If you are concerned that you or a loved one has experienced medical malpractice or negligence, one of your first steps is finding an attorney to represent your case. One of the most common questions asked as this process unfolds is, “what should I look for in a medical malpractice attorney?” Choosing an attorney that is right for you and your case is very important.
Medical malpractice is a very complex area of law, and you want to make sure that the attorney you choose has the knowledge, skills, and experience you need. Read on for some helpful guidelines to keep in mind when looking for a medical malpractice attorney.
What Should I Look For in a Medical Malpractice Attorney?
Finding the right attorney for your needs may seem like a daunting task. Nearly everywhere you look there are advertisements for law firms promising results. So how do you know which attorney is the best option for you and your family? Consider the following when reviewing potential medical malpractice attorneys:
What sort of ratings or reviews does the attorney have with your state’s Bar Association?
Attorneys with a high rating and strong peer reviews is often indicative of skill and experience in that area of law. You can find out more about a medical malpractice attorney by visiting his or her website, the state Bar Association, AVVO, or looking up reviews online.
How much of the law firm is focused on medical malpractice?
It is not uncommon for law firms to offer representation in a variety of legal matters. However, with medical malpractice being such a specialized and complex area of law, it is worth considering how much of the firm’s resources will be available for your case. If a firm focuses primarily on medical malpractice or related issues (birth injury, nursing home abuse, etc.), then most attorneys in the firm will have some experience and resources available. However, if the firm is split between medical malpractice and criminal defense, you may not have as many resources readily available in the firm.
Brown & Brothers, for example, focuses on medical malpractice, birth injuries, nursing home abuse, and other medical-related claims. Our team is comprised of attorneys and staff members who are knowledgeable in various aspects of medical malpractice law.
What percentage of cases managed by the firm go to court, rather than being settled out of court?
This percentage is helpful to know because you want to find an attorney who is capable of managing your case regardless of how resolution is obtained. Look for a law firm with attorneys who are skilled in both settlements and trials. Trial attorneys often have specific training and knowledge to ensure they can adequately represent cases before a judge and jury.
What sort of fees and payment schedule does the attorney or law firm require?
Many medical malpractice attorneys operate on a contingency fee basis – meaning that their fees and legal costs will be deducted out of any verdict or settlement obtained on your behalf. That means you will not pay any fees upfront for representation. If you do not win your case, in many instances, you will owe nothing. Make sure you understand what, if any fees, may be required, and that you discuss contingency fees or other schedules before entering a representation agreement.
How busy is the law firm?
A regular caseload is a sign of a healthy law firm. Don’t be discouraged if you contact a prospective law firm and do not get an immediate response, or are unable to meet face-to-face quickly. Attorneys often have rigorous schedules. If they are trial attorneys, you may find them out of their office almost as much as they are in it during regular business hours. Be patient and take appropriate measures to leave messages or speak with someone in the office in the meantime.
What is the law firm’s delegation policy?
Many law firms delegate aspects of case work to other attorneys in the firm, paralegals, or associate attorneys. Find out what the delegation policy is beforehand so you know how much of your case will be managed by an attorney or another party. If someone other than an attorney is managing aspects of your case, find out what their qualifications and experience are with medical malpractice law.
Is the attorney’s office conveniently located?
Many law firms have multiple offices they practice from. Consider their office location and convenience when choosing an attorney. Medical malpractice cases often require many meetings, so you want to make sure that you are able to be available when necessary.
How comfortable do you feel with the attorney or law firm?
People often say to “listen to your gut” when making decisions. When it comes to choosing a medical malpractice attorney, sometimes that is wise advice. Medical malpractice cases are very personal, emotional, and often lengthy. You should choose an attorney who you feel comfortable with, trust, and can build a long-term relationship with. A poor attorney-client relationship can have a tremendously negative impact on the case and how it proceeds.
Contact Brown & Brothers for Focused, Trustworthy Legal Representation
Brown & Brothers has helped numerous clients throughout Texas navigate the complex waters of medical malpractice cases. Our firm does not shy away from difficult cases, but rather is passionate about being prepared to tackle them head-on. To speak with one of our medical malpractice attorneys, fill out our online form. We offer free case evaluations to every client.