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How Prevalent Are Failure to Diagnose and Misdiagnosis Medical Errors?

Sackstein-Sackstein-Lee-LLP-Author: Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP

What Circumstances Indicate Misdiagnosis or a Failure to Diagnose?

Unfortunately the failure to diagnose and misdiagnosis are common problems and have become even more so since medical practice has become very specialized. Today there are far more names for medical conditions and diseases than ever before along with a plethora of available treatments.

An article appeared in the Washington Post in 2013 entitled “Misdiagnosis is more common than drug errors or wrong-site surgery.“ Studies in the article stressed the degree and extent of damage that misdiagnosis and failure to diagnose have caused for patients.

Various reports revealed the following statistics:

  • Safety experts reported that missed, incorrect and delayed diagnoses have likely affected 10 to 20 percent of medical cases
  • Out of 583 diagnostic mistakes reported, 28 percent were life threatening, or resulted in permanent disability or death
  • Fatal diagnostic errors in U.S. intensive care units equaled the 40,500 deaths resulting annually from breast cancer
  • Errors often involved common diseases such as pneumonia and urinary tract infections
  • Of the pneumonia and urinary tract infection errors, 87 percent had the potential of causing severe harm and inevitable death

An associate professor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine stated that misdiagnosis “happens all the time.” It is a “hidden part of the iceberg of medical errors.”

What Are Some Underlying Causes of Wrong or Missing Diagnosis?

While each case is different, there are some common errors that are repeated often enough to form a pattern.

In some cases the practitioner simply fails to follow up on test results.

Some medical surroundings are more predisposed for error, such as emergency rooms. ER doctors do not know the patients; they have not followed their medical history the way a family physician has. In the ER interruptions are common along with time constraints to deal with the problem.

In addition to hospitals, primary care doctors are also at risk for diagnostic errors. Sometimes doctors fail to broaden the differential diagnosis. In other words, they do not consider a number of underlying reasons that could cause a set of symptoms.

Failure to study and analyze diagnostic errors has made it an area that is lacking information for correction. Some medical leaders have pointed to the fact that the healthcare system has become increasingly fragmented and medicine as a field has become increasingly complex. High-tech tests are replacing doctor’s skills in performing hands-on diagnosis.

Do You Have Questions About Medical Malpractice?

Our attorneys at Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP are glad to answer your questions.

sacksteinlaw.com/

BANG FOR YOUR BUCK: GET THE RAISE YOU DESERVE

Author: Christopher L.Van De WaterChristopher L. Van De Water, Esq.

How to ask for and get the raise you deserve

The holidays are a time of financial giving, but that doesn’t mean all companies will be giving out  bonuses, or even raises for that matter.

According to recent surveys by several finance and staffing firms, while monetary holiday bonuses are expected to increase in value this year, bonuses, overall, are becoming more scarce. In a poll of 500 U.S. companies, 63 percent of hiring managers say their company plans to give employees a bonus, the survey notes. That’s down from 75 percent in 2017.

Whether or not you end up among the growing number of workers who won’t get a bonus this year, your holidays can still be happy. Here are five effective steps to take to ask for, and get, a raise:

Do your research and come prepared

First things first: If you want a raise, you’ll have to do your homework. Set realistic expectations about what your salary increase might look like and understand why you deserve it.

To gauge your market value, try using a salary calculator. These tools can offer insight by measuring your pay against your experience and position and comparing it to the wages of your peers across the country. Keep in mind, though, the estimates rely on self-reported numbers and can’t take into account your specific circumstances.

Document your achievements and noteworthy projects

Start by identifying any tasks you’ve taken charge of that were unanticipated when you began the job or any additional responsibilities you’ve taken on.

If you’ve received notable recognition or awards, note that too. This could help your manager better understand the value of your work and your importance to the team.

Find the right time to approach your manager

Be sure you ask for a raise at the right time, not just because you need the money or because “you just heard the guy in the next cubicle is making $5,000 more than you,” bestselling author and CNBC contributor Suzy Welch says.

According to a LinkedIn report, January is one of the top months when employers give out raises. Thus, preparing your pitch in December could be a smart move.

