Personal injury is such a broad area of the law that’s it’s difficult to make generalizations; personal injury cases centering on medical malpractice, in particular, deserve some specific attention. When you’re considering hiring an attorney for medical malpractice reasons, there are some questions you should ask up front in order to ensure that you’ll have the right person to guide you through this often confusing process. Don’t forget any of these five:
- What Is Your Experience in This Area of Law?
The title “attorney at law” doesn’t necessarily make someone a qualified attorney for medical malpractice issues. Make sure you ask about specific kinds of cases any prospective attorney has handled, as well as their outcomes.
- How Will Fees and Expenses Be Handled?
Law firms all handle their billing slightly differently, so you shouldn’t feel at all intimidated to ask detailed questions about how money issues will be settled. It’s very likely that you’ll pay nothing up front, but be expected to pay expenses at the conclusion of your case in addition to having your attorneys take their fee out of any settlement you receive. It’s best to have clear expectations so that you’re completely comfortable going in.
- Who Will Actually Handle the Bulk of My Case?
Especially if you’re offered a free consultation, ask if the lawyer you’re meeting with will actually be handling your case. It’s common for clients to be handed off to other (sometimes less experienced) lawyers in the same firm; you don’t want to be blindsided later on.
- How Strong Is My Case, Realistically?
The best law firms only take cases they think have real merit. If your case isn’t strong enough and you’re just going to be wasting your time and money, then an honest lawyer will tell you that. There’s still no guarantee you’ll win — there are no guarantees in the legal system — but you should at least have a healthy perspective.
- Do You Think I’ll Have to Go to Trial, or Not?
You may not know this, but going to trial is extremely rare in personal injury cases. In fact, you may not even need to file a lawsuit in order to get a fair settlement. Lawyers can often help gather evidence and draft demand letters to help you get the compensation you need without the time and expense of going through a lawsuit, and you should explore those options early on.
What other questions might someone want to ask before choosing an attorney for medical malpractice purposes? Discuss in the comments.