Written by Ronemus & Vilensky on February 21, 2014
Medical Malpractice is the third-leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
This is a startling statistic.
If you believe that you have been injured, due to medical negligence, the first thing you will want to do is contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer.
Medical malpractice claims can be complicated and require the expertise of experienced and successful NYC medical malpractice attorneys. A medical malpractice lawyer and law firm will conduct a comprehensive review of your case details. He or she will conduct interviews with you and review medical records to determine if your case is actionable.
In this article, we are going to share five great tips for hiring medical malpractice lawyers.
Tip #1: Contact At Least 3-4 Attorneys
Before you make a decision to file a medical malpractice claim and a final decision on which attorney to choose, contact at least 3-4 lawyers within your area. This is a good way to get a feel for whether they are a good fit for your case. Take note on how promptly the attorney returns your call. Another effective way to find a good lawyer is to ask for referrals specific to New York medical malpractice cases in which they were involved. You can get good referrals by asking the local Bar Association or do a quick web search using, for example, “new york ny medical malpractice case” or “new york ny medical negligence cases.”
Tip #2: Be Wary of a Lawyer Who Makes Bold Promises
Unfortunately, there are some lawyers out there who will make bold promises just to get their hands on your medical malpractice case. Avoid any lawyer who guarantees a “win” or promises a specific amount of money for your case. A reputable lawyer will not use gimmicks or smooth talk to cajole a client into hiring him or her. He or she should present you with reasonable expectations. The best medical malpractice lawyers will listen carefully to your case and see where medical errors may have occurred.
Tip #3: Make Sure The Medical Malpractice Law Firm Is Straightforward About Its Fees
Medical malpractice litigation can take years. A good lawyer will be very clear about fees. A medical malpractice attorney should not charge you a fee unless he or she wins your case. In fact, there is no charge for taking the case. The lawyer is paid a percentage of the verdict or settlement of your case. There shouldn’t be any surprises.
Tip #4. Get To Know The Attorney
When choosing a lawyer for your malpractice case, you should feel comfortable discussing your situation with your attorney and feel that you have a good attorney/client relationship. This is imperative because you will more than likely be working with the attorney and his/her team for a prolonged time period. You will want to make sure there is a bond between you and your attorney and that he/she is easily accessible to keep you updated regarding your case.
Tip #5. Make Sure the Attorney Specializes in Malpractice
Most lawyers have multiple areas of expertise. Make sure the lawyer you choose specializes in malpractice cases. This area of expertise is very complex. So, you will want to find a lawyer who knows the intricacies of the medical world and medical malpractice law. An experienced attorney will be able to prove that the care you received fell below the bar, as far as the standards of the medical profession.
In speaking about your New York medical malpractice case, you should be comfortable about the questions your attorney is asking to find out what medical error occurred and what actions were taken on the part of the negligent doctors or as a result of hospital negligence.
Medical malpractice claims typically arise from several common causes:
Misdiagnosis (such as neglecting to diagnose cancer) or a doctor’s failure to provide a timely diagnosis
Failure to treat
Errors with medical devices
Surgical errors or medical mistake
Birth injuries or wrongful death
These errors can result in severe injuries (even brain damage) or catastrophic injury where the patient died, or a permanent injury. You want your attorney to be well-versed in the causes behind medical malpractice claims so you have the respected legal representation to receive fair compensation. Final compensation may include lost wages, future medical expenses, physical therapy expenses, and a personal injury settlement.
You also want your attorney to have medical experts on hand and know the ins and outs of healthcare providers and how they operate in order to pursue financial compensation on your behalf.
Bonus: Choose an Attorney with a Proven Track-Record
Your attorney should not only have experience representing clients who have filed malpractice lawsuits, but he/she should also have actually won several lawsuits. Ask the attorney if he or she has actually tried a case similar to yours, including against a medical professional, and what the verdict or settlement was. Most attorneys will post this information on their website.
To view our full archive of successful medical malpractice settlements, visit our case results page.
If you or a loved has been injured in a hospital or other medical facility, we can help. For a free consultation with an experienced medical malpractice attorney, give us a call at: 212 779 7070 or email us today.