Initiate the dialogue

Once you’ve done your research, you can initiate a conversation with your manager. Instead of bringing up the issue in passing, schedule a formal meeting and come ready to break down exactly  why you deserve that raise!

Be sure to focus on why you deserve it, not just why you need it.
Keep in mind, dollars and cents aren’t the only possible form of compensation. Ask about perks and benefits such stock options, a more flexible schedule, including telecommuting.

Finally, show your appreciation

Clearly assert why you deserve a raise but don’t get pushy. If your boss doesn’t feel you deserve a raise yet, don’t get mad. Ask what steps you can take to earn one.

If there just isn’t room in the budget to pay you more at the moment, make clear that you understand and, again, could be willing to talk about other kinds of perks and compensation. This could make the conversation more collaborative and open the door for a follow-up soon.

Takeaway

Even if you don’t walk away with everything you want, odds are you’ll feel good about being assertive. Remember, lots of job seekers and employees are too anxious to try to negotiate, but those who ask for more are usually more successful.

Happy Holidays from the Van De Water Law Firm

Have You Suffered from a Catastrophic Injury?

Attorney-David-LewisAuthor: David R. Lewis & Associates

Why Is Legal Help Vital for Catastrophic Injuries?

People who suffer from catastrophic injuries are typically saddled with exorbitant medical costs, lost income and other financial hardships. However, if someone else was at fault for causing your injury, you may have legal grounds to recover compensation.

What is a catastrophic injury?

Catastrophic injury means “consequences of an injury that permanently prevent an individual from performing any gainful work.”(42 USCS § 3796b)

Such injuries are extremely severe. They often result in long-lasting medical conditions that require multiple surgeries, rehabilitation and other long-term treatment. The disability is permanent and in some cases also results in a shorter life expectancy. Aside from financial hardship, the emotional impact can be overwhelming.

What are some examples of catastrophic injuries?

Examples of catastrophic injuries often include:

* Burn injuries. Burn injuries can disrupt the proper functioning of other bodily systems. They can also result in severe disfigurement or scarring.

* Traumatic brain injury. A traumatic brain injury can significantly alter an individual’s quality of life, resulting in speech difficulties, impaired cognitive functioning or even partial or complete paralysis. The victim may end up in a coma for long periods of time or suffer permanent brain damage.

* Spinal cord injuries. Spinal cord injuries can cause partial paralysis (paraplegia, which is paralysis from the waist down) or complete paralysis (quadriplegia, which is paralysis from the neck down).

* Fractures. There are varying degrees of severity of fractures. All fractures should be considered as catastrophic injuries.

* Neck injury. Spinal fracture or herniated discs can result in extreme pain and make it difficult to hold a job or function normally.

* Back injury. Back injuries that affect the spinal cord or nervous system can result in loss of bowel control or bladder control. It can also cause impotence.

* Amputations. Accidental loss of limb or severe injury that makes amputation necessary leaves a person in a disabled state.

* Eye injury. Partial or complete blindness due to injury is life changing and can be incapacitating.

* Organ damage. Impact during an accident can injure internal organs, such as the spleen, liver, kidneys, liver, pancreas, colon and bladder. Depending on the extent of damage, it can impair the functioning of a number of bodily systems, diminish quality of life and in some cases eventually result in death.

Have you suffered from a catastrophic injury?

When your injuries are catastrophic and you believe another party was at fault, consult with an attorney as soon as possible and find out about your legal rights to recover compensation. The Law Offices of David R. Lewis offers a free consultation to discuss your injury and determine the prospects of suing for damages.

Employers: Do You Have Your Sexual Harassment Training in Place?

What Does the New Sexual Harassment Training Require?

Author: Stephen D. Hans & Associates

By now, hopefully many employers in New York have become aware of the new sexual harassment training laws that went into effect on October 9, 2018.  Under the new law, all New York employers, no matter how many employees you have, are required under State law to establish a sexual harassment training policy.

New York State has published a tool kit that explains the guidelines employers must follow. Some employers already had established sexual harassment policies prior to the new law. Others may not have any sexual harassment policy in place. In either case, you must comply with the government’s new requirements.

