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Medical Malpractice Transcript

How do I know whether or not I have a medical malpractice claim?

To know whether you have a malpractice question. The answer seems obvious, you have to ask. A lot of people think because there was a bad result or something happened that they didn’t expect, there’s malpractice. Malpractice is a lot more complicated than that, and you really have to do the easiest thing. Find out an attorney who does it and go ask him or her what do I need to know about whether or not there was a malpractice because most people think because something bad happened it was a malpractice. Not so.

Why should I hire a PR&A as my medical malpractice attorney?

You know, I do get asked the question when clients come in, you know, in some form or other why should I go to PR&A, why should I go to you, Andy Rockman, or my partner Rob Adinolfi? I don’t know how to put it any other way than bluntly – because we know what we’re doing, because we’ve done it before and because I’ve seen your case or a variation on your case before so that I know what I need to do to get from here to there. I know when to tell you to go home, I know when to tell you this is what we need to do to do this right and to get it done. As I said before, we know where to look, we know where the answers are and we sure know where the excuses are. And secondarily, we’re been doing it so long I know my adversaries and I know the insurance carriers, so I can wade through the games that they will play. Those games don’t get played so much anymore – we know each other. I know they have to represent their client and they know I have to represent mine, so the games get pushed aside and we’re just better able to deal with the case on the merits.

They also know that I prepare, that my partner Rob Adinolfi prepares and that the game’s taken out of it. They know that if they’re going to push this we’ll be in court and we will be ready, and if the proofs justify it we have a superior chance to win because we’ve anticipated what they’re going to throw at us. So kind of – working with us kind of shortens and cleans the process up so you’re just dealing with the merits and not the other things that get involved if you’re not experienced.

What does a medical malpractice attorney do?

Well when a client comes to me, I have to make a judgment because a lot of it’s complicated. I mean, medicine is complicated. You’re about to fight a battle in somebody else’s language, medicine. So I make a judgment whether I can ask my client to sit down at home not across the table from some attorney they may never have met before and write out an outline of what brought them to the doctor, what do they believe went wrong, what did they learn about what went wrong, what doctors did they see after that and what were they told. I then asked them to help me identify what records exist, what films exist because they’re frequently important, whether it’s an MRI, CAT scan or x-ray so we know where all the evidence should be so that we have an identity of all the doctors or nurses who might have been involved in the care. Sometimes some of them have some medical knowledge and I will have them take a look at the record. Is there something there that you say is inconsistent? Then I bring a nurse in. That’s my real starting point, I bring a nurse in and she analyzes and reviews the record for us from beginning to end and points out the red alerts, the warnings, the things that just don’t compute.

Then I’ll take that and her memo and my own analysis and I’ll go meet with the doctors, and I’ve learned over the years I’m much better off rather than talking to a doctor on the phone or writing him a letter, I go wherever they are and I sit down and meet with them and work shop, but to say look, here’s what we see, here’s what we know, here’s what’s in the chart, here’s what the family believes but here’s what’s not in the record to support it, where do we go? And then the specific questions that I’ve developed that I believe are necessary to prove that particular malpractice I throw at the doctor and then I also tell him look, I may have missed the question. What questions would you ask to find out whether or not the doctor practiced below accepted standards which is a key thing. Again, it’s not just a mistake and I advise my clients the doctor doesn’t have to be an A student which sometimes bothers people. He has to be a C student. He has to do what the average doctor would have done, and I’ll frequently have somebody come to me and say, Andy, I was in New York, spoke to the top gun, told me that he wouldn’t have done that and I have to tell him whether he would have done it or not is not malpractice. Is what the doctor did acceptable even if it turned out to be wrong? Regrettably that’s the key and the doctor doesn’t have to be the A plus superstar. He has to do what medicine generally requires.

How do I know if I need a medical malpractice attorney?

I maybe jaded, but if somebody asked me do I need a malpractice attorney? You do. It’s if you have to have a will drawn, you need somebody who does that. If you have a specific medical problem, you need a doctor who deals with that and if you have medical malpractice, you have to go to a malpractice attorney because they’re the ones that do it. They’ve seen it or something like it before, and again, they know what the questions are, they kind of know what the answers are and I certainly know what the defense is going to say about why it’s not a malpractice and I know where to get the answers, and I want answers not because somebody’s doing me a favor because a doctor who thinks he’s doing you a favor by saying oh, this is a malpractice, I’ll say whatever you want to say, that’s silly. What I want is a doctor to say Andy, Mr. Rockman, this is a malpractice. This is what he did, this is what he should have done. I don’t want him to say it because he thinks I want to hear it. I need him also to tell me Andy, tell your client to go home. There was no malpractice, and they should move on. You need the truth and when you do malpractice, you know where to find the truth.

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