• Tort Reform Included on California Ballot

    Electronic Voting - Yes No

    In 1975, California imposed a $250,000 limit on non-economic damages for medical malpractice jury awards. However, voters in that state may soon raise the cap to adjust it for inflation. If voters approve the ballot initiative, the cap would be raised to $1.1 million. The cap only affects compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of consortium, and similar intangible losses. Healthcare advocacy groups oppose the move, claiming that the increased cap would result in higher healthcare costs for consumers.

    However, those in favor of the move argue that, it only makes sense to enable more significant jury awards for medical malpractice victims. In many cases, awarding only $250,000 in non-economic damages is a disservice to plaintiffs who are left subject to horrific pain and suffering over a lifetime as a result of medical negligence..  Many of the states which have similar caps have declared these laws unconsttituional because it treats victims of medical negligence differently than those injured by any other type of negligent behavior.

    Pegalis & Erickson has a proven track record of obtaining significant jury awards and settlements for our clients across the country. Families who need a medical malpractice attorney are encouraged to call our Long Island office at (516) 684-2900 for a case review.

  • Florida Supreme Court Finds Caps on Malpractice Claims Unconstitutional

    In 2003, a medical malpractice overhaul law was passed that limited the amount a jury could award a plaintiff in wrongful death cases. Economic damages were not affected; these refer to financial losses such as medical expenses. However, non-economic damages for pain and suffering were limited to $500,000 or $1 million in some cases. Recently, the Florida Supreme Court rejected the law and declared it unconstitutional.

    As you’ll learn by watching this video, this latest development is promising for those who must endure lifelong pain and suffering due to medical negligence.

    The medical malpractice attorneys of Pegalis & Erickson understand the devastating consequences of medical errors. Call our Long Island office at (516) 684-2900 to learn about your legal rights.

  • Half of Heart Patients Experience Medication Errors

    Medication errors comprise an alarmingly high percentage of medical malpractice cases, particularly considering they are largely preventable. Medication errors can arise from a vast array of factors, ranging from a doctor’s illegible handwriting on a prescription to inappropriate patient education at the pharmacy. Since reports of medication errors to the FDA are voluntary, medical malpractice attorneys have long thought that the sheer number of errors is actually much higher. Now, a new study supports this view. It found that half of all cardiac patients suffer from medication errors.

    Heart Medicine

    Clinical Study

    According to WebMD, a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine by researchers from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine evaluated 851 heart patients. The patients were of an average age of 60 and they had all been hospitalized for conditions such as heart failure or heart attack. About half of the patients received extra assistance from pharmacists, while the control group received standard care. Standard care consists of patient education about medications from nurses or doctors at the time of discharge from the hospital. The patients who received extra assistance were questioned about the extent of their social support, were given pill boxes and medication guides with illustrations, and were called after discharge for follow-up questions. They also received counseling sessions on preventing medication errors.

    Study Results

    The results of the study exposed an alarmingly high rate of medication errors—slightly more than 50 percent. Seven study participants in each group suffered life-threatening medical problems, although all survived. In the control group, 407 medication errors were discovered, potentially forming the basis for medical malpractice lawsuits. In contrast, 370 medication errors affected the group that received extra assistance. These medication errors included incorrect dosages, premature drug discontinuation, and failure to fill prescriptions. The researchers noted that better monitoring initiatives by doctors and pharmacists could reduce medication errors.

    If you believe you or a loved one may have suffered from medication errors or another form of medical malpractice, you can contact Pegalis & Erickson at (516) 684-2900. Our medical malpractice attorneys have successfully litigated these types of complaints for more than 40 years. Headquartered in Long Island, we provide representation to medical malpractice plaintiffs across the country.

  • TV Star Fran Drescher Discusses Her Cancer Misdiagnosis

    When a patient seeks medical care, he or she inherently trusts the doctor to correctly diagnose and treat his or her medical condition. Unfortunately, cancer misdiagnoses, which can lead to delayed treatment and continued cancer growth, have become incredibly common in the medical field. Television star Fran Drescher became a victim of cancer misdiagnosis when it took doctors two years to finally diagnose her with uterine cancer.

    In pursing a correct diagnosis for uterine cancer, Fran Drescher had to seek treatment from eight different doctors. In this video clip, she discusses with Anderson Cooper how all but one of the doctors was wrong about her medical condition. Luckily, when the eighth doctor correctly diagnosed her with cancer, she was still in Stage I.  

    If you have suffered a cancer misdiagnosis, please contact Pegalis & Erickson at (516) 684-2900. Our Long Island attorneys have handled medical malpractice cases for more than 40 years.  

  • What Is Wrongful Death?

