New York City Podiatric Malpractice Lawyer

Lawrence M. Karam, PC

Location: New York, New York
Phone: 212-712-0008
E-mail Me

Lawrence M. Karam, PC | Podiatric Malpractice Attorney Manhattan | New York City (NYC)After working in several large personal injury law firms starting in 1980, I opened my solo practice in 1997 so that I could give each client more attention with a continuity of representation – only one lawyer for your case, the same lawyer you meet at your initial interview, and who will handle all important stages of the case up to and including a trial. I strive to give each client the comfort of knowing that when they call my office they will always have only one lawyer to deal with. In addition to myself, I have the support of medical experts, paralegals, nurses and medical researchers.

I graduated from Syracuse University, School of Management, in 1976, Summa Cum Laude. I chose St. John’s University Law School in Jamaica, Queens so I could also work my way through law school at a small, general practice law firm in Mineola, New York. My law practice began in 1980 as an associate lawyer in the field of “medical malpractice.” Since then I have had the privilege to work at some of the best personal injury law firms in New York and with some of the best lawyers in product liability, municipal liability, and general injury cases.

I was licensed to practice in law in New York State in 1980 and am admitted to practice in these Federal Courts: Western, Eastern and Southern Districts of New York. I am a member of the New York State Bar Association and the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.

My practice covers all areas of Medical Malpractice including surgery, internal medicine, cancer, misdiagnosis, medication errors, and nursing home negligence.

Of all the different areas in medical malpractice, it is podiatry malpractice that has had a particular interest to me. Frustrated that the standard podiatry textbooks used in podiatry schools did not “tell all,” I was able to learn podiatry surgery first hand by being a guest observer in the operating room and saw a variety of surgeries including bunions, hammertoe corrections, and heel spur/plantar fascia release. I then attended the same lectures and programs licensed podiatrists are required to attend to maintain their license.

I keep current with new podiatry trends by subscribing to several leading podiatry journals including The Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association and The Journal of Foot & Ankle Surgery. Finally, my experience brought me to a major teaching hospital in New York City as a regular guest lecturer to the podiatry residency program.

My practice includes clients not only from New York City and its suburbs but also from upstate New York including Albany, Binghamton, and Buffalo and many small, rural towns and villages all over New York State.

With 34 years practicing law and representing hundreds of victims of malpractice, I have created a law practice in which my clients are comfortable knowing that their case is being handled with my personal attention, in the most professional manner, and without unreasonable delays. As a solo practicing attorney, I will handle every important stage of your case, from your initial interview to the conclusion of your case, either by settlement or trial.  I am reachable to my client not only by phone but also cell phone and email.

Litigation Percentage

  • 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • New York, 1980

Education

  • St. John’s University School of Law
  • Syracuse University, School of Management

Podiatric Malpractice FAQs

Is there a fee for initial consultation?

NO.

If there is no settlement or recovery will I owe any money?

NO. If there is no recovery or settlement you owe nothing to the attorney.

What is the attorney's fee in malpractice cases?

The attorney’s fee in New York State for medical (and podiatric and dental), malpractice cases is defined by statute and is referred to as a “decreasing sliding scale.” The scale starts at 30% of the net (net is the total recovery less expenses) recovery, up to $250,000. For that portion of the recovery over $250,000 the attorney’s fee decreases to 25%, then 20%, etc.

What is the time limit for bringing a medical malpractice case into court?

The “statute of limitations” in New York for medical (and podiatric and dental) malpractice cases is generally two years and six months from the date of the malpractice. However, there are exceptions to this general rule. In some cases the time limit starts later than the date of the actual malpractice. In some cases a shorter time limit applies as with medical malpractice committed at a municipal hospital. Only a knowledgeable attorney can advise you as to which time limit applies to the facts of your case.

Does my attorney have to get all of my medical records for my malpractice case?

Generally, yes. Every medically related record relevant to the case has to be collected and reviewed including hospital, doctor, physical therapy and pharmacy records, and x-rays (radiology).

Do I have the right to get my own medical records?

Yes, you have the right to obtain a copy of your records and x-rays. New York State published a very informative booklet on this. Go to this website

When you ask for your hospital records (or any record for that matter) you need to make sure you ask for, and receive, the entire record. Many times hospitals, physicians and podiatrists do not provide the entire record but instead give you only an “abstract” which is usually worthless since it contains incomplete information. Almost without exception, the complete medical record is needed for your malpractice case. But there is more on what is the “complete” record – read the question on digital medical records.

