When you’re harmed by medical malpractice, you need a New York Medical malpractice lawyer with experience fighting for fair compensation. These cases are some of the most challenging personal injury claims to bring, and going up against large medical institutions with their own legal teams will require extensive preparation, skills, and resources.
It’s important to hire an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible, because the statute of limitations for filing a claim is often limited to two or three years from the date of the injury. A lawyer can help you determine when the statute of limitations expires, file your claim before it is too late, and work to get you the maximum amount in damages.
Many states have caps on the total damages that you can recover in a medical malpractice case, including non-economic damages such as pain and suffering and disfigurement. Some also have caps on punitive damages intended to punish the defendant and deter future medical malpractice. A medical malpractice attorney can review your specific situation and give you a realistic assessment of the value of your claim, based on what other patients have recovered for similar injuries.
One of the most important things to do when bringing a medical malpractice claim is gathering as much evidence as you can. This includes documents like tax records and pay stubs to prove lost earnings, as well as medical records from every health care provider you saw for your condition. Make sure to organize your records and prepare a short crib sheet that lists when your condition first started, who you saw for treatment, what happened during those appointments, and how you think the health care providers could have done better in their treatment of you.
Another thing your lawyer can use his or her skills to do is get more information about your treatment from the defendant healthcare providers. This may include more detailed medical records or information about what procedures were used, or even video recordings of you speaking to your doctor or nurse. Getting these additional materials can strengthen your claim and increase your chances of winning your case.
A medical malpractice lawyer can also help you understand what types of damages are available to you, and how they are calculated. For example, your attorney can explain the factors that go into determining non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, which is not easily measurable. They can also explain the differences between lump-sum payments and structured settlements, so you can choose the type that works best for your unique circumstances.
While it is always risky to rely on the opinions of just one or two lawyers, it is particularly important in cases involving medical malpractice. Even if one lawyer tells you they don’t see a case, don’t give up. Try calling five more attorneys, and keep shopping around until you find one who does see your case as a good fit. All lawyers have different styles and strengths; one may be brusque with clients but fantastic in court, while others might have excellent social skills but are unable to win your case in front of a jury.