know that heart disease is the number one killer of women? Causing one in three deaths, heart disease kills about one woman each minute. February is heart health month, so it’s a great time to think about the risk factors, as well as preventive measures to protect women’s heart health.

In women, heart disease can present differently than it does in men. As an example, consider how women experience heart attacks. Rather than the crushing chest pain most people associate with a heart attack, women tend to report pressure or discomfort in the chest. In fact, women sometimes have heart attacks without any chest pain at all, instead experiencing symptoms like:

  • Discomfort in the neck, jaw, shoulder, upper back or abdomen
  • Shortness of breath
  • Arm pain, occurring in one or both arms
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Unfamiliar fatigue

Women often show up at the emergency room with some of these symptoms, and are incorrectly diagnosed with other issues, like heartburn, indigestion, or even psychological or emotional problems. Because of a lack of awareness about women’s heart health, many women have already suffered significant damage to the heart muscle by the time they are diagnosed correctly. Sometimes, by the time symptoms get bad enough to compel a woman to go to the emergency room, it’s already too late to save her life.

Who is at risk? For women, risk factors for heart disease include smoking, obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, menopause, mental stress and depression, complications of pregnancy, and a family history of heart disease. The best defense against heart disease, then is to stop smoking, eat a heart healthy diet, exercise regularly, maintain a healthy weight, and try to reduce your stress. It’s important to be proactive in regard to your health, and see a doctor regularly, so that you are less likely to be misdiagnosed if you do have a problem

Why are women so often misdiagnosed when it comes to heart disease? Many women die of heart disease, simply because their condition went undiagnosed. This may be because doctors fail to see the subtler signs exhibited by women, or it may be because women tend to downplay their own symptoms. Whatever the reason, it’s important to take charge of your own health, and pay attention to what your body is telling you. Don’t immediately accept a diagnosis, but push for a thorough examination if you feel that something is truly wrong.

If you are dealing with an instance of medical malpractice, contact Pegalis & Erickson, LLC for capable legal representation in the area of Long Island, New York. For almost 45 years we have advocated for people of all ages, in order to help our clients financially and make healthcare safer for everyone. You can reach us today by calling (516) 858-2194.

Reducing the Risk of Medical Malpractice

Even the simplest medical errors can cause serious and even irreparable harm. If you believe that you have been treated negligently by a medical professional, it’s important to seek legal advice from a professional right away. If you are currently receiving treatment, however, there are some steps you can take in order to reduce your risk of being harmed by medical malpractice.

Keep complete records.
You should be careful to keep all of your personal medical records, for your personal reference as well as that of any healthcare providers that you see in the future. You should also make a note of every visit you make to a physician’s office, hospital, specialty clinic, and any other medical facility.

Make a note of your symptoms.
If you’re experiencing symptoms regularly, it’s smart to start keeping a record of them. This doesn’t have to be a diary; it can be as simple as buying a desk calendar and making a quick note whenever you experience a certain symptom. The more details you provide, however, the more useful these notes will be.

Bring someone with you.
It’s never a bad idea to bring somebody along with you to your medical appointments. Along with providing support, the person accompanying you can help you remember any questions you have been meaning to ask. This is especially important if you have a chronic medical condition and need to visit your physician frequently.

Seek a second opinion.
If you are concerned about your diagnosis—or lack of diagnosis—for any reason, you may want to find another medical professional and get a second opinion. Don’t bring up the original diagnosis you received—in order to be as objective as possible, a second opinion needs to be formed without reference to the first opinion.

At Pegalis & Erickson, LLC, our dedicated team of experienced attorneys works to provide all of our patients with the capable legal guidance they deserve. If you or a loved one has been hurt by the negligence of a healthcare provider, you can contact our office in Long Island, New York, at (516) 858-2194 to arrange a free consultation.

Steve Erickson named only Lawyer of the Year on Long Island, NY for Personal Injury Litigation

Lake Success, NY, January, 10, 2018… Pegalis and Erickson, LLC is proud to announce that Pegalis & Erickson, LLC has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America© among only 5% of all US law firms. Additionally , founding partner Stephen Erickson is named the only 2018 LAWYER of the Year in Long Island, NY for Plaintiffs Personal Injury Litigation, by Best Lawyers©. Stephen Erickson, Esq. is the only plaintiffs’ personal injury lawyer on Long Island to receive this honor. He is one of the nation’s foremost medical malpractice trial lawyers. As an advocate across New York State for seriously injured victims of avoidable medical harm, he obtains some of the highest jury verdicts and settlements in New York State history.

The firm itself has also been listed in the coveted New York 2018 Best Law Firms list, as a Tier One Plaintiffs’ Personal Injury Litigation and Plaintiffs’ Medical Malpractice Law Firm. In addition, six of our attorneys have been named to the Best Lawyers© list, of which only 4% of all attorneys in the US have been named. Best Lawyers® recognized Steven Pegalis, Stephen Erickson, and Annamarie Bondi-Stoddard for Personal Injury Litigation and Plaintiffs’ Medical Malpractice Law. Attorneys Sanford Nagrotsky, Robert Fallarino, and Linda Oliva, were recognized for Plaintiffs’ Medical Malpractice Law.

“Being named Lawyer of the Year means a great deal in our region of admirable competition, and as a firm we are proud to be named year after year among a handful of U.S. law firms,” said Stephen E. Erickson. “Our dedication to injured patients allows us to succeed on behalf of clients of all ages and backgrounds.”

Firms included in the “Best Law Firms” list are recognized for professional excellence by peer and client review. There are no fees associated with receiving a ranking. Receiving the Tier One designation reflects the high level of respect a firm has earned in their industry from the same communities and practice areas.

About Pegalis & Erickson, LLC

Pegalis & Erickson, LLC is a New York law firm that represents seriously injured people that suffer avoidable medical negligence. We are advocates for patient safety and medical accountability to ensure safer medical practices for better patient care. In our 45 years of practice, we have won some of the largest verdicts in New York State history for birth trauma, misdiagnosed cancers, and surgical errors, and have obtained justice for construction and serious accident victims. We have helped thousands of people obtain funds for services they need to survive day-to-day living. Visit us at For health news you can use follow us on Twitter , Facebook and YouTube .

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