Actually, they're likely to laugh.
At you and your attorney.
That 'threatening letter' will accomplish nothing.

Actually, that's not true.
Your threatening letter will accomplish a few things.
First, it will destroy your attorneys' credibility with the insurance company.

Second, it will let the insurance company know that you're full of it and don't have the chops to back up your threat.
Third, they'll see this as a shakedown, which is what it really is.


It's meaningless.
It will not get you what you want.
It will also make you and your lawyer look bad.

Plus, if your lawyer threatens litigation without any intention of filing suit, then he has now violated an ethical rule in New York and could subject himself to penalties and sanctions.

If you REALLY want to threaten to sue, you've got to do it the right way.
And you're not really threatening.
Instead, you're inviting the insurance company to begin negotiating with you.

The ONLY way they might reasonably be willing to do that is if you can show them that you're right and they're wrong.
That's a really simplistic way of saying "Your doctor screwed up causing me injury and here's why..."
But here's the proper way to do it...

FIRST, we must obtain all your medical records.
SECOND, we must read and review all your medical records.
THIRD, we must hire the best board-certified medical expert we can find to review your records.
FOURTH, we must send our expert all your records.

The medical expert must read all your records to determine 

  1. Whether your doctor violated the basic standards of medical care,
  2. Whether that wrongdoing was a cause of your injury and
  3. Whether your injury is significant and/or permanent

If our expert confirms ALL 3 of those things, then we now have a good-faith basis to start your lawsuit.
"But I don't want to go through the entire lawsuit process. Can't we just send the doctor and his insurance company a letter threatening to sue, hoping they'll agree and pay me some money?"

"I understand your reluctance to want to spend two to three years prosecuting your lawsuit. That's understandable. However, threatening litigation is NOT the way to approach this. Now we have confirmation that you have a good case. We can start your medical malpractice case right now. I've got a better idea," I say.

The better practice at that point is to send a letter to the doctors' insurance company.
"Hi, my name is Gerry Oginski and I represent Mrs. Jones who was a patient of Dr. Gold. We claim that Mrs. Jones suffered significant injury as a result of the improper medical care by Dr. Gold over a period of six months. I have had my clients' medical records evaluated by a well-qualified board-certified expert surgeon who confirms that we have a valid case."

"Here is the essence of why we believe Dr. Gold violated the basic standards of medical care causing my client injury..."
Then I'd go into detail discussing the facts and the opinions and conclusions by our expert.

"I have taken the liberty of photocopying all my clients' records (with her permission) and enclose them here for your review. I invite you to have these records evaluated by a medical expert of your choosing to determine if what we are claiming is true. If your expert comes to a similar conclusion as our expert, I invite you to contact me to begin negotiating this matter before I put this case into suit."

"If I do not hear from you within the next 90 days, I will asssume that either you have no desire or intention to evaluate this case pre-suit or you dispute our claims. In that case, I will be filing suit at that time. I encourage you to reach out to see if we can resolve this matter. Yours truly, Gerry Oginski."

That's the right way to do it.
This gives the insurance company an opportunity to review your records, just as we needed that opportunity.
The letter is not threatening and backs up our claims.

This way they know we've done our homework.
They know we have a good expert.
They also know that we will file suit if negotiations either don't take place or are not fruitful.

Importantly, we maintain our credibility at the same time.

You want to send a threatening letter to the insurance company claiming you'll sue?
I don't think so.
They're not going to tremble with fear.

They're not going to quake in their shoes worried that you might sue.
They just don't care.
You can do it your way or you can do it the right way.

To learn some settlement strategies, I invite you to watch the video series below...


  1. Three things to consider when defense offers to settle

  2. What happens during a settlement conference on your case?

  3. Will the defenses' offer increase as you get closer to trial?

Gerry Oginski
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NY Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Trial Lawyer