Medical malpractice claims are vastly understood by most of the general population. Here are four considerations if you think you might have a malpractice claim.
Medical malpractice claims are vastly understood by most of the general population. In order to establish a case for medical malpractice, you must be able to show that your caregiver deviated from the “standard of practice” that any other caregiver would have provided in a similar situation.
In being able to prove that your medical caregiver didn’t provide an adequate standard of care, your lawyer can establish negligence, which Forbes reports is essential in winning your case. Asking the right questions during the initial consultation with a medical malpractice attorney is imperative.
Brian Snyder of Snyder Wenner, a medical malpractice firm in Arizona, suggests asking these questions of potential attorneys, “Does the firm have the experience and financial ability to litigate a medical malpractice case? Has the attorney had a similar type of case before? Will the attorney be bringing in another law firm to handle the case, or will he/she actually be litigating it him/herself? The former is a very good indication the lawyer does not have the experience/finances to actually take the case.”
Here are four more questions to ask when you’re searching for a medical malpractice attorney.
How Long Have You Been Handling Medical Malpractice Cases?
One of the most common pieces of advice people hear is to hire a personal injury attorney with experience. While this is good advice, most people take this to mean general experience in practicing law.
Instead, you should focus your search on attorneys who specifically focus on medical malpractice. Even when consulting with law firms that specialize in multiple areas of law, make sure the lawyer handling your case has experience specific to your medical malpractice claim.
How Many Cases Have You Won?
This question will help you evaluate the skill level of your potential attorney. You should obtain all of the relevant numbers, which include how many cases the attorney has won in court, settled out of court, and lost. While settling out of court can be counted as a favorable outcome, a lawyer who frequently settles may be viewed as an easy target by insurance companies.
Alternatively, an attorney who has lost a larger number of cases indicates someone who’s unwilling to settle when that’s the most prudent course of action. Ideally, your attorney should be willing to go to court when necessary, yet will settle when that’s in their client’s best interests.
Have You Been Sued or Disciplined by the Bar Association?
The legal field is just like any other vocation in that there are professionals of all types, ranging in quality from poor to excellent. For this reason, you shouldn’t assume every lawyer is in good standing with the bar association.
There’s nothing wrong with asking for proof of their valid membership. You can also contact the bar association to ask about the attorney’s history. This will help you find out if the attorney has ever been disciplined, or if they have ever been sued by a client. Someone with a history of disciplinary action levied against them probably isn’t the best attorney to represent you.
Can You Supply Previous Client Testimonials?
Many law firms post client testimonials right on their websites, so that can be a good starting place. Halt.org recommends searching for the attorney on sites like the Better Business Bureau, Yelp, and Google, because these sites don’t curate testimonials. Instead, you’ll get a fairer range of reviews that can help you get a better impression of the attorney’s quality of service.
The initial consultation you have with any attorney serves the purpose of evaluating your case. This meeting should also be used to help you determine whether the attorney is the right one to handle your case, so don’t be shy about asking questions.