Ziff Law Firm, LLP is a team of legal professionals that has provided skilled, aggressive and ethical legal services to residents of New York and Pennsylvania for more than 60 years. Our medical malpractice lawyers, Jim Reed, Adam Gee and Christina Sonsire, all have a proven track record of achieving great results on behalf of our clients.
Are you are one of the many who has been injured, misdiagnosed, suffered physical or emotional distress, or have lost a loved one because of a medical mistake? Ziff Law Firm has provided this page to help inform you of your rights and the legal recourse that may be available to you. We feel that information and education can help injured victims take action against those who have damaged their lives.
“First of All, to Do No Harm” It is common knowledge that when physicians enter the medical profession, they take an oath that in part promises to “never intentionally do harm”. Unfortunately, some doctors do cause harm through their mistakes, ignorance, negligence, lack of skill and misdiagnosis. Medical malpractice is the result of a health care provider’s failure to provide the expected standard of care.
The medical profession brings health and hope to millions of Americans every day; however far too many are injured or killed due to medical mistakes. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a report estimating that as many as 98,000 patients die each year as a result of medical errors in hospitals. Compound this number with the unreported mistakes made in other healthcare settings (physicians’ offices, urgent care centers, nursing homes, pharmacies and home care) and the magnitude of medical malpractice becomes staggering. In addition to the high-costs of medical mistakes in terms of lives and quality of life, our nation pays an estimated $17 billion per year in costs due to preventable errors.
In legal terms, healthcare professionals are only required to provide a standard of care that is “ordinary” or “average”. When a physician is determined to be negligent, it means that he or she has failed to use the same degree of skill and learning, under the same or similar circumstances, that are used by other members of the medical profession. Some of the most common ways that medical malpractice occurs is through failure or errors in timely diagnosis and ordering appropriate treatment, ordering necessary tests and proper medication, consulting with specialists and surgical procedures.
The Harm That is Done
Medicine is a complicated and varied field, so it is impossible to provide a comprehensive list all of the types of malpractice claims. However, the leading types of malpractice claims include:
- Wrongful death
- Birth defects or injuries
- Hospital, physician, and nursing negligence
- Delay in diagnosis of cancer
- Nursing home injuries and elder abuse
- Pharmaceutical errors
Restitution for Harm
If your attorney is able to prove your medical malpractice case and the medical provider is found negligent, then you are entitled to recover “damages”. Damages are intended to help you return to the condition you were in prior to the injury. There are several forms of damages that you may recover in a medical malpractice award — economic (for lost wages or medical expenses), non-economic (for pain and suffering), or punitive (to punish reckless behavior) damages. You may also receive compensation for future medical expenses and loss of future earnings. Punitive damages occur only in rare cases when it is proved that the medical practitioner had malicious intent. Medical malpractice claims are one of the most difficult areas of litigation, since the negligent action must be documented and proven within specific guidelines. Only a skilled medical malpractice attorney has the experience and resources to thoroughly investigate and validate your case. The expert medical litigation attorneys of Ziff Law Firm can help prepare your medical personal injury claim, wrongful death suit and any other lawsuit where a healthcare practitioner may have caused you harm.
Is Litigation Fair?
It is important to remember that your personal feelings towards your doctor are not at issue in a malpractice action. The facts determine whether your physician was negligent. If negligence is proven, then you are entitled to receive fair compensation to help restore your life, and to help prevent others from suffering a similar fate. If the facts do prove that your case received satisfactory medical care, you may take comfort in the fact that the medical community acted in your best interests and this knowledge can help you move forward in recovery.
We know you may hesitate to pursue your case out of concern about litigation and its effect on rising medical costs. Hopefully, you will take solace in the fact that that while medical costs have increased by 113% since 1987, the amount spent by the healthcare industry on medical malpractice insurance has only increased by 52% over the same period of time. According to the director of insurance for the Consumer Federation of America, insurance companies are raising rates because of poor returns on their investments, not because of litigation and justice.
If you suspect that you are a victim of malpractice, time is of the essence. Consult one of our medical malpractice lawyers immediately to discuss your case and make an important step in taking control of your situation. At Ziff Law Firm, LLP, we recognize the deep trust placed in us by our clients, and we strive to uphold that trust by working hard and fighting hard for our clients. We do the best we possibly can for every client on every case.
Our skilled team of lawyers knows the law, the legal process and victim’s rights. We can help you make informed decisions, so please call Ziff Law Firm, LLP at 1–800-ZIFFLAW (943‑3529), or save time with our online Contact Form.