• Misdiagnosing Breast Cancer

    According to a recent news report, one in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer at some point in her lifetime. This alarming statistic is why so many women seek yearly mammograms, which screen for abnormal cell growth in breast tissue. Unfortunately, not every lab technician that analyzes mammograms has the expertise to determine whether or not the results truly indicate cancer. 

    This video shares the story of a Michigan woman who underwent a double mastectomy after her doctors diagnosed her with breast cancer. Following the surgery, she discovered that she had never had breast cancer in the first place. As this news report reveals, cancer misdiagnosis is quite common, so it’s necessary for patients to seek a second opinion.

    If you’ve suffered harm because of a doctor’s negligence, Pegalis & Erickson can help. Call (516) 684-2900 to schedule a consultation with a Long Island medical malpractice attorney at our practice.

  • All About Wrongful Death

    Losing someone close to you is an unrivaled trauma. While no amount of money can bring back your loved one, this video explains the legal option of filing a wrongful death claim in order to receive financial compensation for pain and suffering. This course of action may be a good idea if a third party, such as a negligent doctor or inattentive nurse, caused the death.

    The hardest part of these claims is proving who was really at fault. In the event of medical malpractice, this requires launching an investigation and requesting records from the doctor, hospital, pharmacy, and any other relevant individual, or medical facility. Timing is the most important factor, since evidence can get lost or disappear in the months following a tragic event.

    Pegalis & Erickson is a Long Island medical malpractice law firm that has helped hundreds of families receive compensation following the death of a loved one. If you are interested in filing a claim against the medical provider who treated your loved one before his or her death, call our office today at (516) 684-2900. 

  • A Look at Medical Malpractice In the United States

    Medical mistakes often leave victims severely injured or unable to enjoy their lives. American law allows these parties to sue for negligence or wrongful death, and collect compensation in the form of financial settlements or judgments. The following article provides a brief overview of the medical malpractice system throughout the United States. 

    Medicine law concept. Gavel and stethoscope on book close up

    Widespread Problem

    Medical mistakes are all too common throughout the country. Doctors, nurses, and physician assistants in all 50 states misdiagnose, mistreat, or otherwise improperly care for a patient. Humans make errors and misjudge situations, which can lead to loss of life or serious injury for some patients. It is estimated that malpractice claims cases cost hospitals $55 billion each year.

    Legal Options for Victims

    American tort law allows victims or their families to sue the at-fault individual in court. These claims are encompassed in the field of tort law, and they include everything from negligence to malpractice and wrongful death. If a victim shows that the doctor or nurse acted improperly and caused their injury, the at-fault person will be required to pay financial damages in order to make the victim whole.

    Insurance

    American medical patients are not negatively affected if they file a medical malpractice claim while carrying healthcare insurance. Just because your insurance paid for some part of your treatment does not mean that patients can’t bring a malpractice suit. A good lawyer can still help victims recover the full financial cost of their medical procedure as well as the cost of missed work, emotional trauma, and future therapy.

    Long Island-based attorneys at Pegalis & Erickson have built a law practice by excelling at New York medical malpractice claims. Our clients routinely receive financial compensation in the form of out-of-court settlements or in-court judgments. If you have questions about your specific situation, call our office today at (516) 684-2900 to schedule an initial appointment. 

  • Understanding the Dangers of Medication Errors

    Mistakes in administering, prescribing, and dispensing medications injure more than one million people per year in the United States. Even more distressing is the fact that most of these medication errors are preventable. Luckily, you can help reduce your risk of suffering a medication error by taking an active role in your health care. 

    row of pill bottles

    Learn about your medications

    You should do as much research as possible on the medications you’re taking, including learning about the potential side effects. If you have any questions or concerns about the medicine, you shouldn’t hesitate to voice your concerns to your pharmacist or doctor. For example, if you are already taking prescription pain medication containing acetaminophen, you need to check how much acetaminophen is in your other medications—both prescription and over-the-counter. This is because taking more than the recommended dosage of acetaminophen can potentially cause liver damage.

    Ask your doctor for an explanation

    Anytime you don’t understand what your doctor is saying, you need to ask for an explanation. Every time you start a new medication, be sure to find out the generic name, the recommended dosage, and activities or foods to be avoided while taking the medication. You should also ask your doctor about the possible side effects and what to do if you begin to experience a side effect.

