How to choose a medical liability lawyer
As a patient, you put your health and well-being in the hands of doctors and health care professionals who treat you during a routine check-up, after an accident or a surgical procedure. Unfortunately, these health professionals sometimes make preventable medical errors that can have devastating effects, seriously injure or even kill their patients.
You did not have a good doctor. Now you need a good lawyer.
It is not easy to find a lawyer who will accompany you over the course of your claim against doctors and hospital staff. There is far too much at stake for you to hire a general lawyer or a lawyer with little experience.
It is essential to contact a lawyer specialized in the field. This specialist will help you navigate through a complex court process to seek the financial compensation that can help the victim pay for expenses incurred, compensate for past and future losses of income and compensate for other damages such as pain, suffering, trouble, inconvenience and loss of enjoyment of life.
It is also the best way available for a victim to hold a health professional responsible for his or her wrongdoing.
We understand that it can be difficult to find the right lawyer. Who can you trust?
The lawyer who advertises most is not necessarily the most experienced.
Spending money on advertising to tout one’s skills and expertise does not translate into real qualifications. Make sure that the lawyer devotes a large part of his legal practice to medical liability. Some lawyers say they are qualified in medical liability, but have never really practiced in the field.
A tip: study the lawyer’s website. If he or she claims to be a specialist in several areas of unrelated law (e.g. immigration, divorce, estate law and medical liability), it’s a safe bet that he or she does not have the skills required for your medical liability case.
Research on the Internet
An extensive search on the internet is a good first step, however always beware, internet searches are not immune to the advertising of lawyers and some will say they are qualified, when they are not.
We suggest that you begin your search by asking your relatives if they know a lawyer who specializes in the field or if they know a trusted lawyer who will direct them to a specialist in the field.
Your local bar association also has a referral service for specialized lawyers. It should be noted, however, that registration as an expert is not controlled and, therefore, some lawyers declaring a specialty may not be qualified.
Questions to ask
Once you have found one or more potential lawyers, it is important for you to communicate with them and obtain basic information.
Here are some questions you should ask:
- How much experience does he or she have as a litigator?
- How many cases has he or she handled in medical liability?
- Do you have experience in handling a medical malpractice claim similar to mine?
- How many refresher courses have you taken recently in the areas of liability or personal injury assessment? Better yet, how many courses has he or she recently given to other lawyers in these areas?
- Do they know experts in the relevant medical specialties?
- Do they know the right experts in the related areas that will be critical to assessing your financial loss?
- Am I required to pay for the initial assessment of my case and if so, how much?
- Who will be responsible for the costs of expert fees and disbursements?
- If I do not have the financial means to pay these fees, does the lawyer have any solutions to offer me?
- What is the total estimate of their legal fees?
- Is the lawyer ready to work from the beginning of the case without charging on an hourly rate basis and only be paid on a contingency/percentage basis if successful?
Only after obtaining this information will you be able to make an informed decision. We cannot stress enough that if you do not have the best legal representation, you will heavily disadvantaged as medical practitioners, and their insurance providers, are represented by highly specialized and competent lawyers to defend claims filed against them.
To find out more about our medical liability specialists, click here to contact us online today.
Call us. Ask us all the questions.