If you’re uncertain about whether your policy is compliant or not, it is wise to consult with an experienced employment defense attorney. The probability is high that most employers are missing parts of the new law in their policies.

HOW TO PROTECT YOUR SMALL BUSINESS AGAINST SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Sexual Harassment Training Tool Kit Guidelines

A checklist for sexual harassment training must meet (or it can exceed) the following minimum training standards. Training must:

  • “Be Interactive (see the model training guidance document for specific recommendations);
  • Include an explanation of sexual harassment consistent with guidance issued by the Department of Labor in consultation with the Division of Human Rights;
  • Include examples of unlawful sexual harassment;
  • Include information concerning the federal and state statutory provisions concerning sexual
  • harassment and remedies available to targets of sexual harassment;
  • Include information concerning employees’ rights of redress and all available forums for adjudicating complaints; and
  • Include information addressing conduct by supervisors and additional responsibilities for supervisors.”

It is common have questions about the new guidelines and how to apply them. The specific details of what some of the minimum training standards require are not clear to many employers.

Stephen Hans & Associates can answer your questions and help you understand exactly what is required and how to even exceed the minimum standards. We offer seasoned legal guidance based on decades of employment law defense experience.

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Sexual Harassment Protest: Google Walkout

Thousands of Employees Worldwide Protest Google’s Handling of Sexual Harassment

The Google Walkout on November 1, 2018 in protest of sexual harassment was a worldwide event. The largest gathering of protesters, numbering in the thousands, occurred in Silicon Valley, California where Google Headquarters is located.

In addition, The New York Times reported that workers protested internationally in Singapore, Hyderabad, Berlin, Zurich, London, Chicago and Seattle, to name a few locations. New York also had a large number of protesters. An estimated 3,000 people gathered to protest in a city park.

Since the #Metoo movement began a year ago, sexual harassment has topped the list in anti-discrimination movements. A number of states have passed stricter laws to prohibit sexual harassment, and New York has passed the most stringent sexual harassment training laws in the nation.

Office Sexual Harrassment

What Was the Main Protest Focus in the Google Walkout?

The New York Times published an article on Oct 25, 2018 about the resignation of the creator of Android software, Andy Rubin in 2014. At that time, he left Google with a $90 million exit package and no public disclosure of sexual misconduct.

Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai and Larry Page, co-founder of Google and the chief executive of the parent company, Alphabet issued apologies. According to a Wall Street Journal article on the walkout, Pichai stated that Google no longer makes payouts to employees who are dismissed due to sexual harassment. He also stated, “Moments like this show we didn’t always get it right. We are listening to employees, which is why today is important.”

Another point of contention among the protesters was Google’s mandatory arbitration requirement in employee contracts. Employees who were protesting submitted a letter to the company that stated they wanted Google to remove mandatory arbitration and allow sexual harassment lawsuits, the way the Microsoft Co. and Uber had done during the past year.

A letter to the CEO also requested that the board of directors include an employee representative and that Google’s Chief Diversity Officer report directly to the CEO.

Google has been known for its open relationship with employees where debate is encouraged and employees enjoy many perks that come with their jobs.

Do You Have Questions about Employment Law?

Having anti-sexual harassment policies in place has become vitally important for employers in many different industries and countries around the world.

If you have questions, our attorneys at Stephen Hans & Associates are glad to advise regarding your concerns.

EMPLOYMENT LAW ALERT: EMPLOYER COMPLIANCE WITH NEW SEXUAL HARASSMENT LAWS COMMENCES ON OCTOBER 9,2018

A BRIEF BY COMPREHENSIVE OVERVIEW OF WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TO COMPLY WITH THE NEWLY ENACTED NEW YORK STATE AND NEW YORK CITY SEXUAL HARASSMENT TRAINING LAWS

Author: CHRISTOPHER L. VAN DE WATER, ESQ. MANAGING PARTNER

Christopher-L-Van-de-Water
In 2018, both New York State and New York City have enacted the strictest harassment training laws in the Nation as a clear outgrowth of the #MeToo movement that swept the country following the Harvey Weinstein scandal. All Employers must begin compliance with the New York State Law commencing on October 1, 2019, and the New York City Law on April 1, 2019.

