Every day I get calls and emails describing awful medical care, which conclude with “will you take my medical malpractice case”? And 90% of the time I politely say “no”. Why?
Justice may be blind, but it’s expensive. That’s particularly true in “med mal” cases. In some cases we have to spend six figures to get the case to a jury. That’s because we have to hire smart experts – doctors – to explain to the jury that the defendant-doctor screwed up, and to prove that the harm he or she caused are no trifling matter. Those smart experts are very expensive.
In many cases the injury is worth less in compensation than the expense of those experts, and the other expenses in the case. If we took on medical malpractice cases with only modest injuries, we would quickly drive our law firm into bankruptcy.
We always feel bad when we have to turn down a meritorious medical malpractice because the damages are just not going to bring a large enough verdict to support the case. It’s just not fair!
Most of the unfairness is borne by the elderly or those who were already disabled before the malpractice. They almost always have no income so we can’t claim lost wages for them. A malpractice injury on a 30-year old working guy might be worth more than a million dollars in a lifetime of lost wages, while the same injury on a retired guy can be expected to pull in only a $100,000 verdict. And since our expenses will be close to $100,000, how does it make sense for us to spend years of our time getting that case ready for trial? If we “win”, the jury will give us just enough to pay our expenses. This is what the ancients used to call a “Pyrrhic victory“.
Not fair! Goddamn right it’s not. But we didn’t make up the rules. We just work under them.
As my 15 year-old would say, the civil justice system “sucks”. But as “sucky” as it is, it’s still the best justice system in the world. I challenge you to find a better one . . .
I also invite you to run your medical malpractice case by me, despite everything I have just said. If your injuries are bad enough, and there is malpractice, we’ll give your case everything we’ve got.
Email me at: email@example.com I’d love to hear from you!
Michael G. Bersani, Esq.
michaels-smolak.com Central NY Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Michaels & Smolak, P.C.