How to Find the Right Medical Negligence Lawyer for Your Claim

According to ProPublica's estimates, there could be more than 200,000 people every year who die from medical malpractice.

If you've survived but been through hell and back because of unprofessional doctors, you should seek out a medical negligence lawyer to help. A medical negligence lawyer could help you get what you deserve from the doctor or hospital who treated you poorly or inadequately.

Here are four tips for finding the right lawyer to take on your case.

1. Find Someone Local

When you're on the hunt for the right medical malpractice or negligence lawyer for your case, you need to find someone near to you. If you are located in the Brooklyn New York than try to search for a medical malpractice lawyer in your area that has lots of experience in cases similar to your own.

Not only do you need someone who you can meet with right away, but you'll have to have lots of back and forth with your attorney. You can't drive three hours every time you need to submit another piece of evidence or come in for a meeting.

Finding someone in your region means looking online and seeing who comes up. You should get a pretty good idea of who is making the most commotion in your region by using your favorite search engine. There should be a map attached that shows you who is closest to you and a little bit of information about them.

Ask around to friends, family, and coworkers and see if anyone you know has had to deal with any local attorney who specializes in this type of work. There are lots of lawyers to choose from in any city or town.

The trick is to find someone who is talented while also fitting in with your budget. 

2. Read The Reviews

If you're worried about whether or not you've got a good attorney on your side, one of the best things to do is to read the reviews that are online.

If you've been through an injury, surgery, and subsequent recovery only to get worse, you want an attorney who understands that. You've already been through enough trauma without having to struggle to get a lawyer to understand what makes your case important.

Look to see if there are any specific details about cases that other people have been through. Look for similarities to what you're dealing with and how you're struggling to bounce back after your medical negligence issue. If you're in pain and suffering from the problems that come with malpractice, you need an attorney who is sympathetic.

The best lawyers out there know how to be sharks for their clients without making them feel a lot of stress or pressure. Lawyers who don't pressure their clients and who know how to balance out their needs make the stressful process easier on you.

One of the major ways that an attorney can put you at ease is by ensuring that you're not worried about the costs of the case.

Many lawyers will work on contingency fees, meaning that they'll only get paid if you get paid. This allows them to work as hard as they can while you rest assured that they want to win this case, so that everyone gets what they deserve.

3. Ask About Past Cases

When you talk to a lawyer over the phone, feel free to ask them about cases they've dealt with that are similar to yours.

They should easily come up with a few that have similarities and that you see some familiar elements in. When you know they've dealt with cases like yours, you know they're able to get the work done and help you win what you deserve. 

While you might just see a list of positive reviews on their website, some attorneys are very confident and have clients who are willing to refer you.

If you can talk with previous clients who've won their cases, you can learn more about the process and what you can expect. If they don't want to give out private information from previous clients, they should be able to walk you through a case without disclosing those details.

Great law firms work hard to build a strong reputation so that people all around the region know they know how to handle medical negligence. Rather than suffering with it, you could be working with a powerful lawyer to get what you're entitled to from the case. When you pursue action, you should be able to see measurable results.

Lawyers will do what they can to ensure that you see examples that earn your trust.

4. Customer Service Matters

From the moment you first speak to your lawyer's receptionist, you should feel welcomed to the family. Customer service matters a lot to any law firm with any kind of integrity. You should be treated respectfully and greeted like someone they are excited to do work with and to help through this difficult time.

If you find that reception is cold and mean, you might want to seek out another firm. If you call all the time and don't ever get to speak with the lawyer you want to work with, just their staff, you might seek greener pastures. When you're trusting a lawyer with your future and your health, you want someone willing to get to know you.

You need a lawyer who you know is going to fight for you. If they're not even working hard enough to try to talk to you over the phone, then you can bet they're not going to fight very hard for you in the courtroom. If you can tell they're listening to every word when you speak, then this is the lawyer for you.

A Medical Negligence Lawyer Should Listen

If you're looking for a New York medical negligence lawyer, start by finding someone who you know is listening to you. Once you've got someone who is interested in your case, you can start talking about their strategies and what their plan is to get you reimbursed.

If you're planning on suing a doctor, check out our guide for everything you need to know in advance.

