Patients have the right to safe and trustworthy medical care, but if a doctor fails to provide a reasonable standard of care, people may become seriously injured. Fortunately, you have a chance to recover for your losses in such a situation. If you or someone you love has experienced medical malpractice, an attorney could help hold a doctor liable for the harm they have caused. Before filing a lawsuit in response to the injuries you incurred, it may be beneficial to understand the process of a Schenectady medical malpractice case. Though filing a lawsuit for medical malpractice can be confusing, an experienced medical malpractice lawyer could walk you through every step of a claim and take the lead for you. This may include investigating potential malpractice, filing a claim, deposing witnesses, and arguing a claim in court.

Beginning A Medical Malpractice Civil Case

It is important to note that all claims alleging medical malpractice in Schenectady must be filed within two years and six months from the date of injury, as per New York Civil Practice Law & Rules §214-A. In addition to filing within this deadline, potential plaintiffs are legally required to file a certificate of merit alongside a claim.

This certificate proves to the court that the attorney representing the plaintiff consulted with a licensed medical professional who believes the malpractice claim has merit or that there was a potential violation of standard medical care. In cases where this requirement cannot be met, the attorney must certify they made at least three good-faith attempts at contacting three different medical professionals.

Pre-Trial Process

After filing a lawsuit alleging malpractice, potential defendants are given 30 days to respond before discovery begins. During the discovery process, both the plaintiff and defendant share information such as:

  • Depositions and testimonies
  • Applicable police reports
  • Interrogation reports
  • Relevant documents, like medical records
  • Examinations notes

Discovery may last several months, depending on the amount of evidence available. During this time, the plaintiff may be asked to undergo an independent medical examination to corroborate their injuries.

Settlement in Malpractice Case

At any point during the process of a Schenectady medical malpractice case, plaintiffs and defendants may attempt to negotiate a settlement. Although New York law does not mandate that individuals attempt to settle, settling outside of court may help both plaintiffs and defendants avoid the time commitment and financial burdens of going to trial.

Furthermore, both parties generally have more control over the outcome in a settlement case than in a jury verdict. For this reason, a detail-oriented attorney may use the evidence from discovery to favorably negotiate a settlement.

The Medical Malpractice Trial

If a settlement is not reached, a civil malpractice case could continue to a trial in civil court. At trial, a plaintiff—usually through their lawyer—would present their argument and supporting evidence, after which the defendant would do the same. After hearing arguments and closing statements, the judge or jury would privately reach a verdict and decide upon potential compensation or punishment. Depending on the circumstances surrounding a case, a trial may take several days or several weeks.

Understanding the Process of a Schenectady Medical Malpractice Case

Though every medical malpractice claim is unique, there is a clear process of all civil claims. Understanding the process of a Schenectady medical malpractice case could be beneficial for individuals who are considering taking a claim to court.

If you have experienced medical malpractice, you may have a tough road ahead of you to recover financially. Fortunately, a seasoned attorney could help your case, including how long it may take, and what compensation might be available. Reach out today to consult with a medical malpractice lawyer, learn more about your legal options, and discuss your claim.