Medical malpractice lawyers can help injured patients and their families with claims against doctors, hospitals, nursing homes, pharmacies, diagnostic imaging companies, labs, and more. Their job is to advise you of your rights, represent you during legal proceedings, and negotiate with the healthcare providers’ insurance companies to obtain maximum compensation. Their experience and track record is important to consider when choosing a lawyer to represent you or your family member in a medical malpractice claim.
In addition to their extensive knowledge of the laws and regulations in New York state and around the country, medical malpractice attorneys have access to a large network of healthcare professionals who can provide expert testimony to support the claims. Having this expertise on your side can make all the difference when it comes to proving that a physician failed to meet the acceptable standard of care in treating you, leading to injury or death.
A medical malpractice lawsuit starts when your attorney files a summons, claim form or complaint with the defendant physician and other healthcare providers named in the suit. This is accompanied by a set of documents known as affidavits that attest to service of these papers on the defendant doctor according to state law.
Next, your Medical malpractice lawyer will work to get you more information about your treatment and the alleged breach of the standard of care from your healthcare provider or the doctors who referred you for treatment. Often, this is difficult to do because you may have received multiple treatments over a long period of time and do not know exactly when the malpractice happened. This can also apply to children, who may not become aware of the negligence until they are adults and have moved away from their parents’ home.
You and your medical malpractice lawyer will then review the evidence to establish a prima facie case, which is a sufficient basis for the filing of a lawsuit against the defendant physician. The evidence must show that the alleged negligent conduct took place and that it directly caused damages to the patient. This includes the physical and emotional injuries you have suffered and the impact on your life.
When a case is ready to proceed, the court will schedule a pretrial hearing, where your medical malpractice attorney can present a summary of the evidence and arguments in support of your claim. In some cases, this may include a request for an expert witness to testify.
The expert witness will examine the evidence and provide their opinions on whether or not there was a breach of the standard of care and that it directly led to the patient’s injury. If the expert agrees, your medical malpractice lawyer will file a motion for summary judgment with the court. If the expert disagrees, the judge will schedule a trial. During the trial, your medical malpractice lawyer will argue that his or her client is entitled to compensation for the harm caused by the violation of the standard of care and that the damages requested are reasonable and just.