Medical malpractice cases are notoriously challenging to win, so it's essential you hire an attorney to help you with your case. Before you settle on one particular lawyer to represent you, it's a good idea to talk to a few to find the person whom you're comfortable working with. When interviewing attorneys, there are many questions you should ask, but here are two that should be at the top of the list.
What is the Contingency Fee and Expenses?
Personal injury attorneys who handle medical malpractice lawsuits generally don't charge upfront fees. Instead, they take a percentage of your winnings, anywhere from 33 to 40 percent of the amount. Since this will directly impact how much you receive when all is said and done, you need to know what the attorney charges so you can plan appropriately and narrow your choices. If one attorney charges 40 percent while another only charges 33 percent, choosing the lawyer who charges less may mean more money in your pocket when the case concludes.
Although you're not required to pay the attorney fee when you hire the person, there may be some expenses you do have to shell out money for during the course of the trial. For instance, payments for expert witnesses, travel expenses, and administrative costs (e.g. phone calls, photocopies) are all things that may be incurred while your case is being litigated. Some attorneys roll these costs into the contingency fee. However, others may bill them separately and require you to pay them as they come up. It's essential you ask about this so you're not surprised when you get a bill before your case has been settled.
Is the Attorney Willing to Go to Trial?
The majority of medical malpractice cases are settled before they see the inside of a courtroom, and that's really the best outcome for this type of case. If you're not able to get the doctor or healthcare facility to make a decent offer or the defendant refuses to even sit down and discuss the issue, you will likely have to go to court and make your case for damages.
It may seem odd to ask an attorney whether he or she is willing to sue in court, but there are several valid reasons why the lawyer may not want to. Going to court significantly increases the costs of litigation, which may not be covered by the amount of money you're likely to receive. Another issue is your case may be good enough to convince the defendant to settle, but may have problems that make it difficult to win in court. For instance, there may be information the defendant doesn't want to come out in court so he or she may be willing to settle. However, your case doesn't have enough supporting evidence to survive a legal battle if the defendant changes his or her mind about settling.
If you have a medical malpractice case you need help litigating, contact a few local attorneys, like R.J. Marzella & Associates, P.C., for assistance.Share