MEDICAL MALPRACTICEMedical malpractice cases are complex and take an emotional toll on a family to prosecute. That's why you need someone with extensive experience in evaluating and resolving medical malpractice cases to review your records, identify and work with top medical experts in the field and who possesses the experience to know when you should move forward with a lawsuit and when a bad outcome does not result in a viable case. THE PROVIDER'S STANDARD OF CARE Medical providers must meet the standard of care recognized in their particular area of practice for assessing, diagnosing and treating the condition you present with. The standard of care required may be different based on any number of factors. It can be determined by information gleaned from the medical history, observations of signs and symptoms during physical examination, an individual's reaction to treatment and any other number of factors. Where a medical provider makes a choice between one or more acceptable alternatives for assessment, diagnosis and treatment and makes the wrong choice, this is not considered malpractice in New York. In that case, the provider exercised his or her judgment. Errors in judgment are not considered to be malpractice. The error must be demonstrable based on the medical records, testimony and documentation of treatment.
FAILURE TO MEET THE STANDARD CAUSED THE INJURYIn New York State, a Certificate of Merit must be filed with a medical malpractice lawsuit. The attorney handling the case must swear under oath that they have consulted with a physician licensed to practice medicine that has reviewed the case and determined it has merit. For a case to have merit, the plaintiff must be able to prove that the provider failed to meet the required standard of care and that that failure caused the injury or resulted in a loss of chance at a better outcome or recovery. Both of these criteria must be met.
Each case will require a different level of scrutiny to determine whether the provider's failures caused the injury or death. Sometimes it will require determining whether a delay in diagnosis made a difference in the progression of the illness or condition or ultimate outcome. Sometimes it will require determining whether a different approach to a surgical procedure would have avoided injury. Sometimes it will require determining whether a different course of treatment would have resulted in a better health outcome or avoided a bad outcome. Sometimes it will require determining whether additional consultations or referrals were necessary to make a timely and correct diagnosis. There are many questions that have to be answered by medical experts in the fields of medicine applicable to your claims. The answers will be dependent on the circumstances of your individual case.
EXPERT MEDICAL WITNESSES MAKE THE DIFFERENCEYou need an attorney with the experience in this area of practice who can identify the medical issues presented by your situation, identify the fields of medicine that are implicated by your claims and who can identify medical experts that are actively practicing and leaders in their fields of medicine to review your case. Where a case has merit, the successful prosecution of the claims will rely heavily on the quality of the medical witnesses supporting the claims.
EXPERIENCE MATTERSMedical malpractice claims should not be handled by any attorney. You need an attorney that has focused on this area of practice and prosecuted these claims who can identify and unravel the medical issues in your case. You need an attorney who can quickly comprehend the medicine and knows the anatomy well enough to communicate on par with medical providers, but present your claims in plain English so that a jury can understand what happened to you. You need an attorney that can identify the experts and get access to their services to make the difference for your claims. In today's era of electronic medical record keeping, you also now need an attorney that has the savvy to understand the electronic medical record. You need an attorney who knows how to gain access to information embedded in the electronic record and can uncover additional clues regarding how your care was delivered and where, when and by whom the errors were originally made.
Julie has dedicated her career to handling medical malpractice claims for injured individuals and bereaved family members. If your potential claims involve any of the following, please call.