Hiring a medical malpractice attorney is not a decision that is made lightly. Most people, even after suffering injuries through medical negligence, are reluctant to seek legal remedy due to the stigma of filing a lawsuit against a doctor.
However, these same patients often also have serious financial concerns related to the negligent medical treatment, resulting injuries and ongoing medical care, and the only way our legal system allows them to receive compensation is to file a lawsuit against the negligent doctor or hospital.
Once the decision to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit has been made, an attorney with experience should be consulted.
There are several options for finding a medical malpractice lawyer. Online legal directories such as this one will connect you to several local medical malpractice lawyers at once for free, who will contact you to discuss your legal needs.
Alternatively, a referral can be found by contacting the local bar association. Most bar associations will have a referral service that charges a percentage of the fee earned by the lawyer, should he or she take your case.
Once several attorneys have been located, consultations will give you an opportunity to discuss the details of you case and find out if there are legal options for pursuing compensation.
Most medical malpractice lawyers will offer a free initial consultation, so it's always a good idea to talk to two or three attorneys to get a feel for their knowledge, legal skills and interest in your case.
Additionally, getting an idea of their staff will help you get an idea of how well you will get along with the firm you choose, because often times communication will be done through paralegals who support the lawyers when they are in court or otherwise unavailable.
A medical malpractice case is almost always taken on a contingency fee basis. These types of lawsuits are very expensive to prosecute, so the lawyer will often have to front all the associated legal expenses as well as postpone getting any payment until the conclusion of the case.
An attorney will generally charge somewhere between 30-45% of the settlement or award amount, after the legal expenses have been "taken off the top". This may sound like a large percentage of your compensation, however you must consider that if the case is not successful, the attorney must take all the losses.