How to Find a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Near Me
When it comes to medical malpractice, the physical and emotional pain can be unbearable. As a victim, you may feel overwhelmed, helpless, and not sure of where to turn for help. The thought of navigating a complex legal system can add to your already heavy burden.
But don’t you worry because we have a solution and that too is a pretty simple one. By hiring the right medical malpractice lawyer, you can take control and fight for the justice you deserve.
In this blog, we will walk you through the process of finding compassionate and knowledgeable medical malpractice lawyers near you and everything else you need to know regarding medical mistake claims. So that you can take the first step toward healing and a brighter future.
What Is Considered Medical Malpractice?
It happens when a healthcare professional fails to provide the level of care that is expected of them and, as a result, causes harm to a patient. It is a form of professional negligence and can happen in many different medical settings, including hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and private practices.
Common Examples of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice has emerged as a leading cause of death in the United States. According to a study by Johns Hopkins, the yearly death toll as a result of the negligence of medical professionals is estimated at 251,000 to 440,000.
These numbers are pretty staggering, right? Below are the common types of medical malpractice cases victims may suffer from.
Anesthesia Errors – Such mistakes occur when a medical professional administers anesthesia improperly, causing harm to the patient. Examples include administering too much/little anesthesia, failing to monitor vital signs, and improper airway management. These errors can have serious consequences and must be addressed by a medical malpractice attorney if experienced.
Surgical Errors – They are considered a form of medical error because they occur as a result of a healthcare professional’s failure to adhere to the accepted standard of care during a surgical procedure. This can include mistakes made before, during, or after surgery, such as incorrect site surgery, leaving surgical instruments inside the patient, performing the wrong procedure, wrong organ removal, or failing to properly manage postoperative care.
Birth Injury – It is an injury sustained by a newborn during birth due to medical negligence, such as improper use of instruments, failure to diagnose and treat complications, or improper monitoring. Examples of birth injuries include cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, skull fractures, brachial plexus injury, and other complications. If you suspect that your baby was the victim of a medical personal injury case, seek the guidance of a medical malpractice attorney.
Post-Operative Care – It is vital follow-up care that can make all the difference in ensuring a smooth and successful recovery of a patient. But in the unfortunate case of medical malpractice, subpar post-operative care can be the source of even more pain and mental suffering for the patient. Such negligence from medical professionals comes in many forms, such as failing to properly monitor the patient’s vital signs, not providing adequate pain relief, neglecting to prevent or treat infections, and improper wound care.
Misdiagnosis – When medical professionals wrongly diagnose a patient, it may lead to incorrect or delayed treatment. This can result in worsened health, ineffective treatment, and even permanent damage. For example, a patient being diagnosed with the wrong illness, receiving the wrong course of treatment, or being sent home with a misdiagnosis.
Emergency Room Errors – These medical errors occur when emergency room patients receive substandard care, leading to harm or injury. This can take the form of incorrect diagnoses, delayed treatment, miscommunication, and inadequate staffing. For example, failing to diagnose a heart attack, misdiagnosing a broken bone, and not treating a life-threatening allergic reaction.
Medical Device Errors – The use of faulty medical devices, such as those with design flaws or manufacturing defects, can lead to patient harm. Additionally, medical professionals may use the devices improperly, leading to misdiagnosis, incorrect treatment, or medical malpractice injuries. The consequences of medical device malfunctions can be severe and long-lasting, including infections, internal bleeding, permanent injury, and even death.
Nursing Home Abuse – Such institutes are common places of medical malpractice injury mainly because of the vulnerability of their residents. Nursing home residents often have limited mobility, communication, and cognitive abilities, making them susceptible to abuse and neglect by nursing home staff members. Some examples of nursing home malpractice include physical assault, failure to properly care for wounds or medical needs, and overmedication.
Dental Malpractice – An incorrect dental care provided by a dentist or other medical professionals may lead to harm or injury to the patient. Examples of dental malpractice include misdiagnosis, improper treatment, failure to obtain informed consent, and permanent injury or damage to the teeth, gums, or jaw.
How to Find a Medical Malpractice Attorney Near You?
Here are a few tips you can use to search for the best medical malpractice attorneys in your area.
First things first, remember to ask your family, friends, and other contacts to refer you to any good medical malpractice lawyers. This is a good approach because your close ones will only give you referrals they trust and had experience with. Moreover, you can also request your doctor to recommend you an attorney who has a record of successful medical malpractice cases.
You can also do online research for medical malpractice attorneys in your area using search engines, legal directories, or professional websites. Read reviews and compare their qualifications and experience.
Moreover, professional organizations are another option for finding a medical malpractice attorney. The American Bar Association and state-specific organizations can provide you with referrals to experienced medical malpractice attorneys in your locality. These organizations often have a network of legal professionals who specialize in different areas of law, including medical malpractice.
How to Know You Have a Medical Malpractice Case?
