It was a simple question.
She called wanting to learn whether her dad had a valid medical malpractice case.
She told me this happened last month.
She told me this happened in a municipal hospital in Brooklyn.
She told me the hospital staff was careless.
She told me they were negligent.
She told me they refused to listen to her dad.
She was fixated on the fact that the hospital did not do what they were supposed to do.
She could not get past the fact that the hospital staff was careless.
I asked her one simple question.
“What injury did your dad receive as a result of whatever was done wrong?”
“Injury?” she asked.
“Yes, what injury did he receive?” I again asked.
“Oh, no injury.”
“Ah,” I said with immediate understanding.
From this brief interaction, it was clear within moments that her dad did not have a valid medical malpractice case.
She was disappointed.
She was confused.
She did not understand why her father did not have a valid case if there were so many things done wrong at this hospital.
I then began to explain...
In New York, in order to show that we are more likely right than wrong that we have a valid case, we are required to show three things:
2. That the wrongdoing caused injury.
3. That the injury is significant and/or permanent.
All three of those things must be confirmed by a medical expert who has either treated her dad or reviewed all of his records.
In her case, I explained that she had only one out of three elements necessary in order to determine whether there was a valid case.
I should also tell you that this type of thinking is common.
People become fixated on the wrongdoing that occurred without paying any attention to whether there is any significant long-term injury or disability that arises out of the wrongdoing.
Although was disappointing for her, her dad was remarkably fortunate that he did not receive any physical injury as a result of whatever carelessness occurred at the hospital.