Hiring a Medical Malpractice Attorney: What You Should Know
Have you suffered injury at the hands of a doctor or health professional? It is a sad situation when the very people charged with our care in a time of need are sometimes the people that hurt us the most. Unfortunately, this is far from an unusual situation. Even after years of education, doctors make mistakes. Everyone is human, but when a doctor or nurse fails to do their job to the standard required by their profession, it can cause real harm. A medical malpractice attorney can't undo this harm, but compensation is deserved on the part of the patient. If you're considering a lawsuit, here's what you should know.
The doctor isn't going to settle.
Except in the rarest of circumstances, this isn't a situation where a medical LevinLaw malpractice attorney can pressure the doctor into settling for an "undisclosed amount" out of court, as you see so often in civil law. A doctor is required to carry insurance for just such a possibility and they have no financial incentive to settle out of court. The insurance company, on the other hand, may have a significant reason to settle. Why is this worth mentioning? Because some people don't want to settle, they want the doctor "punished" in court. But this isn't going to happen. You're suing the insurance company, at the end of the day.
Health care providers will sometimes try to scare wronged patients into dropping any thought of a lawsuit by belaboring the fact of trial expenses. They get into the patient's head and make them believe they will be worse off financially after suing than they would be if they accepted a modest settlement. This is where it pays to find a good medical malpractice attorney. The best lawyers will find a way to advance those expenses, meaning you pay nothing out of pocket. The money for the trial costs (as well as the lawyer's fees) comes out of the final judgment, not from your bank account.
Statute of Limitations
The laws in many states prevent you from taking as long as you want to decide whether or not you want to sue. This is reasonable, but it has surprised many patients who didn't realize until much later the extent of their injuries. In some states, the statute is even shorter when government employees are the ones at risk of litigation. If you believe that you might want to file suit, contact a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options. He'll be able to tell you exactly how long you have to file.