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How to Find the Right Medical Malpractice Lawyer

By: Anapol Weiss

Medical malpractice affects thousands of families around the country each year. When physicians and other healthcare practitioners fail to exercise reasonable care while tending to patients, preventable injuries and deaths can occur.

If you believe you or a family member has the right to file a medical malpractice claim in Pennsylvania, one of your first steps should be to find the right attorney to handle your case. Selecting the right Philadelphia medical malpractice attorney can make all the difference to your litigation experience.

Ask for Referrals

First, ask around for referrals for a medical malpractice lawyer in your area. You may know someone who has won a medical malpractice claim. This person may be able to connect you to the law firm he or she used. Your physician may also have a few local firm recommendations based on his or her network in the community.

If you already have a lawyer for other reasons, such as a family lawyer, he or she may be able to refer you to a trusted colleague that handles medical malpractice claims. Using a referral can increase the odds of finding a lawyer you can trust.

Confirm Medical Malpractice Experience

The lawyer you select should have real-world experience handling medical malpractice cases in particular. A broad personal injury field is not enough. Your attorney needs malpractice-specific training, education, and experience to optimize your odds of success.

Check the law firm’s website for a specific medical malpractice practice area. A lawyer with the right experience will know exactly how to handle your case and navigate related laws.

Look for Real Results

Review past case results for settlements and verdicts in previous medical malpractice claims. A track record of success can give you peace of mind in the knowledge that your attorney has what it takes to win your case. Pennsylvania law does not limit the amount of compensation a victim can receive during a med mal lawsuit. The right lawyer will be able to maximize your recovery through smart legal strategies and aggressive representation. A firm’s case result history can confirm its ability to win.

Check for a Local Law Firm

You may not want to hire a national firm that does not specialize in cases in your area. Medical malpractice laws can vary state by state and even county to county. Pennsylvania has special rules and procedures you must obey as a plaintiff. Your personal injury firm should have a local team of attorneys available to answer your questions. They should have experience in Pennsylvania and understand specific state laws. For example, state law requires plaintiffs to file a certificate of merit within 60 days of bringing a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Ask About Prices

The right lawyer for you will be one within your budget. Most personal injury attorneys offer their services on a contingency fee basis. At these firms, you will not have to pay attorney’s fees unless you win the case. If your lawyer does win, he or she will deduct fees directly from your settlement or verdict. That way you never have to pay out of pocket for your legal services. Ask your prospective attorney about his or her fee schedule. Most contingency fee attorneys charge around 33%, or one third of the award value.

Schedule a Free Consultation

A lawyer may look great on paper, but in person your personalities might not mesh. Schedule free consultations with prospective medical malpractice attorneys to see which one feels like the best fit. Free consultations should come with no up-front costs and no obligation to hire the attorney. They should also be entirely confidential. During your meeting, you can get to know the attorney, tour the firm, and get legal counsel about how to move forward. You can then choose your attorney based on your overall impression.