Most people who are sick or injured seek medical attention. When the medical professional makes a mistake, it could have lasting repercussions that take years to heal.
Doctors are human and can make mistakes. They are not infallible. If this should happen it may be necessary to consult a medical malpractice attorney.
A medical malpractice attorney typically specializes in one area only. He or she knows the ins and outs of medical malpractice law and can get you the best settlement offer.
If the unthinkable happens and you need a medical malpractice attorney, there are certain guidelines that you should follow when you start your search for an attorney:
First and foremost, it is important to ask how many years of experience the attorney has. You will want someone who has the experience in both the courtroom and with settlements.
It is important to determine if the attorney is part of a larger law firm. Larger firms have more resources available to them than single attorneys, and in some instances, it having these extra resources can be a huge benefit to you.
It is important to ask the attorney if he or she will process your paperwork or if it will be passed on to someone else, such as a paralegal. Some people do not feel comfortable with having many sets of eyes on their personal information.
Where the attorney is located is a major factor in your decision. If he or she is far away, then attending meeting could be difficult for you. If you are unable to get to meetings, ask the attorney if he or she will come to you. A good medical malpractice attorney will visit you at your home or in the hospital.
Most medical malpractice attorneys will not charge you for the initial visit or for anything else until you have won your case. This is called contingency. It simply means that your attorney will not be paid unless you win a settlement. However it is important to note that most medical malpractice attorneys receive one-third of the total settlement amount.
It is important to make sure that your medical malpractice attorney is present at all meetings concerning your case. In some instances, if the attorney is part of a large firm, he or she will send an associate to the meeting. It is important that you understand that you have the right to have your attorney attend all meetings with you. The same holds true if you have to make a court appearance.
Another factor that is very important when determining the right medical malpractice attorney is the amount of money he or she can get for a settlement. Beware of an attorney that promises huge amounts of money without hearing the particulars of your case.
Ask for references from past clients. A good attorney will have many success stories and should be willing to share them with you.
Ask the attorney to explain what your rights are and what you are entitled to. This is very important to know in case the opposing counsel tries to contact you.
Whichever attorney you choose, check them out thoroughly. This can be done very easily by calling the bar association of the state in which you live. The bar association has records of every attorney in the state and can advise you what the status is of any attorney and if they have a good success rate or complaints against them.
Choosing a medical malpractice attorney may be a lengthy process. However, choosing the right one is critical to the outcome of your case. Taking the time to research your options may result in a bigger settlement for you.