Medical malpractice cases are unique in many ways. Not only are medical malpractice cases heavily litigated, but medical malpractice cases differ from most personal injury cases from start to finish.
Because the process of a Hudson Valley medical malpractice case is unique and complicated, it may be important for you to turn to a trusted and experienced Hudson medical malpractice lawyer. By ensuring that your case is properly filed and supported by the necessary documents and filings, a capable medical malpractice attorney could help you recover from injuries caused by medical malpractice.
How to File a Lawsuit for Medical Malpractice
One of the first steps of the process of a Hudson Valley medical malpractice case is filing a lawsuit for medical malpractice. N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 304 requires the person bringing suit to file a summons and complaint or summons with notice. A complaint should include all the following:
- The proper name of every plaintiff and of every defendant
- A short and clear statement of the factual basis of each claim, all of which must show that the party has a right to relief from the court
- A demand that the court award money or another type of remedy allowed by law
Rule 3012-a of the New York Civil Practice Laws and Rules imposes additional requirements and states, in any action for medical, dental or podiatric malpractice, the complaint shall be accompanied by a certificate, executed by the attorney for the plaintiff.
Once the petition and certificate are ready, the plaintiff may file a lawsuit with the New York Civil Court, or with the New York Supreme Court if the case is valued over $25,000. It is also critical to provide every defendant with a notice that a lawsuit has been filed against them. Generally, a summons must be served within 120 days after a lawsuit is filed.
Discovery and Pre-Litigation
After all the appropriate documents are filed and summons are properly served, the doctor accused of malpractice will have 30 days to file an answer which accepts or denies the statements in the complaint. Subsequently, the parties may engage in the discovery process of a Hudson Valley malpractice case.
During the discovery and pre-litigation phase, both parties may request documentation from the other party, which allows both sides to prepare for trial. Discovery can include:
- Written interrogatories
- Production of documents
- Physical examinations
- Mental examinations
- Requests for admissions
Because medical malpractice cases can be very time-consuming, many people will choose to enter into arbitration or a settlement agreement during this stage of a lawsuit.
What is the Process if a Hudson Valley Medical Malpractice Case Goes to Trial?
If a case does not settle, it will then proceed to a trial court where either a judge or a jury will determine whether the facts presented constitute medical malpractice. During this phase of a medical malpractice lawsuit, both sides will attempt to produce evidence proving that a doctor did or did not commit medical malpractice.
A medical malpractice trial consists of an opening statement, presentation of case evidence, and a closing statement from both the plaintiff and the defendant, with the plaintiff, always going first at each stage. During litigation, each side may call witnesses and present evidence, and in addition, may cross-examine witnesses and challenge the validity and admissibility of evidence.
The Verdict in a Medical Negligence Case
After both sides have presented their case, the judge or the jury will return a verdict. The verdict will state whether the doctor is found liable for medical malpractice. If they are, the verdict will then determine the number of damages the plaintiff should receive as a result.
How is it Beneficial to Work with a Medical Malpractice Attorney?
Filing a medical malpractice case can be incredibly complex, and one misstep may mean that your lawsuit is dismissed or that you are not successful in recovering compensation for your injuries. That is why it is vital that you get in touch with a capable medical malpractice attorney. A Hudson Valley medical malpractice lawyer could help guide you through the process of a Hudson Valley medical malpractice case. Contact a skilled medical negligence lawyer that could advocate for you.