SSKB Practice Areas

The Complex Landscape of Medical Malpractice: An Associate's Perspective

Brooke McDonald, Associate Attorney

Navigating the intricate and often emotionally charged field of medical malpractice requires a unique blend of empathy, legal acumen, and relentless dedication. As an associate attorney at Salenger, Sack, Kimmel, & Bavaro, a firm renowned for its commitment to justice, I have had the opportunity to delve deep into this challenging yet rewarding area of law.

Understanding Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional deviates from the standard of care, causing harm to a patient. These cases can range from surgical errors and misdiagnoses to medication mistakes and birth injuries. The consequences of such errors are often devastating, not only for the patients but also for their families. As an attorney, my role is to ensure that victims receive the justice and compensation they deserve.

The Initial Stages: Investigation and Case Evaluation

The journey of a medical malpractice case begins with a thorough investigation. This involves reviewing medical records, consulting with medical experts, and interviewing witnesses. One of the first challenges that I face is determining whether a deviation from the standard of care has occurred and if it directly caused the injury.

The initial case evaluation is critical. I must ascertain the viability of a case before proceeding. This step involves a meticulous review of all available evidence and often requires collaboration with medical experts to understand the nuances of the alleged malpractice.

Building a Strong Case

Once I decide to take on a case, the next step is to build a robust legal strategy. This involves gathering all pertinent evidence, preparing legal documents, and formulating arguments that clearly demonstrate the negligence and its impact on the patient’s life.

A significant part of this process is working closely with medical experts who can provide testimony to support our claims. These experts are crucial in explaining complex medical issues in a way that is understandable to a judge and jury.

The Emotional Toll

One of the most challenging aspects of handling medical malpractice cases is dealing with the emotional toll on the clients. Many of SSKB’s clients come to us after experiencing profound loss or life-altering injuries. As their attorney, it’s essential for me to provide not only legal support but also emotional reassurance. Building a strong, trusting relationship with my clients is paramount to effectively representing their interests.

The Legal Landscape in New York

New York's legal landscape for medical malpractice is complex. The state has specific statutes of limitations, meaning that claims must be filed within a particular time frame. Additionally, New York requires a certificate of merit, which mandates that an attorney must consult with a medical expert before filing a lawsuit. These regulations are designed to ensure that only legitimate claims proceed to court, but they also add layers of complexity to the litigation process.

Trial and Settlement

While many medical malpractice cases are settled out of court, some do proceed to trial. As an associate attorney, preparing for trial is both a challenging and exhilarating experience. It requires exhaustive preparation, from drafting opening statements and closing arguments to cross-examining witnesses and presenting evidence.

Settling a case, on the other hand, involves negotiations with the defense. It’s crucial to strike a balance between securing fair compensation for my clients and resolving the case efficiently.

Continuous Learning and Adaptation

The field of medical malpractice is ever-evolving, with new precedents and medical advancements continually shaping the landscape. Staying updated with the latest legal and medical developments is crucial. At Salenger, Sack, Kimmel, & Bavaro, we prioritize continuous learning and adaptation to provide the best possible representation for our clients.

Being an associate attorney in the field of medical malpractice is a challenging yet profoundly rewarding experience. Each case is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the quest for justice. At SSKB, I am committed to advocating for my clients with the utmost dedication, ensuring they receive the justice they deserve.

As I continue to navigate this complex field, my goal remains steadfast: to uphold the highest standards of legal practice while providing compassionate and effective representation for those who have been wronged.

                                                  Brooke McDonald                                 516-762-5347