Frequently Asked Questions
- Do I have a case?
- In order to determine whether you have a case, we need to learn the facts of what happened. Kramer Dillof will only take highly meritorious cases of negligence and medical malpractice. In many instances, and particularly in medical malpractice cases, a complete and full review of the records is required in order to make this determination. Kramer Dillof retains a physician to review all medical records and has a host of other experts with whom we consult to help us reach a decision.
- What is medical malpractice?
- Medical malpractice is a departure from accepted medical practice by a physician, surgeon, nurse or hospital, which is a substantial cause of injury to the patient.
- What is negligence?
- Negligence is the failure to use reasonable care, or a failure to use the same degree of care that a reasonably prudent person would use under the same circumstances. Evidence of negligence is the basis for liability in most personal injury and wrongful death cases.
- I signed a consent form. Have I waived my right to bring a malpractice claim?
- No. A consent form can be an indication that you were informed of certain risks associated with the treatment, but it does not give the doctor or hospital a license to commit malpractice or to otherwise act in a negligent manner.
- Are expert witnesses required?
- Expert witnesses are required in virtually all medical malpractice cases, but not necessarily in all negligence cases.
- Are doctors willing to testify against other doctors?
- While there is a notorious "white wall of silence" in the medical profession, there are physicians who are willing to speak out and testify in court against care that departs from the standards of good and accepted practice.
- Can I receive compensation for my emotional distress following the wrongful death of a relative?
- Unfortunately, the law in New York does not permit a person to recover for the emotional injury they suffer from the death of a loved one. However, there can be recovery for the pain and suffering the deceased endured before his or her death. Unless the legislature changes the law in this State, there may only be recovery in wrongful death actions for losses such as lost income, lost services and the loss of a parent’s care and guidance to a child who lost a mother or father.
- What is a birth injury?
- Birth injuries as a result of medical negligence during pregnancy, labor, delivery, or immediately after birth can include brain injury or Erb’s Palsy. Brain injury to children during these periods can take many forms, including cerebral palsy, quadriplegia, paraplegia, hemiplegia, seizure disorders, mental retardation or learning disabilities. If you believe your child may have such an injury, contact Kramer Dillof for an evaluation.
- Do I have to pay an attorney’s fee if I don’t win the case?
- All of our cases are taken on a contingency fee basis, which means that you do not have to pay an attorney’s fee unless we obtain compensation for you. The fee is based upon a percentage of the amount recovered.
- How long will it take for my case to be resolved?
- It is difficult to estimate, since the length of time it takes to process a case depends on a number of factors. Kramer Dillof's philosophy is to obtain full compensation for our clients. In order to accomplish this, we put substantial time and effort into every case, and do not pursue "quick settlements." Firms that seek quick settlements often do so to generate cash flow for themselves instead of acting in the best interests of their clients. Most of our cases typically take three to four years from beginning to end, when a settlement or verdict is reached.
- Will my case settle?
- A great number of cases that Kramer Dillof handles do settle, but our approach is to treat every case as if it will be tried. Therefore, we will be in a position to negotiate your case from the strongest possible vantage point. Defense firms and insurance companies know that Kramer Dillof is not afraid to go to trial.
- What factors should I consider in choosing a law firm to represent me?
- In selecting an attorney or law firm, choose a firm that has extensive experience in handling cases that are similar to yours. The law firm should have highly qualified attorneys who are capable of handling the trial, appeals, and other procedural matters in order to obtain the most beneficial result. You should pay particular attention to the firm’s reputation as well as its history of success in obtaining significant verdicts and settlements. Most importantly, you want a firm that will place your interests above all else and obtain full compensation for your injury.
- What is the Inner Circle of Advocates?
- The Inner Circle of Advocates is an exclusive group of 100 plaintiff’s attorneys in the United States who have completed at least 50 personal injury jury trials and received verdicts in excess of $1,000,000. Tom Moore and Judy Livingston are both members of the Inner Circle of Advocates, with Ms. Livingston being the first female attorney to win membership. Kramer Dillof is one of only a handful of law firms with two members in the group simultaneously.