No parent expects a medical professional to make a mistake that could jeopardize their child’s health and safety. Unfortunately, it does happen. Pediatric malpractice – mistakes made by doctors and other medical professionals in the care of children – can have a long-term impact on the injured child and their family and potentially cause permanent damage.
The NYC pediatric malpractice attorneys at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green understand the impact that a medical injury can have on a child and his or her family. Our team has been fighting for the rights of those harmed by medical errors since 1975. We advocate for full and fair compensation so that you do not need to bear the financial burden for a doctor’s mistake.
Who can commit pediatric malpractice
Legally speaking, malpractice happens when a physician or other medical professional fails to meet the standard of care required of doctors in a similar situation, and the patient is harmed as a result. In everyday language, this means the medical caregiver was not reasonably careful compared to other professionals in that field of practice, facing similar circumstances, and in that geographic region.
The term “malpractice” is generally used to refer to negligence by someone who is licensed by a professional board. This can include doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other types of medical professionals. However, pediatric medical malpractice cases can also include allegations of negligence against hospitals, medical practices, and other legal entities. It is important to bring a claim against the proper parties; an experienced malpractice lawyer can help sort through the facts and ensure the right parties are included in a lawsuit.
Types of pediatric medical malpractice cases
When a medical professional fails to meet the standard of care required of the profession and it leads to harm, there may be a malpractice claim. In pediatric practice, the most common causes of medical malpractice lawsuits are:
- Failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis (the most common missed diagnosis is meningitis, while appendicitis is second on the list)
- Improper medication prescription or administration
Malpractice claims can also include:
- Misinterpreting or failing to read lab results
- Failing to order reasonably necessary tests
- Surgical errors
- Ignoring relevant patient history
- Improper follow-up care
- Overlooking symptoms
Pediatric malpractice lawyers work with industry professionals in order to understand and prove these and other kinds of medical errors. The pediatric malpractice lawyers at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green understand the complexity of these types of cases and use expert testimony and modern technology to prove the impact of medical errors to a judge and jury.
Recognizing pediatric malpractice cases
If your child has been on the receiving end of a bad medical decision, it may be a difficult pill to swallow, but not every error is necessarily malpractice. Doctors, nurses, and other medical workers are human and do not make perfect assessments or choices all the time. There are a couple of factors to consider:
Standard of care
Understandable mistakes might not necessarily constitute malpractice. Malpractice is a mistake that a reasonably careful doctor would not have made. To account for this, New York court procedures require that when a plaintiff files a complaint (a legal document that starts a lawsuit) for medical malpractice, his or her attorney must, at the same time, file a certification stating he or she has consulted a licensed health care expert reasonably believed to be knowledgeable on the issues at hand, and that based on the consultation, the attorney believes there is reasonable basis for the lawsuit.
Even after the complaint is filed, expert testimony will likely be needed to continue with the case. Later in the case, a plaintiff will usually need to file an expert’s report and present the expert at trial. In some cases, such as when a doctor left a surgical tool inside a patient, the expert may not technically be required, but may still be helpful for proving damages.
Seriousness of injury
Pediatric malpractice claims are among the highest-paid by liability insurers because injuries to young, developing children have the potential to impair lifelong growth and learning. Regardless of how serious you believe a medical error or resulting pediatric injury was, it is worthwhile to consult with a New York City pediatric malpractice lawyer.
Pediatric medical malpractice attorneys serving NY
The medical malpractice attorneys at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green understand the ins and outs of malpractice claims and the impact they have on the families of those who suffer because of medical negligence. We proudly serve clients in Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and throughout NYC and Long Island. We take the time to get to know you and understand your claim so we can fight for maximum compensation. Call today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.
Additional pediatric malpractice resources:
- MedicineNet, Most Common Medication Errors http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=55234
- NCBI, Pediatrics: Malpractice Risk Among US Pediatricians, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3666113/