Medical malpractice affects thousands of people every year. If you’ve fallen victim to a doctor who mishandled you and your health, you can seek compensation. But that’s easier said than done. These cases are notoriously hard to prove.
To prevail, you’ll need a great lawyer, and not just any lawyer, either. You need a bonafide medical malpractice lawyer, someone who has the training and expertise to legally represent you in court.
But how do you find a good one? Read on …
How to find a medical malpractice attorney
Because the field of medical malpractice law is so intensely specialized, finding a lawyer in the field isn’t always that easy. That’s why you should look for a recommendation first, ideally from an experienced lawyer in the sector. But if you had one of those, you wouldn’t be reading this article.
Never fear, though. If you’ve worked with, for example, a Los Angeles sexual harassment lawyer, chances are she’ll be able to recommend someone with the right blend of expertise and experience to take on your case.
Even attorneys who’ve never handled a malpractice can help you to find the right lawyer for your case.. A lawyer’s professional contacts usually extend well beyond her area of expertise. So take advantage of that element of lawyerly networking to find your perfect counselor.
Don’t know a lawyer? You have family and friends who know one, I guarantee it. Contact a trusted friend or colleague and get introduced to the best lawyers they know. Those lawyers have networks of contacts
Belly up to the Bar
Your state’s Bar Association, which licenses and tracks American lawyers state by state, is a tremendous resource. Most offer referral services designed to help prospective clients like you find qualified lawyers within a specialty.
And here’s something else you maybe haven’t thought of: Medical malpractice lawyers often are licensed as such and must meet rigorous standards in order to keep doing the voodoo that they do.
What you want is an ABPLA certified attorney. Such a lawyer not only has to demonstrate skill and expertise in both legal and medical malpractice, but they have to pass a rigorous set of exams every year. Additionally, they must be board certified. So jcall the bar association and briefly explain your situation.
They will refer you to someone relevant. What’s useful about researching through your local bar is you’ll discover someone who operates within your geographic location.
You can search online to find a lawyer by specialty, too, of course. That lets you do all the research and narrow your search before you submit an email request.
If you’re able to pinpoint a certain lawyer who deal with cases similar in scope or subject to yours, you are far more likely to get a positive response. And a lawyer who knows the lay of the land will be far more likely to take up your case.
Once you meet them, sum up your case openly and honestly. You don’t want your lawyer to be caught blindsided by things he doesn’t know you said or did. This will help them gauge whether there is a good case for them to work on. Just remember: When you search online, be sure to include your city and state along with a search term like ‘medical malpractice lawyer.’
As an example, if you live in the Rochester area, just type in ‘Rochester medical malpractice lawyers.’ You can add other terms relevant to your case, too.
Are you experienced?
It’s important to work out how many similar cases your prospective attorney has worked on. You also want to examine their past successes and overall relevant experience. preferably learning their success rates and evaluating their experience. Most malpractice cases end with a defense verdict, so bear this in mind when researching. Be cautious throughout the selection process, and don’t be swayed by gift of gab with no substance to back it up.
Open wide, way wide
Things are rarely black and white, which is why many people with otherwise good cases have so much trouble opening up and really getting honest with their attorneys.
So when you meet your prospective counselor, make sure you feel comfortable communicating with them. You don’t have to love them, but you should definitely get on well. After all, you two are going to be a team.
A final tip: Remember to hire a lawyer within your means. Medical malpractice cases can get terribly expensive. Don’t be too embarrassed to engage in a frank discussion about hourly rates, office fees and other costs.
If those costs are too rich to you, negotiate. Or just move on.
Don’t let your search for a medical malpractice attorney distract you from the real goal: getting justice in court and making sure that other patients down the road won’t also find themselves on the wrong side of a medical malpractice suit.
So keep your chin up. The search for a lawyer and the subsequent case and trial will feel they are taking forever, but it will be over soon enough. Trust yourself. You are doing the right thing.