You know your doctor was careless.

You just know it.

You don't need an expert to tell you he was wrong.

You know what he did was wrong.

You learned the difference between right and wrong.

What your doctor did was wrong.

Plain and simple.

You bring a lawsuit against your once-loved doctor.

You're trying to obtain money as a form of compensation for all of your injuries.

You're out of work.

You're unable to do those activities that you used to do.

You're in pain.

You're disabled.

This will stay with you for life.


Your attorney agrees you have a valid case.

The medical expert your lawyer hired confirms that your doctor was careless.

He confirms that his wrongdoing caused you harm.

He also confirms that your injuries are permanent.

You're upset.

You're angry.

Angry because your doctor REFUSES to take responsibility for his actions.

He REFUSES to acknowledge he did anything wrong.

He REFUSES to admit he was careless.

You believe he should throw his hands up, roll over and simply offer to pay you everything you're asking for.

That's what he SHOULD do.

That's what his attorney SHOULD tell him to do.

So, why doesn't that happen?

For many reasons.

Before I answer that question, I want to tell you what your doctor says in response to your lawsuit.



Then he'll argue "Even if I did something wrong, nothing I did caused you injury."

Then as a final twist-the-knife in your back tactic, he'll argue that your injuries really are not as bad as you claim them to be.

When your lawyer tells you this, you flip out.

You start yelling.

You start cursing.

You start crying.

You can't understand why your doctor, whom you once loved as a devoted patient, refuses to do the right thing and accept responsibility for what he did.

You keep replaying what happened over and over in your mind.

You keep thinking what to say to him when and if you confront him during your lawsuit.

You want him to know how you feel.

You want to make him feel your pain.

To feel your guilt.

To shame him.

You're home ruminating over this for months.

You're depressed thinking about it every day.

It's consuming your life.

You're trying to improve physically, but your doctor keeps infringing on your thoughts because of his selfish actions.

You steel yourself for when you confront him.

You prepare yourself for what you'll say.

You write out exactly what you want to tell him.

You want his lawyer to know exactly how you feel too.

You want his lawyer to relay your thoughts, opinions and anger to your doctor.

You'd like nothing more than to scream at him and demand he answer your questions.

You calm down long enough for your lawyer to tell you that you need to appear for a pretrial question and answer session in his office.

The defense attorney will question you about your case.

There's no judge there.

There's no jury there either.

But there is a court reporter there to record all of the defense lawyer's questions and all your answers.

Your answers form the basis for your pretrial testimony.

Even though there's no judge or jury there, your answers carry the same exact weight as if you are testifying at trial.

Your attorney prepares you ahead of time for what to expect.

The defense lawyer is going to ask you lots of questions.

Questions about what happened.

Questions about your injuries.

Questions about your activities.

Questions about your conversations with your doctors.

Questions about things having nothing to do with your claims.

He cautions you that he may try to press your buttons and get you aggravated.

He may try to see what triggers your anger.

He warns you not to take the bait.

"It's not going to help you," he says.

You nod your head, but in your mind you're thinking "This is the perfect time for me to tell this SOB what I think of him and his defense!"

What you don't realize is that your lawyer has more experience than you in this situation.

He knows how angry you are.

He knows what the defense lawyer will do.

He knows the objectives and agenda the defense lawyer has when questioning you.

He knows the defense lawyer will try different tactics to see what ticks you off.

Once he knows that, he can use it to poke you and prod you at trial.

The jury won't understand why you're getting so upset.

They won't realize why you're so angry and bitter.

But because you took the bait during your pretrial questioning, the defense lawyer now knows what will get you upset.

It's much better for him to show the jury that you're a bitter and nasty person instead of a kind, sympathtic and debilitated patient.

The less sympathy you generate, the less likely the jury is to like you.

That's a fact.

Yet you've built up your script.

You know in your mind what you want to say to your doctor.

You know what you have to tell the disgusting defense lawyer who is defending this horrible physician.

You've got it all mapped out in your head.

On the fateful day, you arrive in your lawyer's office.

It's only you and your lawyer.

You walk into his conference room and you're introduced to your doctor's attorney.

He's polite and cordial.

You also meet the court reporter.

You're wondering where your doctor is.

"Why isn't he here to participate and listen to my answers?" you wonder.

You quickly ask your lawyer as you take him aside.

He tells you that the doctor never comes to the patient's question and answer session.

He'll see the transcript of all the questions and answers when his lawyer sends him a copy.

You are mentally disappointed.

You had been waiting for this day for many months.

Now, your expectation of your confrontation is shattered.

You're really disappointed.

But hey! His lawyer is here.

"Might as well give him a piece of my mind!" you say to yourself.

Your questioning is going on for hours.

You're exhausted.

Even with intermittent breaks.

Even with taking a lunch break.

This is mentally tiring.

The defense attorney sees an opening.

He sees a weakness.

He starts asking you questions about things that have NOTHING to do with the claims you're bringing.

He wants to know if you filed your tax returns.

He wants to know if you own or rent your home.

He wants to know if you have life insurance.

He asks if you've ever been convicted of a crime.

You are getting annoyed.

There's a slight twinkle in the defense attorney's eye.

He knows what he's doing.

He knows some of these questions are irrelevant.

He knows some of the answers can never be used at trial since they have nothing to do with the case or his defenses.

But he's pushing your buttons.

Finally, you snap.

You reach your breaking point.

You start yelling at the defense lawyer.

You start cursing at him.

You raise your voice.

You're tempted to stand up and slap him silly.

You regain some control but you're steaming mad.

You immediately forget everything your lawyer warned you about.

You launch a tirade against the attorney sitting across the table from you.

You tell him what a horrible client he has.

You tell him how disgusted you are that your doctor has refused to accept responsibility for his actions.

Your lawyer tries to tell you to shut up.

He pulls at your arm.

You pull away.

You're ranting now.

Your lawyer yells out it's time for a break.

He stands up.

The court reporter is still taking down everything you're saying.

The defense lawyer is sitting back in his chair smiling.

He's pressed your buttons.

He doesn't care what you have to say.

He's just happy his tactic was successful.

He knows your tipping point.

He knows your breaking point.

He doesn't care if you get up and take a breather.

He made his point.

You made yours.

You let off steam.

You exposed your weakness.

You now look bitter.

You look angry.

You look hostile.

Your opponenent loves this.

You think you just scored some points.

You think the defense attorney will relay your vindictive comments to the doctor.

He likely won't.

There's no need to.

It's meaningless.

It doesn't have any bearing on the facts of the case.

It doesn't affect anything except your attitude.

It does affect your credibility.

It does affect how the jury perceives you and your claims.

Your hostility and anger are a huge negative.

It's something you'll need to control at trial.

If the defense attorney can't replicate what just happened, then the jury will never know the full extent of what just occurred.

You want to argue.

You want to yell.

You want to scream.

None of that will help you in your claim against your doctor.

Let your attorney deal with your anger.

Let your attorney deal with his indignation.

Doing that makes all the difference.

To learn why cross examination does not mean angry examination in a medical malpractice case, I invite you to watch the quick video below...

Gerry Oginski
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NY Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Trial Lawyer