If you had a harmful experience in the hospital or a clinical setting, it isn’t something you should just have to deal with. The damage of a wrong diagnosis or a mistake in the operating room can affect your health for the rest of your life. You deserve support, you deserve to be heard, and you deserve to be awarded damages for the mental and physical toll your experience has had on your health and happiness.
That’s where a medical malpractice lawyer comes in, but choosing the right attorney is extremely important. You want to make sure you choose someone you trust who really knows what they’re doing.
With these five questions, you can ensure you choose the right person for your case
Do You Have Experience Working With Claims Like Mine?
All attorneys are not created equal. Although all who are properly licensed can work on your case, not all have the experience necessary to make sure you get the best outcome possible.
It’s important to look for an attorney who has experience working on medical malpractice claims, and if you can, look for an attorney who has experience with your specific type of claim. A few common types of medical malpractice claims that attorneys can specialize in include:
- Misdiagnosis, leading to unnecessary treatment, or not receiving the treatment you need
- Delayed diagnosis that allows a condition to worsen before the proper treatment is received
- Failure to treat, even if the right diagnosis is reached, is common with doctors who have too many patients
- Surgical errors that might include the improper use of instruments or performing the incorrect procedure
- Birth injuries to the baby or the mother
- Medical product liability that includes faulty devices
What Kind of Recognitions and Awards Does Your Office Hold?
Just because your attorney has experience with medical malpractice claims doesn’t automatically mean they are skilled and dedicated. You can determine if they really are worth your time by asking about the recognitions and awards they hold. Look for ratings with Martindale-Hubbell®, Best Lawyers®, US News, and World Report.
You should also ask! They would be happy to show you any awards and recognitions they have received.
Are There Any Statute of Limitations I Should Be Aware Of?
It is extremely important to be aware of the statute of limitations in your specific case, so make sure it’s a question you ask about at your first meeting. You may discover that you have already run out of time and there isn’t a whole lot you can do in your case. It’s also possible that you may discover you still have plenty of time to come forward with your case, which gives you time to interview attorneys and find one that you feel comfortable working with.
What’s the Best Way to Communicate With Your Firm If We Work Together?
Communication is extremely important when you’re working with an attorney. Make sure you ask about the details of how your attorney’s office prefers for you to communicate. For example, they might recommend that you keep a running list of questions and concerns and email them instead of calling and asking questions every day.
It also means asking about who you will be working with within the firm itself. Will you be speaking directly with your attorney, or will you also be speaking with other people in the office? You will also want to ask how long it takes to receive a response when you contact the office.
Do You Have the Financial Resources to See My Case Through to the End?
Medical malpractice claims aren’t cheap. They can cost $27,000 and more to defend. Fortunately, you probably won’t be required to pay anything out of pocket unless there is a positive outcome in your case, but that money has to come from somewhere. You have to make sure your attorney has the financial resources to see your case through to the end.
Your attorney should be able to investigate your case thoroughly and hire the right experts, regardless of cost, to ensure your case goes to trial if that’s what your case deserves. You don’t want to be pressured into a wimpy settlement when you’re entitled to more because your attorney doesn’t have the resources to keep going.
Don’t just hire the first attorney you come across! Do your homework and make sure you ask the right questions to ensure you hire the right lawyer for the job in your medical malpractice case.