Physicians Group Attorneys working for Physicians
How do Lawsuits Impact Your Business?
Our goal is to make you smarter at litigation. Effectiveness - The more the number of lawsuits, the more ineffective the business will be. Efficiency - Lawsuits cost significant time and money. Public Opinion - Public can be swayed by lawsuits, so it actually matters if your business is the "good guy" or the "bad guy", that public opinion affects what patients and business partners and vendors think about your business. Litigation is often measured in terms of right and wrong, and financial result. At Mirza Healthcare Law Partners (MHL) we are not just attorneys, but litigation strategists.
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The Common Types of Lawsuits in Healthcare
Contracts and Torts - First, there are lawsuits that arise out of contracts, like: breach of business contract, breach of shareholder operating agreement, failure to pay, breach of non-compete agreement, breach of confidentiality, fraud in the inducement of a contract, etc. Second there are lawsuits that arise out torts and often take the form of a negligence claim, like: misdiagnosing a disease, delay in treatment, failure to order diagnostic tests, failure to refer, failure to respond to emergent calls, etc. Documentation makes the difference in the case. Our attorneys understand the uniqueness of healthcare and the interconnected relationships between patient, provider, payor, and healthcare regulations. When our firm gets involved in a lawsuit, its with a comprehensive approach to maximize the result for providers.
At Healthcare Law Partners, we work with our clients to help them protect their license, their reputation and regain their sense of sanity. My name is Ben Assad Mirza, coming from a long line of physicians in our family, our team gets it; and we will help you through it. We have personally litigated over 2,000 civil law cases involving contracts and torts, and we can help you get through your lawsuit as well. We serve as doctor's attorneys and we either prosecute cases on the plaintiff's behalf or we help defend them.
Litigation Timeline - Why do cases take so long is the most common questions? Being that our court system are built on the foundation of following the rules of "due process" and affording the respective party their "day in court", that creates certain rights and obligations as litigants. The following of due process is what takes so long, that is where the case is prepared through discovery and narrowing the case to its very essence of the dispute is honed repeatedly until it is brought before the judge or jury for final adjudication. The least amount of time a "disputed" case takes is 6 months, the most it can take can be as long as a decade; however on the average cases take between 18 to 30 months to resolve.
Litigation Costs - The cost of litigation can really vary depending on the number of parties and the number of legal issues in a case. The availability of precise evidence and how to go about gathering it through discovery and presenting before the court is often the most significant cost related item. Another consideration is the propensity of the parties to litigate, the more litigious the parties the higher the attorney fees will be on both sides.
If you have a case that has taken too long or cost too much, we will review the case with you to help you figure out if what you are thinking is reasonable or not and how to best set the future trajectory of the case. This review is done free of charge.
What physicians need is their own attorney, who works with the insurance defense attorneys and helps run the case to an end. This is what we do for our physician clients:
THE ANATOMY OF HOW A LAWSUIT WORKS:
Initial Case Review and the Filing of a Lawsuit
Before filing a case we review the underlying evidence, the good and the bad together to give our clients a realistic view of what to expect. Our goal is provide clarity, so our clients can make informed decisions. We do not litigate weak cases, instead we help resolve the differences fast. At this stage we make an added effort so see what insurance policies can be triggered to help resolve the cases faster. Once we have reviewed the evidence we match the right legal cause of action or claim to the situation, then a "Complaint" or a Lawsuit is prepared and filed and served upon the opposing side with a Summons to start the case. Whether we are prosecuting a claim or defending it, we look for ways to minimize the time and cost involved right from the very beginning of the case.
Prepare Answer and Affirmative Defenses
Once the opposing side is served with they lawsuit, they normally have 20 days to respond with either an Answer and Affirmative Defenses or with a motion that addresses the issues in the complaint filed. Often the insurance carrier is notified of the lawsuit and they will help find defense counsel in litigating the claim. The insurance defense counsel have their set of standard defenses they will raise before the court. When we defend a case alongside insurance defense counsel we help think beyond the standard set of defenses. This part is key, for if a defense is not preserved here at this stage, it is potentially lost forever.
Discovery by Document Production
Most lawsuit quickly enter into a phase of discovering all the underlying relevant documents. What is relevant? Why are they asking for such detail? What is a physician's obligation under the duty to disclose? What MUST a physician disclose? those are all great questions. We help our physicians through this phase and raise the objections in court that need raising. Historically, physicians let their office staff handle this, but who is watching what is getting turned over? We hold our clients hand to navigate through the discovery disclosure phase.
Discovery by Deposition
Firstly, we work with physicians and administrators when they get deposed in a healthcare lawsuit. They have great questions like: How to prepare? What to say or do? Understanding the difference between speaking the truth, giving up legitimate defenses unwittingly, and what are “non-truths”. One of our highest priorities is to help our clients prepare and navigate their own depositions.
Secondly, there is always a purpose to every deposition that is taken; we guide the insurance defense counsel stay on track with what our physician needs to put on a fortified defense.
Thirdly, we secure the right expert witnesses to fortify the physician's or administrator's defense. This part is often key and over looked by by attorneys who are not in healthcare or not litigators, it is important to have both.
Requesting the Court to Take Action
During the middle of the case there are opportunities that are created, that give each party the ability to ask the court for relief or to enforce some legal provision onto another defendant or onto the opposing side. We help maximize those opportunities to help our physicians and administrator reach the desired result.
Concluding the Case - An Absolutely Critical Phase
Most lawsuits do not go to trial, rather they are mediated and settled out. We help our physicians and administrators understand if and when they are ready to settle or go to trial. There are many many things to be concerned about at the final stage: What will the final settlement agreement say? Will that be reported to the national medical databases along with the physician's name? What will the final court order say? Will others be able to use this case against the physician in the future? What will future employers of the physician think? These are all great questions. We help our clients bring the case to the swiftest and cleanest possible ending that they can, and we do this by working with the physicians, administrators and staff, and making sure that defenses and motions are raised before the court, and we keep our providers out of the derogatory status of the national and state reporting databases.
To find out more on how you can put Ben's team to work for you, click call/ text 954-445-5503.
Ben Mirza is not only an attorney but was formerly a CPA, with a masters of public health. There are over 100,000 attorneys in Florida, less than 500 of whom were ever Certified Public Accountants, and even less have the trifecta combination of law/finance/strategic healthcare background. The benefit of this combined and layered skillset works well for clients who want an advocate to approach the issues holistically.