The Right Lawyer for Your Medical Malpractice Claim

Getting the best outcome for your medical malpractice case starts with having the right lawyer on your side.

Updated by , J.D. · University of San Francisco School of Law

Finding a qualified lawyer is critical to the success of a medical malpractice case, especially compared with more straightforward personal injury cases (like those arising from a minor car accident). But medical malpractice is a relatively rare specialty. If you think you have a legitimate medical malpractice case, how do you find the right lawyer?

Ask a Lawyer You Trust to Recommend a Medical Malpractice Attorney

Perhaps the best way to find a good medical malpractice lawyer is to ask for a recommendation from a lawyer who you already know and trust. Most lawyers have long contacts lists, gleaned from years of litigation and lawyer-to-lawyer networking.

If you don't know any lawyers, ask a close friend or relative if they've recently worked with a lawyer and come away with a good impression. Maybe they can ask the lawyer for a recommendation of an experienced medical malpractice attorney.

A Bar Association Might Help You Find a Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Almost all state and local bar associations have lawyer referral services that connect prospective clients with qualified lawyers. Most bar associations require lawyers who want to be listed in a specialty such as medical malpractice to demonstrate a specified level of experience in that field.

In order to be connected with a lawyer, simply call or email the bar association and ask to be referred to a qualified lawyer. Start by doing an online search for "bar association" in your city or state.

Finding a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Online

Many web sites (including this one) have a method for connecting prospective clients with lawyers by specialty. You can utilize a "chat" feature or form submission—along with some general information about your case—to make initial contact with a prospective lawyer or two.

What to Ask a Prospective Medical Malpractice Lawyer

When you're considering a medical malpractice lawyer, the most important issues are the lawyer's experience in medical malpractice cases and whether you and the lawyer are a good fit for on another.

How Experienced Is the Lawyer?

You certainly want to start off by asking the lawyer about their experience in medical malpractice cases.

  • What kinds of medical malpractice cases has the lawyer handled?
  • For how many years has the lawyer been handling these cases?
  • How many medical malpractice settlements has the lawyer been involved with?
  • How many medical malpractice trials has the lawyer had?
  • How many medical malpractice trials has the lawyer won?

Remember that medical malpractice cases are difficult to win, and most trials end up with a defense verdict. So you shouldn't expect that the lawyer will have won most of their medical malpractice trials.

How Will the Lawyer Find Medical Experts?

Almost every medical malpractice case will require a medical expert witness to prove that the defendant health care provider's action or inaction rose to the level of medical negligence. If you have a medical malpractice case and cannot find a qualified medical expert witness to give an opinion that the defendant was negligent, your case could be dismissed.

Experienced medical malpractice lawyers know how to find a medical expert in any specialty. Some work with medical expert witness services, and others are so experienced that they have a network of doctors in almost every specialty who might serve as expert witnesses. You want an answer that shows that the lawyer knows what they're doing in this arena.

Are You and the Lawyer a Good Fit?

This can be almost as important as the lawyer's competency and experience. If you and the lawyer can't seem to get along, that's a red flag.

In order to figure out whether you and a lawyer are going to be a good fit, you need to assess yourself as well:

  • Are you the type of person who will just turn the case over to the lawyer?
  • Or do you think you'll want to hear from the lawyer frequently with updates and a chance to give your own input?

Knowing who you are and what you expect will help you decide what type of lawyer is the best fit for you.

Lawyers come in all types, just as people do. There are curt, brusque lawyers, and there are warm, friendly, touchy-feely lawyers. They might all be equally effective at getting money for their clients, but they all might have totally different kinds of relationships with their clients. It's up to you to figure out what kind of attorney-client relationship you want.

How Will the Medical Malpractice Lawyer Assign a Value to My Case?

This is an issue that's important to most potential clients, and understandably so. But it's pretty unlikely that a prospective lawyer will be able to speak with any level of specificity when it comes the the dollar value of your medical malpractice case. There are far too many variables at play. At this early stage, the lawyer is probably most focused on:

  • any challenges likely to crop up when it's time to prove that the health care provider actually committed malpractice, and
  • the nature and extent of the harm suffered by the patient as a result of the malpractice.

How Much Will a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Cost?

Medical malpractice cases can be very expensive to litigate. Once you've found some candidates, you'll want to discuss the fee arrangement in detail. It's likely that a medical malpractice lawyer will represent you under a contingency fee agreement, meaning the lawyer's fee for legal services will come out of any settlement or court award you receive.

Make the Most of Your Claim
Get the compensation you deserve.
We've helped 175 clients find attorneys today.
There was a problem with the submission. Please refresh the page and try again
Full Name is required
Email is required
Please enter a valid Email
Phone Number is required
Please enter a valid Phone Number
Zip Code is required
Please add a valid Zip Code
Please enter a valid Case Description
Description is required

How It Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you