Medical malpractice happens more often than you think. Statistics show that this malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the US. What’s shocking is these deaths are preventable.
Not all cases of medical negligence are due to patient death though. A study done in 2020 revealed that 73% of the victims of negligence suffered injuries. These can be due to diagnostic mistakes, prescription faux pas, or surgical errors.
Despite the high number of medical malpractice victims, few file lawsuits. There are many reasons for this. Many victims filed their malpractice claims late while others agreed to a settlement. A lot of victims also lacked knowledge on what they should do. They weren’t aware that they could ask the help of medical neglect attorneys.
Are you or a loved one a victim of medical malpractice? You’ll need a good medical negligence lawyer on your side. All hospitals have a legal team on hand to safeguard their interest. A malpractice lawyer will do the same for you. Here’s how to look for the best one to take your case.
Check the Statute of Limitations
Your first move should be to determine the time frame you have. The statute of limitations for medical malpractice is different in every state. It can also be dependent on when the injury happened or became discovered. This information will tell you how much time you have to look for a lawyer and prepare your case.
Begin the Research
Once you know your timetable, you can start your search for a negligence lawyer. You need someone who has the experience and the right background for the job. A medical malpractice lawsuit is different from a personal injury case. It’s why you should take extra care in your search.
Your first instinct is to search Google for “medical negligence lawyers near me.” It’s a sensible move. But it won’t guarantee you’ll find the best candidate for the job. It’s an option though. You can also do the following:
· Get recommendations from your family and friends. Your inner circle is always a valuable resource. They might know a reliable medical malpractice lawyer. If not, they might know someone who can connect you to a good one. But don’t take their word for it. Please make sure you check anyone they recommend.
· Inquire at your local bar association. Most of these organizations have referral tools. These will help you find a lawyer that specializes in specific cases.
· Ask a lawyer. Every good lawyer has a reliable colleague or two they can recommend.
· Reach out to your insurance company. They might have insights on where you can find trustworthy medical negligence lawyers.
Get the Ball Rolling on Your Malpractice Case
Many medical malpractice incidents can become resolved without going to court. You can try and work out a solution while you’re looking for a lawyer. After all, lawsuits can be messy and time-consuming. You can avoid that by doing the following:
· Reach out to the healthcare facility or physician. Discuss your injury and try to work out an agreement.
· Make it official by filing a complaint. You should file it with the medical licensing board of your state. This will ensure they’ll investigate your case.
· Look for a medical expert. Ask them to review your case. They can check if you received the proper standard of care or not.
It would be great if you and the other party resolve the issue. But if not, you can move to the next step in your search for a lawyer.
Schedule a Consultation
You should come up with a list of five to six malpractice lawyers. Check their background and experience. Look for testimonials from previous clients. Go over any peer reviews and recommendations.
Contact your short list of medical negligence attorneys. Request for a free consultation. Don’t worry about making this request. It’s standard practice for most law firms. They will review cases of prospective clients to determine their chances.
Your initial meetings with the lawyers you choose will be more of a “getting to know you” session. The lawyer will want to know the specifics of your injury and how the malpractice has affected you. They will also discuss the process of filing the lawsuit and probable scenarios.
You should make use of this free consultation to interview your prospective lawyer. It’s best practice to ask or do the following:
· Ask for examples of cases they’ve handled that are like yours.
· Ask for examples of settlements and damages they’ve won for their previous clients.
· Ask how many cases they take on every year.
· Ask how many clients or cases they’ve handled as a medical malpractice lawyer.
· Inquire who will be working on your case.
· Inquire about their methods of communication. Ask how fast they return calls.
· Ask if they’re willing to go to court with your medical malpractice lawsuit.
· Clarify the strategies they will use.
· Ask about the challenges your case will face.
· Ask about how they will become compensated.
The answers to these questions will tell you a lot about the medical neglect attorneys you’re looking at. You can then use all the information you’ve gathered to make the best choice.