    Lawyer or notary with clients in his office

    In cases where someone dies due to another person’s negligence, his or her survivors can still file a wrongful death lawsuit. In wrongful death lawsuits, the survivors typically seek compensation for lost wages, lost companionship, and funeral expenses. Wrongful death claims range from car accidents to complex medical malpractice and product liability cases.

    In order for someone to file a wrongful death claim, he or she must be a representative of the survivors who have suffered damage. Usually, this person is the executor of the decedent’s estate. However, the parties of interest in the case include immediate family members, life partners, and financial dependents. Some states allow distant family members, including brothers or sisters, to file wrongful death claims. Survivors can file a wrongful death lawsuit against a person, company, or government. However, certain government agencies are immune from wrongful death lawsuits, meaning it’s not possible to take legal action against them.

    The Long Island medical malpractice attorneys of Pegalis & Erickson are advocates for individuals and families injured by another’s negligence. If you have suffered a medical or hospital error, please give us a call at (516) 684-2900. 

  • Key Health Tips for Young Women

    Young women can safeguard their health by considering the long-term effects of their decisions. For example, drinking a few cocktails with friends several times a week may not seem like a big deal; however, it can increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer. Adjusting one’s mindset toward long-term health can offer protection from diseases. The less time spent in the doctor’s office, the lower the risk of suffering medical injuries and requiring medical malpractice representation.

    Gorgeous woman mixing a salad

    Keep Excellent Healthcare Records

    Patients typically view their doctors as trusted professionals—until medical errors or injuries occur. Young women can protect themselves by keeping ongoing healthcare records. It’s a good idea to keep an updated list of your medications, supplements, and medical conditions in case you need to take an unexpected trip to the ER. Be sure to ask the doctor plenty of questions at each visit and take notes. If you feel your doctor isn’t being attentive to your needs, don’t hesitate to look for a more involved healthcare provider.

    Focus on Disease Prevention

    In your younger years, taking steps to improve your overall health can significantly lower your risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Try to eat more whole foods, rather than processed foods, and follow a balanced diet that includes produce, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean protein sources. Although life may get busy at times, it’s important to exercise on most days of the week; consider it an investment in your health.

    Reduce Your Risk of Injuries

    You can lower your risk of suffering surgical errors and other medical injuries by following some safety steps to keep you out of the ER. If you play contact sports, wear the appropriate protective gear. Get plenty of sleep each night; sleep deprivation can impair your concentration and focus, and make you more prone to suffering an accident.

    In the event that you do suffer medical injuries as a result of doctor or hospital negligence, let the trusted medical malpractice attorneys of Pegalis & Erickson help. Our medical malpractice lawyers represent clients across the U.S. in cases involving surgery errors, misdiagnosis, and more. For more information, you can reach our legal team in Long Island by calling (516) 684-2900.

  • What Are the Most Commonly Misdiagnosed Conditions?

    When someone is treated in the intensive care unit of a hospital, doctors and nurses closely monitor any changes in his or her health. As a result, most people expect patients staying in ICU to receive the highest quality medical care available. Even though various hospital staff and equipment banks surround ICU patients, diagnostic errors are still incredibly common in this part of the hospital.  

    Doctor

    Heart attack

    Commonly known symptoms of heart attack include chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, and light-headedness. However, lesser-known heart attack symptoms include fatigue, nausea, and back pain. In fact, women are more likely to experience the lesser-known common symptoms than men. As a result, doctors often mistakenly diagnose a heart attack as heartburn or a gallbladder infection. Sometimes, the symptoms are so mild that neither the doctor nor the patient notices something significant is happening.

    Pulmonary embolism

    A pulmonary embolism occurs when a lung artery suddenly develops blockage. This usually triggers shortness of breath, chest pain, and coughing. However, these symptoms are often confused with those of an asthma attack, pneumonia, or bronchitis. Doctors can detect a pulmonary embolism by ordering a CT scan of the patient’s lungs. If an embolism is present, doctors can prescribe clot-busting and blood-thinning medications. In some cases, surgery is required to remove the clot.

    Pneumonia

    Pneumonia refers to an infection of the lungs that leads to inflammation. This results in coughing, fever, and chills. Some people with pneumonia begin to experience difficulty breathing. However, sometimes doctors confuse lung infections with asthma or tuberculosis. This can be especially problematic because different types of treatment are required for different forms of pneumonia. Delays in accurately diagnosing pneumonia can delay the antibiotic or antiviral medication needed to clear up the infection.  

    Pegalis & Erickson is one of the nation’s premier law firms representing victims of medical malpractice. Our Long Island medical malpractice attorneys are dedicated to helping those who suffer injuries due to another person’s negligence. For more information about our services, please contact us at (516) 684-2900.

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