New York Medical Malpractice Statistics
“When it comes to medical malpractice costs, no state in the U.S. comes close to New York. Consistently, year after year, one fifth of all paid medical malpractice cases and one fifth of total malpractice costs in the U.S. occur in New York alone. In reality, most of these cases occur in and around New York City.” (1)
Nurse Care Medical Malpractice Statistics
Nurses are directly involved in nearly all aspects of your medical care. Out of 60,000 medical professional liability cases from 2007 to 2016, several thousand involved nurses. Nursing care was primarily or secondarily responsible in over 10,200 of those cases. In cases resulting in severe injury or patient death, roughly 12,000 involved injurious nursing care. (2)
Malpractice may involve nurses personally, but “more often than not, the liability” may fall on the organization where the nurses were practicing or to doctors involved in your care. Defendants may involve the hospital or other medical facilities and one or more doctors, registered nurses, certified nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives, or certified registered nurse anesthetists. (3)
What Is Nursing Malpractice?
Malpractice is “the failure of a professional person to act in accordance with the prevailing professional standards, or failure to foresee consequences that a professional person, having the necessary skills and education, should foresee.” (4)
Nursing malpractice involves nurses, and anyone else providing nursing care. Anyone providing this care can be held accountable. Even basic “bedside” skills can lead to patient injury. Examples of bedside skills include medication administration and monitoring, use of catheters and IVs, and wound care. (5)
Nursing professionals are also responsible for assessing and monitoring patient activities and movement. Helping patients get in and out of bed and use the bathroom are a couple of examples. (6)
Ensuring patients don’t fall, trip over equipment, or suffer serious injury while simply waiting in the emergency room are other examples. Especially in the ER, patients with certain conditions could suffer a stroke, have a heart attack, or even die from the very illness they’re seeking emergency care to treat. (7)
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Examples of Nursing Malpractice
“Medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the United States.” Nurses can harm you if they do not treat you and your medical condition appropriately. They can also harm you if they do nothing and you suffer a severe medical emergency while in their care. (8)
- Misdiagnosis — A misdiagnosis is among the most common types of medical malpractice claims. Whether a diagnosis is missed altogether or delayed, you can be severely injured from the mistake. You can even die. (9) For example, if a medical professional diagnoses you with a severe cold and sends you home. You may really pneumonia and suffer serious complications from not being treated.
- Medication errors — Medication errors are way too common. A nurse could give you the wrong dosage, a dangerous combination, or the completely wrong drug. A nurse could also fail to provide you with a medication you need. (10) It’s malpractice if you suffer a debilitating heart attack because a medical professional diagnosed you with severe indigestion and prescribed the wrong medication.
- Childbirth injuries — Sometimes care professionals can make mistakes while helping you deliver your child. Examples include brain injuries, fractures, nerve damage, or even paralysis. All of these can lead to lifelong impairment and possibly death. (11) A nursing professional could be found guilty of malpractice for putting you in a waiting room while you are suffering complications from a difficult pregnancy. You and your child could sustain serious injuries.
- Injuring a patient with equipment — Doctors and nurses can make mistakes when performing surgical procedures. They could puncture or damage one of your organs, leave surgical equipment inside of you, or operate on the wrong body part. (12) Even what seems like a straight-forward procedure in an office can go terribly wrong. For example, if the medical professional is distracted while performing a routine annual pelvic exam or administering an asthma breathing procedure.
Who Is Responsible for Nursing Malpractice?
Any health care professional can be held responsible in medical malpractice suits, including the nurse, hospital, or attending doctor supervising a nurse. “There are different levels of responsibility or liability for malpractice.” These include: (13)
- An individual nurse is accountable for personal acts of negligence.
- A manager may be held liable for a harmful act if the nurse has not been supervised appropriately or acted without being given specific instructions by the doctor.
- Hospitals or other medical facilities may also be held liable if they hired an unqualified nurse to treat patients.
Proving Nursing Malpractice
To prove negligence or malpractice, your attorney needs to establish these elements: (14)
- Duty owed the patient.
- Breach of duty owed the patient.
An attorney may consider these questions: (15)
- Did you receive direct medical care from your nursing professional? Did the person have a responsibility to provide you with care or was the person instructed by a supervisor or other medical professional to provide care?
- Did your nursing professional breach a duty of care? If your nursing professional failed “to exercise the care that a reasonably prudent health care provider would have done under the same circumstances,” this could constitute a breach of duty.
- Was the nursing professional’s failure to provide you with reasonable care the foreseeable cause of your injury?
- Were you injured, harmed, or damaged in any way because your nursing professional breached a duty of care to you? Harm, damage, or injury does not have to be physical. It can be emotional, mental, social, financial, or even spiritual.
If you or someone you know suffered injuries from nursing malpractice, understand your legal rights. Please contact us today.
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Each and every state has its own specific medical malpractice regulations and laws. The first thing you need to do before filing a nursing malpractice lawsuit is to consult with an attorney who has a successful history of handling medical malpractice lawsuits.
Our firm offers a free initial consultation. Talk with our attorneys about your situation and listen to the legal options we present. We want you to feel comfortable with our team and know we have your best interests in mind at all times.
Our attorneys seek justice for your injuries and take on the rigorous task of litigating your lawsuit. Trust our firm to work with you every step of the way and guide you through the legal process.
How W&L Can Help
Weitz & Luxenberg is a nationally known law firm handling medical malpractice and wrongful death lawsuits for over three decades. We are based in New York, and our attorneys know New York state medical malpractice laws inside and out.
We also have a strong record of winning. Here are a few examples:
- $2.35 million settlement — A young mother died of sepsis because multiple hospital professionals misdiagnosed her pancreatitis symptoms.
- $2.2 million settlement — A woman in her 30s died from a ruptured surgical wound because ER personnel misdiagnosed complications from her tonsillectomy.
- $1.2 million settlement — A young woman died after undergoing a tummy tuck because her surgeon had taken a huge risk by using defective medical equipment.
- $1.1 million settlement — A 70-year-old man died receiving treatment for advanced colon cancer more than a year after his doctor incorrectly said his colon cancer biopsy was normal.
- $500,000 settlement — A woman’s uterus was irreparably damaged due to a series of medical misdiagnoses and botched surgical procedures related to an initial infection.