If you suspect that you have been the victim of wrongdoing by a doctor or hospital here is what you need to know:

The first thing you must determine is whether you were potential case is timely. If your time to bring a lawsuit has expired, there is nothing you will be able to do to obtain compensation through a civil lawsuit in New York.in order to determine whether your potential case is timely, you really need to speak to an experienced medical malpractice attorney to give you specific legal advice about your set of facts. There are different time limits for adults compared to children; private hospitals compared to municipal hospitals; state-owned hospitals compared to private hospitals; among other time traps that you may not be aware of.

Once you have determined that your potential action is timely, here are the three required elements that must be proven in order to start a medical malpractice lawsuit in New York:

1. You must be able to prove that a doctor or hospital departed from the standard of care.
2. You must be able to prove that the wrongdoing was a cause of your injury.
3. You must be able to show that your injuries are significant and/or permanent.

Each of those elements must be confirmed by a physician who has either treated you or reviewed all of your records. If any one of those elements is missing, then there is no way to bring a viable case.

In order to determine whether each of those necessary elements are present in your case, you must do a thorough investigation. This involves obtaining all of your medical records up to the present time. once all of your records are obtained, a qualified medical expert, or multiple experts, must review your records to either confirm or rule-out a basis for your case.

Once you have confirmed that you have a valid case, then it is actually time to start your lawsuit.

You must prepare a document known as a summons together with a complaint. There are specific legal requirements regarding what must be contained within the summons as well as what you must put in your complaint. If you fail to have all the necessary elements listed there, you will have many legal problems later on down the road. That is why it is so crucial for you to seek experienced medical malpractice counsel in New York to help you with your particular case. Once you have prepared the summons and complaint, you must now file it in the county clerk's office and pay the appropriate fees.

To make matters even more complicated, those documents, known as the "summons and complaint" must now be delivered to the people that you are suing in a very particular manner. If you fail to deliver those papers appropriately, you'll never get your lawsuit off the ground.

Can you do all of this on your own? Sure you could. You could also do all the rewiring in your house even though you are not an electrician. At the same time you might want to handle all of your plumbing needs by reading a few "how-to" books. While you are at it, you might want to repair and replace your entire roof, even though you may know nothing about roofing. and when your car breaks down, make sure you do all the repairs yourself because you read a few articles online about how to replace your transmission.

Do I recommend handling in medical malpractice case yourself? The answer is "No." Not only do you need to know the detailed steps of how to evaluate a potential case, but you need to avoid all of the legal minefields that occur with inexperience. You should know that the doctors and hospitals in New York hire the best defense trial lawyers to represent them in these cases. Unless you have over 20 years of legal experience trying medical malpractice cases, I strongly urge you not to handle your own medical malpractice case, and rather hire an experienced attorney to help guide you through the legal traps you are sure to fall into.

Gerry Oginski
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NY Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Trial Lawyer
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