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4 Important Questions to Ask When Hiring a Malpractice Lawyer

If an avoidable medical mistake by a medical professional has caused you some injury or has led to the injury or death of a close relative, then you need to seek redress by filing a malpractice suit.

Aside helping you win some form of monetary compensation, such a suit will also serve as a warning signal to medical practitioners -- that patients understand their rights and should be treated diligently and in line with global best practices.

Now, a medical malpractice lawsuit isn't something you can file yourself because medical malpractice cases are usually complicated. And to win a case requires not just a deep understanding of law, but also some thorough understanding of medical practice.

You need to know the exact legal papers to file, how to arrange for expert witnesses, and how to establish strong evidence of malpractice against the doctor that made the terrible mistake. So, you'll need a lawyer, no doubt. And that's where a medical malpractice lawyer comes in.

Before hiring a malpractice lawyer, you must ask the following important questions to avoid winding up with the wrong choice.

1. What types of cases do you handle?

It's best to ask this question before letting your potential lawyer in on why you want to hire them. If they have no idea what type of case you're hiring them for, they're more than likely to give an honest answer.

A lawyer who specializes only on medical malpractice cases is usually a better choice than one who covers a wide range of cases. Note, however, that this is not necessarily true in all cases. So, you need to ask other important questions before making your choice.

2. What are your past records like?

The easiest way to know a lawyer's likelihood of helping you to win your case is to dig a bit into their past by asking about their records. To break this down, ask how many cases of medical malpractice they've handled in the past, how many they won, how many they lost, and how many were settled out of court.

A medical malpractice lawyer who worked with several clients and has recorded far more wins than losses is your ideal choice.

3. Can I get contacts of your past clients?

Anyone can make claims about the number of successes they've recorded. So, you need to take your verification a step further by asking for the names and contact details of your candidate's past clients. If you're given the contacts, get through to them and ask what cases the lawyer handled for them and whether they were satisfied by the service provided.

Many clients do not grant attorneys permission to use them as references. If your candidate can't give you any contacts for this reason, you can do a simple web search for their name or visit the local courthouse to check their records.

4. What are your payment terms?

You also need to understand how much you'll be paying to hire your candidate and how exactly they will receive their payment. Ask if they charge hourly or take cases on a contingency basis. Also ask if they will forego any fees should they lose the case.

It's usually better to go with a lawyer who charges on a contingency basis, since such lawyers tend to do all within their capacity to ensure that the case is won -- otherwise, they won't get paid.

There are more-than-countable factors to look at when hiring a medical malpractice lawyer. But by asking these four important questions, you're very unlikely to make the wrong choice. As a golden rule, talk to as many lawyers as possible before deciding who to hire.