Choosing the best medical negligence attorney involves a long process of investigation. Before beginning your search, make sure to take the time to fully understand your case. Then begin by asking for referrals and interviewing several medical negligence lawyers. When you make your choice, be prepared to cooperate with your medical negligence attorney by providing support for your case.
If you or a family member are a victim of medical negligence, the ramifications may not be immediate. You could develop significant health problems as a result of the negligence long after the initial incident and the statute of limitations on a malpractice suit expires. For this reason, you should find a medical negligence attorney as soon as possible even if you are unsure as to what the long-term consequences of your physician's negligence are going to be. A good way to begin your search for a medical negligence attorney is to ask friends and colleagues for recommendations. If you have a family lawyer, he might be an excellent source of information. It's generally a good idea to also check with the Bar Association in your area if you live in the United States or a similar regulatory authority where you live to make sure that the lawyers whom you are considering are in good standing and do not have a record of disciplinary action.
Prior to meeting with a medical negligence attorney, you may want to begin documenting what happened by writing it down and gathering notes and medical records that you can show a lawyer when you meet for consultation. After narrowing down your list of lawyers, call and schedule appointments to meet with them and find out whether you can work together. Bring what information you have with you, as well as a paper and pen so you can take notes during the meeting. You should ask the medical negligence attorney if he has handled cases similar to yours before. You might also want to ask if she has medically trained consultants on staff who provide guidance in navigating issues of medical negligence and malpractice.
Fees are also a consideration when choosing a medical negligence attorney, though some will work on a contingency basis and you won't have to pay them unless they actually win a settlement in your case. Pay attention to what attorneys tell you about the possible outcome of your case. If all the attorneys are estimating a consistent settlement amount and one attorney estimates a much larger number, be careful. The attorney who was giving you the larger number may be trying to win your business on the basis of false hope. Consider choosing the attorney whom you feel is most realistic, whom you like the best, and who has the most experience in cases like yours.