Finding the best legal representative should be your first move if you want to take legal recourse against a negligent healthcare provider. Unfortunately, this can be a challenge as New York has countless medical malpractice attorneys at every corner to choose from.
Finding the best lawyer to handle your medical malpractice case can be really tricky. Fortunately, you can save yourself some time by reading this blog post. In this article, we’ll give you some crucial pointers to help you narrow down your choices and pick the best medical malpractice attorney for your unique case.
Your Quick Go-to Checklist Before Hiring a Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Finding the right lawyer for your case can be like finding a needle in the haystack, but it doesn’t have to be when you know what to look for. Here are some of the steps you can take to find your perfect legal representative.
Check Their Website
This is one of the first things you should do when searching for a lawyer. You can obtain most or all of the general information you need about a personal injury law firm by checking and reading their website.
Their website should provide insight into the firm’s practice specialties, information about their lawyers, case results, awards and recognitions, and reviews from previous clients.
Take a look at the firm’s past cases and results to gain insight into their legal team’s track record and successes in similar medical malpractice cases.
Check the Bar Website
After reviewing the law firm’s website, you’ll probably get a list of their principal and partner attorneys. It’s essential to take a few extra steps and look each lawyer up on the state bar website.
The state bar website will provide you with information about their law school background, years of experience in legal practice, any disciplinary action that has been taken against them, and other important information.
For starters, you can start searching at the New York State Bar Association and New York City Bar Association websites.
Ask for Referrals
You can also try asking family members, colleagues, or friends about referrals. Attorney referrals from people you trust can provide a good starting point for finding your perfect legal representative.
Don’t forget to ask your doctor or other healthcare professionals for suggestions as well. They may have previously worked with medical malpractice attorneys and can point you in the right direction.
Schedule a Consultation With the Attorneys You’re Considering
Most personal injury attorneys around the state usually offer a free initial consultation. These consultations are commitment-free and allow both parties to discuss the case and determine if they’ll be a good fit.
Take advantage of this service and ask all the right questions during your consultation. It would help if you also inquired about their approach to handling medical malpractice cases and legal fees.
Be sure to look out for red flags, such as lawyers who guarantee you a specific outcome, overstate their promises, or assign you to a junior lawyer.
Look at Their Reviews
Reading customer reviews is one of the best ways to determine a lawyer’s reputation and quality of service. Reviews from past clients will give you an idea of how they handle their medical malpractice cases and how they handle an attorney-client relationship.
However, remain vigilant about fake and biased reviews. Look for reviews written by verified accounts and check for any signs of fraudulent reviews or irregularities.
Look at Their Education, Licenses, and Certifications
Many people argue that a lawyer’s college education should not be an essential factor when looking for an attorney, but there is value in considering this. Some universities consistently produce top-notch lawyers.
According to U.S. News & World Report, Columbia University, New York University, and Cornell University are the top three universities for producing the best lawyers in New York.
You should also check to ensure that your lawyer holds all necessary state licenses and certifications and is qualified to handle medical malpractice cases.
Compare Fees To Other Attorneys in the Area
One critical determining factor when selecting a medical malpractice attorney is the cost of their legal service. After narrowing down your choices, compare the fees of each lawyer to other attorneys in the area and figure out what’s most reasonable for you.
Some lawyers may offer a contingency fee, meaning you will pay the lawyer a percentage of any money recovered in your case. This might be the best way to go if you’re in a tight financial spot but with a good case.
Do They Have Any Experience With Your Type of Case?
Not all lawyers are created equal. Some might be more proficient in handling a medical malpractice lawsuit, while others may specialize in personal injury or premises liability.
Find out if they have ever handled a case similar to yours and ask them how they resolved the dispute. Also, inquire about the types of cases they generally work on and their success rate in resolving disputes. Most of the time, you can determine this after the free initial consultation.
What Are Their Results Like?
Another critical indicator you should pay attention to when looking for a medical malpractice lawyer is their results.
Ask them about the cases they have handled in the past, what kind of settlements they could negotiate, what legal strategies they employed, and how long it generally took to resolve medical malpractice lawsuits.
You should also ask if any of their former clients are willing to provide references or testimonials so that you can get a better understanding of the lawyer’s services.
What Cases Do Medical Malpractice Lawyers Handle?
