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How Do I Start a Medical Malpractice Suit?

If you have experienced an injury due to the negligence of a medical professional in the state of New York, you may be able to file a medical malpractice claim against the at-fault healthcare provider.

In order to start a medical malpractice suit in New York, it must be discerned whether your claim has merit and proper certification must be obtained. What this means is that your lawyer has consulted with a physician, that on the basis of that consultation a reasonable basis for a lawsuit exists, and that a document, a Certificate of Merit, certifying this is filed timely.

Discern Whether You Have a Medical Malpractice Suit

Before you start a medical malpractice lawsuit in New York, it is important to assess your situation. You should be aware that not all injuries associated with medical treatment in New York are necessarily indications of medical malpractice. In order to build a successful medical malpractice claim, a lawyer must be able to show that:

  • You had a doctor-patient relationship with a medical professional.
  • The medical professional took an unreasonable action or inaction while providing you with care.
  • The medical professional directly caused your injuries.

In order to determine if these factors apply in your case, you should consider reaching out to a medical malpractice lawyer that is able to assess your situation with the help of witnesses who are medical experts. If your lawyer concludes that there was medical malpractice and that your serious injuries resulted as consequence, other experts may be called upon to evaluate your damages. These additional witnesses may include vocational rehabilitation specialists, life care planners, and economists. A lawyer will be able to provide you with information about whether or not you should start a medical malpractice claim with your situation and, if so, what recoverable damages should be sought.

Select the Right Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Medical malpractice cases are very technical and typically are vigorously defended by the insurer and defense lawyers for the doctor, hospital or other healthcare provider claimed to be at-fault. A non-lawyer, or even a lawyer not experienced in medical malpractice cases, would be at a tremendous disadvantage if he or she did not retain experienced, dedicated legal counsel. Such a disadvantage could result in an unfavorable case outcome, or even losing a case, that may have been successful had it been prosecuted by the right law firm. As you proceed along your process of deciding which law firm to retain, you should ask them questions such as:

  • How many medical malpractice cases the law firm has handled.
  • The number of successful medical malpractice cases they’ve had.
  • If they have medical experts they regularly work with.

Asking these questions prepares you to start your medical malpractice suit. Once you find a medical malpractice lawyer that meets your needs, they will be able to advise you on the next steps to building your medical malpractice claim.

Obtain a Certificate of Merit in New York

In order to file a medical malpractice claim in New York you must obtain a Certificate of Merit, according to the New York State Assembly. This applies to cases involving:

  • Medical malpractice
  • Dental malpractice
  • Podiatric malpractice

An attorney who has reviewed the facts of the case and has consulted with at least one physician must execute a certificate of merit. This review should prove that your injuries were caused by the medical negligence of a healthcare provider; in other words that they acted or did not act in a generally accepted way that other medical professionals would or would not under the same circumstance, resulting in the harm you have suffered.

A medical malpractice lawyer will contact a medical expert to comply with the previously mentioned certificate of merit requirement.

Inform the State Authorities

In some instances of medical negligence, contacting the state authorities that regulate the licensing of health professionals regarding the circumstances that caused your injury can be helpful to a case. If the state agency chooses to investigate the matter, their findings may provide additional evidence that is helpful to a case. However, it is best to work with your malpractice lawyer to determine whether or not such reporting is indicated in your case and if so, how best to proceed. Your filing with a state agency related to the claim of malpractice could also be evidence in a case, so it is important that it be done very carefully.

Talk to a Lawyer About Starting a Medical Malpractice Suit

In order to start a medical malpractice suit, it is most prudent to consult with an experienced and dedicated medical malpractice lawyer. The lawyer will take all the necessary steps to investigate your claim, so as to gather the necessary evidence to build a compelling case. certificate of merit and begin working with a medical malpractice lawyer. You will also need to speak with a medical professional to determine if your case could be resolved in your favor. Start getting the help you need by reaching out to Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. at (516) 932-0400 for a free initial consolation. Our staff is able to assist clients in Spanish, Greek, Bengali, Tamil, and Kannada.

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