Unfortunately, if you are reading this post you may believe that your doctor harmed you during the course of medical treatment. This happens to thousands of patients each year in New York. Many of those patients never pursue civil litigation even though they have a valid claim.
We understand that this is because the very idea of suing a doctor is frightening. The process is a mystery to people who do not work in the legal arena, but injured patients can understand the process with a little guidance and assistance from an experienced medical malpractice attorney working in the Hudson Valley regions of New York.
Of course, your medical malpractice attorney will need your assistance as well because he or she will need to understand the facts of your case. You will explain what happened with your medical care and you will give your attorney medical records so that your allegations can be substantiated. Additionally, a thorough review of records may uncover other points of negligence that you were unaware of.
After your “intake” with the attorney, suit will be commended upon the filing of a summons and complaint at the appropriate governmental office. Such must be completed within the requisite statute of limitations period. Next, the summons and complaint will be served upon the defendant in accordance with the law.
The defendant is required to answer the complaint or else he or she will face a default judgment. The time the doctor has to answer is generally 20 or 30 days, depending on the type of service used. Of course, the defendant can attempt to have the case dismissed without providing an answer, but the experienced attorney will know how to handle such an event. Your attorney may be required to respond to the answer as well.
But after these initial papers are exchanged, the process of discovery and disclosure will commence. This is when both sides turn exchange information relevant to the case. During this time, witnesses may be interviewed, doctors are interviewed, and the injured patient is interviewed by both the plaintiff’s and defendant’s attorneys.
Medical malpractice claims also require party conferences, such as the preliminary conference and the pre-trial conference, which the attorneys must attend with a judge. If the case continues, the plaintiff’s attorney will file a note of issue with the court stating that the case is trial ready. The court clerk will place the case on the court calendar.
Sometimes the case is “settled” before or at this juncture if the plaintiff so wishes to accept a settlement. Barring that, the case will eventually go to trial.
This is a long and exhaustive process, but the experienced medical malpractice attorney will see the case to completion.
But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.