Medical malpractice
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By Richard Obiol
Principal Attorney

We expect that doctors will always help make us better. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes doctors commit medical malpractice, a serious issue that can have devastating consequences for patients and their families. When healthcare professionals fail to provide an acceptable standard of care, resulting in harm or injury to a patient, the victim may have grounds for a medical malpractice claim. Here’s what to know about the legal process of filing a medical malpractice claim in New York.

1. Initial Consultation and Investigation

The first step in pursuing a medical malpractice claim is to consult with an experienced attorney who specializes in this area of law. During the initial consultation, your attorney will review the details of your case, including your medical records, and determine whether you have a valid claim. They will conduct a thorough investigation to gather evidence, consult with medical experts to assess the standard of care provided, and determine the extent of your damages.

2. Notice of Claim

In New York, before filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against a municipal defendant, you must file a Notice of Claim with the healthcare provider or facility you intend to sue. This notice informs the defendant(s) of your intent to pursue legal action and gives them an opportunity to respond. The Notice of Claim must be filed within 90 days of the alleged malpractice or within 90 days of when the malpractice should have been discovered through reasonable diligence.

3. Statute of Limitations

It’s important to be aware of the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims in New York. Generally, you have two and a half years from the date of the alleged malpractice or from when it should have been discovered through reasonable diligence to file a lawsuit. However, there are exceptions to this rule, so it’s crucial to consult with an attorney as soon as possible to ensure that you don’t miss any deadlines.

4. Certificate of Merit

Prior to filing an action for medical malpractice in New York, your attorney must consult with a licensed physician to ensure your case has merit.  He will then author a certificate of merit attesting that there is a reasonable basis to proceed. 

5. Filing a Lawsuit

If a resolution cannot be reached through negotiation or alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation or arbitration, your attorney may file a medical malpractice lawsuit on your behalf. The lawsuit will outline the allegations of malpractice, the damages you’re seeking, and any other relevant legal claims. The defendant(s) will have an opportunity to respond to the lawsuit, and the case will proceed to the discovery phase.

6. Discovery

During the discovery phase, both parties exchange information and evidence relevant to the case. This may include medical records, expert witness reports, deposition testimony, and other documentation. Discovery allows each side to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the opposing party’s case and prepare for trial.

7. Settlement Negotiations or Trial

Many medical malpractice claims are resolved through settlement negotiations between the parties, either before or during trial. If a settlement cannot be reached, the case will proceed to trial, where both sides will present evidence and arguments to a judge or jury. The judge or jury will then determine whether the defendant(s) are liable for medical malpractice and, if so, the amount of compensation you’re entitled to receive.

The Attorneys at Civardi & Obiol Help Those in New York Who Have Been the Victim of Medical Malpractice

If you or a loved one has been injured due to medical malpractice, it’s crucial to understand your rights and the potential legal remedies available to you. A knowledgeable and experienced personal injury attorney who specializes in medical malpractice can advocate for justice and to do their best to hold those responsible accountable.

At Civardi & Obiol, our qualified New York personal injury attorneys will help to walk you through the process every step of the way. We will fight for your rights. To learn more or schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

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