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Frequently Asked Questions About Hospital Injuries

An experienced attorney can help protect your legal rights

You or a loved one went to the hospital seeking help and instead, you contracted another illness or sustained another injury. A hospital injury or infection can cause further complications to existing conditions, delay your recovery and add to your every growing medical costs. At moments like that you may not know where to turn.

Jonathan C. Reiter Law Firm, PLLC has extensive experience handling these difficult cases. These questions and answers should give you a general idea of how to proceed in the event of a hospital injury.

Remember that these questions and answers are provided only for informational purposes. For specific advice on your individual case, contact us right away. We’d be happy to meet with you for a free consultation.

My injury was caused by a nurse. Can I file a malpractice claim against someone who isn’t a doctor?

Anyone who provides medical services can be named as a defendant in a medical malpractice lawsuit, including doctors, nurses, other hospital staff and the hospital itself. Our attorneys will hold anyone who is responsible for your injury accountable, regardless of his or her specific job title.

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How much time do I have to take legal action against the hospital?

In New York, the statute of limitations is 15 months for medical malpractice claims against public hospitals and 30 months for claims against private hospitals. In either case, the clock starts running on the day the malpractice occurs. The only exception is for cases involving a foreign object (such as a surgical tool) left inside the body. In those cases, the statute of limitations is one year from the day the foreign object is discovered.

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I signed a consent form at the hospital. Does that mean I can’t sue?

Absolutely not. Signing a consent form only means that you understand and accept the risks and complications that may arise following a properly performed procedure. You did not sign away your right to sue for damages for an injury that resulted from a doctor’s error or reckless conduct.

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Why do I need a lawyer if I’ve been injured at the hospital? Can I afford to hire you?

Medical malpractice cases are exceptionally complicated, especially cases following a hospital injury. There are usually multiple parties involved, and having someone on your side who understands the legal and medical issues surrounding your injury is essential. Moreover, the hospital is represented by counsel, and you have little chance of getting fair compensation on your own. Having your own lawyer levels the playing field.

We accept hospital injury cases on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t pay us anything up front. From the initial consultation forward, we will provide our services at no cost to you and advance all costs related to the case. If we successfully recover on your behalf, our fee will be a percentage of the verdict or settlement. If we do not recover, you owe us nothing.

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If my health insurance pays for my treatment after the injury, can I still sue the hospital?

Yes. The person or entity responsible for your injury is responsible for paying your medical bills, even if you are able to pay for some or all of those bills by other means such as your employer-provided health insurance. Note that your health insurance company may expect to be reimbursed out of your verdict or settlement; this is called subrogation. However, it’s still advantageous to file a malpractice claim because it will pay for your co-pays, deductibles and other medical costs not covered by health insurance, as well as other losses such as wage loss, pain and suffering and emotional distress.

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How long will my case take to resolve?

That depends on the facts of the case and the actions taken by the hospital. Hospital injuries can lead to fairly lengthy cases as multiple medical professionals and the hospital itself try to pin fault for the injury on other defendants. In general, the sooner you retain an attorney, the sooner you are likely to resolve your case. We’ve seen some cases resolved in just a few months and others take several years.

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