A medical malpractice lawyer can help you file a claim for damages if you were injured by the negligence of a physician or other healthcare professional. Depending on the circumstances of your injury, you may be entitled to compensation for financial and non-financial losses. Your attorney can review your case to determine if you are eligible for compensation, and work with medical experts to build a strong claim to get the money you deserve.
When you have a medical malpractice lawsuit, your lawyer will gather evidence through written interrogatories and requests for production of documents. This evidence will be used to establish the facts that will ultimately form the basis of your claim.
You will also be interviewed by medical experts, who are hired to review your claim and provide expert witness testimony. The medical experts will examine the facts of your case and will establish if the defendant doctor failed to exercise the requisite degree of skill and knowledge held by healthcare providers in his or her field, and that this failure directly led to your injuries.
It is important to hire a lawyer as soon as possible, because New York law provides a set time period during which you can file a claim for medical malpractice. If you wait to hire a medical malpractice lawyer, the chances are high that critical evidence will be lost or destroyed.
Many doctors carry insurance to cover their negligence claims, and it is a requirement for some physicians to have such coverage as a condition of hospital privileges or employment with a medical group. The state of New York has waived the immunity that would otherwise apply to its governmental entities, so you can sue municipalities and counties for negligence as well as individuals.
All medical procedures have risks, and it is a physician’s responsibility to advise you of those risks before you undergo the procedure. If a physician fails to do this and an injury occurs, you could have a medical malpractice claim.
For example, let’s say that you have prostate cancer and your doctor recommends a prostatectomy. You ask your doctor about the risks of the surgery, and he or she tells you that they are minimal. However, you later experience incontinence and impotence after the surgery. This could be a sign of medical malpractice.
The damages in a medical malpractice case are meant to compensate you for the actual losses you have suffered as a result of your injuries. These include your economic losses, such as lost income and the cost of future medical care; and your noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. The jury will consider these factors in order to decide a fair award. The jury may award you a lump sum or a structured payment over time. The former option is often preferable for plaintiffs, as it allows them more flexibility with their funds. However, some attorneys and clients are more comfortable with a structure that provides them with steady payments over a longer period of time.