How to choose the right medical malpractice lawyer for your case
Q and A on how to select the best lawyer for your injury or malpractice case.
How do I find the right personal injury or medical malpractice lawyer?General practitioners handle a wide variety of cases. Your should find a lawyer with the most experience with the type of problem that you have. Look at the lawyer's for their "track record" with cases like yours. Look at web sites to see if they have successfully handled such matters. You do not want a generalist cutting his or her teeth on your case.
How much is my personal injury case worth?IMany of these factors are not known until the lawyer investigates the claim or even begins the litigation. The attorney's job is to advise the client as to whether an offer of settlement is fair and then let the client decide.
How long does it take for my case to resolve?Every case is unique. Generally, the more complex the case, the longer it takes. Sometimes a relatively simple case can take a long time to resolve because of disputed liability or medical causation issues.
Will my personal injury or medical malpractice case go to trial?Most personal injury and medical malpractice cases Are settled. Until your lawyer knows the details of the accident or occurrence which gave rise to the injury and the nature and extent of the injuries, your lawyer cannot state with any degree of certainty how long the case will take or whether the case may go to trial. The value of a case cannot be known until the client is done treating for his or her injuries.
A lawyer who takes every case with the belief that it will have to go to trial consistently gets the best result by way of settlement. Lawyers who only settle cases develop a reputation as someone who will take any amount of money, just to get ride of the case. Look for a lawyer who has tried cases.
How much will it cost me to have my case handled?Most lawyers take personal injury and medical malpractice cases on a contingency fee basis, which means they are only paid when the case is settled. The usual practice in personal injury cases is for the lawyer to take a fee of one-third out of the recovery. Most lawyers can tell a client in advance if the client has to pay expenses up front. Otherwise, the case should not cost the client any money out of pocket.
Beware the medical malpractice lawyer who charges a flat fee to review your case for merit. Some lawyers will ask the client for $5,000 to $10,000 to review a case. In all probability, that lawyer is making a living reviewing cases, instead of handling and recovering on selective cases with merit.
What is the process once I hire a personal injury or medical malpractice lawyer?At the beginning of the case, the lawyer will interview you concerning the incident, your background, and any relevant factors to the case. You will sign authorizations so the attorney may obtain your medical records. The lawyer will also review and have you sign a contingent fee agreement which explains the terms of the representation.
The next phase of the case is the initial investigation to determine both the facts of the incident that and the nature of the injuries suffered. Following the investigation, the lawyer will send a claim letter to the responsible party and establish contact with their insurance company. If a law suit is filed, the client will answer written questions, give a deposition and testify at trial.