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Can You Afford to Pursue a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in New York?

Posted on June 1, 2016 by Kelly Wolford
medical malpractice legal file

From minor mistakes that have few lasting complications to more serious ones that can forever impact a patient’s life, the rate of medical errors in New York and across the country is alarmingly high. In fact, a recent study published in the medical journal, BMJ, reveals that medical errors are now the third-leading cause of death in the U.S.

When medical malpractice leads to patient harm, the patient has the right to pursue a medical malpractice claim and seek compensation for the losses that he or she has suffered.

For example, a patient may be misdiagnosed with a food allergy, which is a relatively minor condition, when the patient really has cancer, an extremely serious disease. If, as a result of this misdiagnosis, the patient does not receive proper and timely treatment for the cancer, leading to its spread in the patient’s body, he or she may seek damages from the at-fault doctor. Others may be liable as well such as the pathologist or the hospital which employs the medical professionals involved in the misdiagnosis.

Unfortunately, many patients who have a medical malpractice claim choose not to pursue one. They may believe that the costs of hiring a medical malpractice lawyer are far too high, or they may think the costs of pursuing legal action are excessive. While concerns about how to pay for the costs associated with a lawsuit are valid, it should not stop a victim from taking legal action.

What Costs Are Associated with a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

A medical malpractice lawsuit involves numerous costs, including:

  • Filing fees – Filing a civil lawsuit in a New York court costs money. The gov website states that the cost of filing a small claim is $15-$20, and an issue of summons (required under law) is $45. These are just initial costs. Filing a notice of trial, demand for jury trial, appeal and other matters may all be necessary at some point. Those will cost money, too.
  • Expert fees – In a medical malpractice action, it is essential that you have medical experts that can review your case and determine whether medical professionals violated the applicable standard of care. These experts may need to provide testimony on your behalf as well. The fees for medical experts can be expensive, totaling several thousands of dollars.
  • Graphics and charts – Another important part of your medical malpractice claim may be the development and use of graphics and charts that can be presented to the defense during settlement talks or to the jury at trial. Professional help will be necessary to create these graphics and charts.
  • Financial professionals – A financial professional may be called upon to determine the total value of the losses you have suffered. For instance, these professionals can assess your future loss of income.
  • Attorney fees – Of course, if you hire an attorney, you will also be required to pay fees for the legal services they provide. Some attorneys charge hourly or require upfront fees. At our law firm, we represent clients on a contingency fee basis. You will not have to pay attorney fees unless we obtain a verdict or settlement on your behalf.

When all is said and done, a lawsuit can cost thousands and thousands of dollars. For many people, these costs are far too intimidating, resulting in too many legitimate medical malpractice claims going unexplored.

Can I Afford to Pursue a Medical Malpractice Claim?

Yes, these costs are daunting. However, you have options for pursuing a medical malpractice claim without upfront costs. In fact, when you hire an attorney who works on a contingency fee basis, your attorney will pay for all of these costs while the case is being litigated. Here is how a contingency fee arrangement works:

An attorney’s fee is contingent, or conditional, on your medical malpractice claim being successful. When you hire the attorney, you and the attorney will come to an agreement about how much of your settlement or verdict the attorney will be entitled to receive in fees if, and only if, you prevail in your claim.

Usually, a contingency ranges between 30 and 40 percent of a recovery. For example, if you were to receive $400,000 in a medical malpractice verdict or settlement, your attorney would be entitled to $120,000 (30 percent). The attorney would then deduct the costs of pursuing the lawsuit and resolve any liens that may be attached to your recovery such as a lien placed on it by a health care provider. You would receive the remaining amount.

Our NY Medical Malpractice Attorneys Are Committed to Serving Our Clients

At Powers & Santola, LLP, an initial consultation with us is free. During your consultation, we will review the details of your case and tell you what we think about your chances for success if you choose to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.

If we agree that moving forward with your lawsuit is the best option, we will work on a contingency fee basis. You will never be required to pay us an upfront retainer fee. We will never ask for hourly payment. You will never be expected to front the costs associated with your medical malpractice claim. Instead, we will handle all costs on your behalf, including the costs of obtaining medical records, hiring experts, talking to financial and other professionals, creating graphics and charts, paying court fees and more.

Our medical malpractice law firm takes on a select number of cases. We do this so we can dedicate the full extent of our talent and resources to seeking results for our clients. While we cannot guarantee a specific outcome, we can guarantee that we will work tirelessly on your behalf to pursue the best possible outcome for you and your family.

We are passionate about serving the victims of medical errors in Albany, Syracuse and throughout New York State. Contact us today to schedule your free case consultation and get started on protecting your rights.