They are upset.
They are angry.
They believe that if their doctor did something wrong, the doctor must be legally responsible for all the harms, losses and injuries they suffered.
I have received calls that go something like this...
“Mr. Oginski, I know the doctor did something wrong and I could have died.”
Legally, I need to know if your doctor was negligent.
Put another way, my medical expert has to determine whether your doctor violated the basic standards of medical care.
In addition to evaluating whether your doctor was careless, I must also evaluate whether his carelessness was a cause of your injury. In other words, we need to show that there is a connecting link between the doctor's wrongdoing and your injury.
Legally, that is known as causation or proximate cause.
When someone tells me that they 'almost died 'or 'could have died', I tell them they should be thankful they are alive.
In law, “almost” doesn't count.
If our medical expert determines that your doctor was careless, but his carelessness did not cause or contribute to your injury, then there is no way we can proceed forward with a case on your behalf.
The law in New York requires that our medical expert confirm that (1) you are more likely right than wrong that the doctor was careless, (2) that his carelessness was a cause of your injury and (3) that your injury was significant and/or permanent.
Only then are we permitted to proceed forward with a valid case.