You suspect that you or your loved one was a victim of malpractice at the hands of a doctor, but you don’t know how to go about filing a lawsuit. Who should you turn to for help? Looking in the phone book or online for a list of malpractice attorneys may lead you to an attorney willing to take your case, but how do you know that he or she is the right one for you?
Finding the right attorney to represent you in a malpractice case for an avoidable medical mistake that injured you or a loved one is essential. When you have the right lawyer for your case, you stand a much better chance of a favorable outcome. Malpractice lawsuits are complicated and they require legal and medical knowledge in order to successfully negotiate a settlement or receive a winning verdict if the case goes to trial.
Ask for Referrals or References
One of the first things to consider when you are looking for a malpractice attorney is asking people who you trust if they know a good malpractice attorney. If you already have an attorney for other legal matters, you can ask if he or she knows a medical malpractice attorney to whom they can refer you. You don’t have to stop there though (and you shouldn’t). Once you meet with a malpractice attorney, you can ask for references, clients that they have worked for and who would be willing to talk about their performance and skill.
Ask About Experience
It is important that you know what an attorney’s experience and track record is before you hire them. Medical malpractice is a very specialized area, so learning about a lawyer’s experience with cases similar to yours will give you an idea of how yours will be handled.
Some questions to ask about an attorney’s experience are:
- How long have you been practicing law, and medical malpractice cases?
- What percentage of your cases are medical malpractice?
- Have you argued cases that are like mine specifically?
- Do you belong to any legal organizations?
Some questions to ask about an attorney’s track record are:
- What was the outcome of cases like mine?
- What percentage of your malpractice cases are settled before going to trial?
- Have you and your firm won sizable awards for your clients?
Ask About Medical Knowledge
It is essential for malpractice attorneys to have a good understanding of medical terminology, procedures, diagnoses, and proper treatments. This means that it is helpful if the attorney is also a doctor, or the firm employs doctors or other medical professionals on staff for consultation. Some firms may not have in-house physicians, instead hiring experts for case evaluation and expert testimony if their cases go to trial. It is always more desirable if the firm has in-house doctors who are on hand to deal with your case from start to finish.
Ask About Litigation Experience
Most medical malpractice suits are settled and do not make it to trial. However, that fact is not justification for not being prepared to litigate in the courtroom, or for accepting a settlement when a trial would be more advantageous for the client. Pay attention to the percentage of the attorney’s cases that go to trial. If the number is very low, then insurance companies may be aware that this attorney is likely to settle to avoid going to court. Ask about the outcome of the cases that the attorney has tried, and choose one who has been successful in the courtroom. Your case may never make it to trial, but in case it does, you want to have the best attorney representing you.
Other Things To Consider When Choosing A Malpractice Attorney
Experience, medical knowledge, and litigation experience are three very important aspects to consider when selecting a medical malpractice attorney, but there are other things to consider as well. Malpractice cases can take a long time to settle or go to trial, so you want to find an attorney with whom you feel comfortable and who answers all of your questions readily, not someone who brushes you off or seems like they don’t have time for you. Another thing to consider is who else at the firm will be working on your case. Ask your attorney if there are junior associates, paralegals, or other staff who will be assisting with your case. Be sure to ask how you will be updated on your case. Will you receive phone calls or emails? If so, from whom? And who do you communicate with at the firm when you have questions? Will it be your attorney, or someone else?
We Are The Right Firm For You
Hiring the right medical malpractice attorney for your case, one who has experience, successful case outcomes, medical knowledge, litigation experience, and with whom you are comfortable, will give you the best chance of having a positive result.
At Ross Feller Casey, you will find that we have all of the above. We have a team of experienced attorneys who specialize in all types of personal injury, malpractice, and product liability cases. We have a team of three top doctors right on staff (two of whom are also lawyers) that bring decades of medical knowledge and experience to the firm.
We handle all of our malpractice cases on a contingency basis, and we offer a free case evaluation, so there is no cost to you until there is a financial award in your case.
Please contact one of our attorneys today to discuss your malpractice case.