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Gerry Oginski's New York Legal Blog

This blog is designed to educate and inform you about recent news and how it may impact your legal case in New York. I have provided commentary and opinion and welcome your comments to keep the conversation going.

If you have urgent legal questions or need a lawyer, please pick up the phone and call me at 516-487-8207 today.


3/20/2013
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Why would a medical malpractice and personal injury lawyer fire a client?

You might think that the client is the only one who can fire the attorney. Well actually the reverse is also true. The attorney can actually fire the client. However the mechanics of doing that

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1/15/2013
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Why do we need your Social Security number in a medical malpractice lawsuit in New York?

The reason we ask for it is so we can have it in our files. We keep it in our files until the lawsuit has been started and the attorneys for the people you have

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1/15/2013
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What is the Purpose of a Deposition?

A deposition is nothing more than a question and answer session given under oath. It is pretrial testimony.

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1/5/2013
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The Threat of Taking a Verdict in a Medical Malpractice Trial Here in the State New York

Every trial lawyer you speak to who handles medical malpractice, accident cases or wrongful death matters here in New York will tell you they have no hesitation to taking a verdict in a case that goes to trial.

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12/14/2012
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What is a collateral attack on an expert medical witness in a New York medical malpractice trial?

When a medical expert takes the witness stand, his credibility is everything. If I can show that he has less than perfect credibility, I can make an argument to the jury that he should not be believed.

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10/16/2011
Gerry Oginski
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Kidney Dialysis Leads to Bloodbath & Death

You would think going to dialysis is a routine thing. You have to go every other day to “wash your blood” of contaminants. Your kidneys are not working well

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5/21/2011
Gerry Oginski
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Jury Misconduct in Nassau County Results in Arrest in Medical Malpractice Case

A juror has been charged with juror misconduct in a Long Beach medical malpractice case this week. Deonarine Persaud, 53, solicited a bribe from the plaintiff

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7/26/2010
Gerry Oginski
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Residents Performing Unsupervised Operations

What happens when doctors-in-training perform surgery unsupervised? Think it doesn't happen? Think again. As more hospitals cut back on expenses, training and personnel, who do you think suffers the most? The nurses? The technicians? The doctors? Wrong. The patient suffers. Read the article to learn why.

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2/23/2010
Gerry Oginski
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I Can't Believe I Slipped On Ice!

Over the years I have written many articles about slip and falls on snow and ice here in New York. I've had my share of slipping on ice. Today in New York it's a rainy 35° and the ground is covered in certain parts with melting ice. Parking my car in the back of my office building left me on a large patch of ice. Feeling brave and fearless, I eagerly got out of my car and began the short walk to the front door of my building. My black leather shoes had zero traction despite my heel being made of rubber. Unfortunately, the day that I decided to park on a large patch of ice it figures that I was not wearing my snow boots.

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2/7/2010
Gerry Oginski
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Testicluar Torsion

Failure to Diagnose and Timely Treat Can Result in Death of a Testicle

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11/27/2009
Gerry Oginski
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Failure to Diagnose Aneurysm

What is an aneurysm? How does someone fail to diagnose an aneurysm? What are the ramifications of missing a bleeding or rupturing aneurysm? Read the blog post to find out.

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7/7/2009
Gerry Oginski
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I was contacted today by a physician who claimed to do expert witness work for injured victims. He wanted some business. I asked him what his medical speciality was. Instead of a direct answer, he said he'd done consulting for attorneys before, and that if I want, I should go to his website to see what he has done.

I said "No. Tell me what your medical specialty is."
His reply- "Research."
"Are you board certified in any field of medicine?"
"No, but I help attorneys understand their case, and I don't have to be board certified to testify."
I asked, "How can you testify as a credible expert witness if you're not board certified?"
His response: "I do this all the time. I don't really testify. I help explain the case to you so you become more familiar with the medicine."
"What types of cases do you review?" I asked incredulously. "Surgery, pulmonary, cardiac, cancer..." was his reply.

I was amazed.

I then asked why I should hire him, and then have to hire a second expert to testify at trial? I only heard silence on the phone.
I asked again.
"Why should I hire two medical experts; one who reviews the case, and another who testifies?"
His reply was "Because I'm a better teacher."

"But wait," I said. "You still haven't answered my question."
"If I hire a medical expert to spend 5 hours to review medical records, and that expert feels the case has merit, I don't want to hire another expert two years later to review the case starting fresh, and close in time to the trial. That's double the work, and double the money. What do you have to say about that?"

He had no answer.
"But I'm a better teacher," he repeated.
"So are many of the experts I hire. They're clinical doctors with academic credentials who are board certified," I said.
I was getting frustrated talking with this guy.
"What good does it do for my client if you're a good teacher, but you can't come into court to teach a jury that our position is more likely right than wrong?"
His final answer was "I've been doing this for a long time, and you really should see my website."
My final reply was "Have a nice day."

The moral of the story: Don't let your medical malpractice attorney hire a "medical consultant" who does not testify, just to confirm you have a case, and then have to hire a new medical expert during your case. Make sure you hire a board certified expert in the specialty you need to review and to testify."


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4/3/2009
Gerry Oginski
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Q: My mother was in a car accident last week, and already she's gotten letters from lawyers

asking if she's ok, and if she wants a lawyer? Is it ethical for a lawyer to send such a letter?

A: First, I hope she is feeling better. Second, in limited circumstances in New York, it may be

'acceptable' for an attorney to send such a letter to a victim of an accident. However, new ethical rules

say that a lawyer may not send an unsolicited letter to a victim's family within the first 30 days of the

incident.

In any event, the majority of lawyers feel such a letter to a victims' home is demeaning and degrading.

Some lawyers feel this is nothing but a solicitation, which is clearly not permitted in New York. Other

attorneys (the ones who send these letters) feel that it may be their only chance to entice the injured

victim to come to them as a client.

The letter is supposed to only offer them legal assistance and guidance- should they want it. Again, how

do you choose which attorney to use when you're inundated with a flood of letters from different

lawyers promising to help you with your accident claim?

The answer is simpler than you think. Ask yourself why an attorney would even bother to send such a

letter. Are they really that desperate to need to send such a letter? How did they get your name anyway?

I'll tell you how- maybe it came from the tow truck operator who took your car away. Maybe it was

from an ambulance technician. Maybe it was from a police blotter at the police station. (That's public

information that many investigators working for lawyers troll for in various police stations).

Ask yourself another question. Do you let a stranger into your house simply because he says he saw you

need a paint job, and amazingly, he's a painter who is willing to paint your house for a great price? Did

you call him? No. Did you seek out other customers of his to determine if he's reliable and professional?

No. He just showed up while trolling through the neighborhood. Is this the type of painter you want

working on and in your house? I don't think so.

The same rationale holds true for a lawyer that sends you an unsolicited letter following an accident.

What do you know about that lawyer? Probably nothing. Does that mean that he (or she) isn't a good

lawyer? No. But, again, think who you want for your attorney. Does it help knowing that your lawyer

gets many cases this way, by sending out unsolicited lawyer letters hoping that a few unknowing people

will answer the letter? The choice, as always is yours. Make an informed choice.



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2/16/2009
Gerry Oginski
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The failure to recognize that a nerve was being compressed, despite the patient complaining about symptoms of pain, numbness and tingling were ignored during a busy emergency room shift. The failure to perform surgery in a timely manner resulted in permanent damage to the nerve, the arm and hand. This case was settled during discovery and shortly before it was placed on the trial calendar.

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