I have represented many people who are victims of medical malpractice caused by the negligence of a doctor, nurse, or clinic or hospital employee. I like to begin, of course, by listening to what you can tell me. If I think the treatment you received may have been improper, I will obtain and review copies of your complete medical records, and seek out prominent physicians as experts, who determine whether and why your treatment went wrong.
My extensive work in medical malpractice has included these results:
+$1,400,000 for a physician, husband and father of three who nearly died from an undiagnosed multiple drug resistant tuberculosis.
+$1,000,000 for the death of a young father of two who committed suicide after he was discharged prematurely from a psychiatric hospital and when, after his discharge, suicidal signs were ignored by his psychiatrist.
+$750,000 for a young woman who was incorrectly diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent an unnecessary mastectomy.
+$250,000 for a man who was incorrectly told by a doctor that he was HIV positive and believed this until the doctor told him 2 years later that he was mistaken.
+$175,000 for the death of a young woman who took an overdose of pills and was not brought to the closest emergency hospital.
+$110,000 for a woman who lost many of her teeth as a result of poor dental care.
Q. If I am the victim of medical malpractice, how much time do I have to bring a lawsuit?
A. Generally, in New York State you have two and one-half years after the date of the malpractice by a physician or a private hospital to commence a lawsuit. There is an exception to the two and one-half years: if you continued to treat with the same physician for the same condition, you have two and one-half years after the last date of treatment for that specific condition. If the medical malpractice occurred at a New York City or New York State hospital, you must file a Notice of Claim (City) or Notice Of Intention To File A Claim (State) within 90 days of the malpractice. And then you have one year and 90 days to file a complaint in the action against the City, and two years against the State.
Q. How much time do I have to bring a lawsuit if a family member has died as a result of medical malpractice?
A. If a person has died as a result of malpractice, you have two years from the date of death to bring a wrongful death action. An administrator/administratrix of the estate needs to be appointed before an action can be commenced.
Q. Do I have to pay any money to an attorney to consult with them about a medical malpractice case? What if they take the case, what do I pay?
A. You do not have to pay a fee to consult with an attorney. If the attorney takes the case, it will be on a contingency fee basis. If the case settles or a verdict is reached, you will have to pay as attorneys fees a percentage of any recovery and advanced disbursements.
Q. How is my case evaluated?
A. Our attorneys will review your medical history with you. We must also review and evaluate all of your medical records. It is important for you to provide us with any hospital discharge papers, medical records, prescriptions, calendars, and diaries of the events in your possession. Before a lawsuit can be commenced in a medical malpractice action, an attorney should consult with at least one licensed physician as to whether or not there were departures from the accepted standards of medical care.
Q. What can I recover?
A. You can recover for your past and future medical expenses, past and future pain and suffering, past and future loss of enjoyment of life, and past and future loss of earnings.
Q. Can my family recover for the injuries I have suffered?
A. Your spouse can recover for past and future loss of consortium, past and future loss of household services, and loss of support. In a wrongful death action, the decedent’s estate can recover for conscious pain and suffering prior to death and for wrongful death, loss of support and services, loss of (parental) guidance, and loss of inheritance.
Q. How long does it take before my case goes to trial?
A. Generally, it takes anywhere from two to three years or longer before a case reaches trial depending on the individual circumstances of your case, the complexity of the case, and the trial date assigned by the court.
Q. Will my case settle before trial?
A. Generally, medical malpractice cases do not settle until all the discovery is completed and the case is ready for trial. Even then, whether or not a case settles before trial depends on a number of factors including the individual facts of the case, the amount of money sought by the plaintiff, and the defendants’ desire to settle or go to trial. A majority of cases that have merit do settle. Assuming you are represented by an experienced firm, which has taken the case on the basis of merit, then there is a good likelihood of settlement.
PLEASE NOTE: Every case is different; the information provided herein is general and may not apply to a particular case. Therefore, if you think you have a possible case, you should consult Christopher Patsos at (212) 949-8080.