Medical Malpractice FAQ

A Syracuse Law Firm That Helps The Injured Find Answers


When something goes wrong with your medical care and you believe it was due to negligence, you probably have a lot of questions. If a mistake was made, you probably won't hear about it from the medical professionals who treated you. Negligent parties are looking out for their own best interests. The medical malpractice attorneys at Cherundolo Law Firm, PLLC can review your case and help you find answers.

Here are some of the most common questions we get about medical malpractice claims. If you have other questions, contact us to schedule a free consultation. Our firm represents people who have been hurt by medical negligence and fight to help them recover the financial compensation they need and deserve for their injuries.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if there was medical malpractice?

When your care doesn't go as planned, it doesn't necessarily mean there was malpractice. There must be a clear act of negligence. This could be a specific action taken, or a specific action not taken. A medical malpractice claim must be able to establish these elements:

  • a doctor-patient relationship
  • the care provided that falls below the accepted medical standard of care
  • the negligence directly resulted in harm
  • evidence of harm to the patient.

You know if something doesn't seem right about the care you received. We encourage you to contact us for a free consultation. We can review the details of your case, go over your legal options and answer any questions you have.

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I think there was negligence in my care. Now what?

If you think you may have a case of medical malpractice, here are steps you can take:

  • Ask questions. If you're not sure why a procedure was done, or why something went wrong, ask your doctor. Don't be afraid to ask specific questions. Write down the doctor's answers.
  • Write down an account of what happened. Start with the symptoms you first experienced, and include the doctors you saw, tests you were given and treatment you received. Also write down what you believe the negligence was. Include dates and times, if you remember them.
  • Consult a medical malpractice attorney. During a consultation, a lawyer can review the details of your case and advise you on what to do next.

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What if the medical professional denies doing anything wrong?

You are not required to have a lawyer when filing a claim for injuries you received in an accident. But it is a very good idea to have one. Remember, insurance companies are not on your side. They are mainly concerned with keeping costs down. Any offer they make you after an accident probably won't cover all of your damages. Here are a few ways an experienced lawyer can help you:

  • Maximizing compensation. A lawyer can build a strong case that increases your payment, either at the negotiating table or in court.
  • Locating other sources of recovery. You may be able to also recover additional compensation from other policies held by the at-fault party, or from your own insurance if applicable.
  • Reducing debt. If you still owe money for medical expenses after your case resolves, an attorney may be able to help reduce the amount you owe.

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Should I get a second opinion?

Yes. This is especially important if you are diagnosed with a serious illness or injury, or are facing unpleasant treatment. If you are uncomfortable with the opinion your doctor has given you, you have the option of getting a second opinion from different doctor. Sometimes, the second opinion will be the same as the first. But a doctor may also suggest a different treatment plan, or possibly have a different diagnosis. If this is the case, it could be valuable information in any medical malpractice claim. While it may seem inconvenient, getting a second opinion could be very helpful.

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How long will my medical malpractice case take to resolve?

There is no simple answer to that question. Medical malpractice cases are complex, and it can take time to investigate and find evidence of negligence to build a strong case. It also depends on whether the medical professional, hospital and insurance companies are willing to negotiate a settlement. They will also have lawyers who will do whatever they can to delay your case and make it more difficult for you to recover damage. If your case goes to trial, it will take longer to resolve. Depending on these and other factors, a medical malpractice claim can take anywhere from several months to years to reach a resolution.

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How long do I have to take legal action?

In the state of New York, a medical malpractice lawsuit must be filed within 30 months after the date of malpractice or the last treatment if you had been receiving continuing treatment for the same illness. However, we encourage you to seek legal advice as soon as possible. It takes time to investigate medical malpractice claims and collect the evidence that proves injury. It is also important to gather evidence before it is lost, and interview witnesses before their memories fade. If you think you have been the victim of medical malpractice, don't delay.

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What is my case worth?

The value of your claim depends on many different factors. These include the severity of your injury, the amount of your medical expenses, whether you lost time from work and other factors. In general, victims of medical malpractice can seek to recover damages that include:

  • past and future medical expenses related to the injury
  • lost income
  • loss of earning capacity
  • loss of enjoyment of life
  • disability or disfigurement
  • loss of consortium
  • pain and suffering

In some cases, you may also be able to seek punitive damage. A medical malpractice attorney can review the details of your case and determine the total amount of your damages.

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