My new foot doctor says I have a malpractice case. Is this an advantage?

Generally, yes. But remember – many doctors and podiatrists who tell their patient they have a case do not know the legal standards necessary to prove a medical malpractice case. However, having your podiatrist or doctor support you in your case is generally helpful.

When you accept my case does that mean I will either win my case or get a settlement?

No. Always remember that no attorney can guarantee or predict the outcome of a case. Likewise, recoveries in similar cases cannot predict the outcome in your case.

Should I file a complaint with the New York State licensing board against my podiatrist?

In addition to contacting an attorney to represent you in a malpractice case you may want to file a compliant against the podiatrist. You do not need an attorney to do this. You will be asked to write a summary of what happened to you. This information is usually used only for the complaint you file with the State and usually is not used in your malpractice case. However, we believe that in some rare cases your complaint sent to the State may be discovered by the opposing lawyers in your case. Therefore, we advise that you consult with your attorney prior to filing the complaint with the State because what you say in your complaint may hurt your malpractice case.

To file a complaint against a doctor, go to http://www.health.ny.gov/professionals/doctors/conduct/

To file a complaint against another licensed professional (dentist, podiatrist, nurse, etc.), go to http://www.op.nysed.gov/broch2.htm.

A very helpful page for consumers and their rights with respect to physicians is on the NYS website at

http://www.health.ny.gov/professionals/doctors/conduct/frequently_asked_questions.htm

What are digital medical records?

Presently there is a tremendous push to create digital medical records (EMR = electronic medical records) and to convert older paper records into digital form. This applies also to MRI’s and x-rays. Frequently the records will be given to you on a CD, particularly MRI, CT and plain x-ray films. When a hospital record is digital, you will usually be given the complete record on a CD.

Podiatrists’ offices are going digital as well. The podiatrist’s notes will be made on a computer and many forms filled out by hand will be scanned into the computer too. But frequently these offices also maintain a paper file on you which they have not scanned into their computer and usually these offices to not give this to the patient When we request a medical record from a podiatrist, we make sure the paper records are provided as well.

My medical insurance company sent me a form to fill out which asks about pending lawsuits - what do I do?

Many insurance policies have provisions in the actual contract of insurance in which the company tries to attach a lien or claim for money against your lawsuit for a portion of the money your insurance may have paid for treatment of the conditions involved in the lawsuit. Many of these are not valid in New York State. You should not fill out those forms without first consulting with your malpractice attorney.

What kinds of things should I save for my case?

Everything!

  • appointment cards
  • hospital discharge forms
  • insurance papers
  • your calendar or whichever way you kept track of your appointments.
  • photographs.
  • emails
  • shoes, inserts, orthotics

Using Facebook and other social media - will it impact on my case?

Yes, it can. Defense lawyers are now focusing on getting into your social media accounts. Why? If you claim a serious injury and that it prevents you from doing certain activities, your Facebook pages – and photographs – may tell another story. We do not think you should use Facebook and the like for either your complaints or injuries about the care from the Dr. or Dentist. You may have forgotten what you wrote or you may have written under extreme emotional distress or late at night. It may not exactly track what you will say later in a sworn deposition during your case.

If you write about social and athletic activities on social media, you must bring this to your attorney’s attention.

Are photographs important in my case?

In many cases, photographs are extremely important so save all photographs even those on your cell phone. If you are going to take photographs of, for instance, your wound or ulcer, or anything else relating to your case, make sure your camera or cell phone’s date is accurately set so that the photograph are accurately dated.

Should I send Emails to my podiatrist?

Understand that emails will come out in your case so be very careful if you do this. If you think you might have a case against your podiatrist you should stop all emails with that doctor.

If I am not getting better when should I stop seeing my podiatrist?

If your podiatrist is not helping you and she is not giving a good explanation why, you should get another opinion right away. When you see your second opinion doctor remember that everything you tell him might or might not get recorded in his record. Nevertheless, make sure you have a good understanding of your recent medical history so that you can give your new doctor accurate information with the hope it gets accurately recorded in his record.