We all tend to trust our doctors and believe that they have our best interests at heart; and for most, they do. However, at times, even the most professional doctors make mistakes, some of which tend to harm their patients. It could be in various ways, such as surgery errors, misdiagnosis, childbirth injuries, and anesthesia errors, all of which are known as medical malpractices.
In 2018 alone, over $4 billion was paid out in medical malpractice lawsuits, and the figure seems to be rising. If this has happened to you, hiring one of the best medical malpractice attorneys you can find is one of the most important aspects of filing a lawsuit.
Apart from getting a lawyer, though, having the right medical malpractice attorney can make or break your case. Different attorneys can achieve varied outcomes in similar cases, so it’s vital that you hire a professional attorney for the best possible outcome.
Here’s what you need to know about medical malpractice attorneys.
The Importance of Medical Malpractice Attorneys
The one thing that makes medical malpractice cases complicated is that the doctor is bound to have a team of professional attorneys representing them. Even if they don’t, their insurance company will almost always have a terrifying legal team that will push you into submission and pay you peanuts or nothing at all.
Dealing with insurance adjusters is by far one of the most intimidating aspects of any lawsuit, and without a lawyer, you may say all the wrong things, contradict yourself, and eventually lose your right to compensation. It’ll be hard for you to know how much your claim is worth, the paperwork will be too much to handle, and negotiating settlements is not a walk in the park.
Even worse, if it goes to court, presenting yourself is almost impossible because you could make tons of mistakes. The other party will be eagerly waiting for you to make those mistakes so they can cut you off. Usually, most insurance companies don’t settle without a fight, and if they do, they give very little.
Where to Start When Looking for Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Medical malpractice is a specialized area, and more than anything else, you need to find an experienced attorney. You need the knowledge and expertise they have amassed with time. Look at their background closely to ascertain they are specialized in the field and check whether they are members of associations, like The National Trial Lawyers.
Beyond that, look at their online reviews and talk to past clients before you make a final decision. Here are some things to consider when hiring a medical malpractice lawyer.
Can You Ask a Lawyer You Trust for a Recommendation?
Perhaps the best place to start is by asking a lawyer you trust for a recommendation. Most lawyers have a network of others in their contacts, and maybe the one you trust can recommend some. If you currently don’t have a lawyer close to you, you could ask your friends or colleagues to recommend one they have used before and trust.
If that doesn’t work, call or email the local bar association. Most of them have referral services that connect professional medical malpractice lawyers with prospective clients. Beyond that, you can always conduct your own online research to find the best lawyer in your area.
How Many Cases Have They Won?
Apart from having experience in the field, how many cases have the medical malpractice attorneys won? Ask them this question during the consultation and gauge their expertise, depending on the answer they offer. It’s advisable to ask about the cases they lost as well, because they may sound impressive at first until you learn they have way lost too many cases to consider.
Can They Provide You With Testimonials?
You can never take their word for it, so it’s necessary to ask for testimonials. Talking to past clients will give you peace of mind and assure you of a chance to win the lawsuit.
Ask the clients how their relationship with the attorney was for the duration of their case, whether the attorney was helpful and communicative, whether they won, and how much they settled for.
What Are Their Fees?
Hiring medical malpractice attorneys is undoubtedly expensive, especially if you find yourself an expert. Ask to get a detailed fee structure of case costs and fee agreements. Most lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means they will collect a share of the settlement once they win the case.
If the case goes to court, some fees will pop up, such as expert witness costs and document filing fees. Inquire if the law firm will cover these costs or whether you will have to do it. Make sure you have an understanding of how legal fees will be handled before you file the case.
What Your Medical Malpractice Lawyer Will Need From You
Once you find the best attorney for medical malpractice, you need to file the case as soon as possible. They will need various documents, and you need to have them ready if you want to have a shot at winning the case. Some of these documents include medical records pertaining to the injury.
These are hands down the most important pieces of evidence in your case, and if they are still at the hospital, your attorney will get them for you.
If you have seen a mental health professional, you need to provide the records to your attorney. Give them your prescription drugs information, your insurance information, medical invoices and bills, lost wages information, and any documents from the doctor you’re suing.
Over to You
No one ever wants to have to go through a medical malpractice lawsuit, but if it has happened to you, it’s vital that you get compensation. Medical bills can hike quite fast, and it gets harder if you can’t go to work and have to deal with lost wages.
The process may take long, but with a professional lawyer by your side, things may work out well in the end. There are numerous medical malpractice attorneys out there, so do your due diligence to ensure you hire the right one.
There you have it! Now you know what you needed to know about medical malpractice attorneys. If you’d like more informative articles, please head over to our blog section and find more interesting posts.