Even the best hospital with the best doctor or medical professional practicing there can make mistakes, causing injury or, worse still, wrongful death caused by negligence or without due care. Nobody is perfect, and when it comes down to your health and wellbeing, no amount of money or insurance companies can give a person their health or life back. Though this rather grim reality is not something that happens very often, if you do happen to find yourself, or a loved one facing a case where medical malpractice caused injury or death by a medical professional, you’ll definitely need to know where to find good medical malpractice attorneys.
It’s important to first understand that you don’t want to settle on a cheap or under experienced lawyer for your case if you have suffered from a personal injury through medical mistakes. The reason for this is that most, if not all, doctor’s offices and hospitals have groups of some of the most experienced and successful medical malpractice lawyers on retainer. This makes winning a malpractice suit rather difficult in certain instances. So, in order to put yourself in the best position to win your case you must find a lawyer with the same experience and tenacity to represent your case.
Since every medical malpractice lawsuit is relatively rare, finding a lawyer who specializes in a malpractice claim can be somewhat difficult if you don’t know where or what to look for. To begin, one of the first things you should do is ask a lawyer you know who they would recommend, and if you don’t know a lawyer, ask friends and family members if they know of anyone you can contact. This is very helpful because even if the lawyer you reach out to can’t help, they will almost always know someone who can. I say this because the law profession almost always requires an attorney to network with others in the profession.
If you, or your close friends and relatives, don’t know any medical malpractice lawyers then a bit more work is going to be required in order to get the bet result from your case. After all, a good attorney-client relationship is key to a successful outcome of a negligence case due to lack of care or similar.
Therefore, the next best thing to do would be to contact your local or state bar association. To do this, you can usually just do a quick internet search then simply give them a call and ask if they have a referral service you can use to find a lawyer specializing in medical malpractice lawsuits. Pretty much all state or local bar associations require lawyers who specialize in certain types of cases to register under the legal category in which they are most knowledgeable. This may be a bit more difficult depending on the area in which you live, especially if it is scarcely populated, but even if that is the case some big city lawyers will happily travel to your location in order to help out.
Now, if both friends and family, as well as your local/state bar association, are not helpful in finding a qualified medical malpractice lawyer, you can put your faith in the internet and perform your own search. Simply search for a trusted website that can connect you to a nearby law firm that specializes in medical malpractice. This method does work, but it also requires a bit more research on your part. Any lawyer can claim to be a good malpractice lawyer, but it’s up to you to do your due diligence and research their success rate and law firm in order to ensure they are legitimate.
Once you have a list of at least two or three lawyers you believe are qualified enough to take on your case, you’ll next want to set up an in person or over the phone meeting in order to get to know them and ask the necessary and important questions. This can be kind of tricky if you aren’t prepared or don’t know what to ask, so here are a few things you’ll want to make sure to ask about.
You’ll absolutely want to ask exactly how experienced they are in medical malpractice cases and what their success rate typically is. You’ll also want to ask how many cases they have worked on and the amount of time they devote to each case. This will give you a rather concrete idea on how good and how much effort they tend to put into their clients.
Another important question to ask is how and where they will find the medical experts necessary to explain why and how the doctors in question committed medical malpractice. This is an absolutely necessary part of any medical malpractice suit and will likely determine whether or not you’ll win your case or not. If your prospective lawyer doesn’t give you a specific person or place then you should be weary of hiring them. I say this because most good malpractice lawyers will already have connections to medical experts that they have used in the past successfully.
If you’ve determined that your prospective lawyer is prepared and qualified for you case, you’ll then want to bring up how much they are expecting to be paid to represent you. These types of cases aren’t cheap so you’ll want to get a solid understanding of how much your lawyer expects the settlement to be if you win and how much of that will be paid to them. These amounts can be negotiated, but typically a lawyer will want at least 30–40% of your settlement. Though this may seem like a lot, just remember that the lawyer is the one paying for expert witnesses, various court fees and any other litigation costs. Again, these percentages and amounts can be negotiated so don’t let the lawyer determine his or her cost if you feel that it’s not fair.
Another final piece of advice is to make sure you and your medical malpractice lawyer get along in a cooperative and positive manner. A good relationship really goes a long way in these types of cases as they tend to drag on and on and can be rather emotional. An optimistic lawyer, who understands how you feel and what you think you should get out of the case, is very important because it can make the long difficult process go much smoother.