New York courts begin each medical malpractice case with a certain presumption that a doctor was not negligent. In fact, a patient must submit enough evidentiary facts and materials to rebut a presumption that a doctor was not negligent in treating a patient.

Collecting evidence in a Hudson Valley medical malpractice case is therefore just as important if not more important than actually litigating a case. A seasoned medical malpractice lawyer will work closely with you, hospitals, insurance companies, and medical providers to help collect evidence, as well as work with expert witnesses to present the most compelling case possible.

Evidence Required in a Medical Malpractice Case

In any medical malpractice case, it is important to collect enough evidence to prove liability. A person is required to prove medical malpractice by a preponderance of the evidence, which has been stated as follows: The preponderance of the evidence in favor of plaintiff is not so great that the verdict could not have been reached upon any fair interpretation of the evidence, nor is the verdict [finding that defendant was not negligent] palpably wrong or irrational.

How Much Does a Claimant Need to Prove?

A person who believes they have been injured in a medical malpractice case only needs to prove slightly more than 50 percent liability on the doctor to prove their claims are true. Unfortunately, there is no template to determine if a person has met this preponderance of the evidence standard, which means it is important to collect as much relevant evidence as possible. This may include:

  • Diagnostic tests – Diagnostic tests such as x-rays, CT scans, MRI’s, ultrasounds, and blood screens can be crucial to proving inadequate testing.
  • Treatment notes – Doctors take notes on patients during the course of treatment. These notes can be critical in establishing that a doctor should have identified a condition, or that they knew of a condition or injury and treated it improperly.
  • Discharge instructions – When a person is discharged from a hospital, following a surgical procedure, or even after leaving their doctor’s office, they are generally given discharge instructions. In some cases, a patient’s discharge instructions may be improper and may cause an injury.

Is an Expert Opinion Needed to File a Case?

One of the most successful ways of collecting evidence in a Hudson Valley medical malpractice case is to work with a medical expert who will be able to determine what evidence is needed, and furthermore what evidence is relevant to the case.

Rule 3012-a of the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules requires a lawyer to consult with a licensed physician to determine if there is a reasonable basis for commencing a medical malpractice claim.

Testifying in Court

In many medical malpractice cases, the defendant doctor or other experts will testify in court and bring copies of diagnostic tests to present to the jury that show what they saw, and why they then chose a course of treatment.

Having a medical expert to testify on a patient’s behalf can help demonstrate that the defendant doctor should have seen something else on a diagnostic test, or that a course of treatment was improper given the circumstances.

Benefits of Hiring a Hudson Valley Attorney

When collecting evidence in a Hudson Valley medical malpractice case, it can be overwhelming to sort through all of the documentation and information from a hospital or even a doctor’s office.

A medical malpractice lawyer will carefully request evidence and information and sort through evidence to help present the best case possible. A dedicated lawyer can help ensure that your case is given the attention it deserves, and you are able to recover compensation for your injuries.