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Patient vigilance might prevent medical malpractice

Although there are conflicting reports about the number of deaths resulting from medical errors each year, authorities agree that only heart disease and cancer claim more lives in New York and other states on an annual basis. To avoid being a victim of medical malpractice, advisers suggest that patients should be vigilant. Understanding as much as possible about treatments and procedures might be the best place to start.

Patients are entitled to ask their physicians questions about the disadvantages, side effects and benefits of suggested procedures and medication, and further information is available online. If there is any uncertainty or concern, it might be wise to get a second opinion to confirm or contradict the initial diagnoses or recommended treatment. If the doctor attempts to discourage the patient from seeking another opinion, it might be a red flag.

Patients who find it challenging to take in and process the information can take a friend or family member along to the consultation. That person might find it easier to understand the information, and he or she might even have questions to ask. As long as patients remain respectful, they have the right to be assertive in getting answers to their concerns. There are also apps that can be downloaded to help patients manage their medications and their well-being.

Patients in New York who are suffering the consequences of medical errors might have grounds to take legal action. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can assess the circumstances and determine the viability of a civil lawsuit. It is a complicated field of law, and having a lawyer to provide the necessary support and guidance might increase the chances of recovering all the financial and emotional damages sustained.

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