Medical negligence or medical malpractice cases are broadly defined personal injury cases referring to improper, inadequate, or negligent treatment of a patient by a doctor, hospital, nurse, or another healthcare provider.
We’ve outlined some of the most commonly encountered medical malpractice cases by our attorneys:
Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis
Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis refers to the medical error of failing to diagnose a medical condition or diagnosing it incorrectly.
Delayed diagnosis is dire because the patient’s medical condition can worsen during the delay and cause more severe complications down the line.
Additionally, the doctor might prescribe a treatment that doesn’t adequately address the actual condition, and this error could cause the patient to suffer further injuries and losses.
Delayed or Failed Medical Treatment
Failure to properly treat a patient’s condition is one of the most common medical malpractice claims.
This negligence often occurs when a medical provider fails to order tests, provide accurate instructions for follow-up care, and adequately monitor the patient’s condition. In some cases, this negligence can result in a wrongful death.
Prescription Drug Errors
Prescription drug errors are also a common type of medical negligence. These mistakes occur when the doctor prescribes or administers an improper dosage, which can lead to severe injuries for the patient.
Furthermore, prescribing the wrong medication or failing to provide adequate instructions on how to use it could cause significant medical complications such as severe allergic reactions, organ failure, and even death.
Procedural or Surgical Errors
Surgical errors are the most severe medical malpractice errors because they often cause irreversible damage or even death.
Some well-known surgical errors are operating on the wrong body part, leaving behind a foreign object inside the patient, or failing to provide proper anesthesia.
Additionally, mismanaging post-operative care can result in serious medical complications requiring extensive medical treatment and even lifelong care.
Surgical errors are often caused by poor communication between the surgeon and other members of the medical team or failure to adhere to the standard medical protocol.
Birth injuries are another severe type of medical negligence that can cause devastating and lifelong impairment or disability to the newborn.
The most common birth injuries are oxygen deprivation, cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, trauma to the head or spine, and misdiagnosis of prenatal conditions.
Childbirth injuries are highly sensitive cases because they can significantly impact the quality of life of both the parents and the child.
Challenging a medical professional’s negligence in these cases can be a complicated process, which is why it is essential to secure the services of an experienced medical malpractice lawyer.
The Importance of Hiring the Right Medical Malpractice Attorney
The state of New York houses some of the best medical malpractice lawyers. With the burden of too many choices, you might get exhausted in the process and end up going with an attorney with less experience with your case.
The search might be daunting, but here are some reasons why hiring the right medical malpractice lawyer could be beneficial for you:
Conduct a Private and Proper Case Investigation
The right attorney is knowledgeable and capable enough to investigate your case thoroughly. They are highly versed in medical malpractice law and understand the best course of action to take to prove medical negligence.
With their help, you know where and what to look for regarding evidence and documents you can bring to the court. They can also provide an unbiased opinion on your legal options so you know the following steps to take.
Recover Necessary Documentations
Medical malpractice cases are highly technical, and proving negligence requires a lot of research and investigation. The right lawyer can help you recover the necessary documentation to support your case. This includes obtaining critical medical records, filing the necessary paperwork, and providing expert testimony.
Locate Witnesses Who Can Testify in Court
Other than gathering pieces of evidence, your lawyer can also help you locate witnesses who can testify in court. Witnesses play a crucial role in medical malpractice cases, and the right lawyer will ensure that those relevant to your case are well-prepared for trial.
You can find some witnesses among the medical professionals who treated you or your loved ones, and some of them may be willing to testify in court. Your lawyer can help you speak with them and persuade them to cooperate in your case.
Work With Other Experts To Uncover the Facts of Your Case
The ideal medical malpractice lawyer will have a vast network of connections relevant to your case. They have access to medical experts, investigators, and other professionals who can gather evidence or provide expert insights on the case.
Your lawyer can also speak with relevant parties such as insurance companies, hospital boards, medical directors, and defendants to help you build a solid medical malpractice claim.
Develop a Strong Legal Strategy
Your lawyer should be able to develop a solid legal strategy that can maximize the potential outcome of your case. They are knowledgeable enough to determine the most effective approach to prove medical negligence and build an airtight case.
The right medical malpractice lawyer will ensure that no stone is left unturned when it comes to uncovering facts related to your medical malpractice claims and provide competent legal representation throughout the process.
