Medical malpractice is a scary thing that affects millions of people. It’s been found that medical malpractice and medical mistakes are the third leading cause of death in the United States.
If you or a loved one are a recent survivor of medical malpractice, you’re probably looking for a medical malpractice lawyer to represent you.
Remember that not all lawyers are of equal quality and expertise. Fortunately, we put together a short list of questions for you to ask a potential medical malpractice lawyer before hiring them.
These questions can weed out bad lawyers. In this trying time, the last thing you need is a bad lawyer to represent you.
Before we get into the questions, let’s look at the basics of medical malpractice.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
By definition, medical malpractice is the professional negligence and endangerment by a doctor, nurse, or hospital to a patient.
If you or a loved one have experienced poor treatment by a medical professional and have suffered harm, trauma, injury, or death, then you may have a big case against the health care provider.
If a loved one has died due to the negligence of a hospital or doctor, you may be able to file a wrongful death suit against them as well.
Five Questions To Ask Your Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Don’t be afraid of being firm with a potential lawyer. You deserve only the best and your money should go towards success.
What experience do you have in medical malpractice?
It goes without saying that a lawyer should know what they’re doing when it comes to law, especially if they market themselves as a medical malpractice lawyer.
However, you should still ask them how long they have been practicing and how long they’ve been in medical malpractice law.
A fresh out of school lawyer may not be the best for such a sensitive case. If a potential lawyer has years of experience in medical malpractice law, that’s a good sign.
Don’t forget to look up peer reviews of a potential lawyer as well.
Do you write medical malpractice topics?
This question may seem odd. However, nothing shows how good a lawyer is at their specific niche like a couple books on the subject under their name. A truly passionate and experienced lawyer will have written something on the topic.
Also ask if they teach medical malpractice topics, too.
What expenses should I be prepared for?
Malpractice cases are usually very expensive, unfortunately. They can also be difficult to win, depending on the case.
Be sure to ask the potential lawyer what costs you will have to pay if the case doesn’t go forward or you lose. Also, ask what experts they will be hiring to build a case against the entity you’re up against and if you will be responsible for their pay.
Luckily, many medical malpractice lawyers work for contingency fees. This means that if that lawyer doesn’t win your case, you don’t pay a dime and they don’t earn anything either. Be sure to ask if they operate on a contingency fee basis.
What are your results like?
Obviously, you don’t want a lawyer representing you with a bad track record of losing cases.
Ask them the result of their most recent case, if they have ever taken a case to trial, and if they have, what the outcome was.
Also, ask them if they or their firm has won fairly large rewards for their medical malpractice clients.
How long will my case take to finish?
Your injuries, trauma, and specifics related to your case will affect this. On average, a medical malpractice case can take over a year or long to finish. The hospital or doctor you are up against may also try to appeal a successful verdict which could take up even more time.
If a potential lawyer can’t give you an answer, ask them how long their last medical malpractice case took. Time is of the essence, and you won’t want a lawyer who lags behind.
Tips For Finding A Medical Malpractice Lawyer
These tips will make it even simpler to find a good medical malpractice lawyer on top of asking them the above questions:
- Use that free consultation. A vast majority of law firms will offer a 100% free initial consultation in order to figure out if your case and their lawyers are a good match. Meeting in person is the most helpful way to connect with a lawyer and get a chance to ask them the questions we just covered.
- Check out your local bar association. We mentioned that looking up peer reviews of lawyers is wise, but you should also check out your local bar association for good lawyers, too. A bar association is a professional “club” for lawyers. They are often divided into specialty sections to make finding a medical malpractice lawyer easier.
- Ask about the American Medical Association. Ask your lawyer if you should file a complaint with the association or your state’s medical professional board.
- Shop around. You may find a lawyer that you like and want to settle, but don’t. Meet with as many lawyers and law firms as you can to make an informed, proper decision.
- Investigate. To get a really clear idea of what a lawyer is like, consult other people like you. Ask your potential lawyer for the names of other clients. Often, a lawyer will get permission from former clients to use them as a reference for new clients.
- Check out their websites. Don’t just pick out names from your phonebook or the bar association. Compile a list of lawyers and firms that you want to check out and investigate their websites. Do they provide adequate and insightful information that is helpful? Sometimes, you may see a red flag before even interacting with the lawyer during a consultation.
If you or a family member has endured the trauma of medical malpractice, getting an attorney and filing charges may seem scary. Don’t worry– with these questions, you’ll be able to search for and choose the best medical malpractice lawyer for your specific case.
Do you have an experience in medical malpractice that you’d like to share? Leave us a comment below.