There are times when a new potential client comes into my office and tells me quite strenuously that they have never sued anyone before. The same injured victim will often say that he's not doing this for the money. And that's okay. 

The bigger question arises when I ask them “What are you afraid of?”

The answers will surprise you.

Here's a list of common fears that potential new clients give me as reasons why they are afraid to bring a lawsuit seeking compensation for their injuries:

  1. In a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor, they are afraid that the doctor is going to lose their license.
  2. If the injured victim is receiving Medicare or Medicaid, the family is worried that if they bring the lawsuit and are successful they will lose those Medicare or Medicaid benefits.
  3. Their friends and neighbors will think they are gold diggers.
  4. There will be publicity the surrounding their lawsuit and the media will portray them in a negative light.
  5. They are afraid they might lose their case.
  6. They are afraid that they will have to pay for medical experts out of their own pocket.
  7. They are afraid they will have to take more time off of work to participate in their lawsuit.
  8. They have never done this before and don't know what to expect

Believe it or not, these are all valid fears.

Let's go through each one so I can explain.

  1. In a medical malpractice lawsuit, the doctor is not going to lose their license unless they have committed an intentional act and intended to cause harm. Only in that instance will the New York State Department of Health step in and begin their efforts to revoke the doctor's license to practice medicine. Otherwise, a claim for medical malpractice is one seeking money as a result of injuries you suffered because of a doctor's carelessness or negligence.
  2. If you are receiving Medicare or Medicaid and you win your case, you may lose your Medicaid or Medicare benefits. However, there are certain things that an attorney can do in order to prevent this from happening. They include creating a special trust to hold your money, known as a supplemental needs trust.
  3. Do you really care what your friends and neighbors think? If you are so focused on what other people think of you, then you probably should not be bringing a lawsuit. Instead, you are better off staying in your home, night and day, and not come out. Then, instead of wondering why you're not receiving compensation for your injuries and how you will pay your bills, you can instead think about what your friends, colleagues and neighbors think of you.
  4. There are instances of where the facts surrounding a lawsuit will generate publicity. In some instances your attorney can put a spin on the facts of the case. However, for the most part, the media will take those facts and spin them as they wish. However, the majority of lawsuits brought in New York do not generate any publicity.
  5. You're afraid that if you bring a lawsuit you will lose your case. This is a valid fear. Even if you have the best case possible and go to trial, it is possible that you can lose your case and receive no compensation. On the other hand, a jury may war award you significant compensation for your injuries. The risks and benefits of a jury verdict in your favor must be thoroughly discussed and analyzed with your trial attorney. In addition, should the defense be willing to negotiate at any point during your lawsuit, you need to have a very detailed discussion about the risks, benefits and alternatives to any proposed settlement.
  6. An attorney who takes your case on contingency means that you don't have to pay any money out of your own pocket. It means that the lawyer has agreed to take your case, prosecute your case and lay out all the expenses, also known as disbursements, in your lawsuit. That includes medical experts as well as many other necessary expenses. It's important to keep in mind that there are some lawyers, who when they recognize that you may not have the strongest case, after you are deep into the litigation, turn around and basically say “Listen, if you want to proceed forward with your lawsuit, you are now going to have to pay all the expert witness fees in your case.”  The majority of lawyers and good trial attorneys do not do that. They stick to their agreement to pay all expenses for your case.
  7. In order to bring a lawsuit, you need to meet with the attorney for your first meeting. Assuming you have a valid basis for a lawsuit and your injuries are significant, the only time you will need to come into your attorneys office is for your 'question & answer' session in the office. This is also known as a deposition or an examination before trial. The next time you will need to come into the office will be to prepare you for trial. Depending upon what type of injuries you suffered, you may also be required to go for a physical examination by a doctor who has been chosen by the defense lawyers. That will usually be the extent of time you will need to involve yourself in your lawsuit and take time off from work.
  8. You do not know what to expect. You've never done this before. You're worried and concerned about what will happen and what the next step will be. Your attorney should take great efforts to teach you and educate you about the litigation process here in New York. Only then can you become familiar with and comfortable with the process. Make sure the attorney has free reports, free books, free videos and tons of FAQs and answers that help explain how lawsuits like these work.

Why do I explain these common fears? The answer is simple.

I want you to be aware of them and if you have any of these fears I want you to understand that those fears are understandable but should not prevent you from learning how the lawsuit process works here in New York.

One of the key reasons why I created over 1400 educational videos, wrote four educational books, created over 525 FAQ's and answers and have hundreds of free reports on my website is to teach viewers how cases work involving medical malpractice, accidents, negligence cases, and wrongful death cases here in New York.

My goal, as an attorney who helps injured victims, is to allay your fears and to guide you through the litigation process. Since most injured victims have never been through the legal process before it's important when searching for a lawyer, to find one you can trust.

To learn even more about why some injured victims choose not to file a lawsuit, I invite you to watch the video below...


If your matter happened here in the state of New York and you have legal questions, I encourage you to pick up the phone and call me at 516-487-8207 or by e-mail at [email protected]. I can answer your legal questions. This is what I do every single day and I welcome your call. 



Gerry Oginski
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NY Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Trial Lawyer