Medical errors take many forms—from delayed diagnosis to pharmaceutical mix-ups to surgical mistakes. In many cases, the patients affected by medical negligence suffer devastating complications, and they never make a full recovery. If you were hurt or lost a family member due to a healthcare provider’s mistake, an NYC medical malpractice lawyer at Charnas Law Firm can help you fight for the compensation you need to move on with life.


Since medicine is far from an exact science—and complications can arise even when doctors provide the best care possible—proving medical negligence poses certain challenges. Just because a procedure didn’t go as planned doesn’t mean the physician breached the duty of care. This is why it’s so important to consult a lawyer who can investigate your case, gather evidence, and bring in the necessary experts to support your claim.


Attorney Scott Charnas has been successfully handling claims of serious personal injury and wrongful death for nearly 30 years. He has the experience and resources to find success in even the most complicated cases. Call (212) 980-6800 to schedule a free consultation with a medical malpractice attorney in NYC.

Who Could Be Liable for Medical Malpractice in NYC?


If you or someone you love was the victim of medical negligence, the first step to building a strong claim is identifying all potentially liable parties. Every case is different, and the circumstances of the incident in question will ultimately determine who may be financially responsible for the damages incurred by the patient as a result of medical malpractice.


Depending on the circumstances, you might have grounds for a claim against:


  • The Negligent Provider: If the healthcare provider who made the error operates an independent practice, he or she should have liability coverage to compensate patients in the event that malpractice occurs.


  • The Facility That Employed the Negligent Provider: If the negligent physician is an employee of the medical facility where the incident occurred, you might have grounds for a claim against that facility. You may also be able to sue a healthcare facility if there was no single error but, rather, an ongoing pattern of substandard care. If your aging relative was the victim of nursing home neglect, for example, you might be able to file a claim against the long-term care facility.


  • The Designer, Manufacturer, or Distributor of Defective Equipment: Just like any other product, a medical device can become defective at any point during its design, manufacturing, or distribution. If you suffered complications during a procedure because of defective medical equipment, your attorney can investigate your personal injury case to identify the party responsible for the defect.


How to Prove Negligence in an NYC Medical Malpractice Claim


All successful medical malpractice claims are founded on negligence. That means in order to prevail, your attorney must be able to prove:


  • The Defendant Owed You a Duty of Care: The provider or facility must have owed you a duty of care. In other words, a provider/patient relationship must have been established prior to the incident. If you have an acquaintance who is a practicing physician and you asked him or her a medical question in passing, that does not necessarily establish a duty of care. Typically, medical malpractice claimants must provide evidence that they were actually seeing the liable provider for a diagnosis or treatment.


  • The Defendant Breached the Duty of Care: After demonstrating that the liable party owed you a duty of care, your lawyer must show how that duty was breached. This usually requires testimony from a medical expert in the liable provider’s field. Your lawyer can bring in a well-credentialed specialist to provide testimony regarding the most widely accepted standards of care given the circumstances.


  • The Breach Caused Your Injury or Loss: There must be a clear and obvious connection between the medical error that occurred and your injury or loved one’s death. If a surgeon leaves a sponge inside a patient, for example, and an infection develops surrounding the foreign object, proving causation should be fairly straightforward. In situations where patients suffer multiple unanticipated complications, though, demonstrating causation might be more challenging.


How to Prove Damages in a New York City Medical Malpractice Claim


In order to recover a fair settlement, medical malpractice claimants must prove that they incurred damages. Evidence of damages might include:


  • Hospital bills;
  • Health insurance statements;
  • Pharmacy receipts;
  • Medical records;
  • Diagnostic images;
  • Statements from relevant experts regarding the prognosis;
  • Photographs of any visible wounds;
  • Invoices for home care or domestic help;
  • Pay stubs or income statements;
  • Journal entries detailing the recovery process; and
  • Statements from loved ones explaining how the incident has affected them.


How Much Is My Case Worth?


There’s no universal formula for estimating the value of a given case. Your legal team will have to perform an extensive investigation to determine what a fair settlement might look like. This can be complicated in a case involving catastrophic injuries since the patient might require ongoing care and may never be able to return to work again.


Even if you are expected to make a full recovery, the insurance company might be reluctant to pay a fair settlement that accounts for all economic and non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.


Attorney Scott Charnas has the knowledge and experience to calculate your damages and fight for the compensation you deserve. He will make sure your claim accounts for all potentially recoverable losses—including damages you might have overlooked.


The insurance company has incentive to pay out as little as possible. Attorney Scott Charnas and his support staff will prepare for settlement negotiations as if your case is going to trial—even if a settlement is the most likely outcome. This will show the insurance company or opposing party what they’re going up against if they refuse to settle out of court.


There are many factors that could influence the potential value of your claim, such as:


  • The number of potentially liable parties;
  • The total available insurance coverage;
  • The strength of any evidence of liability; and
  • The extent of your damages.


