A Guide For Choosing the Right Medical Malpractice Attorney
Finding the right medical malpractice attorney is vital to your medical malpractice case. Because of the risk involved in practicing medicine, most doctors have cunning, talented, and highly strategic lawyers to represent them if they should have an incident or get accused of medical malpractice. Having an experienced and equally shrewd lawyer to represent your medical malpractice case is critical to holding the other party accountable and solidifying a positive outcome.
Medical malpractice lawyers represent various cases, the most common of which are birthing injuries, surgical errors, and misdiagnosis claims. You’ll want to ensure your lawyer has the experience necessary to make them well-equipped to handle your claim. But what should you look out for when choosing a medical malpractice attorney?
How to Find A Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Once it’s time to start the hunt for potential lawyers, you may wonder where to find the names of decent medical malpractice attorneys. Some resources you can start with include family, friends, or coworkers who may be able to refer you to a good lawyer. You may also want to look at local practice reviews on websites like Google and Super Lawyers. Finally, your state bar association will have several tools and resources to help your find a reputable attorney in your region.
Some questions to ask when searching for a medical malpractice lawyer include the following:
- What is their background? Do they specialize in medical law? Were they formerly a doctor?
- What is their previous education like?
- Do they list testimonials on their page?
- Has the state bar association disciplined them before? (This information should be listed by your state bar.)
- What are their online reviews positive?
Research the Background of Your Medical Malpractice Attorney
Any attorney you consider should have a strong background in dealing specifically with medical malpractice cases. Medical malpractice is a technical field requiring extensive knowledge of medical and legal matters, so finding a lawyer with specialized knowledge of both is vital to your success.
Medical malpractice lawyers either represent patients who have been harmed by a medical error or doctors who have been accused of making a medical error. If you are a medical malpractice victim, you must seek a lawyer with experience representing patients.
Additionally, you should also expect to speak with multiple lawyers, as medical malpractice lawyers often turn away cases for various reasons. That’s why it’s crucial to have alternative options until you find one on your list who can handle your case. Luckily, most attorneys offer free initial consultations and will take on cases on a contingency fee basis, so you won’t have to pay for anything until you win.
What to Ask Your Potential Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Once you’ve found a lawyer you think might be right for your case, you should contact their office to learn more about their practice. Pay attention to the office staff you speak with. Are they prompt and polite? Do they seem organized and responsive to your concerns? If they are, that’s a good sign.
You’ll potentially be dealing with them quite a bit in the future, should you choose to hire their attorney.
Some questions to consider asking a potential attorney include the following:
- How much of the lawyer’s time is devoted to medical malpractice cases?
- How often does their attorney settles cases outside of court vs. going to trial (an experienced attorney should know the pros and cons of settling a case)?
- Does the attorney work on a contingency basis? What kind of fees will you be expected to cover?
- Are you able to schedule a free consultation?
- How much of the work will be handled by paralegals? (While some work is generally handled by paralegals, your lawyer should still cover the bulk of the workload.)
Things to Bring to Your First Meeting with Your Lawyer
Once you’ve chosen the right medical malpractice attorney for your case, you’ll need to prepare all your documentation and evidence to bring to the initial meeting. The more documentation you have to prove your medical negligence case, the higher your chances of winning. You will need things such as:
- Any medical records relating to your injury
- Prescription Drug Information
- Insurance Information
- Medical bills
- Lost wage documentation
- Photographic Evidence
- Anything else relating to your case
When choosing a medical malpractice attorney to handle your case, it’s essential to consider all possible options and to thoroughly research the background of anyone in contention to become your lawyer. If your gut instinct tells you someone isn’t right for your case, listen to it. After all, you will have to work with your lawyer over the next few months, so it’s important to hire someone you feel completely confident with.