When a patient has been seriously hurt by medical negligence, choosing a qualified medical malpractice lawyer is crucial to obtaining financial recovery for the preventable harm that occurred. Finding the right attorney can seem like a daunting task, as countless law firms advertise their services online, in newspapers, on TV and elsewhere.
To begin to narrow the selection process, prospective clients should search the Internet for attorneys in the state in which the alleged malpractice occurred. From that list, researching background information about each lawyer selected can help prospective clients learn more about his or her particular legal experience, success and feedback from others.
Credibility, track record, and reputation are key factors. Many experienced attorneys will provide a list of past verdicts and settlements, which can give a clear picture of the cases they have handled and the results they have obtained. Further, awards and recognition show that legal organizations and other attorneys respect and admire a lawyer’s work. For example, attorneys’ success and work ethic are recognized by their peers in annual publications such as Pennsylvania Super Lawyers® and The Best Lawyers in America®.
After identifying several attorneys who seem to have the right experience and authority to handle an injured patient’s case, contacting each one is the next step. Below are a few questions to ask when speaking with medical malpractice attorneys as a prospective client.
- Have you represented people in medical malpractice cases with injuries similar to mine?
- Does your firm have the resources to take a serious malpractice lawsuit to trial?
- Who will be speaking with me about my case throughout the process?
- What is your legal fee?
- Does your firm work with expert witnesses and investigators?
Asking questions during the initial consultation will not only give prospective clients a good idea about an attorney’s qualifications, but it will also provide a sense of the lawyer’s responsiveness and demeanor. Medical malpractice victims and their families will have to discuss personal details with their attorney, so it’s important to be comfortable communicating with the lawyer and his or her legal team.