Although medical malpractice cases are often arduous and time-consuming, they are an important part of the civil justice system in America. These cases give victims the opportunity to seek the compensation they may be entitled to and can potentially be a deterrent for other medical professionals.

Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or other healthcare professional provides care or treatment that is not in line with the medical standard of care and consequently causes harm to the patient. To learn more about the process of a Poughkeepsie medical malpractice case, contact a qualified medical malpractice lawyer.

Initial Investigation

The first step in the process of a medical malpractice case in Poughkeepsie is to perform a detailed preliminary investigation. A seasoned attorney will converse with all medical professionals who were directly or indirectly involved in the care of the plaintiff. They may also obtain—with permission from the patient—copies of all related medical records and perform in-depth research of medical standards of care.

The purpose of the initial investigation is to answer these two questions:

  • Was someone negligent in providing medical care of the plaintiff?
  • What injury resulted directly from that negligent care?

Attorneys for the plaintiff then work to determine if there is adequate evidence to pursue a medical malpractice case. If so, they could continue with the next step in the process. Medical experts are usually called upon during this point in the case.

What Are The First Steps to Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim?

The next step in the process of Poughkeepsie medical malpractice cases is to formally file a lawsuit on behalf of the patient. The patient’s attorney must serve copies of the legal paperwork upon the defendants and their attorneys. These parties would then have the opportunity to file their grounds for defense. Pursuant to New York Civil Practice Law & Rules §3012-A, a certificate of merit must be filed with the lawsuit.

How Does Pretrial Discovery Work?

This part of the lawsuit allows information to be shared between the plaintiff and the defendants both verbally and on paper. Written discovery, depositions of the parties to the lawsuit and lay witnesses, and depositions of expert witnesses may all occur during this part of the case.

Mediation, Negotiations, and Trial

According to Medscape sources, approximately 80 to 90 percent of medical malpractice cases are settled before going to trial. Even when cases do go to trial, the majority involve at least attempts at prior negotiation. Sometimes a mediator, usually a retired judge or an attorney, could attempt to facilitate a fair settlement agreement for both parties.

If a settlement agreement cannot be reached, the parties can move forward to trial. After the court sets a trial date, attorneys for the plaintiff would spend numerous hours preparing:

  • Exhibits
  • Visual aids
  • Opening statements
  • Questions for the witnesses
  • Closing arguments

Get Reliable Representation Throughout the Process of a Poughkeepsie Medical Malpractice Case

Due to the complexity and length of medical malpractice cases, it is vital for plaintiffs to have knowledgeable and reliable legal representation. Throughout the process of a Poughkeepsie medical malpractice case, an experienced medical malpractice attorney could handle every aspect of your case and call upon experts and witnesses as needed to increase your chances of success. If you believe you have reason to file a medical malpractice case, call today to discuss your situation.