I. 2018 New York State Budget Sexual Harassment Training Provisions Contained within Part KK of S7507-C

On April 12, 2018 New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law several bills that were included in the 2018-2019 New York State budget. The bills address workplace sexual harassment. Part KK of S7507-C 0g the new law requires New York employers to adopt and distribute a sexual harassment policy and training program. The new requirements take effect October 9, 2018.

A. Content Requirements of the New York State Sexual Harassment Policy:

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More specifically, the new law requires employers adopt a sexual harassment prevention policy which:

1)  prohibits sexual harassment and provides examples of prohibited conduct;

2)  includes information concerning federal and state sexual harassment lawsand mentions there may be applicable local laws;

3)  includes a standard complaint form;

4)  includes a procedure for the timely and confidential investigation ofcomplaints including due process for all parties;

5)  informs employees of their rights of redress and available forums foradjudicating claims administratively and judicially;

6)  clearly states sexual harassment is a form of employee misconduct and that sanctions will be enforced against individuals engaging in sexual harassment and against supervisory management who knowingly allow such behavior to continue; and

7)  clearly states retaliation against individuals who complain of sexual harassment or who testify or assist in any proceedings is unlawful.

 

This sexual harassment policy must then be provided to all of your employees in writing. It would be advisable to include this policy in your orientation package. You should should informally and formally routinely remind employees of this policy. Read More

The Stop Sexual Harassment Fact Sheet can be found here in English:

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE NYC AND NEW YORK STATE NEW SEXUAL HARASSMENT LAWS

The two tables below detail the obligations and the differences between the New York State and New York City laws regarding:

  • Training Requirements (Table 1)
  • Training Content (Table 2) Read More

The Van De Water Law Dirm-Christopher Van De Water

(631) 923-1314

ALL CONTENT COPYRIGHTED © BY THE VAN DE WATER LAW FIRM, P.C. 2018

Frequently Asked Questions about the New York Workers’ Compensation Coverage—Was My Injury Work-Related?

Author: Pyrros  & Serres LLP

Attorney-Michael-Pyrros, Workers Compensation AttorneysUnder the New York workers’ compensation laws, there are two requirements to recover workers’ compensation benefits—you must prove that you were injured and that the injury was work-related (sustained while you were in the course of your employment). Here are some of the questions we are frequently asked about pertaining to whether an accident was work-related.

Q: Can I recover workers’ compensation benefits if I was injured while on a break at work?   

A: Under state and federal labor laws, you are entitled to periodic breaks, including meal breaks, based on the number of hours you work. As a general rule, if you are on a meal break or regularly scheduled break, and you remain on company property (in the cafeteria, break room or other location), you will still be eligible for workers’ compensation for any injuries suffered. However, if you leave company premises to go on a meal break, you won’t be able to collect workers’ compensation benefits for injuries suffered on the break, unless you went at the request of your employer or were on a work-related errand.

Q: Does the injury have to occur on company premises?

A: Not necessarily. If your employer requires that you travel for work, whether it’s part of your daily regimen or you are attending a conference, workshop or meeting, you can recover workers’ compensation benefits, provided you weren’t involved in a personal endeavor at the time of the injury. As a general rule, there’s no coverage for injuries sustained on your commute to or from work, unless you deviated from your normal route to perform a work-related task.

Q: What if I am hurt at the company golf outing?

A: As a general rule, if you are injured at any type of company-sponsored event, whether it’s a business meeting, a team-building exercise, or pure entertainment, you have a right to seek workers’ compensation benefits for your losses. There are exceptions, though. For example, if you engage in horseplay or consume too much alcohol, you may not be covered. However, if the company provided or encouraged the use of alcohol, there may still be liability.

Q: Can I recover workers’ compensation if I was partially responsible for my injuries?

A: That depends. The workers’ compensation laws are based on the legal concept of “no fault,” meaning that there’s no requirement to show that your employer was negligent in order to recover benefits. Because of that principle, it rarely matters whether you were careless—you will still be entitled to benefits. However, if your actions were in clear violation of company policies, or if it can be shown that your injuries were intentionally self-inflicted, your claim may be denied.

