Medical malpractice cases can be very expensive mistakes for victims. This is because they may have to undergo additional surgeries, procedures, and appointments to repair the damage done. This also means that victims of New York medical malpractice may need to also take additional prescriptions and medications, including pain medication. Victims may also need to go to other doctors, including expensive specialists, who will review the symptoms, injuries, and prescribe new medications and even perform additional procedures.
As a result, this creates serious medical liens. This can be through the victim’s health insurance carrier, medicare, medicaid, or some combination of the healthcare insurers. Generally, these liens needs to be paid back when a medical malpractice case either settles or a judgment comes in from the jury or judge. This means that the liens will get compensated before the victim. If the medical malpractice is particularly bad, it can completely lower or eat up the settlement or verdict amount.
Is there anything that a victim of New York medical malpractice can do?
YES! An experienced attorney knows how to help reduce that lien through common law, or judge-made law. This type of law is not always known by all attorneys, but experienced attorneys know about it and how to use it.
The main case is Kelly v State Insurance Fund. It comes from an appellate court in New York, which sets forth an equation how to recalculate a medical lien. That is right—recalculate! This helps victims of New York medical malpractice collect more money back.
Part of the equation takes into consideration the fact that the victim hired legal counsel who recovered the insurance money back. That is, it would be unfair for the insurance company to collect money for a lawsuit that the insurance company did not do any work for. This helps take a large chunk—up to a third or even more—out of the medical lien.
The recalculation also ensures that the victim earns a fair amount of compensation to account for the pain and suffering. This is important, because medical insurance is meant to cover health expenses but not cover the lost pain and suffering. This is a significant cost of medical malpractice, and cannot be compensated. Thus, it is great that New York law protects the victim’s rights to compensation for pain and suffering.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.