Hiring a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer is no process to take lightly. To put it bluntly, patients who pursue medical malpractice damages against allegedly negligent health-care providers face expensive and highly stressful proceedings. Frequently, the litigants’ representatives face off against highly skilled and well-paid defense attorneys on the provider’s ongoing retainer.
No malpractice case is ever easy or guaranteed. However, if you feel you have been victimized by negligent, substandard treatment that left you worse off than when you began, then you owe it to yourself to have a licensed and seasoned Maryland legal professional review your circumstances and provide an honest assessment of your case. Statutes of limitations will tick down your window to be compensated for any wrongdoing so that you can resume a healthy, normal quality of life.
Given how challenging medical malpractice prosecution can be, there could be no more pivotal decision short of whether to pursue a case at all than hiring the most qualified lawyer in Maryland to stand by your side. Choose wisely.
● The Right Lawyer For The Job
To begin, Lawyers.com is an outstanding resource for compiling an absolutely free list of strong medical malpractice lawyers in your neck of Maryland. Medical malpractice law practices are general comprised of two specializations – “plaintiff’s lawyers” who represent injured patients and much more rare, narrowly specialized medical malpractice lawyers.
The time-consuming, expensive nature of these cases in general results in most medical malpractice lawyers turning down more cases than they take. Be prepared to browse diligently.
Assuming you aren’t injured and are indeed looking strictly for a medical malpractice lawyer, search your candidates’ websites for information that confirms extensive experience and specialization in pursuing such cases. If a lawyer or firm’s specialty isn’t completely clear, then this is a good time to research the candidate’s background via Google and call the office directly to ask a few questions. Consider it a strong sign if a candidate belongs to the American Association of Trial Lawyers (ATLA) or another respected personal injury trial lawyers’ association, but also verify a particularly active membership or leadership role. That suggests a notably higher caliber of peer esteem.
Never discount the value of great word of mouth.
Ringing the bell of an attorney you know who perhaps practices in some other area may bear a recommendation or two that you can then follow to other people who may have had some experience with his or her counsel and could offer some feedback.
From there, the Maryland Bar Association is a vital resource for vetting a referred attorney’s good standing. It shouldn’t decisively sway you, but a lawyer’s advertising may very well speak to the level of professionalism and competence you can expect. While checking into a lawyer’s track record, there’s nothing wrong with asking your potential representative for a few references who could vouch for the skills and trustworthiness you can expect. Don’t hesitate to what percentage of their cases medical malpractice lawsuits comprise, what percentage of those cases go to trial, and how many ultimately settle – the settlement rate will almost definitely affect an opposing insurance company’s negotiation approach.
Given the nature of medical malpractice litigation, privacy standards may prevent your potential lawyer from divulging clients’ names. That’s OK. You may be able to track down a few from past newspaper records of court proceedings.
Ultimately, money is an object. Given how financially draining medical malpractice litigation can become on patients, it absolutely should be when selecting a lawyer.
Many qualified Maryland medical malpractice lawyers will offer a 25%-40% “contingency fee” that pays them a percentage of the settlement or judgment – if it’s a good case.
A Maryland medical malpractice attorney can and will say something along the lines of “You have a strong case, but I don’t have the time to take it” both when they actually can’t fit it into a caseload and when they just want to be rid of a weak case they don’t want to spend time arguing. There are ways to make a better impression, though.
Specifically, engage a local medical professional to review your records. Many nurses and doctors will happily offer a consult. If you come in with a substantial preliminary fact-finding mission already completed, you may find a lawyer more receptive to the merits of your case and its chances of success.