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Frequently Asked Questions About Hospital Injuries

An experienced attorney can help protect your legal rights

You or a loved one went to the hospital seeking help and instead, you contracted another illness or sustained another injury. A hospital injury or infection can cause further complications to existing conditions, delay your recovery and add to your every growing medical costs. At moments like that you may not know where to turn.

Jonathan C. Reiter Law Firm, PLLC has extensive experience handling these difficult cases. These questions and answers should give you a general idea of how to proceed in the event of a hospital injury.

Remember that these questions and answers are provided only for informational purposes. For specific advice on your individual case, contact us right away. We’d be happy to meet with you for a free consultation.

My injury was caused by a nurse. Can I file a malpractice claim against someone who isn’t a doctor?

Anyone who provides medical services can be named as a defendant in a medical malpractice lawsuit, including doctors, nurses, other hospital staff and the hospital itself. Our attorneys will hold anyone who is responsible for your injury accountable, regardless of his or her specific job title.

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How much time do I have to take legal action against the hospital?

In New York, the statute of limitations is 15 months for medical malpractice claims against public hospitals and 30 months for claims against private hospitals. In either case, the clock starts running on the day the malpractice occurs. The only exception is for cases involving a foreign object (such as a surgical tool) left inside the body. In those cases, the statute of limitations is one year from the day the foreign object is discovered.

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I signed a consent form at the hospital. Does that mean I can’t sue?

Absolutely not. Signing a consent form only means that you understand and accept the risks and complications that may arise following a properly performed procedure. You did not sign away your right to sue for damages for an injury that resulted from a doctor’s error or reckless conduct.

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Why do I need a lawyer if I’ve been injured at the hospital? Can I afford to hire you?

Medical malpractice cases are exceptionally complicated, especially cases following a hospital injury. There are usually multiple parties involved, and having someone on your side who understands the legal and medical issues surrounding your injury is essential. Moreover, the hospital is represented by counsel, and you have little chance of getting fair compensation on your own. Having your own lawyer levels the playing field.

We accept hospital injury cases on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t pay us anything up front. From the initial consultation forward, we will provide our services at no cost to you and advance all costs related to the case. If we successfully recover on your behalf, our fee will be a percentage of the verdict or settlement. If we do not recover, you owe us nothing.

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If my health insurance pays for my treatment after the injury, can I still sue the hospital?

Yes. The person or entity responsible for your injury is responsible for paying your medical bills, even if you are able to pay for some or all of those bills by other means such as your employer-provided health insurance. Note that your health insurance company may expect to be reimbursed out of your verdict or settlement; this is called subrogation. However, it’s still advantageous to file a malpractice claim because it will pay for your co-pays, deductibles and other medical costs not covered by health insurance, as well as other losses such as wage loss, pain and suffering and emotional distress.

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How long will my case take to resolve?

That depends on the facts of the case and the actions taken by the hospital. Hospital injuries can lead to fairly lengthy cases as multiple medical professionals and the hospital itself try to pin fault for the injury on other defendants. In general, the sooner you retain an attorney, the sooner you are likely to resolve your case. We’ve seen some cases resolved in just a few months and others take several years.

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Manhattan Medical Malpractice Info Center

Lenox Hill Hospital

A 652-bed teaching hospital, Lenox Hill Hospital is located in the Lenox Hill neighborhood at 100 E. 77th Street. This 652-bed on the Upper East Side of Manhattan serves mostly patients from Manhattan, but other patients are admitted from Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Long Island and throughout the tri-state region. Anyone who suspects negligence after treatment should speak with an experienced attorney immediately.

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Manhattan Medical Malpractice Info Center

Bellevue Hospital Center

Bellevue Hospital Center at 462 1st Avenue has 828 beds and experiences 115,797 emergency room visits each year. Bellevue had a higher rate of infections compared to hospitals in other states, according to a New York State Department of Health Report in 2009. Anyone who is injured by the negligence of a doctor or nurse at this Manhattan hospital, the oldest in the United States, will need an experienced attorney with experience and resources needed to take aggressive action.

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Manhattan Medical Malpractice Info Center

New York Presbyterian-Lower Manhattan Hospital

Lower Manhattan Hospital at 170 William Street in New York is one of the main campuses of New York-Presbyterian Hospital. This hospital, with 170 beds, provides a range of inpatient and outpatient services. According to an article in the New York Post, New York-Presbyterian scored 18 percent below average for patient safety in a ranking of hospitals by Consumer Reports magazine. Patients who suspect medical malpractice should not hesitate to arrange a consultation with a New York City attorney who can investigate and hold the negligent medical care provider accountable.

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Manhattan Medical Malpractice Info Center

Mount Sinai Beth Israel

The main hospital known as the Petrie Division is located at First Avenue and 16th Street. But Mount Sinai Beth Israel has other campuses, including Phillips Ambulatory Care Center at Union Square. Mount Sinai Beth Israel is a teaching hospital with 1,368 beds. If you suffered any form of negligence while being treated at Mount Sinai Beth Israel, take action immediately to protect your rights.

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Manhattan Medical Malpractice Info Center

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center at 1275 York Avenue in Manhattan provides cancer care to patients. The hospital is composed of two institutions: Memorial Hospital for Cancer and Allied Diseases, which provides patient care, and the Sloan Kettering Institute, which is focused on research. Patients who suspect a failure to diagnose cancer or some other type of hospital negligence can contact a lawyer to discuss options.

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Manhattan Medical Malpractice Info Center

Mount Sinai Hospital

Mount Sinai Hospital at One Gustave L. Levy Place is a 1,048-bed facility founded in 1852. It is one of the oldest and largest teaching hospitals in the country. Consumer Reports rated Mount Sinai 31 percent below average for patient safety. If you or a loved one was a victim of medical malpractice at any Manhattan hospital, don’t wait to contact an attorney to find out if you have a case. You may be entitled to compensation.

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Manhattan Medical Malpractice Info Center

St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center

St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital Center at 1111 Amsterdam Avenue was ranked No. 14 out of the 30 worst hospitals for patient safety, as identified by Consumer Reports. The magazine examined four key measures of patient safety: hospital-acquired infections, readmissions and the quality of communication between staff and patients in regard to medications and discharge planning.

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Manhattan Medical Malpractice Info Center

New York-Presbyterian/ Columbia University Medical Center

New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center at 630 West 168th Street was described by a lawmaker as having “horrendous conditions.” Emergency room wait times last an average of 85 minutes, which rank among New York’s 10 worst. Any patient who was treated at the 995-bed hospital in Washington Heights and suspects negligence should not hesitate to speak with an attorney for a free consultation.

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Manhattan Medical Malpractice Info Center

Harlem Hospital Center

Harlem Hospital Center at 506 Malcolm X Blvd. received a 20 on a 1-to-100 scale gauging patient safety by Consumer Reports. The hospital received the second worst score in the nation, according to a New York Post report. Harlem Hospital told Consumer Reports it needs to improve in some areas, according to the Post. The hospital is a general medical and surgical hospital with 272 beds.