In order to know if you have a medical malpractice case, consider these key factors:
Duty of Care – Your healthcare provider has a legal obligation to provide you with appropriate and reasonable medical care. This means that your doctor, nurse, hospital, or another medical professional must take reasonable steps to diagnose and treat your medical conditions in a manner that is consistent with the standards of their profession. If your healthcare provider fails to meet this standard of care and causes harm to you, they should be held responsible for your medical malpractice.
Doctor-Patient relationship: It involves a mutual agreement between you and the healthcare provider to work together toward your health and well-being. The doctor is responsible for diagnosing and treating your medical conditions, while you are responsible for following their advice and providing them with accurate information about your health. So to make your medical injury claim valid, you must prove your relationship with the said doctor.
Breach of duty: It occurs when your healthcare provider fails to provide the standard of care that is owed to you as a patient. The standard of care here means the level of care and skill that a reasonably competent and careful healthcare provider would use in similar circumstances. If your doctor fails to meet this standard and causes harm to you, they may have breached their duty of care. This means that they failed to fulfill their obligation to provide you with appropriate and reasonable medical care.
Causation: Causation links the breach of duty by a healthcare provider to harm suffered by the patient. The patient must prove a direct connection between the breach and their injury to have a valid medical malpractice case. Establishing causation can be complex and may require expert help.
Damages: Your harm or injury must have resulted in tangible damages, such as physical pain, medical bills, lost wages, or emotional distress.
Expert testimony: It refers to medical experts who provide professional opinions in medical malpractice cases. These experts help to demonstrate the standard of care, breach of duty, and causation of harm or injury. Their testimony strengthens your case and increases the chances of a favorable outcome for you.
How Does Medical Malpractice Differ From Negligence?
Both these terms are often used interchangeably, but they have distinct differences. For instance:
Medical negligence refers to when someone fails to exercise reasonable care, resulting in harm or injury to you. In the medical field, negligence can occur when a healthcare professional fails to provide the appropriate level of care, causing harm to you as a patient.
On the other hand, medical malpractice refers specifically to medical negligence. It happens when a doctor breaches the standard of care owed to you, resulting in harm or injury.
This standard of care refers to the level of care and skill that a reasonable and prudent healthcare professional would have exercised under the same circumstances.
How to Choose a Medical Malpractice Attorney?
Choosing a medical attorney is an important decision and can greatly impact the outcome of your case. Below are some tips to help you find the right attorney:
Experience – Look for an attorney who is experienced in handling medical malpractice cases and has a proven track record of success. Check their credentials, including their license, education, and experience. Ensure your lawyer has both legal expertise and medical background.
Communication – Choose an attorney you feel comfortable communicating with and who will keep you informed about the progress of your case.
Fee structure – Most medical personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means there are often no upfront or hidden costs. Choose a lawyer who charges a percentage of your settlement after winning your case.
Consultation – Shortlist a few lawyers and schedule interviews with them. Many medical malpractice lawyers offer a free initial consultation and free case evaluation. You should pick a lawyer you feel has the most experience, knowledge, and understanding of your case, as well as one who you feel comfortable communicating with and who you trust to represent you effectively. During the consultation, ask questions about their experience with similar cases, their approach to your case, and their expected outcome.
PRO TIP: Choose a medical malpractice attorney who is a member of professional organizations like the American Bar Association or National Trial Lawyers. This shows they have the expertise and maintain ethical standards in their field.
What Is the Statute of Limitations on Medical Malpractice?
It is the amount of time you have to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. The statute of limitations varies for each state or where the alleged malpractice occurred and can range from one to six years.
For instance, suppose you were a victim of medical injury on January 1, 2022, in New York. You generally have two and a half years from that date, or until July 1, 2024, to file a lawsuit. However, if your injury was not discovered until after the statute of limitations had passed, an exception may apply and give you more time to file a lawsuit.
What Does It Cost to Hire a Medical Malpractice Lawyer?
The charges of hiring a medical malpractice lawyer vary. It involves various factors, such as the complexity of the case, the attorney’s experience and reputation, and the location of the law firm.
However, most medical attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if they win the case. If the case is successful, the attorney will receive a portion of the settlement or award, typically between 25% and 40% of the total amount. If the case is not successful, you are usually not responsible for paying the attorney’s fees.
Questions to Ask When Finding the Right Medical Malpractice Attorney
When searching for a malpractice attorney, consider asking the following questions:
How many years have you practiced malpractice cases?
Have you handled similar medical injury cases to mine before?
What is your win rate for such cases?
Can you provide references from previous clients?
What is your fee structure?
How do you plan to handle my case?
Will you be personally handling my case, or will it be passed off to a junior attorney?
How will you keep me updated on the progress of my case?
How long do you anticipate my case will take to resolve?
What are my chances of winning in this case, or should I pursue this claim?
How to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Without a Lawyer?
