Medical malpractice lawyers and medical doctors are similar in that they are typically well-educated and trained in taking care of people who need their specialized services. Everyone would like to think that they have chosen (or have been provided) the best professional when their need for medical or legal services arise, but that is not always the case.
Particularly in the field of medicine, patients may not have the ability to choose the health care providers who will provide them medical care, such as the physicians, the nurses, the medical technicians, and the other personnel assigned to provide them services in emergency rooms or in other urgent situations, or medical consultants and medical providers such as radiologists who read x-rays, CT scans, and MRI results outside of the presence of the patients who remain completely anonymous to them.
If health care consumers had the opportunity and the time to thoroughly research and interview their prospective medical providers and to choose who will take care of their medical needs, then perhaps the incidence of medical negligence ruining people’s lives would be substantially reduced — wouldn’t it be helpful and important to know that the doctor diagnosing your medical condition and basing your medical treatment on his/her professional opinion has been successfully sued for medical malpractice or has been previously disciplined by the medical board under similar circumstances?
As With Doctors, Medical Malpractice Lawyers Who Are The Busiest Are Often The Best (But Others May Be Just As Competent)
It is often the case that the best medical specialists are the busiest, and it may take months to more than a year to obtain an appointment with them. While it may be worth the wait to schedule an appointment with these specialists, a serious acute or chronic medical condition may require an earlier appointment with another specialist. However, keep in mind that many well-qualified and competent medical specialists who are on-the-rise in their medical field and in the communities they serve may be the best choice for medical care.
The best medical malpractice lawyers are often the busiest malpractice lawyers in the communities where they practice, which means that they are highly-selective in the medical malpractice claims they are willing to handle (some will not meet with a prospective medical malpractice client if the case does not appear to them to be valued at least at seven figures). Nonetheless, there are often other highly-qualified, well-respected, and experienced medical malpractice lawyers in the same communities who may be the best choice for legal representation.
A Newbie May Be The Best Choice But Experience Still Counts
Every professional must start their practical training somewhere: newly-minted doctors fresh out of medical school start out as interns in teaching hospitals and elsewhere where they obtain the necessary experience and further medical education before they are fully competent to make medical diagnoses and treatment decisions on their own.
While many hospital patients have no choice but to receive their care and treatment from less-experienced interns and residents instead of receiving their day-to-day care from attending physicians who have more experience in treating their conditions, medical malpractice victims are not required to accept legal representation from less-experienced medical malpractice lawyers. There is typically more than one experienced medical malpractice lawyer in the local community who may agree to represent you in your medical malpractice claim (do not feel pressured to hire on-the-spot the first medical malpractice lawyer you meet with). Thoroughly investigate the experience of your medical malpractice lawyer before hiring him/her in order to make the best informed decision regarding who will represent you in your medical malpractice case.
There is another very important consideration that is often overlooked: discuss and agree with the prospective lawyer the extent to which other lawyers and support staff will be responsible for your representation, and ask to meet with them before agreeing to their participation; if you are uncomfortable with anyone who will be working on your medical malpractice case, discuss your concerns with the primary lawyer and resolve the matter to your satisfaction, before hiring the lawyer.
Search The Internet For Information Regarding The Medical Malpractice Lawyer You Intend To Hire
Research the name of the medical malpractice lawyer (and law firm) you are considering to hire using the various search tools (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.) and read the results (not just the website or blog of the lawyer or the law firm). See what others are saying about the lawyer, the experience of the lawyer, the past results of the lawyer (keep in mind that past accomplishments are not a guarantee of future success), any past disciplinary actions or negative circumstances involving the lawyer, and even the lawyer’s interests, hobbies, and community activities outside of the office. If news articles mentioning the lawyer appear in the search results, read them thoroughly for information that may influence your decision to hire that lawyer.
Meet With The Lawyer And Bring Along A Written List Of Questions And Issues You Would Like To Discuss
Just about everyone has a story to tell about meeting with a doctor or medical specialist for the first time and leaving the meeting feeling that important topics were not discussed or questions left unanswered. It can be intimidating and anxiety-producing when an unknown person wearing a white lab coat enters the small, sterile examining room for the first time, especially if the doctor tells you (or there are other signs) that your meeting time is limited and there will be very limited time to have your questions answered and concerns addressed in a manner understood by you.
However, when you meet your medical malpractice attorney for the first time, your meeting time should not be unduly limited (make sure that the scheduled amount of meeting time is sufficient when the appointment is made). Bring a written list of questions and concerns for the lawyer to address in a manner acceptable to you (however, many questions may not be fully answered during the initial meeting because further information or review of medical records, etc., may be necessary to fully respond to your questions). Be prepared to takes notes during the meeting, especially regarding additional information or documents that the lawyer may request that you obtain so that a mutual decision may be made by you and the lawyer if the lawyer will represent you in your medical malpractice case.
Your Lawyer Doesn’t Have To Become Your Friend But You Should Not Want To Leave The Room When He Enters
Just like the best doctors, the best medical malpractice lawyers are busy professionals who often have bigger-than-life personalities — it is rare that a medical malpractice lawyer will be timid or overly-reserved. Sometimes clients are intimidated by what they perceive as the aggressive or over-bearing manner of their medical malpractice lawyers. Often, that personality trait serves the plaintiff’s medical malpractice lawyer well — medical malpractice claims and medical malpractice trials are daunting battles in which medical malpractice defendants and their lawyers will behave as if they are fighting for their lives, to protect their reputations and financial interests. A seasoned and mentally fit legal gladiator may be necessary in order for innocent victims of medical malpractice to have the best opportunity to prevail in obtaining fair and just compensation for the injuries and harms they suffered.
Nonetheless, if the behavior or mannerisms of your medical malpractice lawyer begin to bug you during the course of your medical malpractice representation, meet with your lawyer and appropriately discuss your concerns with your lawyer — plaintiffs’ medical malpractice lawyers are not thinned-skinned (they cannot be overly-sensitive if they have survived in their environment) and you will likely better understand and resolve your differences if you (and your lawyer) remain open and honest in your communications.
Consider this: if your doctor would have been more interested in the law instead of medicine while in college, or if your lawyer would have been more interested in medicine than law while in college, then they may have easily occupied each other’s seat in the courtroom during a medical malpractice trial.
If you or a loved one were injured as a result of medical malpractice in the United States, you should promptly seek the legal advice of a local medical malpractice attorney in your state who may investigate your medical negligence claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice claim, if appropriate.
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