In order to collect damages when filing a medical malpractice claim, you must prove negligent on behalf of the at-fault party. To do this, it is essential to gather as much evidence as necessary for your claim. Therefore, if you are planning on filing a claim, consult with an attorney who is experienced in collecting evidence for Hudson Valley medical malpractice litigation. An accomplished medical malpractice lawyer could help ensure that you are able to prove negligence so that you can recover the damages you deserve.

How Do Medical Malpractice Attorneys Gather Evidence in Hudson Valley?

The first step in collecting evidence for Hudson Valley medical malpractice litigation is to obtain the medical records. This is done by having the injured person sign a power of attorney form that authorizes the lawyer to get the medical records. Once a lawyer receives the power of attorney, they send it to the medical records department of the hospital or doctor’s office and request electronic medical records.

Usually, the attorney will get the electronic records on a compact disk and then they will be inputted into their database. The injured individual can get a complete set of their case file or their medical records from the lawyer electronically at any time and for any reason.

What Types of Evidence Do Lawyers Look For?

The most important evidence to look for is whether there was a deviation from good and accepted medical standards of care, which are the rules that govern the conduct of the physician. This includes not only what the injured person will tell the lawyer about what happened but, more importantly, what is documented in the medical record. There is often a difference between what an individual tells a lawyer what happened and what is documented in the medical record.

If something is not documented in the medical record, the doctor will deny the injured person’s version of what happened, therefore, the lawyer has to rely solely on the medical records when making a decision as to whether pursue a case or not. If the medical professional breached the standards of care, then the injured victim may file a claim to recover damages.

Collecting Evidence Process

Once the lawyer has power of attorney which authorizes them to get the injured individual’s medical records, they send them to the medical records department. Under New York State public health law, the hospital and doctor have 10 days to provide the electronic records. However, they rarely comply with that deadline. In fact, it can often take more than 30 days for the doctor or hospital to provide the records. This is why the attorney must be persistent.

Original Chart Review

The injured individual also has the right to an original chart review. An original chart review is when they inspect the original medical records. Under federal and state law, the injured person’s attorney can go to the hospital or the doctor’s office and inspect the original file, whether it is a paper or electronic copy.

The benefit of doing an original chart review that most of the time when a lawyer asks for a complete set of medical records, the hospital or doctor’s office will almost never provide the complete set of records. An attorney can bring a portable laser scanner to the original chart review and scan the original records to share them with their experts.

Certificate of Merit in Hudson Valley

Under New York law, the attorney has to receive an opinion that the case has merit from a doctor. As part of the filing of the lawsuit, there is a document called the certificate of merit, which is a one-page legal document signed by the attorney stating that they have consulted with a physician who has informed them that the case has merit. Once the lawyer sees that the case has merit, they will begin collecting evidence for Hudson Valley medical malpractice litigation. If an individual wants to know more about the collection of evidence and how an attorney could use that evidence to build their claim, they should speak with a capable attorney that could help.