Choosing a Virginia Medical Malpractice Attorney
One of the most important decisions that you will make as a family is the choice to hire a lawyer handle a serious personal injury matter.
It is important to fully research the lawyer and their firm before deciding to retain that particular attorney to represent your family in seeking full justice and compensation for an injury, whether they have been injured by a Virginia doctor’s mistake, misdiagnosis, surgical negligence, delayed diagnosis of cancer, or other serious harm.
The following is list of resources for your family to consider when you decide how to choose the best Virginia medical malpractice lawyer to handle this very important matter.
Step One: Background Research
The first step in your decision is to research the lawyers’ background. This includes their education, community associations, employment history, past cases, and experience.
It is important to note that the best Virginia medical malpractice lawyers have not necessarily been practicing law for the longest number of years, nor did they attend any particular law school. Instead, your family to look for a record of achievement in past cases. Prior cases or verdicts do not guarantee success in your case because every case is different. However, experience handling Virginia medical malpractice cases can help you make a decision to hire an attorney to represent your family.
You can also perform a background check of the attorney at the Virginia State Bar online records search. Be sure to check disciplinary history and malpractice coverage to verify their eligibility. It is important to research this information before you hire a Virginia attorney to handle a medical malpractice matter.
Step Two: Interview the Attorney
The next step in the process for selecting a lawyer to handle a Virginia medical practice case is to speak with that lawyer by phone and in person.
Pay particular attention to the lawyer and their staff during your initial interactions. Do the staff members answer your questions with kindness and respect? Does the lawyer appear attentive and compassionate when discussing the case with you? Does the lawyer describe his role in representing you and give you confidence that you will be kept informed? Do you get a sense from the lawyer that regardless of how busy their office may be with other cases, they will devote time and attention to your case?
Each of these questions should be answered to your satisfaction before you decide to retain a Virginia medical malpractice attorney
Step Three: Review the Retainer Agreement
You will probably find that the best Virginia malpractice attorneys will allow you sufficient time to review the retainer agreement before you decide to hire their firm.
Generally, claims for medical malpractice in Virginia are handled on a contingency fee basis. This means that the lawyer will keep track of their time during the lawsuit, but they will not charge you a fee unless the case settles or the jury returns a verdict in your favor. The Virginia State Bar says that clients must be responsible for expenses along the way; however, many medical malpractice attorneys will permit payment arrangements with their client to cover expenses and such expenses are often paid is part of the settlement or verdict at the end of the case.
Be sure to ask the attorney whether you will be given advance approval before any expenses are paid to experts, witness fees or other court costs. Remember, it is your case. At a minimum, you should demand regular communication from the attorney and their office about the case before deciding to retain them.
Step Four: Ask for Referrals
When you decide to hire a Virginia medical malpractice lawyer to handle your case, consider asking a trusted friend, neighbor, or member of the local legal community for a referral. You may be surprised to learn that many lawyers can help you choose a lawyer who in their opinion will help you with your case. There are online websites that offer you other information about the attorneys, but the best resources are often members of your own community.
When you decide to hire a Virginia medical malpractice attorney for your family, give careful thought to the law firm that you choose to contact. Past verdicts are no guarantee of success in future cases, but you you want to make an informed decision that includes referrals, background research, and an initial meeting to discuss the case. It is important to thoroughly educate yourself about the attorney and their law firm before deciding to make this very important decision.