Effective Workers’ Compensation Lawyers in Queens, New York

At Pyrros & Serres, we bring more than 50 years of combined workers’ compensation experience to clients throughout Queens and across the greater New York City area. We place a premium on personal service and attention, taking the time to learn the specific details of your case, so that we can tailor our efforts to get the outcome you seek. Because of our longstanding record of hard work and success, we receive many of our new cases as referrals from doctors, lawyers and satisfied clients.

We take all types of work-related injury claims, including cases involving:

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) | Fractures | Burns | Paralysis | Spinal Cord Injury | Permanent Scarring or Disfigurement | Amputation or Loss of Limb | Hip, Leg, Foot and Toe Injury | Hearing or Vision Loss | Back and Neck Injury | Shoulder, Arm, Hand and Finger Injury | Accidental or Wrongful Death | Occupational Disease or Illness

For more information about the services we provide, see our practice area overview page.

Pyrros & Serres LLP

Workers’ Compensation Attorneys—Queens, New York

How Would You Know Whether Your Newborn Suffered from Hypoxia and Asphyxia?

Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLPAuthor: Sackstein Sackstein & Lee,LLP

Symptoms of Birth Hypoxia or Asphyxia that Parents Should Be Aware of

Birth hypoxia and asphyxia both refer to lack of oxygen to the brain in a fetus. This can occur right before, during or immediately after birth.

Seattle Children’s Research Foundation explains that a baby’s cells do not function properly when deprived of oxygen and nutrients. Oxygen deprivation can result in waste products building up in the cells, which causes damage.

What Factors Determine the Degree of Harm?

Factors that determine the extent of harm include:

  • The length of time the baby was deprived of oxygen
  • How low the baby’s oxygen level is
  • The speed with which the baby receives proper treatment

When hypoxia or asphyxia is mild, babies can fully recover. When it is severe, a baby may suffer from permanent injury, affecting the baby’s brain, heart, lungs, kidneys, bowels or other organs.

What Can Cause Asphyxia or Hypoxia?

The following can result in these medical conditions:

  • Airways blocked in the baby
  • Baby’s airway is not properly formed
  • Too little oxygen in the mother’s blood prior to delivery
  • Difficulties with the placenta prematurely separating from the womb
  • A long or difficult delivery
  • Umbilical cord problems during delivery
  • High or low blood pressure in the mother
  • Anemia in the baby where the baby’s blood cells do not carry enough oxygen

What You Should Look for

When suffering from asphyxia or hypoxia, a baby could be manifesting the following symptoms:

  • Not breathing or very weak breathing
  • Abnormal breathing
  • Poor blood circulation
  • Lack of energy (lethargy)
  • Low blood pressure
  • Not urinating
  • Blood clotting abnormalities
  • Skin color is bluish, gray or lighter than normal
  • Low heart rate
  • Poor muscle tone
  • Weak reflexes
  • Too much acid in the baby’s blood (acidosis)
  • The baby’s first stool shows evidence of amniotic fluid stain
  • Seizures

If you suspect that medical malpractice might have been a factor in your child’s care, consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney. At Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP , we offer a free initial consultation to discuss your concerns.

How to Avoid Boating Accidents: Boats and Personal Watercraft

How to Avoid Boating Accidents: Boats and Personal Watercraft

Jet Skis®, WaveRunners® and Other Personal Watercraft (PWC) Have High Accident Rates

Author: David Lewis

Warmer weather and extra daylight hours make summer the perfect time for outdoor sports like boating and personal watercraft recreation. New York State has thousands of freshwater lakes and 70,000 miles of rivers and streams. These statistics do not include access to the Great Lakes or Atlantic Ocean. You are not hard pressed to find a favorite spot in New York for boating or riding your JetSki or WaveRunner.

However, along with this great opportunity for summer fun, comes an equal need to be responsible and act safely. Every year, people in New York die from drowning and water collision accidents.

