Category: Blog

medical-report

Medical Errors Now Third Leading Cause of Death in the U.S.

A recent study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine reports that death resulting from medical errors is third on the list of the top causes of death in the United States, ahead of respiratory disease, stroke, diabetes and others.  Only cancer and heart disease cause more deaths annually.

According to the study, published this month in the British Medical Journal, thousands of Americans die each year from communication breakdowns, diagnostic errors, poor judgment and inadequate skill. One of the researchers in the study says, “It boils down to people dying from the care they receive rather than the disease for which they are seeking care.”

Unfortunately, the real causes of many of these deaths never see the light of day, because hospitals are protected from divulging the results of internal quality assurance investigations by state laws which consider such investigations to be privileged, and not subject to discovery in legal cases. To compound the problem, the lessons learned from these investigations are not disseminated to other institutions or even other departments within the same hospital, leading to the probability that such mistakes will be repeated over and over again.

This study highlights why it is important to have an experienced attorney if you believe that you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice. At the Law Firm of Andrew R. Leder, Esq., PLLC, we have over 23 years of experience representing clients in medical malpractice cases. Call us at (516) 213-5000 to schedule a free consultation at our office in Rockville Centre, New York.  Home and hospital consultations are available as well. 

doctor with crossed arms

Patient Beware!

An Op Ed piece in the New York Times reported that Lawmakers in New York State recently refused to pass Lavern’s Law, legislation which would have better protected New York’s citizens from being victimized by the negligence of physicians and hospitals. The law takes its name from Lavern Wilkinson, who died of lung cancer three years after doctors at a Brooklyn Hospital failed to make her aware of a suspicious mass on a chest x-ray. When Lavern’s daughter attempted to bring a lawsuit, her case was dismissed because the statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases in New York is two and a half years. Although three years had passed before Lavern discovered her doctors’ egregious and now fatal mistake, the statute of limitations barred her family from bringing suit. While 44 other states have laws on their books which extend the statute of limitations from the date the malpractice is discovered or should have been discovered, New York’s law only extends the time to bring suit in cases where a foreign object such as a sponge or a needle is left behind during surgery.

As the author points out, if Albany isn’t looking out for patients, and doctors and hospitals have no incentive to emphasize patient safety, then something more has to be done. The author suggests that state licensing agencies must do a better job policing themselves, and that compensation for hospital administrators should be tied to patient safety. While these are excellent suggestions, the implementation of these steps is probably a long way off, and hospitals remain dangerous places for patients.

If you believe that you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice, it is important to have an experienced attorney representing you. At The Law Firm of Andrew R. Leder, Esq., PLLC, we have more than twenty years of experience representing clients in medical malpractice cases, and we will work to get you the compensation you deserve. Call us at 516-213-5000 to schedule a free consultation at our office in Rockville Centre, New York. Home and hospital consultations are available as well.

doctor holding clipboard

How Do You Know if Your Doctor is Competent?

In a May 20, 2014 article, The Albany Business Review reported that over 77% of doctors who have had limitations placed on their medical licenses by the New York State Department of Health are still practicing medicine. Incredibly, there is presently no requirement that patients be informed that their physician is practicing after being sanctioned or having limitations placed on their license.

The New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) is urging lawmakers to require that healthcare facilities post information on how patients can access information about their doctors. What most patients don’t know is that a doctors’ profile, licensure status and other details are available on a state website, where a patient can find information about a doctor’s education, license status and malpractice history, among other information.

Patients are consumers of medical services, and are entitled to know if the doctor they are going to entrust with their medical care is competent. Fortunately, there are resources available for patients to do their due diligence, and patients should take advantage of them.

Like in any profession, there are great doctors and doctors who probably shouldn’t be practicing. Don’t wait until it’s too late to find out about the doctors providing medical care for you and your family. If you believe that you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice, it is important to have an experienced attorney representing you. At the Law Firm of Andrew R. Leder, we have over twenty years of experience representing clients in medical malpractice cases, and we will work to get you the compensation you deserve. Call us at 516-213-5000 to schedule a free consultation at our office in Rockville Centre, New York.

driver hands on car wheel

Car Accident Victims Need Good Legal Advice

A recent article out of Bakersfield, California, highlights the importance of having good legal representation following a car accident. A driver, who was traveling on a road she had driven on thousands of times before, was involved in an accident after another driver attempted an unexpected U-turn right in front of her, causing her to sustain injuries. Although the police report assigned 100 percent of the fault to the driver making the U-turn, the insurance company for the at-fault driver maintained that the injured driver was 50 percent at fault, for speeding, failing to take evasive action and failing to maintain a proper lookout.

Unfortunately, this happens every day following automobile accidents, where people who have been injured by reckless drivers like the one describe above are confronted with ridiculous arguments in support of low-ball settlement offers by insurance companies. The insurance company in the case described above was arguing, essentially, that in addition to being a safe driver, one must also be a mind reader and anticipate when another driver is going to make an illegal u-turn.

If you have been in a car accident, it is important to have an experienced attorney who knows the law and who will fight for you against insurance companies who are anything but good neighbors, and certainly not on your side. At the Law Firm of Andrew R. Leder, we will work to get you the compensation you deserve. If you have been involved in car accident, call us at 516-213-5000 to schedule a free consultation at our office in  Rockville Centre, New York.