Frequently Asked Questions
What factors are necessary for a case to qualify as medical malpractice?
If medical negligence, also known as medical malpractice, was involved, we must prove two things: that there was substandard care, and that the care caused a serious, otherwise avoidable injury.
Are there time limits for filing a medical malpractice law suits? Do they differ from state to state?
Yes. Here in New York, whether the patient is an adult or a child, the entity that caused the avoidable medical error, and whether the patient is alive or has died, all play a key role in the timing of filing a claim. Each state has different time limitations.
Do attorneys ever work in tandem with doctors on medical malpractice cases?
Yes. Medical records are gathered and then reviewed and scrutinized by legal professionals well versed in medical negligence cases, and then by qualified doctors and other expert medical professionals, to determine if the care someone received was or was not appropriate and up to the standards of medical care for the particular condition and treatment.
Who is actually being sued in medical malpractice lawsuits: the doctors or the hospital?
The attorneys for the patient/plaintiff will need to identify the specific health care providers who made the avoidable medical mistakes, in order to file the lawsuit naming the proper parties involved. This can include doctors, hospitals and other medical care providers such as nurses, physicians’ assistants and nurse practionners.
What sort of evidence is gathered in medical malpractice law suits?
The discovery process includes obtaining evidence documents such as medical records, X-rays, radiological studies, and the taking of oral testimony from all the parties involved.
Do medical malpractice law suits always go to trial?
No. Often times the Court schedules discussions, known as conferences, to see if the parties can resolve the matter by way of settlement, rather than having a court trial. This is usually preferable to both sides so as to avoid the costs of trial as well as what can be a long process.
Do the health care provider’s lawyers defend them even if they clearly committed medical malpractice?
Everyone has the right to an attorney and their day in court in the USA, unless they have knowingly or unknowingly signed a forced arbitration agreement. If the defendant’s legal advisors feel confident that the plaintiff’s attorneys have shown substandard care and resulting harm, it is common for the medical malpractice case to resolve before a trial in court becomes necessary.
How long do medical malpractice cases generally last?
A law firm/attorney can work on a case for an injured client on average of three to five years. Depending on the complexity of the case, it can take a longer or shorter time. If a case actually goes to trial, it can take a couple of weeks to months for the trial itself. Cases can be settled during the trial process as well. If not, then a jury will come to a verdict, based upon the evidence presented, either for the patient or the defense.