Call Us So We Can Help You Get Started.

Have you or a loved one been injured from a slip-and-fall accident? An experienced injury lawyer will help you win your case. 

We are here to assist you with finding the right injury lawyer. We have over 30 years of experience.

Our service is offered to the general public nationally, and specifically in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut.

Contact us now for a free consultation.


Suing a Doctor: The Basics of a Medical Malpractice Case

Did your doctor recently commit medical malpractice?

Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States. 

If your doctor has committed malpractice, you're entitled to
compensation. If you plan on suing a doctor, you need to know some basic
information. Check out all you need to know about medical malpractice.

What Is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice is
a legal cause of action that occurs when a medical professional
deviates from the standard of care. A medical professional is liable for
injuries that occur when they neglect or don't provide the care that
their patient requires.

Malpractice can be difficult to prove so it's important to have an experienced attorney to guide you through the process. The medical malpractice
field of law exists to help individuals recover compensation from any
injuries that result from not being given the proper standard of care. 

What are the Different Types of Malpractice?

Not all medical malpractice suits are the same. There are several different types of malpractice. 

  • Surgical errors
  • Misdiagnosis
  • Prescription drug errors
  • Failure or refusal to treat
  • Birth-related errors
  • Neglect

Let's take an in-depth look at the different ways a doctor can commit medical malpractice.

Surgical Errors

Surgical errors can occur in a few different ways. The doctor may
perform surgery on the wrong site. They can ever perform surgery on the
incorrect patient. Surgical errors can also include carelessly leaving
sponges or other objects inside a patient during surgery.

Anesthesia errors also fall under surgical malpractice. A patient may
be given the wrong type of anesthesia. Some patients have certain
allergies that prevent them from receiving certain types of anesthesia.

Misdiagnosis

A medical misdiagnosis happens when a doctor incorrectly diagnoses a
patient or not diagnosing them. This is a very common medical mistake.
Depending on the type of misdiagnosis, the consequences could be
life-threatening to the patient.

Prescription Drug Errors

Another common medical mistake involves prescription drugs. A doctor
can prescribe the wrong medication for a patient. A pharmacy may fill
the prescription incorrectly or give the wrong medication. 

Failure to note patient allergies or the possible side effects of
mixing a particular medicine with a patient's other medicines can be
catastrophic. This is one reason it's so important for medical
professionals to know a patient's full and complete medical history
prior to administering medications.

Failure or Refusal to Treat

If a doctor fails to properly treat or even refuses to treat a
patient, they could be sued for medical malpractice. There is a certain standard of care that a doctor needs to provide to their patients.

There are circumstances where a doctor can refuse to treat a patient.
For example, if a doctor or hospital has a religious objection to
abortion, they can refuse to perform the procedure.

State and federal laws differ when it comes to malpractice. However,
in some cases, refusal to treat can lead to medical malpractice. If you
were refused treatment and you have been told by a reputable medical
professional that you should have received treatment, you may have a
basis for a malpractice suit.

Failure to treat can occur when a doctor fails to properly treat a
patient after correctly diagnosing them. This can also include
discharging a patient too soon and improper follow-up care. All these
things can lead to injury or worsening of patient conditions.

Birth-Related Errors

Improper care during and after pregnancy can contribute to
birth-related errors. This includes medical negligence to the baby
and/or mother. Types of birth-related errors include:

  • bone fractures
  • surgical negligence during cesarean section
  • nerve damage
  • spinal injury
  • cerebral palsy from an unnecessary, delayed cesarean section

Pregnancies are complex. Some of these injuries can occur even
when everything is done to the best of the doctor's ability. However, if
it can be proven that any of these injuries were a result of doctor
negligence, then you may be able to file a medical malpractice suit.

It's important to note that a defense attorney may argue that the
birth injury is, in fact, a birth defect. The two terms may sound
similar, but they are very different.

A birth defect means that your child was genetically predisposed to
the injury or disability. A birth injury is something that occurs during
birth. It wouldn't normally occur in a typical, healthy baby.

Neglect

Neglect is a common reason for medical malpractice suits. This
happens when medical professionals simply do not provide a patient with
proper care. Neglect often occurs in nursing homes.
Nursing home patients may develop bed sores or malnutrition. Neglect
also happens when a patient doesn't receive the proper medication.

