We know that in a criminal case, a prosecutor brings criminal charges against a person accused of committing a crime.
In a criminal case, a prosecutor represents the People of the State of New York.
A prosecutor works closely with the police in order to collect evidence, interview witnesses and present testimony at trial to show beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty of comming that crime.
First of all, in a civil lawsuit here in New York, nobody is being accused of intentionally harming someone.
In a civil lawsuit, an injured victim is trying to obtain money as a form of compensation for all the harms, losses and injuries they suffered.
In a civil lawsuit that goes to trial, an injured victim need only show that they are slightly more likely right than wrong to justify a verdict on their behalf.
A person who brings a civil lawsuit is known as a plaintiff.
A person who is being sued is known as a defendant.
An attorney who represents an injured patient is called the plaintiff's attorney.
An attorney who represents a doctor or hospital is known as a defense attorney.
In order to show that you are entitled to a verdict in your favor, you need not show beyond a reasonable doubt that what you are claiming is true.
That only applies in criminal cases.
Instead, you only have to show that you are more likely right than wrong.
That's a much different standard to justify a verdict in your favor.
In a medical malpractice trial, there is no “guilt” or “innocence.”
A doctor is not guilty of committing malpractice.
If a jury finds the doctor did nothing wrong, he is not innocent of committing malpractice.
The phrases 'guilt' or 'innocence' apply only to criminal cases and not civil cases.
If a jury determines that your doctor did not violate the basic standards of medical care, we do not say that he was found 'innocent'.
Instead, the jury will simply say that the doctor was not careless.
When a jury is asked to render a decision, they must determine whether we are more likely right than wrong that what we are claiming is true.
The jury must determine whether your doctor was careless at a particular point in time.
If the answers are yes to both of those questions, the jury will then be asked to determine how much money you are to receive for each element of damages you are claiming.
To recap, there is no prosecutor in a medical malpractice case here in New York.
Instead, there is a plaintiff's attorney who represents an injured patient seeking to obtain money as a form of compensation for all the harms and injuries you suffered because of a doctor's carelessness.