June 12, 2024
Fallen Victim to Medical Malpractice? 5 Things to Look For Before Hiring a Lawyer

Medical malpractice is a serious issue. It can cause the victim to suffer for a long time, completely alter their quality of life, and in some cases, even worse. However, the laws in place in many states are not entirely designed to help the victims as much as possible.

Take the example of Vincent Low vs Mercy Clinics. According to Missourian, Vincent Low was admitted to Mercy hospital of St. Louis in 2014 for multiple emergency surgeries regarding his bowel problems. However, he claimed that the hospital neglected surgery as well as post-surgery care, causing his situation to deteriorate further.

Although he was awarded $12.8 million in court, The repeated appeals by the hospital slowed down the entire process until April 2022, the state supreme court refused to try the case. But by then Vincent had already passed away. Since interest does not accumulate in medical malpractice cases in Missouri, hospitals show no urgency to resolve a case quickly and they drag on.

This incident doesn’t only show the need to have contact with a good personal injury lawyer in St. Louis, This also highlights the need to have access to a good personal injury lawyer period. But how to know if a lawyer is actually good? Here are a few tips to help you out.

Start by Asking Around for Recommendations

When looking for a lawyer, you should always start by asking the people around you if they have had any similar experiences. If they have, they might be able to recommend the lawyer they hired or ask you to steer clear of them if they felt the experience was not a good one.

If you know a doctor, they will most likely be able to help you with it. Although they would be on opposing sides in a medical malpractice case, doctors will know who the competent lawyers are due to their shared field of work.

One thing you need to keep in mind is that every lawyer has their own area of specialization. Just because someone is a good real estate lawyer, doesn’t mean they would be good with a medical malpractice case. Make sure the lawyer you are planning to visit specializes in the field you require.

Consult the Internet Before Moving Forward

According to Market My Market, 64% of people use Google to find their lawyers, making it the most popular method by far. The internet can find you a good lawyer near you, and if you have already decided on somebody, it can help you do a background check on them. That is, check the reviews from their past clients, their experience in your required field, if they have any malpractice allegations, etc.

If you don’t know what you should be looking for exactly, you can opt for online consultations. During these sessions, a legal expert will listen to your case, explain to you the basics of your situation, and then pair you up with a lawyer they think will be the right fit for you. Such sessions are often free and it would be foolish not to take advantage of them.

Schedule Appointments With Multiple Lawyers

The first thing to do is set up appointments with a few attorneys. You want to get an idea of what different lawyers offer and what they’re like as people. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about their experience and track record, especially if you have a complicated case.

Every lawyer will have their own approach to your case. You should hear them out, clarify any doubts you have, then make the decision based on which approach makes the most sense to you. According to IBISWorld, there are 60,670 personal injury lawyers operating in the US. One is bound to be right for you.

Do Not Fall for a Sales Pitch

Lawyers often need to be hired as much as you need to hire them. Therefore some will use dishonest tactics to convince you to go with them. They might guarantee you the outcome of the case. Beware of such people as no good attorney will ever guarantee such a thing.

Justpoint reports that only 7% of malpractice claims go to trial. Of those that do, 80% are ruled in favor of the defending healthcare provider. Only 1 in 3 patients receive compensation for their injuries and 95% of them are out of court settlements. This is not to discourage you from demanding your well-deserved compensation. But this is something a good lawyer will make you aware of and a bad lawyer will ignore.

A salesperson will also be unwilling to contradict you or correct you when you are wrong. They will sell you the best-case scenario possible. But a good lawyer will point out when you are wrong and moderate your expectations about the case. That is how you know this person is putting your interests ahead of his own.

Take Your Gut Into Account Before Making a Decision

This might sound odd, but treat your lawyer like you would treat a new date. No, it is not an invitation for you to flirt with your lawyer. Think of it like this: even if your date checks all the criteria on your list, but your gut tells you something is wrong, you will probably want to avoid them. The same goes for your lawyer.

You and your lawyer need to work like a team to be effective in court. But if you two don’t get along, it would not be possible. Therefore, even though you need to take into consideration your lawyer’s track record, experience, fees, etc., do not underestimate the value of your gut feeling about them.

It is important to remember that lawsuits are rarely easy. In fact, they can be very complicated and stressful for both sides. But if you’ve been injured by a medical mistake, then you deserve compensation for the harm that was done to you, and your family deserves compensation as well.