Statistics Tell the Story

BoatUS reports that people using personal watercrafts (PWCs) experience a higher collision rate than those using any other type of watercraft. PWC collisions are 30 percent of reported boating accidents. PWC collisions also result in more injuries and deaths than any other type of PWC accident. Which is the greater risk for dying in a PWC accident — drowning or blunt force trauma? Blunt force trauma the greater risk.

Why Do PWC Operators Have Higher Accident Rates?

The main reason is inexperience. Most riders involved in PWC accidents lacked instruction or safety education training prior to operating the craft. An estimated 84 percent of PWC accidents involved operators with no training, and 73 percent had ridden for less than an hour when the accident took place.

The age group that is most involved PWC accidents is the 11-20 year old age group. While a parent would never hand the car keys to their 11 year old, nor let them near a car without supervision and a learner’s permit, even when they reached 16, this was not the case with a PWC. In fact, PWC owners were not the ones most involved in accidents. Only 18 percent of PWC owners were in accidents. Owners’ siblings (29 percent) and friends (53 percent) were the most frequent riders involved in PWC accidents.

Inexperience leads to poor judgment and loss of control.

Safety Tips: What to Avoid When Boating or Riding a PWC

Here are some guidelines to avoid when boating or operating a PWC:

  • Avoid speeding
  • Avoid wake jumping and sudden turns
  • Do not loan your PWC to someone who lacks experience and basic boating skills — ensure they’ve taken a safety course first
  • Keep beginning PWC operators away from boating traffic
  • Do not mix alcohol or drugs with operating a PWC or boat
  • Avoid boating without a personal floatation device
  • Do not ride or go boating in bad weather (stormy, high winds, or sudden temperature drops)
  • If you cannot swim, do not ride a PWC or go out on a boat

When Should You Seek Legal Help for a Boating Accident?

When your injuries are serious and you believe another party was at fault, consult with a lawyer and find out about your legal rights.

The Law Offices of David R. Lewis offers a free consultation to discuss your accident and determine whether grounds exist to sue for damages.

 

What to Expect from the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Company

How the Workers’ Compensation Evaluates Your Work Injury Claim

Pyrros Serres Attorneys Workers CompensationQueens |NYC| Brooklyn |Bronx Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

In the wake of a work-related injury, you want an experienced and knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer to help you pursue all the benefits available to you under the law. At Pyrros & Serres LLP, we will aggressively help you seek payment of all medical expenses, as well as compensation for lost wages and any permanent disabilities.

Under the New York workers’ compensation laws, your employer is required to provide coverage for any work-related injuries you suffer. In most instances, your employer will purchase workers’ compensation insurance to cover that liability. As a practical matter, therefore, we are customarily working with insurance companies to recover the benefits to which you are entitled.

It’s important to understand how insurance companies make a profit. An insurer will charge you a premium, based on their assessment of the amount of risk you pose. The greater the risk, the higher the premium. The money collected from premiums is then used to pay any claims that are filed. The fewer claims the insurer pays, the greater their profit. It’s no surprise, then, that the workers’ compensation insurance company has a vested interest in paying as little as possible to resolve your claim.

So what does that mean for you? It means that the workers’ compensation insurer will typically scrutinize your claim, and may engage in any variety of tactics to delay, diminish or deny your claim:

  • You will likely be required to submit to a medical exam conducted by a doctor chosen by the insurance company. That doctor will typically be looking for any basis to deny your claim.
  • The insurance company may argue that your injuries do not prevent you from working, or that they were not work-related
  • The insurance company may try to cut its losses by offering you a cash settlement that’s worth far less than your actual losses

The takeaway? Don’t ever try to handle your workers’ compensation claim on your own. Your case may seem like a slam dunk, but your employer and the insurance company can make it a nightmare.

What You Can Expect from the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Company

Experienced Queens |NYC | Brooklyn | Bronx Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

At Pyrros & Serres LLP, we handle all matters related to workers’ compensation and Social Security disability claims for people in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and across the greater New York City metropolitan area. Because of our reputation for effective advocacy, many of our new clients come to us as referrals from clients and other lawyers.

To learn more about the full scope of our practice, see our practice area overview page.

Pyrros & Serres LLP

Queens | NYC | Brooklyn | Bronx Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

Author:Pyrros & Serres, LLP