Necessary Elements of a Successful Medical Malpractice Claim
Every personal injury case is unique, and the circumstances usually differ from one case to another. However, certain elements must be present in any successful medical malpractice claim.
NYC medical malpractice attorneys must be able to prove the following elements to win your case:
Duty of Care
The duty of care refers to the responsibility of medical professionals to provide quality care that meets the accepted standards. Proving the existence of a duty of care is relatively easy as long as there is proof of a contractual or professional relationship between you and the medical professional.
Breach of Duty
Once your party has proved the existence of a duty, you need to verify that the medical professional breached this duty resulting in medical errors. This requires an analysis of the accepted standards, what was expected from the medical professional, and a comparison to the actual care they provided.
Cause of Injury
You must also provide sufficient evidence that their neglect is related to your injuries. This requires proof that the medical experts were aware of the risks but decided to proceed with the procedure or treatment anyway.
Lastly, you need to prove that your injuries resulted in actual damage, such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. You can do this through documentation and other forms of evidence.
There are many excellent New York medical malpractice attorneys. However, it is essential to do your due diligence to find the right lawyer for your case. Certain criteria should be considered when looking for a reputable medical malpractice attorney.
Most Common Causes of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice occurs for various reasons. Some of them are related to negligence and recklessness on the part of medical professionals, while others may be due to systemic issues. The most common causes of medical malpractice include the following:
Lack of Medical Experience
One of the most evident causes of medical errors is the lack of necessary skills to perform a particular procedure. This can be due to inadequate training, lack of experience, or other related issues.
This is a broad issue and is not always well-defined. This problem may point to the hospital’s inefficient hiring process or lack of supervision, which can lead to poor patient outcomes and a wide discrepancy among the skillset of qualified medical professionals.
Doctors and other medical providers must have the required certifications, background, and education before facing patients. The healthcare provider’s license could be at risk if they fail to provide the standard of care expected from them.
Medical providers work extensive hours with multiple patients throughout their shifts. This can lead to excessive fatigue, which in turn can result in poor decision-making and concentration errors.
Many factors contribute to overfatigue in healthcare workers, such as lack of workforce, poor scheduling structure, and increased patient volume. Medical professionals can also be victims of burnout, reducing their performance and increasing the risks of errors.
Overfatigue is a serious problem and is considered a hazard by some institutions. This issue must be addressed by medical organizations and providers alike to reduce the risk of medical negligence.
Miscommunication is one of the most common factors that lead to medical malpractice, and it can occur between doctors, nurses, and patients, or among practitioners themselves.
This issue could be due to a lack of understanding of the medical language or simply due to negligence from either side.
Many issues belong to miscommunication, such as insufficient communication, poor documentation, and misunderstandings.
When a patient’s condition is not accurately reported or relayed, it can result in the wrong diagnosis and inappropriate treatments that may cause further harm.
Miscommunication is an issue that should be taken seriously by everyone involved in medical care. Institutions must address it with clear policies and procedures to ensure all parties are on the same page.
Lack of Systematic Information Flow
Information flow is a critical component of healthcare and can be disrupted for various reasons.
This could include a lack of communication between doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals within the same institution and errors in data entry or documentation.
Incorrect information can lead to misdiagnosis and inaccurate treatments that could further harm patients.
Hospitals can reduce this problem by implementing secure communication systems, using proper data entry protocols, and ensuring that staff members are trained to use the system correctly.
The staffing of medical institutions is a critical factor contributing to the quality of care. Insufficient staff or personnel shortages can result in long wait times and a lack of attention to patients, leading to misdiagnosis, wrong treatments, and other related issues.
Hospitals should ensure they are adequately staffed with qualified and competent personnel to provide the highest quality of care.
Schedule a Free Consultation With A Proficient New York Medical Malpractice Lawyer at The Pagan Law Firm
Countless victims suffer from medical malpractice and negligence yearly, some of which have devastating consequences.
At The Pagan Firm, our team of New York medical malpractice lawyers have decades of experience in this field and are here to help you get the justice you deserve.
We understand that navigating a medical malpractice claim can be complex, which is why we offer free consultations to discuss your unique case.
Our lawyers have extensive experience in state and federal laws, providing personal attention and professional representation.
Take a step towards justice and schedule your free consultation today.