    Share information with your doctor

    Asking questions isn’t enough to ensure you don’t experience any adverse effects from medication. You also need to share information with your doctor each time you get a new prescription. For example, you should tell your doctor the names of each medication you are taking, including any supplements and over-the-counter medications. You should also mention any medication allergies or medicines that you have had problems with in the past.    

    For more than 40 years, Pegalis & Erickson has represented seriously injured individuals and families in the Long Island area. In fact, our medical malpractice attorneys have the distinction of obtaining two of the highest medical malpractice jury verdicts in the state of New York. To schedule a consultation, please call (516) 684-2900.

  • What Is the Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Claims In New York?

    Gavel and Stethoscope on Gradated Background

    Each state limits the amount of time that can pass between a medical error and a resulting malpractice lawsuit. The goal of this is to give medical providers peace of mind that old patients will not suddenly decide to sue decades later. In New York State, the law is that victims and their families only have two and a half years from the date of the accident to file a claim in court.

    However, certain situations may give patients more time. For instance, if a medical mistake involves a child, the child has additional time to bring a claim against the doctor or medical providers that were involved.

    If you have questions about the timing of your case, consider consulting the skilled legal team at Pegalis & Erickson by calling (516) 684-2900. Our Long Island office houses a group of lawyers who only practice personal injury law and can help with statute of limitation questions. Due to the complexity of malpractice claims, all potential plaintiffs should speak to an attorney as soon as possible. 

  • How Will the Affordable Care Act Affect Medical Malpractice Suits?

    Image-Affordable-Care-Act-logo-generic

    Though it may seem unlikely, the new requirements outlined in the Affordable Care Act may actually increase the number of medical malpractice suits in the next few years. Critics to the ACA claim that this increase in demand will deplete the healthcare system’s resources, leading to more hospital and doctor errors.

    Decreasing medical malpractice suits

    Even though the Affordable Care Act has a number of critics, the medical community as a whole appears to support the new rules. In particular, the American Medical Association believes that the new coverage will improve the quality of healthcare across the country, instead of straining the community’s resources. Supporters of the new law claim that it helps simplify administrative processes, giving doctors and nurses more time to devote to their patients.

    Protecting patient safety

    Regardless of whether the ACA leads to an increase or decrease in medical malpractice lawsuits, it doesn’t affect a patient’s legal right to file a medical malpractice claim. If a healthcare provider fails in his or her patient duty, he or she can still be held liable for the patient’s harm.

    To speak with a Long Island medical malpractice attorney, schedule a consultation with Pegalis & Erickson. We are one of the nation’s premier law firms, representing seriously injured patients and their families for more than 40 years. You can reach our office by calling (516) 684-2900. 

  • Reasons Why a Medical Malpractice Claim Might Not Succeed

    Individuals who have suffered injuries or complications from a medical procedure gone awry should know that they may have a legal right to sue the at-fault doctor or hospital. However, not all claims for relief result in financial awards. Sometimes these legal actions fail before making it in front of a judge and jury. These are some of the reasons why a medical malpractice claim may not succeed. 

    In the court

    Waiting Too Long

    Each state has a statue of limitations that outlines the amount of time that victims or their families have to file suit in a medical malpractice claim. New York allows plaintiffs to bring a claim during the first two and a half years following treatment. Waiting too long to bring a malpractice action can result in a time-barred legal action.

    The skilled legal team at Pegalis & Erickson knows New York personal injury law inside and out. If you have questions about your specific legal claim, consult our attorneys today by calling (516) 684-2900. We can assess your claim free of charge and let you know whether or not your malpractice complaint is likely to succeed in state or federal court. Since no two cases are alike, contact us today to learn more.

    Not Enough Evidence

    In order to show malpractice, the victim has to prove how the doctor or medical provider deviated from the standard of care expected in his or her community. This can be a gray area, and trained doctors are often given the benefit of the doubt. If a professional made a reasonable judgment call, a plaintiff may not have enough evidence to show that he or she deserves compensation.

    Not Consulting a Lawyer

    Medical malpractice is a complex legal field, and victims generally need an attorney by their side in order to succeed with a claim. Unrepresented plaintiffs are often presented with low cash settlements for claims that may be worth much more. 

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