Finding a qualified medical malpractice lawyer is very important but unlike other types of personal injury lawyers, medical malpractice lawyers do not spend most of their time handling these kinds of cases. This is because medical malpractice is a rare specialty. So how exactly do you go about looking for a lawyer to handle your case?
Ask for a Recommendation
Do you currently know a lawyer that you can trust? It doesn’t matter what kind of law they specialize in because the idea here is to ask them to recommend a good medical malpractice lawyer. Lawyers network together and even though your lawyer has never handled a medical malpractice case before, they could know one who has through contacts they’ve made at lawyer to lawyer networking events.
On the other hand, if you do not know any lawyers, you can talk to a close friend, relative or colleague that has ever used a lawyer and ask them for a recommendation. Most lawyers do not have a problem recommending a good lawyer who can help your case.
Contact your Local Bar Association
All states have local bar associations with lawyer referral services. One of the requirements that these bar associations have for lawyers who want to be listed is to demonstrate a certain level of expertise in a given field. All you have to do is call the association and ask to be referred to a qualified lawyer.
Questions to ask Your Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Before hiring a Hyannis medical malpractice lawyer, you need to ask them a few questions that will help you to determine whether they will be a good fit for you or not. We have noticed clients like asking certain questions that while still valid, do not offer any insight as to how effective the lawyer will be.
For instance, asking a lawyer where they studied law isn’t an indicator of how good or how terrible they will be at their job. We have seen lawyers who graduated from local colleges do a much better job than their counterparts who graduated from Ivy League Universities. What matters is that they are licensed to practice law in your state.
With that said, here are some questions that will provide insight to your lawyer’s efficiency.
How Much Experience Do You Have?
They need to have handled a good amount of medical malpractice cases but that does not have to be their exclusive area of practice. Most medical malpractice lawyers also specialize in other areas of personal injury like car accident cases, dog bites, slip and fall cases, etc. so it’s not unusual to find a medical malpractice lawyer who is also a car accident lawyer.
When it comes to experience, most clients think that the longer the lawyer has been a medical malpractice lawyer, the better they are at their job. Again, this isn’t necessarily true. They could have twenty years of experience but have nothing to show for it while another lawyer could have ten years of experience and show nothing but excellence.
You should instead find out how many cases they have won or taken to trial. While it’s not unusual to hear that they haven’t won most of their cases, you should be wary of hiring a lawyer who has never won a case.
How Will They Find Medical Experts?
Your case will most likely need a medical expert to prove that your health care provider was negligent. If you don’t use a medical expert witness in your case, there is a high chance that it will be dismissed. All medical malpractice lawyers know how to find qualified expert witnesses for any type of case.
Some of them prefer to contact expert witness services while others have worked on so many cases that they have collected several numbers of doctors in almost every specialty. The point here is to ensure your lawyer knows what they are doing.
How Much Will They Charge You?
Once you have found a good lawyer, you will want to discuss with them a payment plan. Medical malpractice cases can be very costly. In fact, they can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to bring them to trial. The good news is that many medical malpractice lawyers will work on a contingency fee basis.
When lawyers use contingency fee, it means their entire fee is paid as a percentage of the settlement in your case. So if they take your case to trial and they lose, you won’t have to pay them lawyer fees.
The percentage of the award that the lawyer charges varies but the most common contingency fee is 33% of the settlement. Other lawyers might also charge you differently depending on whether your case goes to trial or not. If you settle before trial, they will charge you 33% and if you go to trial, they might charge you 40%. This is because taking a case to court is a long and complex process not to mention that the costs add up very fast.
You should know that lawyer fees are always negotiable. You can also negotiate other terms like who will pay for litigation. Some lawyers prefer to arrange for clients to pay for litigation costs as they arise. You can negotiate and request that the lawyer pay for the costs upfront and then you can reimburse them as soon as they win your case.
Get Your Case Analyzed for Free
Experienced medical malpractice lawyers know that cases involving medical malpractice are expensive and they are prepared to take on your case and bear the costs if they believe it’s worth a shot. Inexperienced lawyers on the other hand may not be willing to bear the costs and may pressure you to settle.
So how much does it take to get a lawyer to check out if your case is worth a shot? Nothing. At Kevin P Landry Law Offices, we offer free initial consultations to clients who feel that their doctors caused them medical harm. Call us today at 508-775-1660 or visit our offices in Hyannis today for a free initial consultation.