Filing a malpractice lawsuit without a lawyer is possible, but it is not recommended for several reasons. Medical malpractice claims can be challenging to navigate, requiring a significant amount of legal knowledge and resources. If you represent yourself, you may be at a disadvantage compared to the defendant, who is represented by a lawyer.
Additionally, your insurance company may take advantage of you in the process. Their primary purpose is to make money for themselves, and they will try their level best to offer you a minimum settlement that will hardly compensate for your damages.
Without the assistance of a medical attorney, you may not have the legal knowledge or resources necessary to negotiate with the insurance company, collect compensation and protect your rights.
Furthermore, malpractice lawsuits often involve complicated medical procedures and complex legal theories, and representing yourself can be time-consuming and stressful. You may also face difficulty in obtaining the necessary evidence and witnesses to build a strong case.
How Much Is the Average Medical Malpractice Settlement?
The average medical malpractice settlement varies widely based on the circumstances of each individual case. Factors that can impact the amount of a settlement include:
the complexity of the injury
the extent of the harm caused
availability of insurance coverage
the jurisdiction in which the case is brought
In some cases, settlements can be reached for tens of thousands of dollars, while in others, settlements can reach into the millions. Below is a brief of some of the medical negligence cases won by Uptown Injury Law’s CEO, Kyle Newman.
Missed Diagnosis Settlement Worth $1,750,000
Our client’s newborn experienced hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy as a result of a missed diagnosis of fetal distress during the birthing process. It is a type of brain injury that hinders development in a baby after birth. The victim was awarded a pre-trial settlement of $1,750,000.
Surgical Error Verdict Compensation worth $6,000,000
Another of our clients, a convenience store owner in the Bronx, was rushed into a hemorrhoidectomy surgery without proper gastrointestinal evaluation. After waking up with severe rectal pain and undergoing multiple surgeries, he became incontinent and required a spinal cord stimulator. Despite initial offers of $0, the case resulted in a combined settlement of over $6,000,000 from the hospital, general surgeon, and internist.
Wrongful death settlement worth $4,000,0000
A 60-year-old woman suffered a blockage in her colon but was wrongly diagnosed with “stomach flu” at a Bronx medical center. Despite her severe abdominal pain, she was discharged from the hospital.
Within 36 hours, she was found dead due to bowel ischemia, sepsis, bacteremia, and respiratory failure. Through expert testimony, attorney Kyle Newman proved that the woman suffered immense pain and suffering before her untimely death, which was caused by the hospital’s improper discharge. The victim’s family was awarded $4 Million compensation in a pre-trial settlement.
How to Start a Medical Malpractice Claim?
Starting a medical malpractice claim involves several steps, including:
Gathering evidence: Collect any relevant medical records, bills, and other documentation that support your claim. This could include medical records, hospital discharge summaries, lab reports, x-rays, MRIs, and any other documentation that is relevant to your case.
Speaking with witnesses: Identify any witnesses who can provide information about the events that led to your injury. This may include family members, friends, or other healthcare staff members who were involved in your care.
Consult with a medical attorney: Contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as you discover you’re the victim. Your lawyer will review your case, help you understand your legal rights and options, and guide you through the legal process.
File a complaint: Once you have gathered all the necessary information, you will need to file a complaint with the appropriate court. Your attorney will help you with this process, including drafting and filing the complaint and representing you in court.
Attend court proceedings: If your case goes to trial, you may need to attend court proceedings and provide testimony or other evidence in support of your case.
Receive a settlement or award: If your case is successful, you may receive a settlement or award that compensates you for your losses, including medical expenses, pain, mental suffering, lost income, and other damages.
Contact Uptown Injury Law Today
At Uptown Injury Law, we are proud to be the best medical malpractice attorneys in New York. Our team of experienced lawyers has the knowledge to effectively deal with insurance companies, fight for your rights, and ensure that you receive your deserved compensation.
With our extensive experience in handling complex medical malpractice cases, we understand the difficulties involved and try our best to make things easy for you at every step. Whether you are dealing with a misdiagnosis, surgical error, or any other type of medical error, our skilled and determined team will work tirelessly to get you the best outcome possible.
Don’t hesitate to contact Uptown Injury Law today to get a free consultation. Call us at 855-233-8728 to schedule a free case evaluation with our CEO Attorney Kyle Newman Esq.
How Long Does a Medical Malpractice Case Take?
The length of a medical injury case can vary greatly depending on various factors, such as the complexity of the case, the availability of witnesses and evidence, and the speed at which the parties are able to reach a settlement or resolution in court. On average, such cases can take anywhere from a few months to several years to resolve.
Are Medical Malpractice Settlements Taxable?
In the United States, the taxability of malpractice settlements depends on the specific circumstances of the case. Generally, damages received for physical injury or sickness are not considered taxable income by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
However, if a portion of the settlement is classified as damages for lost wages or other taxable income, that portion may be subject to taxes. It is recommended to consult with a tax professional or attorney to determine the tax implications of a medical malpractice settlement.