Blueprint for a Medical Negligence Case
STEP 1: Initial Meeting With An Attorney
If you feel that you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury due to the negligence of a medical professional or medical facility, you should consult with an experienced, competent medical malpractice attorney for a case evaluation. You should provide the attorney with as much detail as possible about the facts of your case and the injuries. The attorney will likely ask you to sign documents, including a retainer statement and HIPAA authorizations, allowing him/her to obtain your medical records.
The Gordon Law Firm of New York, LLP will be happy to provide you with a no-cost, no-obligation consultation, in person, by Skype, Zoom, or phone.
STEP 2: Initial Investigation By Attorney
The attorney will investigate the case that you present, including relevant medical records. You should provide the attorney with the names and addresses of all medical providers and medical facilities that may have medical records concerning your medical treatment and injuries. The initial investigation will help the attorney to determine if there is merit to the case that you have presented, what the negligent actions may have been, what injuries you have suffered as a result of the claimed malpractice, and who is responsible (who should be named as defendants). How long this initial investigation will take is often largely determined by how long it takes to obtain the relevant medical records. It is always helpful if you obtain as many of the records as possible before contacting an attorney.
STEP 3: Your Attorney Will File and Serve A Summons & Complaint
Once the attorney determines that you have a meritorious case the attorney will draft a summons and complaint (S&C) listing the allegations (claims) against the defendant(s). The lawyer will file the S&C with the appropriate court and then have it served on the defendant(s).
STEP 4: Defendant(s) Answer The Complaint
The defendant(s) will retain an attorney (usually through their insurance carrier) who will provide an Answer to the complaint. The Answer will set forth, in general terms the defendant(s) position responding to the claims.
STEP 5: Both Sides (Plaintiff & Defendant) Conduct Discovery
Attorneys for each party to the lawsuit, with the assistance of the Court, will enter into a scheduling order. The order will include exchange of documents including relevant medical records, medical bills, etc.; a Bill of Particulars drafted by your attorney, with your help, responding to question asked by defendant(s); and dates for depositions, also referred to as examinations before trial. The defendant(s) also have the right to request that you be examined by a physician of their choosing.
STEP 6: Settlement Negotiations
At some point during the course of discovery, the parties and/or the court may attempt to resolve the lawsuit through negotiations. Your attorney will discuss with you what your case may be worth and what your expectations for settlement might be. Your attorney will provide the defendant's attorney with a settlement demand which should take into consideration the pain and suffering that you have and will endure; your lost income, past and future; your medical expenses, past and future; and the permanency of your injuries.
STEP 7: Trial
If a settlement cannot be reached, when discovery is complete, your attorney will file a Note of Issue and Jury Demand with the court signifying that the case is ready for trial. Attempts to settle the case may continue throughout the course of the trial up to the point that the jury announces a verdict.