Attorney Scott Charnas will make sure the insurance company treats you fairly. If your case goes to trial, Scott has the litigation experience to represent your interests in court.


Tactics Insurance Companies Use to Undervalue & Deny Claims


Medical malpractice is one of the most complicated areas of personal injury law, so it’s a good idea to seek legal counsel as soon as you discover that medical negligence may have occurred. Not only can your attorney review the facts of your case and answer your questions, but your lawyer can also handle all correspondence with the insurance company and opposing party and help you avoid critical mistakes that would jeopardize your claim.


Below are just a few strategies the insurer might use to undervalue or deny your claim:


  • Offering a Premature Settlement: Insurance adjusters know the medical bills and lost income resulting from medical malpractice can increase with every passing day. They also know most claimants become desperate for a payout after that first missed paycheck. It is not uncommon for adjusters to capitalize on a claimant’s desperation by offering a settlement early in the proceedings. By resolving the case as quickly as possible, they essentially “lock in” the total damages, thereby preventing the insurance company from having to cover any unanticipated complications that arise in the future.


  • Prolonging the Proceedings: If the claimant does not agree to a premature settlement, the insurance adjuster might switch tactics and try to drag out the proceedings. With every passing day, the injured party’s financial situation will become more dire, and at some point, accepting a settlement of any size might seem like a good idea.


  • Misrepresenting Recorded Statements: Insurance adjusters are not above manipulating injured parties into making compromising statements that jeopardize their chances of recovering a fair payout. They may also take statements out of context to dispute liability or damages.


  • Shifting Fault to the Claimant or Another Party: In medical malpractice claims, insurers often try to shift fault from the policyholder to the victim. For example, they might try to argue that the patient failed to follow doctor’s orders and should therefore be liable for his or her own damages.


  • Placing the Claimant Under Surveillance: Insurers perform meticulous investigations to identify potential fraud and to find reasons to dispute liability or damages. As part of this investigation, it is not uncommon for injured parties to be put under surveillance. This is why it’s so important for claimants to follow their doctor’s orders and avoid any activities that might aggravate their injuries. They should also avoid posting about their injury or case on social media.


If you hire an NYC medical malpractice attorney, you will not have to worry about falling victim to any of the above tactics because your legal team will handle all correspondence with the insurance adjuster on your behalf. Attorney Scott Charnas is a seasoned negotiator who can help you stay one step ahead of the insurance company and make sure you are treated fairly throughout the proceedings.


Attorney Scott Charnas Handles Cases Involving All Kinds of Medical Mistakes


Medical malpractice can occur at any stage of diagnosis or treatment; however, some scenarios are more common than others. At Charnas Law Firm, we have experience handling cases involving a wide array of medical mistakes—from birth injuries to surgical errors to medication mistakes.


With nearly three decades in legal practice, Scott Charnas has the knowledge and resources to handle claims involving:


  • Diagnostic Errors: Failure to diagnose is a leading cause of medical malpractice claims in New York. An inaccurate, missed, or delayed diagnosis can result in catastrophic and potentially fatal complications.


  • Birth Injuries: When physicians provide substandard prenatal care or make mistakes during labor and delivery, two lives are at stake instead of just one. Some birth injuries like Erb palsy may not cause any permanent damage. Injuries like anoxia, on the other hand, can result in lifelong disabilities or even death.


  • Surgical Mistakes: Undergoing any kind of operation poses certain risks, which means it is possible for unanticipated complications to arise even when the surgical team provides adequate care. In many scenarios, though, complications occur because providers fail to follow standard practices. Common surgical mistakes include leaving a foreign object inside the body, inflicting nerve damage, performing the wrong procedure, and operating on the wrong site.


  • Anesthesia Errors: Anesthesiologists are responsible for putting patients in a sleep-like state before surgeons begin operating. Devastating complications can arise if they make even a minor mistake. If anesthesiologists administer too little anesthesia, for example, the patient might wake up in the middle of the procedure. If, on the other hand, they administer too much, it could cause a permanent brain injury.


  • Medication Mistakes: When healthcare providers administer medication to patients, an error can occur at any stage of the process. For example, a physician can order the wrong drug, a pharmacist can fill the wrong prescription, or a nurse on duty can administer the wrong dose.


Discuss Your Case with One of the Top Medical Malpractice Attorneys in New York City


If you want to file a medical malpractice claim in New York, turn to Charnas Law Firm for unparalleled legal representation at every stage of the proceedings. Attorney Scott Charnas has a track record of success in medical malpractice cases and other tort claims, with nearly $50 million recovered for clients in verdicts and settlements.


Our legal team has a passionate commitment to helping those who have suffered at the hands of negligent providers. At the end of the day, everyone deserves quality health care, and those who fall victim to medical negligence should be compensated for any damages they incur.


Taking legal action won’t undo the trauma that you and your family have experienced, but it may give you the opportunity to maintain your financial security and move on with life. Call (212) 980-6800 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free case evaluation with a medical malpractice lawyer in New York NY.