Did you know that 10% of deaths in the United States are caused by medical mistakes or errors?
If you or someone you know has suffered due to medical practice, you may need to take legal action and deserve a settlement.
Hiring medical malpractice attorneys is the first step to understanding your options and how to move forward.
These professional attorneys have legal insight, knowledge, and case experience.
Medical malpractice attorneys also have the specific medical experience to manage your case.
So, if you are confused dealing with medical jargon or do not understand the severity of your situation, an attorney can guide you through this trying time.
But, how do you know if you have a plausible medical malpractice case? And what factors should you consider when hiring an attorney?
Read on to discover everything that you need to know.
1. References and Reviews
Begin your medical malpractice attorney search by reading references and checking reviews.
These testimonials can gauge an attorney’s skill set and speak to the quality of client service skills.
While not all reviews are accurate, look out for reoccurring themes, accolades, or complaints.
For example, if multiple clients complain about a specific attorney’s communication style or case settlement results, this could be a red flag.
Don’t depend on one internet source for reviews.
Cross-reference reviews across multiple platforms to protect your legal investment and hire an attorney you can trust.
It is critical to conduct your own research before hiring a medical malpractice attorney.
A simple internet search can reveal important information about this potential attorney.
For example, you may find state-issued bar complaints, client issues, or other information that could impact your hiring decision.
Check out the American Bar Association, the largest voluntary association of attorneys in the world.
The association’s bar directories and lawyer finder tool can help you search for a reputable attorney admitted to practice in your jurisdiction.
This simple search can prevent you from engaging in fraudulent hiring activities or working with an irresponsible or disbarred attorney.
Apart from this association, research the attorney’s public profile, educational background, and work experience. Confirm that this attorney has a Juris Doctorate.
These research steps are essential for hiring an experienced and reliable legal professional.
3. Comparing Attorney Fees
Hiring a medical malpractice attorney is a big investment.
Like making any other big purchase, you need to compare attorney fees. This ensures you will get the best value for the service.
For a general rule of thumb, consider comparing four attorney fees.
After collecting research about these potential attorneys and evaluating reviews, call each legal professional to cross-check fees and inclusions.
Setting Financial Expectations
Comparing attorney fees can also reveal red flags or indications of potential issues.
For example, is one attorney charging significantly less than the other firms?
Compare the inclusions, reevaluate and research the firm, and approach with caution.
4. Assess Experience
You may be impressed with your attorney’s accolades and awards or ivy league education.
But, what is the extent of this professional’s medical malpractice experience?
Did this firm have successful settlements in the past? Does the firm specialize in medical malpractice cases?
Or, is this attorney better trained in other areas of law?
Ask your attorney if they have handled claims like yours before.
Dive even deeper to ask what kind of strategy or action plan they would suggest for your specific case.
These are important questions to help assess the attorney’s experience and honesty.
5. Talk to Your Attorney
Once you have found the ideal attorney to handle your medical malpractice case, set up a phone call or in-person meeting, don’t show up unprepared.
Take some time before the meeting to assess your case and write down all potential questions.
Consider future-related questions such as: what is the timeline of this case?
Where do you think we’ll be two months from now? Share all truthful and pertinent details of your case during these initial meetings.
It is important to provide the proper medical evaluations and documentation. Hiding information from your attorney will not benefit your case.
In fact, this could hurt your chances of a settlement or add additional cost and time.
Practice open communication and use this meeting time to get to know your attorney and establish a relationship.
Difficult legal situations like a medical malpractice lawsuit can be emotionally draining and time-consuming.
You’ll need to work with an attorney you trust and practice open communication.
6. Understand Fees and Expectations
You did the work to compare attorney fees and have settled on a price.
But do you understand the entirety of these fees and your financial obligations to pay your attorney?
Don’t forget to ask important financial questions like what deposit the attorney requires.
Or if you need to sign a retainer or contract for the full legal services upfront.
This information can help set your budget and ease financial concerns.
7. Identify Your Attorney’s Communication Style
How will you and your attorney communicate going forward?
Your attorney may prefer all communication via email. Or, they may suggest a weekly or bi-weekly phone call.
Consider this preferred communication style before signing a contract or moving forward with your medical malpractice case.
You may find out that your preferred communication style does not match your attorney.
This could create communication barriers, lack of follow-up or understanding, and an overall difficult case management process.
Room For Discussion
Remember that communication styles are not set in stone, either.
When you set up a phone call or in-person meeting with your attorney, talk about your communication concerns.
Come prepared with your schedule or times when you are not available for phone calls or follow-up.
This can help create a stronger relationship and a more organized approach.
8. Know Your Chances of Reaching a Settlement
Did you know that physicians win 80% to 90% of medical malpractice claims with poor evidence or a lack of proper evidence?
Hiring a medical malpractice attorney can help increase your chances of reaching a settlement.
Their expert advice and experience handling your claim can ensure that the proper medical evaluations, evidence, and pertinent details reach the court.
When working with an attorney, it is important to set your expectations and know your chances of reaching a settlement.
Depending on your case and other factors, your attorney may have an indication of the likelihood of winning.
A professional attorney will be upfront and honest.
They will explore all possible angles of the case but also know when a successful outcome is unlikely.
9. Consider Future Medical Coverage
Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may need extra health care and attention.
For example, you could require additional surgeries, medications, and physical therapy.
Don’t only consider these health care needs immediately after the medical malpractice incident.
You need to consider future medical needs as part of your claim.
An attorney will evaluate the severity of your injuries and understand how much medical coverage you may require in the future to get back to health.
When working with a medical malpractice attorney, don’t forget to ask about future medical coverage.
Ask the attorney to disclose their feedback or strategy for getting you the coverage you need to get back to health.
10. Follow-Up and End Game
How will your attorney contact you as the case unfolds? What is the firm’s follow-up style? And, is there an end game or settlement insight?
Related to your attorney’s communication style, confirming a follow-up strategy is an important hiring consideration.
For example, you may submit your medical evidence to your attorney and wonder what to do next.
Or, your attorney may call you to collect more evidence, but you are out of town.
Talk to your attorney to establish the follow-up and follow-through protocol.
This will help move your case along more efficiently and at a quicker rate. Also, work with your attorney to better understand your end game and settlement goals.
Have realistic expectations about the timeline and outcome of your case.
And know that in the end, juries and the courts make the decisions.
But, if you feel worried about this overall uncertainty, trust that a professional malpractice attorney is your advocate and guide throughout the entire process.
Hiring Medical Malpractice Attorneys Can Help Get the Settlement You Deserve
Hiring medical malpractice attorneys to handle your case is a valuable investment in your future.
These professional attorneys can also offer the peace of mind you need during this trying time and become your ultimate support.
Suffering an injury or taking on a medical malpractice case can feel overwhelming and uncertain.
But, remember that hiring the right attorney takes research and work.
Use this guide to help remember the special considerations you need to know before signing a contract or working with an attorney.
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