Medical malpractice is startlingly common and results in over 250,000 fatalities every year. One common form of medical malpractice surgical errors. If you've experienced a surgical error, then you need to contact a surgical error lawyer immediately so you can make a claim and win compensation for what you've been through. Here are some of the top questions you should ask the attorney you hire.
7 Questions to Ask Your Surgical Error Lawyer
1. Have You Handled Cases Similar to Mine?
The most important thing you should ask your attorney is about their experience. Sure, you could work with the general medical malpractice attorney who's mainly worked on misdiagnosis and late diagnosis cases with the occasional surgical error case sprinkled in. However, you'll get far better results if you work with a surgical error lawyer in Baltimore who mainly takes on cases like yours.
Make sure to ask follow-up questions to help you verify the attorney's answers. Ask what the results of the cases were, and perhaps ask for testimonials from past clients to help further back up these claims. You need to know your attorney understands the case inside and out even before they take it on.
2. Do You Have Relevant Courtroom Experience?
Some surgical error cases never go to trial, as the liable doctor accepts blame and the insurance company pays out a settlement after several months, or even years, of negotiation without a trial. However, other cases need to go to trial.
You will attorney will ideally have courtroom experience, and it is best if they've practiced in the courthouse your case will be held in. This means they'll have a high chance of knowing the judge and prosecutors, and this will help them build a strategy that will most likely have these people see you as the party in the right.
3. What's Your Ratio of Wins to Losses?
You always want to deal with an attorney who was won more cases than they've lost. Clearly, not all experience is good experience, and you don't want your case to be yet another practice case in a string of failures.
Don't just look at all of the cases your attorney has ever won, though. Look at their most recent cases and see if they've been doing well recently to determine if they're currently on top of their game. If their recent track record proves their skills are top-notch and they are highly competent at what they do, then you know you're working with someone who will take your case and win you are good settlement.
4. Do You Have the Resources Required to Make This Case a Success?
Your attorney will need to have a working relationship with a medical expert witness, and they also need the ability to investigate this case and figure out who is liable if that's not already obvious.
These investigations should be done by medical investigators, and if your attorney can't find any to work with, then you should look elsewhere for legal representation. A good law firm will always have contacts they work with regularly to ensure good outcomes for their clients.
5. How Will I Be Paying You?
It's no secret that attorneys are expensive, and the average person usually can't afford an attorney's hourly fee. Luckily, many medical malpractice attorneys work for "free" until a settlement is reached and paid out. Their payment is contingent on you winning your case. Then, the attorney takes a contingency fee from the settlement.
The contingency could be anything from 20% to 50% of your settlement, but most US attorneys charge closer to 50%. You may be able to win a larger settlement due to your need to pay for legal aid in your case, so you'll win this sum in addition to what you already win based on your physical ailments, future medical costs, emotional trauma, and so on.
6. What Is the Likely Outcome in My Case?
An attorney will never give you a definite answer on whether or not you're going to win a settlement or what that settlement will be. If they do, then they're not exactly trustworthy. Cases vary so much that it's impossible to predict these things.
However, a highly competent attorney will be able to provide you with a preliminary evaluation of your lawsuit to determine what the likely outcome will be and what kind of settlement the liable party's insurance company could pay out.
7. Do We Have Any Conflicts of Interest?
Medical malpractice attorneys are obligated to reveal conflicts of interest before they work with you. Despite this, it's still a good idea to ask them this. There may be a conflict of interest if the firm or attorney has represented the hospital or physician you're suing.
Asking the right questions during a consultation with an attorney is vital. Their answers will let you know whether or not this is someone you want to work with. They'll also give you an idea of whether or not you can trust this individual to handle your case and get you an appropriate settlement for your surgical error.