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Why Does it Take Months for a Medical Expert to Determine if You Have a Valid Medical Malpractice Case in New York?

The answer is, it doesn't.

It doesn't take a board certified medical expert months and months to review hundreds or even thousands of pages of your medical record.
It might take weeks.
But months and months?

Nah. 
Doesn't happen.
Except when it does.

What am I talking about?
I'll tell you why it takes months to get an answer whether you have a valid case.
First, let's start with the obvious.

You believe your doctor was careless.
You believe his carelessness caused you harm.
Put it this way...you believe your doctor screwed up causing you injury.

Now you want to sue him.
Now you want to get compensated for all the harms, losses and damages you incurred BECAUSE of his carelessness.
You can't just walk into an attorney's office and say "My doctor screwed up and I want to sue him. Let's start this lawsuit today!"

Ah, no.
Sorry.
That's not how this works.

In fact, that's not how any of this works.

Let me share with you exactly how it does work which will answer the question I raised in the title of this article.

When you meet with an attorney, you'll be talking for at least an hour.
To tell him about all the details of what happened to you.
After getting all the details, your lawyer will have you sign permission slips.

Those permission slips will allow your lawyer to gather all of your medical records.
You see, in New York, before starting a case, we are REQUIRED to have all your medical records reviewed by a qualified medical expert.
The only way to do that is to send out requests for your medical records to the doctors you've been treating with.

Once we do that, we now wait for the doctor's office to let us know how much it will cost to copy your records.
That could take WEEKS.
The same is true for requesting your hospital records.

Then, when we FINALLY get a response from the doctor or hospital, we now have to pay them for copying costs.
We then cut a check to copy your records and send it to the doctor or hospital records department.
It could be days or weeks in which someone in your doctor's office or the medical records department gets around to actually copying your records and mailing them to us.

Then, as your records trickle in, I must now begin reading each and every page of every medical record.
I must familiarize myself with ALL of your records.
A smart attorney will do this for a number of reasons.

The most important is that it allows me to become fully familiar with everything that went on with your medical care.
Secondly, when I speak to my medical expert, I can now talk to him intelligently about the details of your care and treatment.
Ok...moving on...

After I obtain and read all of your medical records, I now must hire and retain a board certified medical expert to review all your records.

Sometimes it can take days or even weeks to find and hire the right expert with the right qualifications.
I want someone with lots of experience treating patients with the same problem you have.
I want an expert who is comfortable in the courtroom.

I want an expert who can easily communicate with a jury in easy-to-understand language.
Someone who is not condescending.
I want someone who is willing to stand up for his opinions and conclusions.

Once I have identified and confirmed the fee, I will then have all your records copied and sent to him for his review.

Then, we sit and wait.
The wait could be weeks.
The wait could be a few months.

It all depends on how voluminous the records are and how busy the doctor is.
It also depends on whether your time limit to file a lawsuit is quickly approaching.
If there's no serious deadline approaching, then it really doesn't matter if he calls me in three weeks instead of two weeks.

From the time you leave your lawyer's office after your first meeting, it may SEEM as if your lawyer has forgotten about you and your case.
It may seem that he's dropped the ball.
It may seem that your lawyer has moved on to other cases.

Why?

Because you haven't heard from your lawyer in weeks.
Maybe months.
You think he's not doing a damn thing on your case.

Here you are sitting at home wondering when you're going to get an answer about whether you have a good case.
Your lawyer doesn't call you.
He doesn't email you to give you updates on what exactly is happening behind-the-scenes.

Without that information, you're left to wonder.
You're left to guess.
You begin to stir.

You begin to get anxious.
You focus on why your lawyer isn't doing what he promised to do.
The reality is that nothing is further from the truth.

Lots of things are going on.
Your lawyer likely hasn't shared all the tiny minutiae of what's been happening.
Why not?

Because you really don't care about the little details that goes on behind the scenes.
Instead, you really just want to know one thing...
DO YOU HAVE A VALID MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CASE?

That's it.
That's why you went to an attorney in the first place.
To answer that question.

If the answer is yes, then you expect your lawyer to go ahead and start a lawsuit on your behalf.

Finally, weeks after your lawyer sent your records to your expert, your lawyer calls you.
"I just want to let you know that my expert has now reviewed your records and here's what he had to say..."

To learn how to control an opposing medical expert at trial, I invite you to watch the quick video below...

 


Gerry Oginski
NY Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Trial Lawyer