Suing a Doctor

Now, you may be wondering how to sue a doctor. There are certain
basic requirements that must be met in order to follow through with a
medical malpractice suit. 

You must be able to prove that the doctor-patient relationship
actually existed. This is easily proved as such relationships are
documented within the medical facility.

You then must be able to prove that the doctor or medical
professional was indeed negligent. Did the doctor cause an injury that a
competent medical professional would not have caused? Was your injury a
direct result of the doctor's negligence?

You also have to be able to prove that the injury caused
specific damages. Did you experience loss of wages because you were
unable to work? Have you experienced mental distress? Have you endured
additional medical bills as a result of the injury?

Finally, you should be aware of your state's statute of limitations.
What is the specific deadline for filing a medical malpractice suit? If
you are ever uncertain about the statute of limitations or anything
else, contact a credible and qualified medical malpractice lawyer.

Get the Help You Need

When it comes to suing a doctor, you want to know your rights and
options. When proper medical malpractice suits against doctors are
filed, those injured may receive compensation to cover medical bills,
lost wages, and medical care.

Are you ready to find legal counsel who can represent you well during a medical malpractice suit? Contact us today to get a medical malpractice lawyer who will help you get the compensation you deserve.


How does standard of care relate to medical malpractice cases?

If a New York resident suspects they have left a hospital with a worsened condition than what they went into the hospital with, they may find that they have become the victims of medical malpractice. A medical malpractice suit means that a medical professional did not treat their patients with the standard of care owed to them. But it might not be clear to the victim what the term "standard of care" means. Understanding what the standard of care is can go a long way in educating one about what to expect from a medical professional.

The standard of care that is owed to a patient by a medical professional refers to the level of care, skill and expertise that is to be possessed by physicians in a similar community and acting under similar circumstances. What does this mean? It means that if a doctor did not behave in the way that is expected of someone acting in his or her field, that doctor can be held liable for any harm caused. Holding someone to a standard of care means that doctors are expected to act in a way consistent with the expectations of the medical community.

There is a caveat of general or specialized knowledge. For example, a general physician will be expected to have a basic skill and knowledge of treating general or recurring illnesses, and a specialist cannot argue that the general physician should have done what the specialist would have done. Additionally, under the locality rule, a specialist in a private practice in a small town cannot be held to the same standard of care as a specialist in a university teaching hospital with the latest technology.

Even where it might be clear that someone has breached the standard of care owed to a patient, it might be difficult to get one medical professional to testify against another -- the threat of medical malpractice often causes the medical community to close ranks. But an experienced attorney knows various strategies to get the ball rolling to get doctors to come forward.


How does standard of care relate to medical malpractice cases?

If a New York resident suspects they have left a hospital with a worsened condition than what they went into the hospital with, they may find that they have become the victims of medical malpractice. A medical malpractice suit means that a medical professional did not treat their patients with the standard of care owed to them. But it might not be clear to the victim what the term “standard of care” means. Understanding what the standard of care is can go a long way in educating one about what to expect from a medical professional.

The standard of care that is owed to a patient by a medical professional refers to the level of care, skill and expertise that is to be possessed by physicians in a similar community and acting under similar circumstances. What does this mean? It means that if a doctor did not behave in the way that is expected of someone acting in his or her field, that doctor can be held liable for any harm caused. Holding someone to a standard of care means that doctors are expected to act in a way consistent with the expectations of the medical community.

There is a caveat of general or specialized knowledge. For example, a general physician will be expected to have a basic skill and knowledge of treating general or recurring illnesses, and a specialist cannot argue that the general physician should have done what the specialist would have done. Additionally, under the locality rule, a specialist in a private practice in a small town cannot be held to the same standard of care as a specialist in a university teaching hospital with the latest technology.

Even where it might be clear that someone has breached the standard of care owed to a patient, it might be difficult to get one medical professional to testify against another — the threat of medical malpractice often causes the medical community to close ranks. But an experienced attorney knows various strategies to get the ball rolling to get doctors to come forward.


