The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has reported that medical malpractice settlements ran about $363,000 for injuries that occurred in inpatient settings and for outpatient injuries they paid out about $290,000. If you find yourself in a position to sue a medical professional for medical malpractice, you need a great lawyer to help you with your case. This will need looking around to find the right personal injury law practice for your case.
- Start with your friends and relatives. Given the number of people who suffer from injuries than result in personal injury settlements, you may know someone who has been in a similar situation to you. The best way to find quality goods and services is to find a personal recommendation. Ask about what their experience was with their lawyer and how they found them.
- Look online. You can check with the American Bar Association (ABA) and see if there is a rating for the personal injury law firm your are talking to. You can also check their website to see if they have testimonials from current and former clients. If you can talk to a few, that will be very helpful. You can also check out Yelp and Facebook groups for different people’s experiences with the various personal injury law firms in your community.
- Find a personal injury law practice that specializes in medical malpractice cases. Different law firms and personal injury attorneys have different specialties. You would not go to a divorce lawyer to handle a criminal case and the same can be said of a personal injury attorney. When the cases go to court, only 21% of all medical malpractice cases are settled for the plaintiff. For the settlements reached out of court, plaintiffs in these cases win in 61% of the cases. This means that finding a personal injury law practice with a ton of experience in medical malpractice cases is incredibly important to the success of your case.
- Talk to a new personal injury law practices. You need to be able to communicate effectively with your personal injury lawyer. This means you need to be very comfortable talking to them about some very private and personal subjects. Law firms typically offer a free first consultation so take advantage of this and go to each meeting armed with all the questions you can think of about how that law firm would manage your medical malpractice case. If a law firm is not interested in answering your questions before you become a client, you should not expect that to change once you hire them.
- Keep detailed record of everything. Every time you have to do to a medical professional to deal with the after effects of the problems you are suffering due to an improper diagnosis or medical treatment. If you take a cab to an appointment, keep the receipt. Often people find it easier to keep a journal to detail the pain and suffering they experience as a result of the medical malpractice. You may think you will never forget how much something hurts but most people do. Keeping a record of it will help your lawyer build your medical malpractice case and get you the best settlement. Make sure you ask each lawyer to give you a detailed explanation of their fee structure. Many will not expect you to pay anything unless you win but you need to have all of that settled before they start work on your medical malpractice case. Also, ask about how long they think your case will take. They cannot give you an exact time estimate but can give you a general sense of how long it will take.
The decision to move forward with a personal injury law practice is a very personal one. When you talk to various law firms, they can give you a sense of the strength of your medical malpractice case is and if they think they can get a settlement that is worth everyone’s time. The criteria that has to be me is that you have been injured by improper care not that the outcome was not want you wanted.