Finding the Right Medical Malpractice Attorney: 5 Questions
Time is a crucial element in any medical malpractice case. But it isn’t limited to the timing in which you or a loved one received medical care. When finding a lawyer for your medical malpractice case you are up against a time constraint known as the statute of limitations. It can vary from one state to the next, and it puts a significant amount of pressure on people who have been victims of medical malpractice.
Medical malpractice is one of the most intricate areas of law. The processes and details involved are extensive and expensive. It is important that a law firm has the right experience, the right expertise, and the resources to support their clients and their case throughout the process.
To save you time, here are some common questions to ask a medical malpractice attorney.
1) What kind of medical expertise do they have?
The attorney you choose should have significant medical experience. Does he or she practice mostly personal injury? How many of his or her cases are medical malpractice cases? Can they show that they understand the field of medicine? Do they have a medical background? These are important questions to ask because your attorney will have to analyze and interpret medical charts as well as validate and challenge the opinions of medical experts.
2) Do they have experience taking medical malpractice cases to trial?
The mechanics of medical malpractice cases are extremely technical and specific. No attorney should ever just dabble in this area. An experienced attorney will know which cases are worth taking and have the ability and willingness to take the case all the way through a trial if necessary. You don’t want an attorney that looks to settle a case as quickly as possible – a successful medical malpractice case typically takes 2-5 years to resolve. The best results come from attorneys who can and will take a case all the way through a trial
3) Do they have the financial resources to pursue your case?
Medical malpractice litigation is not only complex and difficult, but also very expensive when done right. The defense has access to a pool of experts and doctors because oftentimes they insure these professionals. Hiring quality experts, running focus groups, and creating top-notch trial exhibits all cost money. The lawyer you choose must have the means to do these things. The attorney you choose should also have a strong reputation among the medical community, providing you with access to a level playing field.
4) Are they recognized for their expertise?
Attorneys that have the experience you need will be recognized by organizations in their field and by their peers. These organizations include Martindale-Hubble®, Super Lawyers®, Best Lawyers®, and more… You should also find out if they belong to organizations like The Better Business Bureau and The American Association for Justice. These are all resources you can use to learn more about a lawyer and the firm the work for.
5) Are they successful?
Do they win? No attorney is going to win all the time, but a good attorney will have a good track record and be able to show their successful outcomes. Are they recognized where they practice? For example, every year Chicago Lawyer publishes the Jury Verdict Reporter Settlement Report. Successful firms regularly find themselves listed on that report.
You will feel safe and comfortable with the right attorney the same way you do with the right doctor. And because of the statute of limitations, it’s important you find and establish a working relationship with them quickly. We hope these 5 questions help get you started on the path to achieving justice for yourself and your loved ones.