Understanding the duty of care in medical malpractice cases

Medical malpractice claims are important for victims to understand, which is why understanding the elements of a medical malpractice claim is also helpful. Although the laws regarding medical malpractice may vary somewhat by state, the doctor's duty of care is always a part of a medical malpractice claim.

medical malpractice claim may allow a victim or their family to recover compensation for the physical, financial and emotional injuries they have suffered because of the negligence of a doctor, medical care professional or hospital. In all circumstances, a doctor or other medical care professional owes the victim a duty of care, which is usually referred to as the standard of care.

The standard of care refers to what a reasonable doctor or medical care professional in similar circumstances would have done. If the standard of care delivered by the doctor to the victim fell below that threshold, the doctor may be liable for medical malpractice. The doctor owes a duty to act as a reasonably prudent doctor would in the circumstances. To determine what the standard of care would be, the court may evaluate the differential diagnosis and determine whether the doctor carefully reviewed the patient's medical history and symptoms, examine what tests were ordered and if they were correctly interpreted, along with other considerations.

Medical malpractice can result in a worsened condition for the victim or the loss of a loved one for family members. As a result, it is necessary to be familiar with medical malpractice rights and protections and know what to do if you are harmed by the negligence of a doctor or other medical care provider.


Medical malpractice basics and help for victims

Medical malpractice is a broad category of harms referring to circumstances when a medical error or negligent medical care provider has caused harm to the victim. Patients should be able to trust in the medical care and treatment they receive but one study reports that medical malpractice is the third leading causing of the death in the United States.

Medical malpractice refers to when a doctor, medical care professional or medical care facility, such as a hospital, provides care that falls below the standard of care. Victims can be harmed when a foreign object is left in them following surgery, when they are given an incorrect medication or incorrect dosage or when a baby is harmed during the birthing process because the medical care professional delayed a c-section for too long.

Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor performs a wrong-site surgery; when an illness or disease is incorrectly diagnosed or a delayed diagnosis results in a worsened condition; or when medical tests are not ordered or read properly. Medical malpractice, unfortunately, can occur in a whole host of situations and can even result in death. As a consequence, it is important for victims and their families to be familiar with what a medical malpractice claim for damages is and how it can help.

Victims of medical malpractice and their families may be able to obtain compensation for their physical, financial and emotional damages through a claim for damages. Medical malpractice claims are oftentimes complex but because of their importance, it is essential for victims and their families to be familiar with medical malpractice protections, resources, remedies and rights when they have suffered harm.


What happens when victims have been incorrectly diagnosed?

As this blog recently discussed, medical malpractice protections are an important legal resource for victims of medical negligence and doctor error. But what happens if the patient was not diagnosed correctly? Medical malpractice protections also extend to circumstances when there has been an erroneous diagnosis and can help in those situations as well.

In circumstances of a failure to diagnose, erroneous diagnosis or delayed diagnosis, victims may also be able to pursue medical malpractice protections because the medical care provider may have violated their standard of care in failing to diagnose the patient's medical condition or failing to do so properly. If the medical care professional failed to consider a diagnosis that another medical care professional would have reasonably considered in the circumstances, or failed to order the correct tests of interpret them correctly, they may be liable for medical malpractice.

If the medical care professional simply fails to consider the victim's symptoms, or dismisses them, they may be considered medically negligent and liable for medical malpractice damages. When the failure to diagnose, erroneous diagnosis or delayed diagnosis results in a worsening condition for the victim, they may be able to pursue damages against the negligent medical care provider. Failure to treat or treating the wrong medical condition because of doctor error can result in additional harm to the victim.

Medical malpractice protections protect victims who have been incorrectly diagnosed or have otherwise suffered harm because of the negligence of a medical care provider. It is important for victims of medical malpractice and their families to be familiar with this complex area of the law to understand the variety of legal options that may be available to them when harmed.


Protections for victims of medical malpractice and their families

Medical malpractice can be a serious concern for patients and their families if the trust they have placed in their medical care is violated. Victims and their families who have suffered harm as a result of medical malpractice may have a claim for damages based on the liability of their medical care provider for the harm they have suffered.

