If you believe that you or a loved one may have been the victim of medical malpractice, you are probably considering legal action. More than with other areas of personal injury law, the lawyer you choose for your medical malpractice case makes a tremendous difference to its outcome. This is because the law of medical malpractice is highly technical, with many procedural “hoops” through which to jump. Choosing the wrong lawyer could mean that an important deadline is missed, an essential argument is not made, or that critical evidence is not properly presented. Any of these can be enough to doom your case.
That's something you need to avoid, considering the high stakes in most medical malpractice cases. People with legitimate claims don't file medical malpractice lawsuits to get rich quick. They do it because they've been seriously injured, with huge medical bills, significant loss of income, and possibly permanent pain and disability. They need the proceeds of a lawsuit in order to try to put their lives back together. If this sounds like your experience, then you only have one chance to get things right, and that starts with finding the best medical malpractice lawyer for your case.
When you hear “medical malpractice,” you may think of doctors, but in reality, medical malpractice encompasses a variety of medical professions and professionals, including:
Experienced medical malpractice lawyers handle a wide variety of cases, including some you might not have thought of. Regardless of the type of provider, medical malpractice cases are complex and highly technical. Extensive knowledge of this area of the law is essential. What questions should you ask to make sure your attorney has the skill you need?
Naturally, you should ask how long the lawyer has been practicing law in general and medical malpractice law in particular. Even more instructive is the question, “What percentage of your cases are medical malpractice cases?” A lawyer may have accepted his first medical malpractice case thirty years ago, but if he's only handled two more since then, that's not a favorable sign.
Also, many personal injury lawyers advertise that they practice medical malpractice law, but in reality refer to other lawyers all but the most straightforward cases. You want a lawyer to whom cases are regularly referred, not one who refers them out. You may also want to ask about outcomes: what percentage of their cases are successful? What kind of damages awards have they achieved for their clients?
Once you've ascertained that your lawyer has the skill and experience you're looking for, you need to understand how he or she works. You should ask questions about how your lawyer builds a case, how he or she will keep you informed, and how you will be involved in making decisions about your case. You are looking for a lawyer who is organized, responsive, and will give you straightforward advice so that you can make good decisions.
Last but not least, you need to feel comfortable with your lawyer. Choose someone you feel good asking questions of, someone who doesn't make you feel rushed. If you have a case worth pursuing, you could be working with your lawyer for a long while. As with any relationship, trust is essential, so trust your gut.
The information in this blog post is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. You should not make a decision whether or not to contact a qualified medical malpractice attorney based upon the information in this blog post. No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. If you require legal advice, please consult with a competent medical malpractice attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.
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