Joseph Lichtenstein Answers Frequently Asked Questions
About Medical Malpractice

Below you will find answers to many of the frequently asked questions we receive from our clients.

What is considered medical malpractice?

For those who have gone through some type of pain and suffering due to a doctor or nurse error, they may have questions regarding whether or not they have a medical malpractice case. There are certain things that must be proven in order to have a medical malpractice case. First the patient must have undergone some kind of injury. Second, it must be proven that the doctor made a mistake or acted negligently. Third, there must be a direct link between the injury and the doctor's malpractice.

How long will a malpractice claim last?

If you were injured while under the care of a medical professional, how long do you have to file a claim? The statute of limitations in New York gives a time limit regarding this issue. The victim will have 30 months in which to file a lawsuit; however, this is from the time of the incident not from the time when the symptoms arose. If a loved one died because of medical malpractice, then the surviving relatives will have two years in which to make a claim.

Is misdiagnosis considered malpractice?

There are several different types of negligence that are considered to be medical malpractice. Misdiagnosis occurs when a doctor failed to accurately diagnose a condition that a patient was suffering from. In cases like cancer, meningitis, and heart attacks, a misdiagnosis can prove to be fatal. Immediate treatment is necessary in order to have any chance of stopping the disease or condition. An erroneous diagnosis will also involve an erroneous treatment, which could actually make the illness worse.

What is a Certificate of Merit?

In New York, before a medical malpractice lawsuit is filed with the court, it is first required that the attorney secure a certificate of merit. As there are so many people seeking to file medical malpractice lawsuits, they have to manage the number of cases that are brought before the court. By having a medical expert approve that there is a valid claim, this ensures the court is not wasting their time.

Should I accept a settlement?

In New York, before a medical malpractice lawsuit is filed with the court, it is first required that the attorney secure a certificate of merit. As there are so many people seeking to file medical malpractice lawsuits, they have to manage the number of cases that are brought before the court. By having a medical expert approve that there is a valid claim, this ensures the court is not wasting their time.

What rights do I waive after signing a consent form?

When you are asked to sign a medical consent form before a procedure, it is important to remember that you are not signing away all of your rights. A consent form gives the doctor limited authority in order to give a specific treatment to an individual for a specific illness. If they act outside of their rights or they practice gross negligence, you still have the right to sue them. Although all types of medical procedures involve a certain degree of risk, it does not mean that malpractice is excused.

Do I have a failure to diagnose case?

If you went to a medical professional in order to find the reason for a certain set of symptoms, you expect them to do whatever is necessary in order to correctly diagnose what the condition is. However, if they reasonably should have been able to diagnose the condition but failed to do so, they could be guilty of medical malpractice. Not only will your condition not be treated, but if were you misdiagnosed, the treatment you receive could make your illness worse.

What do I need to prove to have a case?

If you suspect that you may have been the victim of medical malpractice, you may have questions regarding how to prove if you have a case. The first aspect of your case that you will have to prove is that the patient-doctor relationship did indeed exist. For example, if you merely asked a doctor for advice, but not in a professional capacity, they cannot be held liable if their advice proved to be harmful. The second aspect of the case that will have to be determined is whether there was a direct connection between the doctor's actions and your injury.

Is wrongful death covered in medical malpractice?

Did you lose a loved one due to medical malpractice? By filing a wrongful death claim against the negligent party, you could ensure that the same thing does not happen to another individual. Not only that, but you could receive help with paying for medical bills and funeral costs. By allowing a member of our team to handle your case, you can focus on yourself and your family during this difficult time.

What is preponderance of evidence?

Preponderance of evidence means that either the plaintiff or the defendant has the most evidence on their side. It does not mean that the jury has to be 100% sure, it just means that they have to be more sure than not, even if only 51%. Talk to our team to learn more.

What is the Statute of Limitations in New York?

Every state is different, but in New York, there is a legal time limit of two years and six months in which the victim can bring legal action against a doctor or hospital. If, however, a foreign object was discovered in the body or facts arose which pertained to the case, the time limit could be one year from the discovery.

Do birth injuries constitute a malpractice case?

Was your child harmed because of medical negligence? If so, you could have a case. The time surrounding the birth of a child is supposed to be a joyous time and an injury can quickly turn the case into a tragedy. If your child sustained cerebral palsy, brain damage, or a brachial plexus injury, allow our team to evaluate your case and seek to protect your rights and the rights of your child.

Can I sue for medication errors?

With the number of prescriptions being filled growing in the U.S., so is the number of medication errors and pharmacy errors. You should not have to suffer because you were given the wrong medication or were given the wrong instructions on the dosage. Not only could your condition become worse, but the medication could prove to be damaging when you did not need it. Click here to read more about if you can sue for medication errors

How much will a malpractice case cost?

When attempting to determine whether or not to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, understanding how much it may cost you may be a deciding factor. Our team understands that a lawsuit can place an unnecessary burden on families, so we do not charge any fees unless we are able to win your case. Some law firms will charge exorbitant fees whether or not they win the case, but this can hurt families who are already dealing with a traumatic incident.

How can I win a med mal Lawsuit?

The success of winning your case will greatly depend on who you have representing you, however, there are other steps you can take by which you can increase your likelihood of receiving the compensation you deserve.

How do I get started filing a claim?

If you have been the victim of medical malpractice, it can be confusing to know where to start. Once it can be established that the legal criteria for a medical malpractice case have been met, a medical doctor will have to sign a certificate of merit. Following this, the injured party will be able to file the lawsuit and notify the hospital or doctor of their intentions.

Does a claim have to involve a trial?

If you were injured because of medical malpractice, you may be wondering whether or not you will have to go through a court trial in order to receive the compensation you need. In 96% of the cases, the answer is no: you can settle the issue outside of court. When negotiations are unsuccessful, however, you may need to consider taking your case before a judge.

How much is a claim worth?

If you were the victim of medical malpractice and have questions regarding how much you may be entitled to, please contact our team. You could be awarded based on economic and non-economic damages based on the seriousness of your case. From lost income to past medical expenses to future medical expenses, do not wait to get the compensation you deserve. Call our office to learn more.

Is Nursing Home Abuse Medical Malpractice?

Do you suspect that your loved one might be suffering from abuse or neglect at their nursing home? This could not only be a case of abuse, but of medical malpractice as well. If the doctor in any way strayed from the standard of acceptable care which is required of them, you could have a case.

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242Joseph Lichtenstein provides answers to many common questions our clients have about medical malpractice …

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