Medical malpractice situations can be frustrating and overwhelming for the injured individual. You want to make sure that you have the best possible chance of getting the compensation that you deserve. Hiring a top-notch medical malpractice attorney should be your first priority. With the right lawyer, you’ll be able to get fair representation and a case that’s built with your evidence without the added stress that you definitely don’t need at this time.
Locating the Right Medical Malpractice Lawyer to Fit Your Needs
Whether you’ve been harmed as a result of surgical errors, a misdiagnosis, or something else entirely, it’s crucial you find a great attorney who deals with medical malpractice cases. He or she will work to build your case along with the assistance of a legal team. There are some key things you’ll want to look out for in your search for an attorney.
- The lawyer should specialize in medical malpractice.
First off, any attorney you hire for the purpose of representing your medical malpractice case should actually specialize in this practice area. It’s a niche field that requires a knowledge of both legal and medical issues along with unique challenges that tend to be a part of such cases. The majority of these attorneys either represent patients who have been injured (known as plaintiffs) who would like to use their health care providers, or they will provide defense for health care providers (i.e. they represent defendants).
- Find a lawyer who will give your case a chance.
If you received an injury as a result of a medical error, you’ll hire someone to act as a “plaintiff’s lawyer”. The first one you find may not be a good fit, but don’t despair. You should keep trying as long as you believe you have sufficient evidence for a case. Just keep in mind that oftentimes, medical malpractice attorneys are extremely busy and will turn down some cases rather quickly.
- Seek out recommendations from people you know (or don’t know).
It’s always in your best interest to get recommendations from friends, family members, neighbors, etc. They can tell you about their experiences with medical malpractice lawyers who they’ve hired, even if it wasn’t for that type of case. You likely know someone who’s at least been represented by some lawyer and had a successful outcome. It might not mean they’ll be able to help with your case but it’s definitely a good step.
If you don’t personally know anyone with experience going through a local lawyer, check
out reviews on a site like lawyers.com. It only can benefit you to gather as much information as possible before you narrow down your search. Though you’ll feel much better hearing firsthand accounts from people you know well and trust, you’ll still get a clear picture by doing so.
- Narrow down those options with a few steps.
It’s ideal to see if attorneys you’ve found belong to associations for personal injury trial lawyers including the one for your state. Are any of them in a position of leadership with the group(s)? If so, this is a clear indication that he or she is well-respected by peers.
Check if each one is an active member. Also, you’ll want to know that the lawyer you hire is in good standing with your state’s bar association.
Some other solid ways to scope out lawyers are to look for online reviews on reputable websites and to see if and how they advertise. The nature of this advertisement says a lot about the attorney’s character and if he or she is professional. If you get a bad feeling from it, you probably should avoid going any further down that path.
- First Communication
Now, it’s time to initiate the first conversation. This can be a bit scary and when you’re already dealing with stress from your injuries, that first call or email can make or break your decision.
Many law firms have a chat feature on their website. If you’re tech savvy (or have someone who’s helping you with this process who is good with tech) this is a great option. Email also is ideal for instances when you have trouble talking over the phone or schedule conflicts with being able to reach out during office hours.
Here are some good questions to ask early on:
- What percentage of the firm’s cases have been medical malpractice ones?
- About how many of the cases settle out of court rather than go to trial?
- Discuss the fees and payments of any costs for the case. Can you hire them on a contingency fee basis? This is important when you might not have the funds necessary to pay upfront.
- If you only speak a language other than English (or primarily), find out if the lawyer speaks that language or if an interpreter will be provided.
- Does the attorney give much of the work to support staff such as paralegals? Learn how much involvement the attorney will have with your case.
- If it’s more beneficial to you to talk about case matters face-to-face at the beginning, see about getting an in-person appointment. Though he or she may be too busy to do this every time or for a long meeting, any good lawyer will take the time to at least meet you.
When you hire a medical malpractice attorney who has your needs in mind and makes you feel more comfortable, it makes you feel more confident in the outcome. Contact the Wapner Newman Attorneys at Law to receive a free consultation as soon as possible. A caring and competent staff member will take the basic details of your situation and determine how we can be of assistance.