The last thing patients expect is to suffer harm at the hands of a negligent medical professional they trusted. If you are in such a situation, you can explore your legal options to determine if you can sue the liable parties for financial compensation. A medical malpractice attorney can protect your rights and hold the negligent parties financially responsible.
If you are considering taking legal action, you should know some information. Here are key questions you can ask a medical malpractice lawyer during your consultation. The sooner you meet with a legal professional, the sooner you will know what steps you must take next.
Question: “Do I Have a Valid Medical Malpractice Case?”
If you feel you experienced medical negligence, you can schedule a legal consultation with an attorney. They can advise you on whether you can pursue an insurance claim or a lawsuit. They also can advise you on whether you have a case.
Any medical care provider can be sued for medical negligence. That includes doctors, dentists, nurses, lab technicians, hospitals, and urgent care centers. Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional or facility makes negligent medical errors that can harm a patient. Healthcare providers must take every precaution to protect patients, but sometimes, mistakes happen. Even still, an unfavorable medical result does not necessarily mean malpractice occurred.
A personal injury attorney can review the incident, assess whether you have the evidence to prove your medical malpractice case, and determine if you can move ahead. If they recommend that you take legal action, they can identify the at-fault or liable parties and establish the damages you suffered, such as ongoing medical care costs, lost income, and pain and suffering. If your loved one passed away from fatal injuries involving negligent medical care, a personal injury attorney can explain whether you can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.
Elements of Negligence in a Medical Malpractice Case
Your case must demonstrate the four elements of medical negligence to have a viable case. These factors include:
- There was a doctor-patient relationship between you and the treating physician or medical facility.
- The other party violated their duty of care by not doing what a reasonable healthcare provider would.
- This breach of care caused your injuries.
- You incurred compensatory damages as a result.
Question: “What Experience Do You Have With Medical Malpractice Cases?”
Medical malpractice cases are challenging and can be difficult to win. You want to hire a law firm that has a record of winning medical malpractice cases and getting positive reviews from past clients. Legal experience goes a long way in these cases, and the right law firm will use it to fight for your full financial recovery after suffering medical negligence.
You should also ask about the following during your malpractice case evaluation:
- Education and credentials
- Professional reputation
- How many years the lawyer or firm has been in business
- Number of cases they have taken to court and won
- Knowledge about the healthcare industry
- Connections to expert witnesses who can testify on your behalf
- How the lawyer or law firm handles client communication
- Who will be handling your case
- The timeline your case could take
Question: “What Are the Time Limits for Filing My Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?”
This question is important because waiting too long to take action could affect your case’s resolution. Your attorney will need time to build your case, so every day you wait could subtract from the days your lawyer can build the best case.
What’s more, each state sets a statute of limitations deadline for injury cases. The deadlines are usually just a few years. For example, in California, injured parties generally have three years to file a lawsuit, per CCP § 340.5. If you do not file your case within this window, the state will bar you from taking legal action.
Patients will likely be busy focusing on their recovery and not the calendar. But that does not bode well for heeding the filing deadline, which you must do. A medical malpractice lawyer can help you in many ways. They can track your case’s timeline and ensure you meet critical deadlines.
You May Need Time to Complete Various Lawsuit-Related Procedures
They can also explain procedures you must complete as you file your lawsuit. Some states require that patients notify medical providers of their intent to sue. Your attorney can file an Affidavit of Merit with the lawsuit or submit your claim on your behalf.
Question: “What Are the Legal Fees and Costs to Handle My Malpractice Case?”
No set of questions for lawyers is complete without asking about the cost of filing a medical malpractice insurance claim or lawsuit. Money is a considerable factor in injury cases, and attorneys want to make sure complex and expensive cases are worth their time. They also want to make sure the patient benefits as well. The type of medical malpractice case you pursue can affect costs. Common expenses can add up for things like:
- Expert witness fees
- Court filing fees
- Attorney’s fees
- Hospital record retrieval fees
When you discuss your potential case with an attorney, ask about their fees for handling medical negligence cases. They should be forthcoming and upfront about how they will receive payment if they recover your compensation. If they work on contingency, they won’t charge you unless they win your case. However, make sure you understand the fee agreement before signing and know what percentage of your compensation they will take to cover their fees.
Also, ensure you know the payment method that your attorney will use. They may work on an hourly fee or flat fee basis. Some lawyers require a retainer before starting work on a case, while others use a sliding-scale contingency fee. Understanding your lawyer’s payment arrangement can help you make informed decisions moving forward.
Call KJT Law Group for a Free Consultation About a Medical Malpractice Case
Our firm’s lawyers are ready to answer your key questions about a medical malpractice case during a free consultation. We covered only a few questions here, but we can give you detailed information about the specifics of your case once we learn more about the incident that harmed you or a loved one.
We can review your potential damages and which negligent healthcare providers you can hold accountable for your injuries. Call us now at (818) 507-8525 to begin.