No matter what the maximum contingency fee is in your state, a lawyer should give you a better deal if he is able to settle your medical malpractice case or dental malpractice case quickly, than if he does a lot of work or has to go to trial. You should ask for such an arrangement and have it spelled out in the contract you sign with the lawyer. Read the rest of this entry »
What if the lawyer says he does not want to handle your case for a contingency fee and wants you to pay cash? That is easy. He is telling you that he does not have confidence in your case or in his ability to win. If he does not think he is going to make money on your case, he does not have to take it on contingency basis and can ask for a cash contract. In that instance, thank him for his time and talk to another lawyer. Read the rest of this entry »
How Do You Finance Your Lawsuit?
A medical malpractice or dental malpractice lawsuit is a financial venture to obtain compensation for a medical or dental injury, and like every financial venture, there are expenses, which can be substantial. You must hire an experienced lawyer, and you need a qualified, medical expert or dental expert as your expert witness. You also have the costs of the lawsuit, which can be thousands of dollars. Unless your lawyer is experienced in medical or dental malpractice, he will need education on the medical or dental issues in your case, to represent you effectively. Read the rest of this entry »
How do you find lawyers to interview? Where do you start? The following suggestions will help you locate a lawyer, who will give you the best chance of winning your case:
Pick a lawyer at random? The chance that you will be lucky and choose an experienced, malpractice lawyer is not very good. Even if the lawyer does not take your case himself, and refers you to a malpractice specialist, he will probably get a referral fee, and you may be paying extra for less service from the lawyer who actually handles your case. Some of the best malpractice lawyers get many of their clients from other lawyers, who get part of the fee for referring the client. Many of the referrals come from lawyers, who advertise as medical malpractice specialists. Once the client responds to the ad, they sign you up and send you to the real legal expert. Read the rest of this entry »
Ask about legal fees. A lawyer should offer you the choice of paying cash as you go along, but that can be expensive. Or, a lawyer can offer you a Contingency Fee agreement under which he agrees to handle your case for a percentage of the total award. If you lose, you do not pay his legal fee.
In most states, the maximum percentage of your winnings a lawyer can take under a contingency agreement is controlled by law. In other states, lawyers can charge whatever the client will agree to, within reason; however, there is one thing you should know. A lawyer can always agree to reduce his fee. Only the maximum is set by law. If a lawyer tells you that 40% of your award is the authorized legal fee in your state, he means that 40% is the most the courts will allow him to charge you. It does not mean that he cannot give you a better deal. Any lawyer can negotiate his fee with you, and you should try to get the best possible arrangement, especially if your case is worth a substantial amount and a large legal fee. Do not be afraid to ask. Read the rest of this entry »
Check the records in your county courthouse. Many states keep the records of settled, medical malpractice and dental malpractice cases, either in the county or federal courthouse. In some states and localities, these records may be accessed on-line. The listings have information about each case, including the names of the lawyers and whether the case was won or lost. If you can do this, it is a good way to find out the names of winning lawyers. You can contact the clerk’s office at your county courthouse and ask how and where you can see the files of old, medical malpractice or dental malpractice cases.
What if the lawyer has a take-it-or-leave-it attitude? What should you do if you interview a lawyer and he seems to resent your questions or acts as if he is doing you a favor to take your case? Most lawyers are skilled and hard bargainers and may strike a tough pose or act as if they are doing you a favor just to get you to sign up with them on their terms. Read the rest of this entry »
How do you find lawyers to interview? What if you do not know any lawyers, because you never had any dealings with them? Where do you start? The following suggestions will help you locate a lawyer, who will give you the best chance of winning your case:
Pick a lawyer at random. The chance that you will be lucky and choose an experienced, medical malpractice or dental malpractice lawyer is not good. Even if the lawyer does not take your case himself, and refers you to a malpractice specialist, he will probably get a referral fee, and you may be paying extra for less service from the lawyer who actually handles your case.
When you go to a big law firm, or one that is headed a famous lawyer, the chances you will get the “big gun” to handle your medical malpractice or dental malpractice case are slim, unless you have a very big case or a class-action suit. You will probably be directed to one of the other members of the firm, who will handle your case from beginning to end. Chances are that none of the other lawyers in the firm will work on it or even meet with you.
The lawyers in a firm are divided into partners, who are the owners and experienced lawyers. Associates are employees and trainees. If the lawyer assigned to your case is an associate, it means you have the second team. Lawyers usually do not gain the skills and experience to become partner much under the age of 40. You should be aware of this, if you are turned over to a young attorney in a large law firm. Read the rest of this entry »
Finding a Competent Lawyer
Any licensed lawyer can handle a legal problem, but many lawyers do not have the background, financial resources, or experience to handle a medical or dental malpractice case successfully. A lawyer who does not have a solid understanding of medical malpractice or dental malpractice, and the issues in your case, is unlikely to guide you safely through the maze of problems that will arise.