One of the most important components of a medical malpractice case is collecting evidence that proves a doctor has been negligent. When collecting evidence in an Albany medical malpractice case, lawyers can request records and information from doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare providers. In addition, a seasoned medical malpractice lawyer may turn to public sources to gain information about medical devices, medications, and procedures.

Not only is it important to collect enough evidence and information, but it is also important to be able to understand the evidence and the impact it may have on a case. Medical malpractice attorneys often work with medical experts to review medical records and information, in order to determine if a doctor is liable for medical malpractice.

Process of Collecting Evidence

Medical malpractice cases should be guided by facts and supported by evidence. Therefore, the process of collecting evidence in an Albany medical malpractice case begins with a person granting their lawyer authorization to collect medical records and reports on their behalf.

Because of strict state and federal laws, it is important that a lawyer has the authority to review a person’s medical records, or a medical provider will not provide this information. However, this process can take a substantial amount of time.

Forms of Medical Evidence

In any medical malpractice claim, it is critical to collect medical records as evidence. This may include:

  • Treatment and/or surgical notes
  • Admission charts and discharge reports
  • Diagnostic tests, including X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, and ultrasounds

Importance of Expert Witnesses

Expert witnesses are crucial in a medical malpractice claim. In fact, when collecting evidence in an Albany medical malpractice case, having an expert to testify is mandatory.

Specifically, New York Civil Law and Rules § 3012-a states that a licensed physician must review any medical malpractice claim and determine if there is a reasonable basis for commencing a medical malpractice action. This means that having a qualified expert witness is essential in any case involving medical malpractice.

Expert Witnesses in Court

Expert witnesses are not just useful when collecting evidence—they are also important in demonstrating how this evidence is pertinent to a claim in a courtroom. However, since doctors and their insurance companies will also use experts to disprove negligence, it may be important to also collect evidence on experts as well.

New York Civil Law and Rules section 3101(4)(1)(ii) provides that in any case involving medical, dental, or podiatric malpractice, each side is required to disclose the name of the expert and make that expert available for examination upon oral deposition. This means that each side will be given an opportunity to question the expert about their qualifications in the area of medicine about which they will testify.

Importance of Evidence When Proving a Case

In a medical malpractice case, it is critical to have enough evidence to support each and every allegation of medical malpractice. In most cases, a doctor and their insurance company will file a motion for summary judgment under New York Civil Laws and Rules, Rule 3212 at the beginning of the case.

This motion asks the court to dismiss the case because there is not enough evidence to support a cause of action for medical malpractice. When this happens, the court will turn to the plaintiff to prove why there is enough evidence of liability in a medical malpractice case. If a plaintiff cannot meet their burden, then the case may be dismissed.

How an Albany Medical Malpractice Attorney Can Help Collect Evidence

Collecting evidence in an Albany medical malpractice case can be time-consuming, taking weeks, months, or even years depending on the facts and circumstances of a case.

Because of this, it is important to work with a dedicated and experienced lawyer who could assist you in collecting evidence to prove a doctor was negligent, and fight to get you compensation for your injuries.