Do I Need a Lawyer for Medical Malpractice?

You went in the hospital doors sick…and came out more sick. What happened? Someone must have made a mistake during your care, and you want to hold them responsible. But you don’t know where to start, so you’re searching for legal advice for medical malpractice. 

In this article, we’ll tell you where you can get sound legal advice, and how to find the right lawyer should you decide to file a lawsuit. 

Why You Might Need a Lawyer for Medical Malpractice

A medical malpractice attorney deals with a very complex type of lawsuit. They help people sue negligent hospitals or doctors who injure their patients. They may also represent a doctor who’s accused of negligence. 

These cases take many different forms. Here are some reasons why you might file a malpractice lawsuit:

  • You were misdiagnosed. Your condition got worse because you didn’t receive treatment on time. 
  • The anesthesiologist made an error that injured you.
  • You lost a loved one to a medical mistake. 
  • Your child has cerebral palsy because your practitioner mishandled the birth. 
  • A doctor gave you the wrong medicine or the wrong dose of medication. 
  • Your doctor didn’t ask you for permission or explain the risks before performing a procedure/surgery

These aren’t the only types of malpractice cases. Are you wondering, “Do I need a lawyer for medical malpractice?” If so, the best thing to do is ask an attorney who deals in that field of law.

Woman searching online for a medical malpractice lawyer.

Where to Get Legal Advice for Medical Malpractice

There’s plenty of legal advice on the internet. But what you dig up might not fit your case circumstances. 

So what’s the best way to get legal advice for medical malpractice? Give a reputable law firm a call. Many lawyers who do medical malpractice consulting offer initial consultations for free. During that first meeting, the lawyer may ask you for some details about your situation. Then they’ll let you know whether you have a potential case. 

Note that there are a lot of factors that go into having a viable case or not. For one thing, there’s the statute of limitations, the “time limit” that each state sets for how long you have to file your malpractice case. Usually, it’s two or three years. You could have a cut-and-dry case of obvious malpractice, such as a surgeon operating on the wrong limb, but not be able to sue if the statute of limitations is up.

How to Choose an Attorney for Medical Issues

If you want the best chance possible of winning your case, you need to choose the right attorney. First, your law firm should have experience with medical malpractice. It’s even better if the firm exclusively handles malpractice cases. There are a few reasons why:

  • They will know about new rules or research that could affect your case.
  • Malpractice attorneys aren’t doctors. But they have knowledge of medical errors and negligence that other lawyers won’t. 
  • Since they have handled many cases similar to yours, they know what works, and what doesn’t.
  • They may be well-known in your city/state for winning malpractice cases. This makes it more likely that the offending party will offer you a reasonable settlement. 

Once you’ve found a medical malpractice firm that interests you, here are some questions you might want to ask them: 

  1. Do you take medical malpractice cases exclusively? 
  2. What are your malpractice case results?
  3. Do you handle cases in my state? (Some firms handle cases in several states or nationwide.)
  4. Does the firm have access to expert physicians? (You may need expert testimony to support your case and ensure it’s successful.)
  5. Do you work on a contingency fee basis? What do you charge for services?
Person using a calculator to estimate lawsuit costs.

How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Malpractice Lawyer?

After suffering a devastating injury from medical malpractice, you may be facing severe financial challenges. You might not think you can afford legal advice for medical malpractice, much less retain a lawyer. 

But here’s some good news: Lawyers that do medical malpractice representation generally charge on a contingency fee basis. This means their fees are “contingent” on the outcome of the case. You don’t pay them anything upfront. If your case is successful, they will take their fee from the settlement or award you receive.  

Contingency fee arrangements have two major benefits:

  • They make legal representation available to those who may not be able to afford it.
  • Lawyers have the motivation to get a favorable outcome for their clients. 

The specific percentage that the attorney takes as a contingency fee is usually around 33% to 40% of your award.

When you speak with the law firm you’re considering for your case, be sure to ask what fees they charge. It’s crucial to fully understand the terms of the contingency fee agreement and to be aware of any other potential costs. 

Need a lawyer for medical malpractice? Hartley Hampton is 2024’s Texas Medical Malpractice Plaintiff’s Lawyer of the Year. Contact our firm to find out if he’s the right attorney for your case.