When a medical care provider, including a medical professional, hospital or even pharmaceutical company in some circumstances, has negligently caused harm to the victim, victims and their families have important legal options to protect them. A medical error can result in serious harm, and may result in death, to the victim. Medical malpractice can occur in the diagnosis, treatment or care of an illness and result in devastating consequences for the victim.

To determine if the medical care provider or other medical professional was negligent in their care of the victim, the court will evaluate if the medical professional deviated from generally accepted standards of care; if a hospital engaged in inadequate care or poor training of its staff; and may look to regulatory authorities. In general, the question to ask is if a reasonably prudent medical care provider in similar circumstances would have acted in the same way.

A claim for medical malpractice can include a personal injury or wrongful death claim to help victims and their families seek damages. Damages may include physical, financial and emotional damages which may all be available through a medical malpractice claim for damages. Because medical malpractice claims can be complex, it is important for victims and their families to thoroughly understand their options when harmed.


What prompts the most medical malpractice claims?

Medicine is a complicated field. Every part or system of the body has its own specialists. Patients seeking care with what he or she thought was a common cold have been known to be redirected through a whole series of procedures and experts, only to come up dry on an accurate diagnosis. Sometimes those delays resulted in the patient becoming sicker or even dying.

That's perhaps the stereotypical narrative many in New York city embrace when they imagine filing a medical malpractice claim. The reality is that the basis of medical malpractice rests in the concept of a failure to deliver an expected standard of care. And under that rubric, a wide range of issues can serve as the foundation of a claim. The question then becomes how to find an attorney and assess the merits of the case.

What follows is a brief list that we believe most legal experts would agree form the bases of the most frequent medical malpractice claims.

  • Breach of patient confidentiality: When you go to the doctor there are reams of documents and forms to fill out. What you might not know is that they are necessary because of the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA). Your health information is your business and providers are liable if they allow that information to become public and cause harm.
  • Birth injuries: For all of the thousands of years of human procreation and advances in medicine and technology, medical negligence by doctors and nurses still often result in injury to mothers and newborns. In some instances, that negligence causes wrongful death.
  • Hospital negligence: Doctors and nurses are the care delivers. They are supported by hospital staff backed by hospital policies. Inadequate policies and insufficient staffing or training can all lead to hospital errors that prompt medical malpractice claims.
  • Failed treatment, misdiagnosis, and surgical error: These account for the greatest number of malpractice claims. They represent the most egregious examples of failing to deliver the standard of care expected by reasonable persons.

It is worth to note that not all mistakes rise to the level of malpractice. Knowing when an event does or does not is something that comes with skill and experience.


Medical malpractice and pain and suffering compensation

When you go under the knife, the last thing you want is for something to go wrong. Fortunately, the consequences doctors face for such a lapse are often severe, so the precautions they take verge on the extreme. Still, medical malpractice happens, and should you fall victim to it, the effects could be lasting and painful.

While the medical expenses that stem from an occurrence of malpractice can be easily quantifiable, the lifetime of pain and suffering are often not. In the state of New York, you could be eligible for what are aptly called "pain and suffering" damages as a form of reimbursement.

What exactly are pain and suffering damages?

Pain and suffering damages mainly account for two factors:

  • Emotional distress, which can include anxiety, depression, insomnia or other mental symptoms.
  • Lasting physical pain stemming from the incident.

These are sometimes called "non-economic" damages, and are meant to compensate you in the event that your life has been irreparably changed due to medical malpractice. New York is one of the few states that do not limit these types of damages. Hypothetically a jury could rule that any amount is reasonable.

How does a judge or jury calculate pain and suffering damages?

Because they aim to compensate for things that are difficult to put a price on, pain and suffering damages can be tricky to calculate. Typically, a judge or jury will weigh a few aspects of the case in order to arrive at a figure:

  • How will the injury affect the afflicted in the long term?
  • What will the effects be for the party at home?
  • Is the party facing an altered work life?

These, among other questions, are likely to enter a judge's or jury's thought process prior to the awarding of damages. Because medical malpractice cases are inherently complicated - particularly when pain and suffering damages enter the fray - it can be beneficial to seek legal counsel. The aftermath of a medical malpractice accident is often a stressful, painful time, and the guidance of an experienced attorney may prove instrumental to ultimately obtaining the compensation you deserve.