From a surgery error to a misdiagnosis, if you have been harmed by the negligence or carelessness of a physician or hospital, you need a medical malpractice lawyer in your corner. However, it can be difficult to know who is the right lawyer for your case. By doing some research and asking questions, you can find the appropriate medical malpractice attorney to fight for you.
Review Biographical and Background Information
If you have a prospective attorney in mind that you’d like to hire for your medical malpractice claim, it is important to do some research about his biographical and background information. Take a look at his website to determine whether he specializes in medical malpractice cases. This website is also a good resource for determining a potential attorney’s educational background and whether or not he belongs to any personal injury trial lawyers’ association, such as your state’s trial lawyers’ association or the American Association of Trial Lawyers.
Research an Attorney’s Past Medical Malpractice Success
Take some time to research a potential attorney to determine if he has had success with medical malpractice claims. Their website may list some of their past success stories, but a simple Google search can also give you helpful information. Online reviews of a potential attorney can also give you helpful insight into whether or not a lawyer might be a good fit for your case.
Determine How the Attorney Will Be Paid
Most medical malpractice attorneys will handle cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning that the lawyer is only paid after the case has been settled. With personal injury cases, the usual practice is that the attorney will charge a fee of one-third of the total recovery. If expenses need to be paid up front, a good attorney will tell clients about this requirement ahead of time, but otherwise, the case shouldn’t cost anything out of pocket.
When searching for a medical malpractice lawyer, you should be wary of an attorney that charges a flat fee in order to review your case for merit. Some attorneys ask for up to $10,000 to simply review a case. Most likely, these attorneys make their living from reviewing cases rather than handling and recovering on cases with merit. This is rare.
Learn about the Process after You Hire a Medical Malpractice Attorney
Understanding the medical malpractice case process can also help you to select an attorney. At the start of your case, your attorney will likely interview you about your background, the incident, and any other relevant facts. You will need to sign release forms so that your attorney can obtain your medical records, and you will likely sign a sliding scale contingent fee agreement that outlines the terms of his or her representation.
Next, your attorney will determine the facts of the incident and the specifics of your injuries. Many times the law firm hires an expert doctor in the medical field that is relevant to your claim of malpractice. In order to prove your case, one or more doctors must testify at trial that the doctor or hospital responsible for your injuries departed from good and acceptable practice in the community resulting in your injuries. If the expert retained says it was a departure, we go on. Once this investigation is complete, your medical malpractice attorney will send a claim letter to the responsible party and will contact their insurance company. If a lawsuit needs to be filed, and most of the time it does, your attorney will work with you throughout the process to reach a fair settlement or to a jury verdict.