What to Look for When Hiring a Medical Malpractice Lawyer
You trusted your doctor with your health — arguably one of the most invaluable things you’ll ever have in this life. (After all, not even all of the money in the world can buy good health.) Unfortunately, your doctor let you down.
Now, you’re left with serious health issues you will battle for the rest of your life. If you’ve found yourself needing a medical malpractice lawyer, we’ve compiled a guide on what to look for to make sure that you’re hiring the best.
Let’s get started.
Medical Malpractice Experience
Experience is no doubt the most important quality to look for in a medical malpractice lawyer. You likely already realize that doctors have their own specialties. The same is true for attorneys. Many of these professionals practice general law, they may excel at mediating divorces or drafting wills, but that doesn’t mean they know where to start when it comes to litigating your potentially complex medical malpractice case.
When searching for an attorney, interview potential lawyers and ask them about the experience they possess specifically in medical malpractice. Also, be careful: Some attorneys focus on representing physicians. Be sure that you choose an attorney who will be on your side as an injured patient.
In addition to having a medical malpractice background, it helps if your chosen attorney can access a reputable medical witness. A medical witness is someone who can share information about the health care field’s care standards and offer testimony about whether a physician’s negligence resulted in your injury.
Medical witnesses are invaluable because the majority of malpractice cases hinge on their testimony. In fact, in states such as Florida, you can’t even move forward with a medical malpractice claim unless a medical witness has been secured. For this reason, the ideal attorney has working relationships with multiple medical witnesses who may be able to help you to win your case.
A Go-Getter Personality
Some medical malpractice cases end up settling through negotiation outside of court. But that’s not the norm. Most malpractice cases proceed to trial with many ending with jury verdicts. Due to the intensity and length of a typical malpractice case, it’s paramount that the lawyer you hire is aggressive and driven.
When you interview lawyers, ask them about their strategies. Listen to what they have to say, and then, listen to your gut. If they don’t seem determined enough to help you to prevail in your civil case, they likely aren’t the right fit for you.
Also, take a good look at how many of a certain attorney’s past lawsuits proceeded to trial and see what his or her rate of success was. This will further tell you whether he or she is truly a good pick.
The right attorney will also be humble. This doesn’t mean that he or she will be weak or fearful, it means is that he or she will not take your case lightly.
Litigating a medical malpractice case is extremely challenging and requires maximum ability and skill. An attorney who doesn’t respect the gravity of your case should not be hired to represent you.
The Ability to Listen
If your prospective attorney isn’t great at listening to you patiently, he or she is not the one for you.
A common problem in the medical field is that doctors don’t listen to their patients and therefore don’t hear the necessary information for providing accurate diagnoses.
Some lawyers have this same hang-up. If you notice that a lawyer is constantly interrupting you or telling you how you should feel and think, avoid him or her.
The Ability to Tell a Story
In addition to being able to listen, your medical malpractice lawyer should be able to tell a good story. Here’s why.
Once you explain your version of events to your lawyer, he or she needs to be able to reframe these events into a compelling story to which anyone and everyone can relate.
For instance, let’s go back to what we mentioned earlier about a doctor failing to listen to what his or her patient is saying. In this situation, the problem wasn’t that the doctor failed to recognize problematic medical symptoms or memorize key terms from a textbook. Rather, the problem was that he or she simply failed to pay attention. This is something that practically everyone understands and can become frustrated with. If your lawyer can effectively convey to the jury at trial that this happened in your case, winning your case may be a breeze.
A solid understanding of the medical field is another important gem that your attorney must possess. Otherwise, your attorney may not understand the medical bills and records you present to him or her.
The doctor you choose must be able to competently and confidently discuss your physician’s errors and know exactly what the doctor should have done instead.
The Necessary Funds to Operate As a Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Money certainly isn’t everything, but it is an important part of being able to practice law effectively.
Malpractice litigation can be difficult and complex, but it can also be costly when it is done correctly. For instance, the best attorneys are capable of hiring high-quality experts, creating top-of-the-line trial exhibits and running valuable focus groups.
Make sure your attorney has the necessary resources to get the job done right. After all, you have your health and likely a lot of money on the line.
How We Can Help
Unfortunately, not all doctors exercise a reasonable degree of care when working with patients. Fortunately, we offer top-notch legal services for those looking for a reputable medical malpractice lawyer with a strong track record of success.
Get in touch with us to find out more about how we can help you to succeed in your malpractice case. With our help, you can be well on your way to receiving the monetary damages to which you are entitled.