Medical malpractice and error in diagnosis cause about 80,000 to 100,000 deaths annually in the U.S. Some cases of malpractice leave patients with never-ending medical problems or permanent effects.
If you or your family member is a victim of medical malpractice, it is important to handle the issue carefully with the right lawyer.
Before you meet a medical malpractice attorney, you must understand a few facts that help may be relevant to your situation.
Ready? Let’s go.
1. Legal Fees Vary
The cost of hiring a malpractice attorney is usually one of the main concerns when seeking legal support. You must be aware that different lawyers have different approaches when it comes to charging clients. These factors include:
- The method your lawyer uses in billing for their time
- The rate for the service
- The extent of the case ( You case can settle or go all the way to trial)
- The success of the claim and the compensation amount
Take this important factors into account before having a seating with your medical malpractice attorney. Some attorneys will charge an hourly rate or a contingency fee.
2. You Need to Have the Right Details
Be ready to do a lot of talking. That’s right. Your attorney needs to know the whole story, and it’s your onus to narrate the whole sequence of events from the start.
A medical malpractice case, like any other legal case, must be based on the facts. Take the time beforehand to get all the necessary details. Of course, a lawyer will also help to gather any other information after accepting your case.
But to get the right lawyer to take your case, you must be convincing.
3. It May Take Time to Solve the Case
If your case advances to a legal suit, be prepared for a lengthy period in court. Typically, the duration depends on the complexity of your case.
Factors that may make your case complicated include:
- Complex medical issues
- Complex legal situations
- Large number of witnesses
- Involvement of multiple parties
Before meeting your medical malpractice attorney, understand that there is a possibility of being regular in your local court.
4. You Can Settle the Case Out of Court
In some rare cases, a doctor may admit to a claim and agree to negotiate a settlement. This is good for you if you don’t want your case to be bogged down by legal and procedural issues.
Still, you need a medical malpractice lawyer to negotiate the settlement on your behalf. However, in these cases, the settlement might be somewhat low compared to what you can get when you opt to file a lawsuit.
No matter the case, this is an option for you, too.
5. It Involves A Lot of Documentation
Medical malpractice cases are quite involving and require lots of paperwork. The general documents you will need include:
- Medical records, reports, and letters from doctors
- Medical bills
- Photographs of your condition
- Details of the health insurer
- Details of the insurers involved in your claim
- Proof lost earnings
Get all these documents before meeting your lawyer. Keep in mind that some documents may take a longer time to get and others may need legal help.
6. You Might Need Expert Witnesses
Before talking to a medical malpractice attorney, keep in mind that you will need expert witnesses to testify on your behalf. This can be a doctor with expertise in the same field as the health professional who treated you.
The expert witness helps to establish what the standard of care is, how the care you received fell below the given standard nad how you were harmed as a result of the care.
7. There’s A Possibility of Losing
You must also beware that there are challenges in filing a medical malpractice suit. For these cases, the are two critical parts:
- Proving the doctor’s negligence
- Showing that the negligence harmed you or your family member
- Convincing the jury that the doctor was at fault
If you can come up with a strong case, there is a possibility of losing the case. So, take the time to gather concrete evidence and witnesses to build a strong case.
Medical Malpractice Attorney – The Bottom Line
Finding a qualified and expert medical malpractice attorney is a major step in your case. But before that, ensure that you have the right information and evidence to back your claims.
Also, keep in mind that medical malpractice cases are costly primarily because of the involvement of medical experts that you need to prove your claims.