Choosing a medical malpractice lawyer is a decision that will significantly impact the financial and emotional lives of malpractice victims and their families. Most people have very little experience choosing an attorney, and may find themselves overwhelmed by the responsibility of choosing the best attorney to represent them.
Here are five important questions to ask any attorney being considered:
1. What are your qualifications and success rate with medical malpractice cases?
A record of successful resolution of claims in your area may indicate your lawyer has enough experience and knowledge of the local system, courts and judges to prevail in your case as well. Medical malpractice cases are extremely complicated and requires the knowledge of someone familiar with both the legal and medical components of your case.
2. What expenses should I expect?
Malpractice cases are expensive. Ask about costs you are responsible for if the case does not go forward or if you should lose the verdict. Ask what types of experts the lawyer will hire to help build the case against the medical provider. Most medical malpractice attorneys operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning if the lawyer isn’t successful obtaining a recovery for your medical malpractice injuries, the lawyer doesn’t get paid, and you owe nothing.
3. How long will my case take?
It depends on the severity of your injuries and how complicated the case is. Most cases take anywhere from 1 to 5 years to complete. Time will vary due to the number of parties involved, the number of depositions and investigation needed, schedules of experts, and the judge. If the case is tried and you obtain a favorable verdict, the defendant has a right to appeal. That may further prolong a case’s conclusion. If your case has significant damages and reaches the cap, the Indiana Patient’s Compensation Fund pays out twice a year.
4. Who will be the lawyer actually handling my case?
Sometimes the lawyer you meet is not the person performing most of the pretrial work. Some firms use less experienced associate attorneys to take depositions. If that’s the case, ask about their experience and qualifications. Some lawyers may hand the case off to other attorneys if it seems headed for trial. You’re going to form a relationship with the attorney working on your case. Make sure you know who they are and that you’re comfortable with them.
5. Do you write or teach on medical malpractice topics?
Dedicated and passionate malpractice attorneys frequently write and speak on these topics. Furthermore, those who write and teach are generally more up to date on current issues in this specialty. Don’t be afraid to ask the lawyer about his history and how he became a medical malpractice lawyer.
Simply contact us if you would like to know more about medical malpractice cases and attorneys.