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The Plaintiff’s Fact Sheet: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

By Ethan Cohen

Q. What should I do if I do not know the answer to a question?

A. It is OK if you do not know or remember the answer to a question. Simply state that you do not know or cannot recall the answer to that question. This is not a test that you are trying to get a perfect score on. Please answer all questions to the best of your ability. In some cases, we will be able to find the answer for you.

Q. Who can fill out the PFS?

A. The PFS needs to be completed with the information of the person that used the product in question. If the claimant is deceased and the document is being completed in a representative capacity, please keep in mind that the information being requested is that of the claimant.

Q. What does medical treatment “five years prior” mean?

A. In the context of medical implant devices, “five years prior” refers to the five years before the first implant surgery. The answer should include everything within the question from before this surgery. Please include: the name of the facility, the treating physician, approximate dates, and the procedure, treatment or examination that was received. Again, if there is any information that you do not remember, it is acceptable to say, “I do not recall” or “Not applicable”.

Q. What is the difference between an Emotional Distress claim and a Psychological Claim?

A. Emotional Distress is what we would call the “normal” stress associated with the disruption of your life. Most every plaintiff asserts this claim. Psychological claims, on the other hand, require a medical diagnosis from a therapist or psychologist. If you are going to make a potential claim for psychological injuries, please speak to your attorney first.

Q. When would you claim Economic Loss?

A. As far as economic loss claims, generally, plaintiffs only make these claims when the amount of loss is significant. You would have to be willing to provide extensive documentation, including tax returns, to substantiate a claim like this.

Q. What are Authorizations?

A. Typically, you will have to sign two types of Authorizations: The Power of Attorney (POA) authorization and the PFS authorization. The POA authorization allows our firm to request medical records and other important information on your behalf. The POA authorization must be notarized. The PFS authorization, on the other hand, is for the court and these do not need to be notarized. Depending on the information given on the PFS, our firm will contact you with further Authorization forms (if needed) and proper instructions.

Q. What should I do if I run out of space?

A. If there is not enough space on a page or in the box provided for your answer, please write the rest of your answer on a separate page or on the back of the page. If you choose to write on a separate page, please clearly label your answers. We understand that space is not always adequate, but this should not be a reason to delay submitting your answers.

Q. What if I am uncomfortable answering a specific question?

A. All questions in a PFS are approved by the judge and are standard in these types of litigation. Questions are not meant to embarrass or harass you. Therefore, we apologize in advance, but providing the requested information is mandatory.

Q. Can I change my answers after I submit the PFS?

A. Yes. The court considers the PFS as a “living, breathing document” that is susceptible to change. If your injuries or economic damages grow after submitting the PFS, it is very important to supplement the PFS. This is an automatic requirement that must be done, even if defendants do not explicitly ask for updated information.

Q. What if I need assistance filling out the PFS?

A. If you need help filling out the PFS, we will be happy to arrange a phone call to assist you in any way possible. If you have any questions or need assistance with completing the PFS, please do not hesitate to contact us at 212-684-1880 or email [email protected].

Q. What happens after I submit the PFS?

A. Once we receive your completed PFS, we will contact you if any information is missing. After we provide the final PFS to the defendant, they may write to us asking for clarifications. These are known as “deficiency letters.” We will contact you should this happen in your case.

If you have any questions or need assistance with completing the PFS, please do not hesitate to contact us at 212-684-1880 or email [email protected].

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