A medical malpractice attorney can help you recover compensation for treatment, rehabilitation, and lost wages when you’ve been seriously injured as a result of a mistake or negligence. However, most – if not all – lawyers offer free consultations. Likewise, most – if not all – will take your case on a contingency basis, meaning they don’t get paid unless you do. So how do you know who to hire?
First, you should choose someone you feel comfortable with, since your case may pend for weeks, months, or even years.
- Ask family, friends, and other attorneys for referrals, since suggestions from trusted sources are a great starting point.
- Contact the local bar association, which may have a referral service.
- Interview local attorneys and ask them for referrals, too. If several people suggest the same person, that will give you a good idea as to who’s reputable. If an attorney refuses to answer, he or she may not be confident enough that you will return for his or her assistance.
Second, s/he should have experience litigating cases like yours. It may be easier to establish rapport if you go into your first meeting with a list of questions.
When scheduling your appointment, you may want to ask:
- What evidence should I bring to our first meeting?
- How should I handle calls from the insurance company?
- How many [surgical error, amputation, etc.] cases have you handled?
- Can I talk to you when I have questions, or will I be dealing with your paralegal?
- Who will update me on how things are going? How frequently?
- How many clients do you take on at one time?
- Will there be any upfront fees or other legal expenses I should expect?
- What’s the statute of limitations in Ohio for this type of case?
- What’s the maximum amount that I can recover in my medical malpractice case?
- How long could this case go on for?
- Do you think my case will go to trial?
- Have you ever gone to trial for a case like mine?
No firm can guarantee a favorable outcome, but the person you speak with should be able to tell you about previous verdicts and settlements. A good lawyer will also tell you whether you have a viable case.
Before hiring any medical malpractice attorney, request Chris Mellino's free, easy-to-read guide, which explains three key pieces to a successful lawsuit, what makes a good case, expenses you may not have considered, what a jury must decide, and more.