Recovering compensation after a medical error begins with finding an experienced medical negligence lawyer who is willing to take on your case.
Most medical negligence lawyers offer an initial free consultation, which means that you have one chance to present the evidence that will allow a lawyer to decide whether they believe they can recover compensation for your case.
The best way to make the most of a consultation with a lawyer is to go in prepared. Knowing what to expect and what to bring along can help ensure that your meeting is productive and allow your lawyer to make an accurate assessment of your case.
Have a Basic Understanding of Medical Negligence
Proving medical negligence can be a challenge; however, if you have valid grounds and an experienced medical negligence lawyer, the compensation can make the process more than worth it. But keep in mind that not every bad medical experience is necessarily medical negligence.
Medical negligence that didn’t cause any harm (to your health or your finances) isn’t enough to pursue a case. Similarly, a bad outcome in the absence of an error by your provider is not malpractice either. For example, a competently performed procedure that failed to achieve the desired result isn’t necessarily medical negligence. You have to be able to prove that the provider did something that he/she should not have done, AND that you suffered damage as a result of the negligence.
Research Medical Negligence Lawyers
If you think your situation merits taking action for medical negligence, you should research medical negligence lawyers and narrow your options to those whose abilities you feel confident in. Along with reading a lawyer’s website, you can check case results and online reviews.
When you meet a lawyer, ask them whether they have handled similar cases, what the outcomes were, and how much compensation they were able to gain for their clients. Consider the number of questions the lawyer asks you, and consider the extent to which they explain your options in clear, understandable language.
You’ll want to choose a lawyer who seems considerate, communicates well, has the ability and willingness to fight for your compensation even under potentially difficult circumstances, and possesses a track record of success.
Collect Evidence and Documentation
The more information you can provide at a consultation, the more clearly a lawyer can assess your cases. Evidence and documents you can bring to a consultation might include:
- Medical records
- Communications from your medical providers
- Insurance documents
- Bills and receipts for medical care
- Pay stubs showing lost wages
- Photos of any injuries
A successful medical negligence case rests on clear, compelling evidence. Your lawyer will need to show that your healthcare provider acted negligently, and they’ll build a case for compensation by proving the damages you’ve sustained.
List Your Damages in Advance
In medical negligence cases, compensation is divided into two categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are all forms of damage that have an accompanying provable monetary value, like lost wages and medical bills.
However, you can also seek compensation for damages that don’t have a specific financial value. Common examples of non-economic damages include pain and suffering, emotional anguish, and diminished quality of life.
Taking the time to think about and list out the ways medical negligence has impacted all areas of your life can help a medical negligence lawyer more quickly and accurately assess your claim’s potential value.
Discuss Your Lawyer’s Terms
If the lawyer you’re meeting with agrees that you have grounds for a case, you should be prepared to ask questions about their fees, contracts, and other legal and financial details.
Many medical negligence lawyers use contingency agreements, which set their payment as a percentage of the compensation they earn. You should find out whether your lawyer works on contingency, what percentage they take, and whether any other court fees, legal fees, or administrative fees are due upfront.
If you’re hopeful about gaining compensation over a medical provider’s negligence, it’s best to set your expectations in advance.
Some instances of medical negligence can be difficult to prove, and all cases must go through additional steps, like obtaining the testimony of a medical expert witness. It takes time for a lawyer to build a case, and it takes more time to go through insurance negotiations.
Gaining compensation for medical negligence doesn’t happen overnight — but it can happen, and the amounts can be life-altering, especially when injuries are severe or the financial impact is high.
Don’t Wait to Contact a Medical Negligence Lawyer
If you’re hoping to gain compensation for what you believe is medical malpractice, it’s essential to contact a medical negligence lawyer as soon as you think you have a case. Waiting to act can hurt your chances of compensation, and it also puts your lawyer at risk of not having sufficient time to initiate court proceedings if an insurance company doesn’t cooperate.
If you’ve been harmed by medical negligence, don’t wait any longer. Contact The Trial Law Offices of Bradley I. Kramer, M.D., Esq. today to speak with a medical negligence lawyer.