Do you think you have been the victim of medical malpractice and might have a case? Clearly this is a very difficult time, and you’re likely dealing with serious injuries and a seemingly endless pile of medical bills.
In order to get the justice you deserve and the outcome you’re entitled too, you’re going to need a good lawyer on your side. It is important to understand that finding the right lawyer can often end up making or breaking your medical malpractice case.
Here are some tips to help you find someone who will get you the compensation you’re owed.
1. Where do you get started?
Medical malpractice law is a very specialized area that requires an attorney with a lot of experience. In order to be a successful medical malpractice lawyer, the attorney needs to understand both the legal and medical complications that overlap and interact in different ways. There are also a multitude of complex procedural matter that are likely to arise over the course of a medical malpractice case.
2. Understand both sides of the equation
When beginning your search for a medical malpractice lawyer, it is necessary that you understand that most attorneys working in this field tend to fall into one of two categories. They’ve been focusing their career either on defending doctors from medical malpractice suits, or they’ve been representing the patients who have been injured. If you have suffered as a result of medical malpractice, is important that you hire a plaintiff’s lawyer in order to argue your case.
3. Don’t expect your first offer to be accepted
Due to the complicated nature of medical malpractice suits, and the fact that lawyers working on behalf of the plaintiff are in very high demand, you shouldn’t expect that the first lawyer you approach will necessarily be open to taking on your case. Fortunately, the initial consultation during which you decide whether or not you two would make a good fit, should be free of charge. In addition, many lawyers will agree to operate according to a no win, no free arrangement.
4. Look closely at their professional background
Your best bet is to find someone who has as extensive as a background in medicine that you can find. In fact, some doctors spend time in the medical world before obtaining their licence to practice law. There should be explicit indication on their website that they have education directly related to medical malpractice and have posted cases in which they were successful. You should also be able to look into associations they belong to and how they list their field on expertise on various platforms and law forums.
5. Have several options when it comes to making contact
Once you have found a few suitable options, it is time to make a list of questions and begin picking up the phone. You will, of course, have questions specific to your individual case, but some general areas that it is wise to cover would include asking what percentage of the attorney’s cases is devoted to medical malpractice, and what percentage of these cases go to trial rather than settlement. This last point is important because if the lawyer you’re considering is known to settle cases, they will likely be known by the insurance companies and that familiarity could affect your settlement.
You should also discuss fees up front and ask whether or not they work on contingency. Under this arrangement, they will be paid a percentage of any sum that is collected throughout a settlement of judgement. You also need to establish whether the firm will cover upfront legal fees, including expert witnesses, document prep and count filing fees, which will then be reimbursed after the settlement is reached.