Medical malpractice claims the lives of over 250,000 Americans each year. Hundreds of thousands of other patients may be adversely affected by inadequate medical care. In some cases, individuals must have additional medical procedures to compensate for a doctor’s error. Others may suffer from short-term disabilities or become permanently disabled. The total payout to plaintiffs in medical malpractice lawsuits in the United States was over $4 billion in payments in 2018.
If you believe you’ve experienced medical malpractice, you should meet with a medical malpractice attorney to discuss your claim. Use these tips to locate a lawyer and prepare for your consultation.
When you need to hire an attorney, you must find a lawyer specializing in the appropriate field of law. Lawyers review case law that pertains to their area of expertise to ensure they’re aware of the latest rulings and legal precedents that may affect their clients. Perform a Google search for “medical malpractice attorneys” in your area and review their profile. Law firms list the names of the lawyers who work for them. Google search the lawyers’ names to locate their LinkedIn profile and articles about cases they’ve argued. Review any client testimonials on their site and check for reviews of the firm.
Reading this information can help you feel confident about the quality of representation you will receive and give you a sense of which lawyer you would be most comfortable with. Lawyers typically offer a free consultation to potential clients, which means you can meet without assuming any financial risks and get a professional evaluation of your case.
How to Dress
As a client, you are not required to adhere to a dress code, but it’s human nature to form impressions based on how a person presents themselves. You want to convey that you take this legal matter seriously and have made an effort to prepare thoroughly which you can do that by pairing a nice pair of black pants, which are appropriate business formal attire. Complete the look with a dress shirt or a blouse and blazer.
How to Prepare
A medical malpractice case requires the wrongdoing of the medical professional or team that resulted in an injury. You will need to establish the malpractice that occurred and how you were harmed.
Take time to document the series of events that led to your injury. Detailed information, including dates, staff names, locations, and potential witnesses, can be used to verify your account and determine who may be at fault.
If you’re unable to write, make an audio or video recording with the relevant information. Over time, details may become fuzzy, and creating an account with all the details will ensure your information is as accurate and thorough as possible.
You may also want to talk to witnesses who can support your account. If family or friends were present, they might be able to provide additional details about the incident that led to your injury.
What to Bring
Bring copies of all relevant medical records. Insurance claims, prescriptions, and deductible payments can all be used to substantiate when you were treated and what treatment you received.
Have your documentation available by printing them out or email a written account. Video and audio files can also be played via email.
Create a list of relevant witnesses and their contact information. Your attorney can use this information to question witnesses and verify your account. Witnesses may be crucial to your case if you go to court.
Your lawyer will need to know the medical staff’s names involved in your treatment and which staff were parties to the malpractice. You may opt to do some research on any doctors involved to determine if they have a history of malpractice or have settled other cases, or you can let your legal team conduct that researches themselves.
You will also need to establish how the injury you sustained has impacted your life. Your lawyer should know if you have been unable to work, perform routine tasks, or engage in recreational activities.
Keep a file with all receipts for expenses related to your injury. You may have been required to take medications, see a physical therapist, pay for people to clean your home, or have home health aides provide in-home care. These expenses are factors that will be relevant when determining an appropriate settlement.