The American medical system is complex, and errors happen. Sometimes, these mistakes have severe consequences for patients. The resulting injuries can leave patients facing long-term treatment, rehabilitation, or disability. In addition, they may face substantial financial losses from not being able to work in the same capacity. In some cases, patients can be awarded punitive damages in addition to their actual economic losses. Punitive damages are intended to punish a defendant in a medical malpractice case and send a message to others who engage in similar negligent actions.
Medical malpractice attorney for medical malpractice cases claims are usually brought in state courts. However, under limited circumstances, federal courts also hear medical malpractice cases. These cases are heard in one of the 94 United States district courts, and there is at least one court located in each state. Both the plaintiff and the defendant are represented by an attorney in these cases, and each has a separate judge and jury panel that hears the case.
In a typical case, the plaintiff must prove that there was a doctor-patient relationship and that the physician owed the patient a duty of care. The plaintiff must also demonstrate that the physician failed to live up to this duty of care, and that this failure resulted in injury or death to the patient. This can be a difficult task, and it is often necessary to hire medical experts to help with the process.
An expert can help the plaintiff determine whether a physician breached this duty of care, and what the resulting harm was. It is important for the expert to be neutral and unbiased, because the plaintiff and defense counsel will both be reviewing their testimony during trial.
A medical malpractice lawyer can help a patient file a lawsuit against the physician who committed the mistake, as well as any other parties that could be liable for the claim. This includes hospitals, doctors’ offices, nurseries, pharmacists, diagnostic imaging technicians, doctors who read test results, and even manufacturers of medications or devices.
Some people who are harmed by medical malpractice have a hard time finding an attorney to represent them. Many attorneys decline to take on a case, even if they believe the claim has merit, because of the expense involved. Attorneys need to be compensated for their time and for the expenses of bringing a medical malpractice claim to trial. In order to do this, they need a reasonable chance of winning the case.
A reputable New York medical malpractice attorney will be able to tell you whether or not you have a good case. If you do, they can begin putting together the evidence for the lawsuit, which typically takes months to complete. However, there are some things you can do to make it easier for your lawyer to get your case started as soon as possible. For example, you can try to obtain your own medical records both before and during the period of time when the alleged malpractice occurred. You can also prepare a chronology of your medical history that includes the names of all hospitals, physicians, and second opinion consults.