Significantly, because of the number and size of New York City public hospitals, the number of medical malpractice claims increased during 2015 after a leveling-off or decrease in claims up to 2013.
Medical malpractice claims are usually made when there has been negligence by a member of the medical profession at a medical institution. This can mean a nurse, doctor, surgeon or any other medical staff. Medical malpractice varies from surgical errors to wrong diagnosis, drug overdoses or incorrect drug administration, birth injuries and other problems relating to the medical practice.
Medical malpractice claims can result in millions of dollars paid out in the event of serious errors proven to have taken place. It is rare, however, for victims of medical malpractice to be able to negotiate the complex rules around this type of personal injury claim, as well as the need for careful assessment of evidence without the help of a medical malpractice attorney.
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The data that reveals the trend toward an increase in claims has been released by the New York City Comptroller’s Office. The increase in claims in city-owned public hospitals went from 495 in 2013 to 521 this past year. This parallels the national situation, which has shown an increase during 2013, 2014 and 2015 of around 4 to 5% each year after 10 years of comparative stability between 2003 and 2013.
New York has 11 public hospitals with the per capita medical malpractice payouts noticeably higher than in any other part of the U.S. Second and third after New York in the number of claims per capita are New Jersey and Philadelphia. Because of the scale of the hospital system in New York, any change in the trend toward increasing malpractice claims is significant and no doubt the reasons for the upward shift will be closely examined by medical authorities.
The increase in claims has not been uniform in the city, with big increases at some hospitals like Bellevue and Coney Island, but significant decreases in hospitals such as North Central Bronx and Harlem.
The generally stable malpractice claim period was ascribed to tort reform after 2003, which specifically addressed medical malpractice claims.
Whatever the reasons for the latest changes in claim statistics, it doesn’t change the basic right for victims of serious medical malpractice anywhere in the public or private health systems to seek help from a personal injury attorney if they have been injured or their health has been compromised as a result of errors or negligence on the part of medical personnel.
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If you, or a member of your family, have been seriously affected by medical negligence or malpractice, then contact Richard S. Jaffe Esq., who has had many years successfully representing victims of medical malpractice. He can be contacted for a free consultation at the Law Offices of Cohen & Jaffe LLP, 2001 Marcus Avenue, Suite W295, Lake Success, NY 11042. Phone: 516-358-6900 or toll free: 800-483-6149.