When you’re ill, injured, or under a physician’s care for any reason, you and your family are put under a great deal of stress. You deserve quality care based on the latest in medical research, and you trust your medical team to deliver that level of care to you.
Sometimes, however, things don’t go as planned. Even the most experienced and qualified doctors make mistakes, and the result is injury to you that could have been prevented. Fortunately, you have the option to seek claims against your medical team in a medical malpractice suit.
If you are the victim of medical malpractice, you need an attorney. If you or a loved one feel that you have been a victim of medical malpractice, you can complete a free, no-risk case evaluation to get more information.
In this guide, we’ll cover how to hire the best medical malpractice lawyers near you to fight for the verdict you deserve.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a medical provider causes harm to a patient he or she is professionally responsible to care for. This harm may be caused by doing something incorrectly, such as amputating a healthy limb. Alternatively, the harm may be caused by not doing anything at all. For instance, your doctor may have failed to order a test which could have led to a proper diagnosis.
If your medical team has made an error, you may be a victim of medical malpractice. However, navigating medical malpractice cases can be quite difficult without an experienced attorney. Your lawyer can consult with you to determine whether you’ve experienced medical malpractice.
Before you schedule your consultation, consider the following to help you ascertain whether a medical malpractice case is applicable to you.
- The doctor must have been professionally obligated to care for you. Imagine for a moment that you’ve asked a doctor you met on a plane to take a look at an unusual mole. She was incorrect in her assessment. However, she had not entered into a professional relationship with you and therefore is not guilty of medical malpractice.
- To prove that you are a victim of medical malpractice, you must prove that your doctor was negligent in caring for you. In other words, you’ll have to prove that another, qualified medical professional would not have acted in the same manner.
- Finally, if your doctor’s negligence was directly related to your harm, you may be a victim of medical malpractice. If your new ailment was not directly caused by your medical team, you do not have a medical negligence claim.
Types of Medical Malpractice
As you’re seeking to hire the best medical malpractice lawyers, you’ll need to know what type of medical malpractice you’ve experienced. Medical malpractice can occur in almost any healthcare experience, but there are several errors that occur more commonly than others.
- Anesthesia errors. Administering too little or too much anesthesia can cause significant harm to your body and can even result in death. Whether you found yourself awake during surgery or had a severe reaction to an excess of anesthesia, you may be a victim of medical malpractice.
- Errors in surgery. Typically, surgical patients are looked after by a large team of medical professionals. Charts are checked and double checked, and all goes well in the operating room. But sometimes things go wrong. Maybe your surgeon left an instrument inside you or operated on the wrong organ. This is medical malpractice.
- Prescription or medication errors. Failure to prescribe the correct medication or dosage of a medication can lead to serious consequences. Similarly, the failure of your physician to “catch” possible drug interactions may be medical malpractice.
- Injury during childbirth. Pregnancy and childbirth don’t always go smoothly. But if you or your baby were injured due to the negligence of your medical team, you will likely need a medical malpractice attorney.
How Can a Medical Malpractice Attorney Help Me?
If you’ve been harmed as a result of negligence by your medical team, you need a legal team to fight back. Medical malpractice law is highly specialized. Not only is your attorney licensed and trained to stand up for you in court, but he or she is also well-versed in navigating the processes necessary to see the best outcome. For example:
- Your medical malpractice lawyer can help you communicate and negotiate with your insurance company. You’ve been injured and have enough on your mind—a medical malpractice attorney can focus on the paperwork so you can focus on your recovery.
- Your medical malpractice attorney will help expedite the legal process. As you may have heard, some lawsuits can take months—even years—in court. Hire the best medical malpractice lawyers so you can see the results you deserve more quickly.
- No two medical malpractice claims are alike. While one patient may seek thousands in court, another may be eligible for millions. Your experienced malpractice attorney will be familiar with what is the highest possible award for your unique case.
Medical malpractice suits are serious—you don’t have to face yours alone. Hiring a skilled malpractice attorney will provide you peace of mind while you recover and rehabilitate.
How to Hire the Best Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Now that you’re familiar with what a medical malpractice case is, it’s time to hire a legal team to assist you with yours. Sometimes, that process begins with a simple internet search. Enter “best medical malpractice lawyers near me” in your search bar and begin to explore the results.
In addition to searching online, we recommend asking friends and family for recommendations. Do you know someone who has been involved in a similar court case? Who was their attorney, and what was the outcome?
If you have a relationship with a doctor who was not involved in your malpractice case, ask him or her for recommendations. Often, physicians can direct you to resources that will help you choose the best medical malpractice lawyers. Similarly, if you know an attorney who specializes in another area of law, ask if there’s a malpractice lawyer they would recommend.
However, we highly recommend that you don’t stop there. Your malpractice case is important—don’t settle for the first or cheapest attorney you can find. Here are some important factors to consider as you search for the best medical malpractice lawyers near you.
Is the attorney experienced in medical malpractice?
You can find out a great deal about your prospective legal team by looking into some biographical information. Has your attorney represented other medical malpractice victims? What was the outcome? Has she or he been employed in a medical career? How long has the lawyer been practicing?
As you research your lawyers’ backgrounds, do check with the American Bar Association to find a link to your state’s bar. From your state’s Bar Association website, you can verify that the attorney is licensed to practice in your state, as well as view any disciplinary action taken against him or her. Finally, check that the attorney is certified by the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys.
Does the medical malpractice lawyer have good reviews?
Whether positive or negative, people are rarely shy about posting reviews online. Why not run a quick search for the attorney’s name, and see what results are returned? For the most reputable results, look at sites such as Avvo, FindLaw, the Better Business Bureau and, of course, your state’s Bar Association.
Who will be handling your case?
Discuss the logistics of your case with your medical malpractice attorney. In some instances, lawyers will hand off casework to paralegals and assistants. If you do not feel comfortable with this, look elsewhere for an attorney who will handle your case personally.
Does the medical malpractice attorney meet your unique needs and budget?
Once you’ve done preliminary research on your attorney, you’ll need to determine whether this particular law firm will fit your needs and your budget. Ask about the fee agreement, and about when retainers and costs are due.
Some attorneys advertise that you “will only pay if you win,” but be sure to ask about the cost of expert witnesses, court filing fees and the other costs associated with your case. There may be upfront expenses you’re responsible for which will be reimbursed in the case of a court win.
Does your attorney guarantee an outcome?
Simply put, this is a huge red flag. No attorney can guarantee the outcome of a case or trial; if your attorney has done this, please look elsewhere.
Do you feel comfortable with your attorney?
Finally, the attorney-client relationship is more than a simple business transaction. It’s imperative that you feel comfortable discussing the details of your case with your medical malpractice lawyer. With that said, if anything about the attorney you’re considering makes you feel uneasy during your consultation, you’re absolutely within your rights to search elsewhere for legal counsel.
Hire the Best Medical Malpractice Attorneys
If you suspect that you’re a victim of medical malpractice, contact Morgan & Morgan today. Our team of experienced attorneys is ready to assist you with your case. Please fill out our no-cost, no-obligation case review form. Our office will be in contact with you to discuss how we will fight for you to obtain the best possible result for you.